Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Little Arrows

Jacques Peretti's excellent programme Darts Tarts displays a real love for the game and affection for the obsessive characters who play it.

I should rephrase that as a real love for the sport, as darts is now officially a sport. That's thanks to this inconsistent government which bangs on about obesity and drinking and smoking, and now classes darts in the same category as healthy, exciting competitions like ice dancing and rifle shooting.

Peretti describes darts as the working class game, as opposed to middle class snooker which drove darts into the wilderness of satellite tv in Thatcher's eighties.

But was Thatcher to blame for this seismic shift?

Or was it the fact that snooker is just so much more bloody sexy?

Betty has already clearly demonstrated the sheer horn factor of snooker. Where else do you see fit men, bent over a table, a four foot pole perfectly balanced between their gentle hands, their smouldering eyes peering intently at a hard ball, the ball just aching to be kissed into a soft, tight pocket.

How could darts compete? Besides the fact that darts players are generally 5 stone heavier than snooker players, you are extremely unlikely to see a professional darts player bend over and show his arse to the world. A poor arrow thrower may spend half the game bending over to pick up a dart that has missed the board or hit it at the wrong angle and plummeted to the floor. But how many times has that happened to John Lowe over the past 30 years? And really, who would want to see it happen?

So Thatcher's not really to blame. In fact, she probably encouraged many workers to take up darts, practising throwing at a photo of her face on the wall.

No, it really is down to eye candy, not the destruction of working class culture.

Be honest. Cliff Thorburn or Eric Bristow?

Come on.


  1. The whole 'Is Darts a Sport?' debate prompted some darts player to say "I wear trainers and I've been on Grandstand".

    Can't argue with that.

  2. Well Geoff, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get to your worthy blog. But boy, what a reward! Now you ask me would I rather shag Bristow or Thorburn? I'm really struggling here. Normally I can work these 'who would you rather shag' questions out pretty quickly, but this one's got me stumped. I'll give it some thought.

  3. I actually quite like watching darts on telly. I don't think there's a single darts player I could ever call 'sexy' though.

  4. Spin - But was he wearing Nike Jordans?

    Welcome, Tom. Please don't think about it too much. You are allowed to say neither of the above. I think Thorburn would be the ladies' choice 99 times out of a hundred.

    Billy - I think the young Bobby George thought himself sexy. The current Bobby George probably looks at the young Bobby George in a wistful alcoholic haze.

  5. I reckon some of those darts players are quite 'the horn' actually. It's the sweat you see. Building up a sweat under the baps is quite impressive seeing as you are only lifting up something weighing little more than a 'finger' of fudge. (It's full of peppery goodness you know.)

    And that *Magnum* - wahey! HIGGINS!! (Or should I say Hurricane Higgins?)

  6. "Peppery"? No, Molly it's full of Cadbury goodness and very small and neat, I think you'll find. Look.

  7. "A finger o' Fudge"?

    And there was me singing "A finger of Fudge."

    I always get the words wrong.


    Any other kids' treats?

    Although Magnum is really for grown ups. (The ice cream and the PI). And possibly Mick Jagger might say Fudge is for grown ups, too.

  8. It's definitely 'peppery' has been for 33 years...I can't think of it as anything else.
    *Puts head in hands and sobs as her whole sweet-factory illusory fantasy dissolves*


    Things will never be the same again.

    You'll be telling me that Blue Ribands are being discontinued next.

  9. Do you think that Eric Bristow looks a bit like Shelley Duvall?

    And is it me...or...does he *actually* have any eyelids?

  10. Molly, I'm having a Finger of Fudge right now and I can vouch wholeheartedly for its lack of savoury topnote.

    Can you still get Spangles? I liked the Old English ones (I think they were really cough candy and they cut the roof of your mouth to pieces if you had too many too quickly. A lesson I never seemed to learn.

  11. Did you know you can't get Mars bars anymore. They've gone the way of the Marathon bar. I don't know - it doesn't get any easier, does it!

  12. For the record, I too thought it was "full of peppery goodness" until Geoff told me it was "full of Cadbury goodness" and laughed at me for making such a mistake. I think that I was crediting the person who wrote the jingle with more sense of poetry than they deserve.

  13. Eric Bristow could play opposite Shelley Duvall in Popeye 2. Or 2 Popeyes.

  14. See....Betty believes me! It's really is.

  15. Anonymous3:54 AM

    There is no sport that every person playing is good looking. But there are plenty of good looking guys in darts. Wes Newton, Adrian Grey, Johnny K., Ray Carver Just to name a few.

    I would love to see the average Joe walk up to any board and throw a few games and hit 180's back to back or take a 501 game out in 12 darts. Like any other SPORT it takes alot of practice. And sometimes all the practice in the world won't work for some (just like any other sport.)