Wizards Wizdom: Groundhog Day, Blackpool & The Birth of Internet Darts.

Red Dragon Darts

Well folks, here we are again! Not only is writing my column beginning to be part of a routine, so is everything else. The ‘Groundhog Days’ really can merge into each other in these tough times. However, mustn’t grumble we are far luckier than many and I have darts to keep me focused.

The singles league, that both myself and Deadshot Jnr play in, switched to a remote format quite quickly. It took a bit of readjustment but it’s working well. Two other remote leagues cropped up and soon I had a decent amount of match practice.

We play quite a lot together as a household and I stay in regular touch with my coach. Overall it’s been a pretty effective way to ‘stay in shape’, sadly, it might be the only shape I have stayed in!

Playing in near silence, on the internet, with no audience reminds me of The Championship of Darts which the PDC initiated in 2008. The event, held in a Crondon hotel, was the first professional event to be streamed live. It was played in group stages with prize money awarded for every leg won.

Several bookmakers took the stream and it was viewable on PDC TV. As a result, the players were separated from the action space until our game. Most of the time you could hear a pin drop and it was certainly a bit different. But the event suited me, I could zone in on the board and just concentrate. Still, I would say that wouldn’t I, I won the title in 2009 beating “The Power” himself in the final.

You can count those who have defeated Phil, in a screened final, on two hands. The final can be found on a certain popular video site and still stands up as a cracking game of darts. I recall there only one leg over 15 darts. Phil was having to hit twelve darters to stay in it!

Earlier in the day while other players, were counting their winnings, I stated to my traveling partner, “ I’m gonna win this today”. So you could say I was amongst the pioneers on internet darts!

Speaking of playing to silence, there are rumours that this year’s World Matchplay might be played behind closed doors. Although this may be unavoidable, it would also be very sad. Blackpool is special to darts fans, and many players, the main reason being the atmosphere. The Winter Gardens is quite small, with a big crowd and huge volume levels. It can be literally hair-raising.

On a personal level, the Matchplay was a non-starter for me. In seven attempts I made it past the first round exactly once. Guess who was waiting in the last 16. Yep, Phil Taylor let’s just say it did not go as well as in the CoD final!

So here’s hoping that things can back to some normality soon and that the Winter Gardens will be in full voice, with its strong Scottish accent, by 2021!

In the meantime ’The Wizard’ recommends as many fun darts as you can manage. It’s good for you and for those you enjoy spending time with.

It’s back to the remote events for me, it’s the North East Dart promotions and Stuart Kellets’s events this week, with the strong hope that we will be back playing PDC tour darts very soon.

#StayStrong #PlayDarts #UTB

The Wizard!

  • Colin Osborne is a multiple PDC title winner and former U.K. Open finalist.
  • @colozzy180
  • FB: Colin The Wizard Osborne Fan Page

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