The Wizard of Oz

While the focus of attention has rightfully been on the MCG for the past four days another no less enthralling contest has been unfolding in the Northern Hemisphere. The World Darts Championship is now approaching the pointy end of the competition and never has the event been more exciting or unpredictable. After seemingly months of preliminary rounds the Championship is now down to just eight competitors. As I’m sure you are all aware as you opened the sports section this morning, Australian, Simon “The Wizard” Whitlock has his magic back.

And has there ever been a greater ambassador in Australian sports. Tattoos, goatee and mullet. Resplendent with ear rings. The Wizard could be to darts what Cadel is to treadlies. I certainly know my kids have been nagging to take back the IPad and swap it for a dart board. Not only has The Wizard won through to the quarters on dart’s biggest stage, he has done on a bung ankle. The Whiz apparently took a tumble at an event 2 month ago and buggered his ankle. How one breaks ankle playing darts remains a mystery but one can assume lots of beer may have been involved.

Darts brings to sport what no other can deliver. Lots of really fat blokes standing around getting paid to do what they every night at the pub. Apart, of course, from “Our Simon” who cuts a lean and hungry antipodean figure amongst swathe of porridge eaters. A physique undoubtedly resulting form hours of grueling training and a diet of Bundy Rum and Winnie Blues. Darts players, and those who crowd the halls it is played in, have a certain something that you average pool and snooker player could never pull off. No Whispering Ted Lowes or “quire pleases” that’s for sure. Just lots of Poms having a bloody great time doing what they do best. Getting pissed and singing sings about some plonker from Scunthorpe.

Has any event captured the imagination of the masses quite like this one? Has any event ever held an audience whose prodigy all go by the one name? Even the girls. Has any sport event had a one man who has defined perfection? Sure your Jordons, Woods and Slaters go ok. But, Phil “The Power” Taylor is to darts what Back Caviar is to racing. The apex predator, only with a gut. Never has one man, so ordinary in every way, been the adoration of so many. Yet, he is no longer here. Incredibly the 13 time World Champion has been eliminated by some Neville called Steve Beaton. Steve who? you say. Well never mind about that because The Whiz took care of him over night to the tune of 4-3. The removal of The Power now opens the championship. If The Whiz can get through tonight match against The Flying Scotsman, look out. Last year’s runner up cup may be need to be relegated to the garage with the trophy cabinet bulging with the Big One. So tune in as in two short days, we may be seeing the emergence of the next great Australian sportsman. There may not be a ticket tape parade or presentation of the keys to the city but gee there will be some VB drunk around the pubs and dart halls of Australian. And that can only be good. Can The Whiz do it on a dud leg? C’n oath he can.

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    TR, The Wizard appears to have influenced the personal style of many in my neck of the woods.

    For some reason I’m reminded of this:

  2. JB
    fine example of what I believe to be the Gunbower Sharpie Shuffle. The Whiz has managed to combine a mullet and dreadlocks in one go. Brilliant! The Mullock. Our Simon creamed ’em again last night and now through to the semis. Probably needs Peter Larkin to give the ankle a few jabs but boy he made the Flying Scotsman look very ordinary in a 5-1 drubbing. C’mon

  3. John Butler says:

    TR

    Tragedy. The Wiz led 5-3 in his semi but lost 6-5.

    Some bloke called Hamilton has a lot to answer for.

  4. Peter Flynn says:

    D16 was Hamilton’s friend.

    Wade played Lewis on a break during the drafty door fiasco.

    Now both players have walked off.

    This is the most under-rated event on the calendar.

  5. Peter Flynn says:

    Air conditioning/vents now seems to be the cause.

  6. John Harms says:

    PJF, Lost in the backblocks of Queensland with no Foxtel. What’s going on?

  7. Pamela Sherpa says:

    Just read that the Wizard lost in a thriller. and also that he ‘struggled with a breeze inside Alexandra Palace’

  8. All over for the Wiz. Had a good lead but not able to contend with “mystery breeze” wafting across the stage. I would suggest it had something to do with getting a new tattoo every time he won a game. the scabbing up of the artwork might have tightened up the skin, therefore finding a different action was required from pre- tattoo practice. In other words, he buggered up his muscle memory.

    The perils of being a professional darts player shacked up in a hotel 30 seconds away from a tattoo parlour.

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