Yes, it's that time again, when I actually dabble in a meaningful activity that may even pass as a hobby. Yes, along with fish 'n chips, pubs and representative democracy, darts is one of our best British imports. There is nothing I enjoy more than standing in the company of a group of darters, consuming ethanol whilst hurling sharp objects. Brilliant!
I play on The Cockney Rejects, based at the Coat of Arms Pub in Portsmouth. We are the Boston Red Sox of our league - Always good enough for 2nd place! Even last year, the Sox threw off their curse, but we remained 2nd in the standings and 2nd in the playoffs. On the positive side, we consumed a lot of beer.
This season, we hope to recover from the loss of longtime team captain, Eden Moe, who, for some crazy reason that had to do with marrying a beautiful British physician, emmigrated to the UK. Eden and his clutch bullseyes will be sorely missed. Also, I'll have no one to shoot me dirty looks when I follow unconventional strategies in my singles matches....
Native Brit Nigel Smith is stepping into the captaincy. Mr. Smith is a master of throwing darts while drawing puffs of his cigarette, which is a clever trick, when you think about how easy it would be to hurl the butt and stab a dart in one's mouth... On the rare occaisions that he misses his mark, one can hear Nigel's characteristic explosion: "WANK-er!"
In the past, the British-ness of the team was bolstered by Roger and Simon; Roger plays on as an alternate, and also runs the pub in his spare time. We have no Callums, Olivers or Liams, however.
Ironically, Andy English is a Yank. Andy and I used to hang out at the same Irish Pub in Columbus, Ohio (Byrne's) but didn't know each other until moving to New Hampshire in '02. Andy plans on missing several weeks of the season this fall, for some crazy reason that has to do with marrying a beautiful American architect, and..... hmmm.... anyone else see a trend here? Anyway, he'll be back; Best Wishes to Andy and Cathryn, however!
Hailing from Dover, Dennis Wiggin and Chuck Schlicter will have to travel to Portsmouth for every game this season. Someone should offer to help with gas... Dennis finished on the leaderboards after coming on strong last season, and we're happy to have Chuck back full time from his educational hiatus of last season.
Joining the Rejects this season, Sean Lyons brings his mad phat Irish dart skills to the team. He was smart enough to get married last year (beautiful/American/therapist, for those keeping track of non-darts stats here...) so he shouldn't miss many matches this season!
We opened with a win this week at the Coat; our opponents threw valiantly, despite being down two players. They thusly forfeited three matches. I thusly only played one of the three matches I was scheduled for. Disappointing, but I won by default. "De, Fault! the two sweetest words in the English language!" according to Homer Simpson. Most notable was the tour de force of a throw by Mr. Wiggin, who had a round of five corks. This means that he hit the "red-eye" twice and also a regular bullseye just for giggles. I've never actually seen that done in competition. I did it once while practicing, with no one around to see.... *sigh*. No sour grapes; congrats to the Big Fella! Roger subbed for Nigel this week, as the latter remains in England on "Holiday," I believe. Although simply out-matched in his singles, rookie Sean acquitted himself very well, contributing to his trio's win in 601 and teaming up with Chuck to win a hard-fought doubles Cricket match.
In other news, the Coat's Soft Taco Special is delightfully spicy, but could use some more shells to help mop up the plethora of tasty goodness served w/ the soft steak. Yum.
Back to dentistry later.....