Upstart lifts darts but a fart upsets the applecart

A stink is in the air pervading the oche just as a 17-year-old snotty sensation is proving he is not just a bag of wind.

If you think darts is a non-contact sport that poses no danger to life or limb, you cannot be any more wrong!

There’s a stink around the oche in a sport renowned for pot-bellied men in garish satin suits, at one time chugging beer or holding a lit cigarette while engaged in sporting combat on stage.

Stage is the operative word – for darts is best held in a hall more intimately associated with downing pints, suffocating rivals in cigarette smoke and chomping on a typical British pub staple of bangers and mash.

This sporting pastime with rather quaint British public house roots is now wildly popular in Europe (and the Middle East), staving homesickness among its sizeable United Kingdom expatriate community. It is governed by the Professional Darts Corporation, formed by leading darts players in 1992.

For more than 20 years, it chugged along nicely with the exploits of star players who made a good living from its numerous World Class tournaments.

Now, the boat is being rocked – in the portly shape of Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler. What gets everybody’s goat is that he thrashes opponents old enough to be his father!

Thrashing is an understatement – he breaks records, achieving nine-darter checkouts, and has the gall to do it on live television!

Littler announced his arrival by winning the Bahrain Masters – his first PDC senior title, defeating three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen in the final.

A few hours earlier, Littler threw a nine-darter on the way to the final.

His exploits do not surprise his parents – they have video records of ‘little Luke’ throwing darts on a magnetic board, while in nappies, having started at 18 months old! He was four when he threw at a proper dartboard.

As with any upstart, fellow competitors will feel a little threatened, especially when the interloper struts his stuff with brazen nonchalance.

Littler is just a toddler in the scheme of things – a mere boy compared to men who have been through the competitive grind, having paid their dues, as it were.

However, fellow competitors have been civil towards him, though one or two have voiced their disapproval at his flippancy in some throwaway remarks.

Following his Bahrain victory, Littler chomped on a celebratory kebab and downed it with Coke, which didn’t quite endear him to nutritionists, appalled at this 3,300-calorie stodgy binge.

He also divulged that he had not put in too much practice – a comment which grated with those he vanquished.

For all his youth, Littler does not look like your ordinary teenager. Unfortunately, his portly frame makes him just like any other sporting darter.

His name was mentioned during a debate on the problems British immigration was facing in determining the age of young migrants claiming youthful dispensation – hence, they cannot be charged in court as adults for committing any number of crimes.

A parliamentarian said Littler, who just turned 17 yesterday, was 16 but looked 36 – which, to her, demonstrates the difficult policing task faced by the authorities in handling the delicate migrant issue faced by the UK.

Come to think of it, would Littler have been so good had he been your typical broccoli-breath vegetarian? After all, all the so-called sportsmen who strut their unerring accuracy at chucking the metal projectile for a living don’t look too sportsmanlike either!

This after all, is a sport that does not count weight training or calorie-counting as prerequisites to performance and marksmanship. Chuck it from about seven feet, and you’ll probably hit the bullseye, once-in-100 throws!

In a way, wanton non-adherence to a strict dietary regimen could be the explanation for the flatulent foul play.

The two protagonists involved (I shall not name them for they might steal the limelight from Littler) blame each other for the bomb blast.

The media is having a field day reporting on this toxic belch, blaming kebabs as the probable cause for a stinking outbreak of putrid Delhi belly.

The voluble score crier used to shout in an exaggerated fashion “ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHHHHHTYYYYYYYYY…!!” when a player scores three successive triple 20s. Now the cry is: “ONE HUNDRED AND FAR….TYYYYYY!”

Tagged with: