Talking Points: The Boo Boys are pushing their luck

By Paul Woodage 09/10/2021

PICTURE the scene. You’re sat at work, busy writing a sales report for the office manager when Brian from marketing pulls up a chair and begins to boo and hurl insults at you.
It’s fair to say you would be shocked. Especially if Brian has paid to be there and it’s in his best interest that you perform at your optimum best. That would just add ‘baffling’ to the equation.
However, as the morning passes, Brian becomes increasingly louder and now a few of his marketing chums have gathered around too, slammed their pints on your desk and added to the chorus of boos aimed in your direction.
OK, it’s not quite the same but you see the point I’m trying to make. At the end of the day, we are speaking about a professional trying to do his job yet a section of mindless imbeciles who have paid to watch precisely that, try to prevent it.
Well, that’s the exact situation world number one Gerwyn Price has faced this week at the Boyle Sports World Grand Prix.
Even before the Welshman picked up a dart in the tournament, his entrance was greeted by a tyrant of boos and even abuse from a small number of the Leicester audience.
Why would you pay money to watch the best players in the world of darts ply their trade then do everything you could to stop it from happening? Good question.
In the days of the Circus Tavern, if someone even dared to shout out during a player's throw, they were quickly silenced in anger from those on their own table.
Nowadays, with the huge numbers of spectators in arena’s, it’s virtually impossible for fellow fans to police for fear of getting physically assaulted. Security personnel in the early days was in single numbers - now it’s one per hundred.
Unfortunately, this behaviour has slowly crept into the game and shows no signs of disintegrating. It may be argued that the PDC created this alcohol-fuelled party atmosphere or even fans are entitled to boo if they wish. But when it has an effect on a player's performance, it needs to be addressed.
There is a concern that this could lead to mental health issues. And if the past twelve months or so has taught us one thing, we all know the dangers of that door creeping open into someone’s mind.
Up on that stage, it is a very lonely place for a dart player. On the football field, you can hide. On the oche, there is nowhere to go.
Will the booing stop? Unfortunately, probably not. But when it crosses over to insults and abuse, that is a step too far. In that eventuality, it should be immediately dealt with and those responsible, ejected from the venue.
We have almost reached the point where a major darts match going on is simply a sideshow - which is a shame.
Darts events should be full of darts fans - and ONLY darts fans. If you choose to go along purely to get drunk and hurl insults or boo the players then keep your money in your pocket. You’re not welcome.
Lead Image: PDC


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