Wednesday, July 27, 2005

WRITE UP FOR CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: MISSION COMPLETE

CAPTAIN'S LOG: DART DATE: 7-26-05

Darts: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the dart team, Dartbags. Their 2 year mission: To explore strange new bars, to seek out new beers... and drink them, to boldly throw where no man has thrown before!

July 26 at George Keeley the Dartbags, (The Most Drinkin'est and Friendliest (TM) in the NYDO), defeated McCarthy's 10-2 to pull off a stunning double (sub and divisional champs). With this unprecedented accomplishment of back to back doubles in C and B, true to the words of James Tiberius Kirk, The D'Bags have indeed boldy thrown where no man has thrown before.

It was a full house at "The GeKe" (TM pending approval). All 9 Dartbags were on hand -- much like the 9 Nazgul, except the Ring Wraiths wore black, not yellow (Lou) and lavender (Colin), which is decidedly less intimidating.

But that wasn't all. There was the original Dartbaguette, Hope. There were Nell, Jessie and Lillian on hand to provide encouragement and salty snacks. (Lil also took photographs, more on that to follow.) Lou's betrothed, Emily, was down from Columbia. Meredith made a rare dart night appearance. And Gins was on hand to provide good cheer and sweat profusely.

With beers in our bellies, darts in our hands, and the best-looking women in the bar by our sides, the groundwork was set for a good and festive night, it was time to get down to business. The 9-9 tie last week, meant that 10 points was all that separated us from the championship.

It started as it always starts, with Pike. This time Glennjamin went out in 8 Rounds. 1-0

Frank followed Glenn with a crisp 10 round match to add another W. 2-0

Cup shot sick darts (152, 95, etc) and matched Glenn with an 8 Rounder of his own. 3-0

Lou, getting his first action against McCarthy's, decided to see how many times he could hit the wire on the double 16 before his opponent (Jason) doubled out. The answer; eleventy-four. 3-1 good guys.

Vince got the train back on track with an 8 or 9 rounder, beating Bullet Bob Hilbert. 4-1, The Dartbags and were en fuego. We play singles like this and we'll be just fine in A League.

RJ, faced off against #3 All Star, Colm, and once again walked away a winner. Wow.

Great shooting, a 5-1 lead and lots of momemtum.

And the Dartbags were starting to taste that championship trophy.

It tasted cold and metallic. Just disgusting.

(Who's idea was that anyway?)

We decided to stop licking the trophy, wash the taste out with more beer and get back to darts.

Next came cricket. The first time these teams got together down at McCarthy's, they destroyed us in cricket taking 5 of 6.

This time was different.

Pike and RJ squared off against The 'Berts (Hil and Hu), although, at times it seemed more like Glenn against Bob in a singles war. Pike was unstoppable. His hugest game of the year. And, RJ after selflessly letting Glenn hog all the All Star Points, chipped in with a trip 15 and double bull before Glenn completed the sweep. (7-1) If he doesn't take the League MVP again, it's a joke.

In a related story, following the match, the mayor of a small Kentucky town called a news conference to announce that local officials were naming a school after Glenn in appreciation of his stellar dart play and rugged good looks, choosing the moniker of "Bears" because Glenn is large and quite hairy.

Frank and Lou faced off against Jason and Colm. Another tall order. They got out of the gate slow and a furious comeback came up short. But back to back R-4s in the second game got the ball rolling and the River Road Connection, turned in a strong effort to win a close one. 8-2

Some bars have a cheese platter. Ours has a Cheese Cup. Vince and Cup rolled over their opponents in game 1 clinching a tie. At this point, the other team had basically conceded victory, offering congratulations and good wishes. In game two, Vince and Joe were kind enough to miss the final bullsye for 3 turns to allow for the development of what little suspense there was to be had. Cheese sank the last one to earn the Dartbags the B Division Championship.

There were many hugs (including many "Top Gun Hugs" where you shake the guys hand and quickly embrace while punching the guy once on the back) victory shots, and overall good fellowship.

Gotta tip your hat to the other team. McCarthy's FFS was a game opponent and good sports. They didn't bring their best darts. They knew that. But they didn't let that stop them from being cool and wishing us the best.

This was some kind of year, guys. I was asked me at the end of the evening, whether, looking back, I could have predicted this. And the answer is yes. I'm at least a little familiar with all the other teams -- and there are some good teams in our Division -- but I knew that we could compete with any of them. We showed we could do that and more.

Looking forward, we'll probably bump our heads on the ceiling next season. I know that. But I also know something about the teams we're going to play. And, I'm telling you, we're a legit A team. But let's take a look backwards first to see how far we've come. Remember season number one? Man, did we suck. We were really butchers up there. We were in last place half way through the season and rallied to finish 6th. Want some perspective? The Zulu Dart Kings didn't only beat us, they crushed us 13-5 and 12-6.

But what I believe separates us most from other teams is not the point totals at the end of season. It's the fact that we were friends before we embarked on this darts odyssey and that good fellowship still provides the foundation for the entire Dartbags experience. We started this team primarily as a chance to go out together on Tuesday nights. And nobody has more fun than we do in this whole league.

Whether it's Colin's bizarre pre-game meals. RJ's, at times, comical level of intensity. Big Friendly Tim being, well... just that, Big Friendly Tim. Cuppa Joe coining another neologism. Marty's monologue-worthy one liners. Glenn throwing some ridicu-darts that make you chuckle in spite of yourself. Vince throwing Angry Cheese Darts with a big dip in mouth. Lou cracking everybody up by being a complete jackass.

I'm literally laughing right now at some of the goofy stuff that we did this year.

This is what makes Tuesdays special.

Let's not change a thing. Let's do it again in A.

But first... let's eat steak.

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