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We have "shouty man", Richie Benaud and a pundit who appears to know about darts!

The European Championships - Night 1

Posted: 20.09.12 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We have "shouty man", Richie Benaud and a pundit who appears to know about darts!

 

The Euros from Germany kicked off last night on ESPN and it was good! Sky is fine, they “do the darts” very professionally but the ESPN coverage was a refreshing change to the slick Sky coverage!  That is not to say that ESPN were not professional, far from it.

Ray Stubbs was playing the part of “Dave”. “Stubbsy” had a heart surgery operation back in April and has also grown a most fetching goatee beard type thing. I am unsure if these two facts are related. ESPN also had “shouty man” to conduct their interviews. Shouty man’s interview with Phil Taylor went through the usual format. Interviewer tells Phil how wonderful he is and Taylor feigns modesty. There was some fresh insight though! The Power also told us in his interview that he was suffering from insomnia, waking up at 3.00am on a regular basis.

After that bit “shouty man” concluded the interview by yelling “PHIL! Sleep well tonight”. This sudden outburst made Taylor jump, literally. It made me laugh anyway. Stuart Pyke also turned up for a bout of commentary, probably on some sort of “free transfer” deal from Sky Sports.

“Pikey” went off on his usual crystal ball gazing style of commentary, ignoring what was actually happening and describing what may happen if his whimsical predictions came true. In the Webster game he was attempting to convince his co-commentator John Part that once Webster had completed his routine victory over Andree Welge this would somehow transform Webby’s career and send him on a winning streak. Part ignored him and Webster inevitably lost.

Pyke has some good points to make but they tend to get lost amongst his speculation. On the other hand Part was a revelation in the commentary box. He is a deep thinker about the game. His insightful comments really added a new dimension to the coverage and demonstrated the valuable role a “proper pundit” can have on TV coverage. Darth Maple and the other ESPN commentator  Jim Proudfoot made a great partnership. Jim has the quality most revered in all the best commentators and the one that legend of the microphone Richie Benaud claims to be the most important asset he has; the ability to remain silent! 

Richie's mantra is:put your brain into gear and if you can add to what's on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up. 

Oh yes and there were some darts matches too! We have already alluded to the German Andree Welge “surprisingly” beating Mark Webster and in the first game rising Dutch star Jerry Hendricks shone as brightly as his diamond earrings. Jerry disposed of Suljovic with ease, marvellous effort that!  The other Europeans didn’t fare quite so well. Seyler was thrashed by The Warrior, Baxter beat the other German player Rosenauer and Caris went out to Taylor. A good return for PDC Europe though so far!

It did make me think that the European PDC, by having their own events, is doing a good job by giving these players some good quality opposition to hone their skills against. They can at least then take on the UK based PDC stars in tournaments such as this European Championship with some degree of confidence. The European and dart players from further afield for that matter are not on a level playing field though.

 

It seems each week that goes by a UK based PDC player drops out through lack of funding toplay in the tournaments despite 90% of them being held in the UK. However, what about the expense for our European and World wide counterparts to get over to the UK to take part? Yes PDC Europe is a compromise but can PDC darts really claim to be a global game when for the vast majority of players it is not financially viable to take part in UK based tournaments?

The second round starts at 7pm tonight.

 

Quote of the Day: "Don't bother looking for that, let alone chasing it, that has gone straight into the confectionary stall and out again! Benaud, R, July 1981.

 
 
 
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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )