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     Sharing the League of Legends with the world....

    Darts & Stuff of InterestSLEEPYKRAMER writes "To the SEWA faithful....I am going to try to post a week by week write-up that my friend Howie will be submitting to the Pattaya Mail in Thailand for print to help the world follow the League of Legends tour. Howie has been in the darting world a very long time and is still close friends with many of the legends of today.

    Our first segment is a brief synopsis of the event, it's players and how it came about.....

    A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN by Howie Reed for Pattaya Mail

    One April 19, 1951, General Douglas MacArthur, while addressing the American Congress, ended his speech by saying “old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” Like those warriors of World War II, the greats of the Golden Age of Darts have become legends and have mostly faded away. Some like Leighton Rees, Alan Evans and Thailand’s Nicky Virachkul have passed on to the final tournament in the sky. Others like John Lowe, Eric Bristow and Bobby George have continued to be a significant force on the sometimes lucrative exhibition circuit in and around the UK.

    One who has never stopped thinking ahead to the future is ‘Chairman of the Boards” John Lowe. In the late 1990’s, it was John, along with Eric Bristow that lead the professional players in forming the PDC (Professional Darts Council) which has become the driving force in professional tournament darts today. As the PDC evolved with more tournaments and longer formats, older players faded away. The years of travel had taken a toll of those that were the backbone of the game. The game they nurtured and fed had grown up to be the “adult that shunned them”. Most players were no longer able to compete on a regular basis, but still had the basic skills that made them greats. They just didn’t have those skills as often.

    Those that have read the Sid Waddell dart autobiography written with and about Phil Taylor, describes a sport foreign to most pub darters. The book makes the case, either correctly or not, that today’s professional dart players of the PDC (Professional Dart Corporation Players) are finely tuned athletes that neither drink, carouse, nor identify with the common player who tosses the arrows at their local. This may be true, but this “description” is a disassociation from the Mother and Father of darts, which is the local pub. Noticing this disconnect, John Lowe came up with a series of joint exhibitions with “arch-rival’ Eric Bristow calling the events “The Legends of Darts.” From that grew the recently announced League of (Dart) Legends. The League goes “for the bull” for the first of 8 nights of play on May 30th.

    This “League of Their Own” is headed by true legends of the game in John Lowe, Eric Bristow, Bob Anderson and Bobby George. Add to the roster of players the always charismatic Cliff Lazarenko, the terrific scoring of Dave Whitcombe and two players in Keith Deller and Peter Evison, who have had their moments in the sun. It’s a nice roster with a little bit for everyone. Over the first 7 weeks, the players will play a round robin with the top four playing a semi-final and final round on August 22nd at the Circus Tavern. The playing format for the early round will be best of 12 legs-501, with that going to best of 21 in the semi’s and best of 31 for the final.

    What happens with the “Legends” this year will set the tone for either success or failure down the road. Partnered with Setanta TV, there will be 45 hours of love coverage on year one of a two year contract. There are lots of plusses going in with familiar names, a pub style format, live TV and the involvement of The future is unlimited, as year 2 could see an extended field with names like Dennis Priestley out there. Though there are pitfalls that must be avoided at all cost. If the players involved treat the “league” as “just an exhibition”, the venture will be short lived regardless of any contractual obligations. As “Betfred. Com”, a betting company, is involved, there can be no hint of any betting misdeed or “shame” performances. Should the powers that be decide to promote the events as just another show, as opposed to a “sporting event” then this “league of their own” won’t survive. Only time will tell. Next week we’ll take a look at first round draws and more on the players involved.

    On March 20, 1942 General Douglas MacArthur said after leaving the Philippines in the early stages of World War II, “I shall return”. Like MacArthur, these “Legends of the Dartboard” are back. Good for them."

    "Sharing the League of Legends with the world...." | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment | Search Discussion
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    Re: Sharing the League of Legends with the world.... (Score: 1)
    by Charis on Friday, June 06 @ 13:14:20 UTC
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Thanks for sharing, Anne!

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