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February 2010

BOBBY’S BLOG: Darts World February 2010

I know I say this every year, but Marie has gone all romantic again!  After every Lakeside she has to make up for lost time because with three birthdays and Xmas in December, followed by New Year and Lakeside we really haven’t had much proper time together (if you see what I mean?).

Luckily February has Valentine’s Day and I can court her all over again (we met on February 14th) with a box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers and a good Chinese.

It’s the most romantic month of the year she’s always telling me, but I’m already cream crackered after the always busy December and January.

But that’s no excuse with the ladies. We still have to step up to the oche when the mood takes them, so please fellas, listen to my annual advice and don’t forget to buy a nice card (never a jokey one) some flowers (not from a garage forecourt) and a big box of chocolates for the lady in your life.

I reminded you all last year, so if you didn’t do it then, you’d better do it now. Remember, Bobby told you!

Now that I’m the face and voice of ‘Ramsdens Got Gold Get Cash.Co.Uk’ I might even treat Marie to some bling of her own.  Mind you, I understand that my commercials upset one or two commentators at the PDC Championships, because they were shown in practically every commercial break.

It was played 28 times, which meant that I was probably seen (and heard) more times than most of the players and commentators!

You have to congratulate this piece of clever marketing by Ramsdens and I don’t claim any credit for it.  I just did the job and collected the bees and honey (loads of it). And if those commentators were upset this time, then goodness knows what they will think when the other six commercials go out throughout the year!

Maybe I’ll be in the Premier League?? Still, they do enjoy talking about me!!

Incidentally, Ramsdens is no Mickey-Mouse outfit.  They have over 50 outlets nationwide and probably pay the best money around for gold.

Another thing, the gold in the adverts is mine and there is a chance that I might be head-hunted by the Americans to cross the Atlantic and do some commercials there.  Apparently I have made an impression on the Yanks!

As I said in the Ramsdens commercials: OK, Yah!!

My favourite bling is gold and my favourite drink of 2010 is Tiamaria or should that be Tea and Marie?

Staying on the American theme I became the first official entry for Bullseye Million, which is set to be staged at the NEC Birmingham on July 17th. There’s 1 million dollars on offer and it’s open to all darts players whether they play down the pub or professionally. Take a look at www.bullseyemillion.com for details.

It’s a massive amount of money for a one-day event and it should attract players from all walks of life, because throwing one-dart at the bull against someone else is a great leveller when the pressure is on. I would say 50% ability, 25% who you draw and 25% luck.  At the end of the day it will be bottle that wins it.

But you’ve got to be in it to win it.  It’s who dares wins, not who cares who wins!

As usual I am writing this before Lakeside, so I can’t concentrate on the 2010 Championships until the next Blog. I did do a couple of promo pieces for the BBC Sport website, including two ‘Master Classes’ in which I coached BBC presenter Rob Walker in how to play darts.

Did it work?  I’m not sure, but he certainly passed his masterclass in drinking at George Hall!

He learned how to stand (the desert boots had to go!) and how to throw without jerking his darts (a few beers cured that one!).

We also took a look back on a great year of BDO darts, highlighting the performances of players in the World Pro and World Masters. Ted Hankey and Tony O’Shea’s final at Lakeside produced incredible drama and excitement for two reasons: Ted’s mood swings and lapses of consistency and Tony’s ‘never-say-die’ attitude.

And the same could be said of the Martin Adams v Robbie Green World Masters final. Wolfie never gives in and is tremendously consistent, and Robbie Green can (and did) hit damagingly high outshots against his opponent, but in that final he couldn’t nail double 16 for the title!

I remember Rob Walker asking me what Robbie should do, and I said that he should keep away from double 16!  But he didn’t and he paid the price.

Darts never changes inasmuch that it throws up new characters and fascinating matches all the time.  This is particularly true of Lakeside, where there is always an exciting and enjoyable party atmosphere created by proper darts fans.

But great darts needs great characters and I think the BDO has created most of them over the years and continues to do so with the likes of Ted Hankey, Darryl Fitton, Martin Adams and many more.
All entertainers and great players.  Ted probably has one of the best throwing actions I have ever seen, but he’s like the weather – either nice and sunny, or raining and miserable!

Ted with the right head on is a fantastic player and entertainer. Without the right head on he is frustrating and self-destructive.

People bang on about big crowds, but that’s nothing new. In 1939 the News Of The World Championships had a crowd of 14,354 people – and that was just for London and the Home Counties.

Two funny things that have happened recently. First of all, I’ve come across some strange and funny names during my years in exhibitions, but nearly choked on my pint when Little Richard Ashdown announced Richard Stiff as my opponent.

No prizes for guessing why no one ever called him Dick!  That was his real name. Honest!

And secondly, I now have a dog who is taking Prozac for depression!  The vet prescribed it after my Jack Russell ‘Visa’ kept fighting one of our other dogs and bit my hand so hard when I tried to pull them apart that his teeth went into my bone.

The vet asked me if the dog had been sorry afterwards and then explained that he was depressed!  Well, I had to admit that I did tell Visa off (something like that) and was thinking of changing his name to Ted!

This is the time of year when awards are given out and there are two people who I think should be recognised more for what they do.

Top of the list is Olly Croft, the Godfather of Darts (or God for short). He made this sport what it is today, and those who criticise him should remember that. Without Olly’s foresight darts would probably never have become a proper sport.

He’s go the OBE, but I think he should get a Knighthood……Arise Sir Olly of Muswell Hill.

The other person who I feel needs a huge pat on the back is Robert Holmes, who does so much hard work in attracting publicity for BDO darts and its players. 

Since he first arrived at Lakeside in 1994, the handful of media has grown into an army that now needs two full time press offices. All the national newspaper journalists know and  respect what he does, and his Lakeside programmes (he’s now compiled seven) are worthy of an award in themselves.

I’ve known him since 1994 and like most of those who know him recognise what a great job he does for BDO darts.

That’s just about it for another month, and I am looking forward to writing about Lakeside 2010 in the March issue.

Until then, remember to keep smiling and be happy!

 

 

 

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