A 'Ringer'...for those that don't know the term, is a player who appears to be too good for the league or standard of his fellow competitors he is playing with or against.
In the league I play in, I have come across a few over the years and even managed to beat one or two! It always puzzles me why they would want to play in such a league when they should be playing County darts at a much higher standard or even pushing for professional status.
This was highlighted when John 'Boy' Walton won the Embassy last year and he was being interviewed in his local pub. He was due to play for his local team in their home match. Imagine turning up for your away game and John Boy is on the opposing side! That's one match down before you start!
Listening to the interview with John Boy it occurred to me as to the reason why most 'ringers' play in such leagues. Most of them love darts, but more importantly love the 'banter' or the 'crack' with their mates. There is an atmosphere and camaraderie at club level in darts that cannot be obtained on the professional or county circuit. For the most part the better players amongst us will admit that this is what they miss if success is lucky enough to come their way. OK, there are a few big headed players who can gloat and enjoy the sound thrashings they can dish out week after week. There is one player that I know of that ends his match with the comment,
"Tough luck buddy - I tell you what. Next time I'll play you with one hand behind my back!"
This has inspired some retaliation of course, the best by far came from my team mate Mick...
"Fine! You can stick it up your ass, it'll be company for your head!"...Brilliant!
Mostly though, the 'ringers' I have come across are perfect gentlemen and I am happy to shake their hands after they have humbled me, happy in the fact that they must love darts as much as I do!
Is it just me that hates these things?
I must admit that this feeling has probably been brought about by the machine that we have in our darts club. It must be about twenty years old. The number display is large red LED and one of the scoring sides is faulty and has to be brought into life with a 'thud'.
'Thud' - Technical engineering term for the sudden appliance of pressure to an electrical component. Usually applied through a side panel with a object or fist!
Once the machine has sparked into life we then have to contend with the weird layout of the keys which contribute to a number of errors that lead to restarted games or at least a crowd round the thing trying to work out who scored what.
"Dave got 41, then an 85, then a 60."
"No he didn't, he got 45 with his first throw!"
And so it goes on.
Besides some of keys sticking, the layout of them is not like a phone keypad which starts with 1,2,3 on the top row left to right, then 4,5,6 below etc. It's not even like a calculator which has this arrangement upside down'7,8,9 on the top row, 4,5,6 below '
For some reason the designer of the machine that we have in our darts club decided to lay out the numbers in columns left to right. So we have the top row of' 1, 4 then 7, the next row being 2, 5, and 8!! He certainly cannot have been a darts player!
Now this might not seem a big deal, but after putting up with this thing for so long many club members are ready to pull their hair out. It's amazing how much the layout of a keypad of a phone for example is stuck in your brain. It's really difficult to stop accidental fingers straying to where you think a number key should be!
When you're playing a game and you hear cussing and swearing from the scorer behind you. You just know what has happened!
It has it's benefits though, does the old steam driven scoring machine. Ronnie, one of our members is very short sighted, and has those glasses that look like the bottoms of milk bottles 'Japanese Sniper' he is affectionately known as.
The sight of Ronnie with his nose nearly pressed up to the machine, not only trying to see the numbers, but trying to figure out the damn layout is a sight that makes us chortle! Guys are shouting out references to certain activities making you go blind, and that Ronnie should have perhaps laid off it a little bit!
"Will you lot sod off!...I'm trying to get £50 out of this damn cash machine!"
Good old Ronnie - I haven't laughed so much in ages!
Throw where you Look, and Look where you Throw,
Throw where you Look, and Look where you Throw, Rockford