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Just Darts Since 2009
This match could have used a good color commentator. There was controversy, and tension you could cut with a knife!
Here’s the back story: last time we played Muggs Away, they used a ringer and ended up beating us 8-5. It was the only time we’ve lost to them in all the years we’ve played. (To be honest, that sounds like we’re more dominating than we are. We had won every match 7-6.)
It wasn’t just that they used a ringer, though. It was that they lied to us about it—-and not even good lies. First, they put the ringer in under one of their regular’s names, as if we didn’t know who was on their team. Then they explained that their regular had been called away suddenly—to go on his honeymoon. Then we were told that the ringer was actually supposed to be on the roster, but the league office hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
So, the day before this latest match, I sent an e-mail off to the head of the league:
Last time we played against Muggs Away, their best player was not on the roster. When we questioned this, they said that you hadn’t gotten around to putting him on yet.
I’ve been watching the stat reports, and still don’t see him, so I wanted to ask you in advance of our match against them tomorrow: is he on the roster? His name is Justin, but when we played them he played under Mike’s name.
I knew there’d be repercussions. We both play out of Tiernan’s, we’re friendly with each other, and—get this—the captain of Muggs Away owns the bar.
But what’s right is right, right?
Anyway, the bartender called me “Benedict,” and the bar owner was loudly talking about me being a whiner. He called me out and announced he would kick my ass in every game we played against each other. (I’m not sure how that worked out. I know he didn’t win every game, because I won our first match-up. I couldn’t tell you if he won all the others or not, because I was just focused on playing well, whoever was my opponent.)
Meister had the best line, though. When we were jawing at each other before the match, he came up and said, “Wait a second. Who cheated again?”
The bar owner was on fire all night. He’d played well below his potential all season, and was determined to make up for that in this match. I was honestly pleased by this. He’s generally a good guy, and I don’t have any problem with getting beaten by a superior player—provided that player is on the roster, of course.
What made this fun was that we stepped up our game, too. Matched them dart for dart. Even with the lousy music playing.
Oh, didn’t I mention that? The owner jumped on the jukebox before anyone else got there and played hour after hour of the most god-awful dance music. He knows that Red, in particular, is sensitive to the kind of music that’s playing while he’s throwing. It didn’t bother him this night, though.
The result? Back to normal. A 7-6 win.
Unfortunately, that resulted in a tie between the two teams, which was won by Muggs Away because they beat us 8-5. With a ringer. (The killer is that they’re the only team we have a losing record against this season.) So we play them again on Tuesday in the first round of the playoffs, as the visiting team, but in our home bar.
That’s never bothered us before, though. (I’ll go out on a limb and predict a 7-6 win.)
What will the atmosphere be like? It had all blown over before the match was halfway through. When he saw that I wasn’t going to bite on the provocations, and that I was honestly happy that he was playing so well, the bar owner and I made up.
I just better not see Justin there on Tuesday, is all.