Martin Adams remains in the BDO World Championship and our 8.4 is looking pretty good with him now priced as low as 3.2. Whilst he is being cheered to the rafters by SportInvestor this week I cannot possibly agree with his public statements about the PDC today.
To take his statement line by line:
“The difference between the two sides is what the PDC does is sports entertainment, and what we do is purely sport.” Really? If so, it is also “sports entertainment with far higher averages than the BDO, considerably greater prize money and, on the whole considerably greater talents. Is Adams complaining that the PDC does darts with some razzmattaz? If he is then he has obviously failed to notice that the BDO is half-heartedly trying to copy some of the PDC’s entertainment. Is Ted Hankey’s coffin and throwing bats sport or entertainment? What about Bobby ‘Bling’ George – the public mouth of the BDO and the man who was so often destroyed by Lowe, Bristow, Priestley and, latterly Part – all now with the PDC. Is the amateurish BDO more sport than Taylor’s 7 hour practice regime – a regime not shared by any of the BDO’s stars.
Perhaps Adams is merely saying that the PDC has slick, professional presentation; enthusiastic audiences and first class commentary compared to the BDO’s amateurish efforts. Certainly not something that should be counted in the BDO’s favour!
“The PDC will bill their final between Raymond and Phil as the greatest ever… but there will always be other great finals. Previously, people said the greatest final was in 1992 at the Lakeside between Phil and Mike Gregory, which also went all the way to a sudden-death leg.” This happened before the split between BDO and PDC in 1993 so I’m not sure what point Adams is trying to make here.
“Yes, Raymond hit 180 maximums 21 times against Phil, but Ted Hankey had 22 when he won the Lakeside title in 2000 in a final that only went six sets and lasted just 46 minutes.”
I don’t quite know what Adams point is here. He seems to ignore the fact that the quality in the PDC is consistently higher than the BDO. He ignores the fact that Hankey averaged 92.4 in that match whilst Barney and Taylor both averaged over 100. In reality, rather than planet Adams and Croft there is no comparison here.
So the very basis of Adams argument is deeply flawed. The truth is simple:
- The PDC is more entertaining and boasts considerably higher quality darts than the BDO. The PDC has lifted darts to a level previously unheard of. Under the BDO’s control darts was dying a slow death of under exposure. Now it is enjoying a complete resurgence. It has returned to the back and the front pages; its viewing figures are sensational and arenas up and down the country are sold out for the Premier League. The BDo, on the other hand, offers up a once a year amateurish whimper of an event, with indifferent prize money, which has trouble even finding a sponsor for its televised showpiece.
- The quality of darts is greater in the PDC. Baxter and Mason were BDO finalists but have made no World finals in the PDC and haven’t even looked close to acheiving this. Beaton and Burnett won BDO titles but haven’t cut the mustard in the PDC. OK, Barney and Part have both won titles since crossing the floor but they have had to improve averagewise to do it.
The truth is that the PDC is the only darts organisation which puts darts on a genuinely professional setting. This World Championships is Plumpton the week after the Cheltenham Festival. Only the PDC offers five televised tournaments a year with every match live. FOr this reason, a great defection may be about to begin. King, Van Gerwen and Klaasen are all rumoured to be on the verge of crossing over. I hope they do. Their talents deserve a far bigger stage than the BDO can offer them.