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Just Darts Since 2009
No stats have been sent to us yet, probably because there are teams still making up missed games. The main thing is that the top spot in the standings won’t change. We took our division this season.
A few notes about the match:
Tracks has gone from one of the worst places to play darts to one of the best, simply by removing some boards. They used to have six or seven matches going on every Tuesday, and there simply wasn’t room for all of the players. With three boards, there was plenty of space, and those who weren’t playing could actually watch the match. The staff is as friendly and attentive as ever, so it’ll be a place I’ll be looking forward to visiting again.
Good Strokes are a terrific bunch of guys. They were very gracious in defeat, and effusive in their praise for our play. I think maybe they’d be a better team if they had a worse attitude. I had a very good 501 game early, and it seemed like after that they didn’t believe they could beat me. (They did, at least in the 701 game.) If they had gotten angry instead, they might have stepped up their game more. Darts is such a mental game and a test of confidence as much as skill, that a shift from “I can’t beat that guy” to “I’ll show him” could have made a lot of difference. The fact is, I was flukey good that night, and I could have followed up my good games with terrible ones, but the Strokes team kept pumping up my confidence. I’m not saying they should have been jerks, but sometimes a little chip on your shoulder can improve your odds of success.
I tried to reciprocate with the good vibes. (At least after we had sewn up the division.) Although it’s not unusual for me to give pointers to the other team’s less experienced players, this may have been the first time I’ve ever given an opponent a pep talk during a match. I like these guys, and didn’t want to see them get too down on themselves. (Again, after the division was won.) Of course, I tried to win every game after that, but I didn’t mind seeing them win the 701 game at the end, especially given that the guy who won it shot an impressive score. They’re in the playoffs too, and I’d like to see good guys do well.
One final thought about attitude: it’s simply not in my nature to be very demonstrative when I’m throwing well. I don’t go in for shouting or jumping up and down or pumping my fist. I don’t like being in the spotlight, and I don’t like that kind of behavior in others. I also don’t believe in giving the other team any extra incentive to want to beat you. If they like you, it’s harder for them to muster up the killer instinct. That may make my behavior seem more calculated than it is, though. It’s just a positive side effect of what I do naturally.
The above probably makes it sound like I single-handedly won the night, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This last match of the regular season saw the whole team play better than we have for ages. Meister was on fire, especially in cricket, where he shot something like a 3.7 in one game. Red elevated his game in both cricket and 501, and Vulture…
Well, Vulture lived up to his nickname in the first game of the match, where he had me frozen out for several rounds before winning the game himself. It’s hard to get mad at your partner when he ends up winning. Then, as he warmed up (and remember that he didn’t play last week), he really caught fire. There was no respite for the opposition, no weak link to target. If we can play anywhere near this well in the playoffs, we’ll be a formidable team.
Final socre: a 9-4 win.
Second week in a row that we played really well as a team. Even if everybody’s stats didn’t rise, as I said more than once on Tuesday, it’s not so much how well you shoot as it is when you shoot well. (That must have gotten old fast, now that I think about it.)
When the pressure was on, time after time, someone stepped up and had a great round, regardless of how well he had been playing until that time.
I got some good news from the other team: there are now only three dartboards at Tracks. In past seasons, there have been so many lined up so close to each other that there was no room for anyone to stand. This makes traveling to Tracks to play the final game of the season a much more pleasant prospect.
The final score doesn’t reflect the quality of Good Strokes’ play. They were in the same frustrating situation we often find ourselves–just a hair shy a few times too often. Could easily have gone the other way.
Nevertheless, final score: a 9-4 win.
After the disappointment of the last match, we needed to bounce back strongly against this team. We’d beaten them 7-6 at our place, and we had to do that again to have a chance at ending up in second place and getting a home game for the first week of the playoffs.
Didn’t happen. We were flat and listless. I don’t know if this had anything to do with it (I mean our performance, not the result) but Tracks, Good Strokes’ home bar, has become a terrible place to play darts. They used to have an area between the bar and the restaurant area with a couple of boards, but now it looks more like the darts equivalent of a bowling alley. Six machines lined up along a wall. Eight players per board plus assorted hangers-on, waitresses and other patrons makes for a very crowded, uncomfortable experience.
Anyway, what’s done is done. We went from second place (with a shot at first) to fourth place in two weeks. Not the best way to go into the playoffs.
Final score: an 8-5 loss.
Our first home match of the season! I wish we had made more of it, but we did finally win the last game of the match, so there’s that.
For a team that had three—count ’em!—members sporting Yankee caps, they weren’t obnoxious at all. They had one guy who was incredible at cricket, but fortunately we were able to snag the two games he didn’t play. We were evenly matched on 501 as well, as the final score showed.
Not much else to report, except that Red’s new girlfriend came to the match about halfway through and he started playing much better after that. She’s not allowed to be late in the future.
Final score: a 7-6 win.
Stats updated above, click to see them. Also, an important update to the schedule. Next week’s open tournament is being held on the upper level at Bradford’s, not at Tiernan’s.
No match next week, so an update will come in a fortnight.