You've heard me lament in previous posts that if I didn't get my dart act together soon, I might have to consider changing the title of my blog from the very Zen, "Ton-Fifty-ONE," to something which more accurately describes my recent performances, such as: "Gregg Sucks Eggs At Darts" (doesn't have the same ring. and I really don't want to be responsible for coming up with a graphic for that title.)
We started dart league on Tuesday night, and after having taken first place in our league for each of the past, oh, ten years or so (that's not an exaggeration), a new team showed up last year and knocked us down a peg. (ouch!) So some of us on my team were eager to get this season rolling and remedy that situation. During our organizational meeting a couple weeks ago, we found that one other team has defected from a competitor's league, and will be shooting against us as well. And they're a good team. So I have no illusions that we're going to coast back into our first-place spot this season, but it's going to be a helluva lot of fun working in that direction.
We've also moved to a new home bar this year, as my buddy's brother and brother-in-law opened a new place. So...new season, new digs. Time to get down to it, right?
You all know where this is going. I saved my blog on Tuesday night!! In the second game of the first night of dart league, I shot my first perfect game of 301 in about three years. And it was a sweeeet sweet feeling watching that last dart fly straight and hard into the triple-17.
My buddy and I have had a 10-dollar bet for the first person to shoot a six-dart out, and unfortunately it's gone way too long without being paid. I had three chances last year, but couldn't convert on the last dart of any of them. Once...I was distracted by a cute bartender. The second...I was tired, I think. And the third...um..I dunno, there was an earthquake. Or something. Needless to say, I didn't convert.
So when I hit it on Tuesday night and went to collect my long-awaited prize, he immediately changed the rule as he paid me, saying, "Let's play 10 bucks for every sixer all season long." (he wants his 10 bucks back. and I...want to take more.)
There's something quite satisfying about watching that sixth dart puncture the smallish triple segment, and the screen flash zero. The couple-minute wait between your first round and your second round can be a bit nerve-wracking, and when you get back up to the line and punch the first two darts into the bullseye, you realize that opportunities like this don't come along as often as they used to, and you better concentrate and try to make it count.
I wish I was totally lying when I tell you that as I held the sixth dart in my hand and aimed it at the trip-17, I wasn't thinking one bit about the title of this blog, because it makes me sound like a bigger dork than I already am. But I was. I was thinking about 10 bucks from my buddy...and I was thinking about coming home and telling this great story about how I've validated my blog title for at least the next little while...until I once again begin to suck eggs.
I know the way you're supposed to handle an A-plus performance like that is to act like you've been there before. Like Barry Sanders who used to just flip the ball to the ref after leaving defenders in his wake and scampering to the end zone.
And, well...I've been there before.
But I couldn't help but give a little fist pump and an overzealous, "YESSS!" as I walked to the board to pull out my darts. Not a Tiger-at-the-U.S.-Open fist pump. That would be over the top. More of a Phil Mickelson OK-so-I'm-not-the-greatest-but-I'm-pretty-damn-good fist pump.
I finished the night with four hat tricks in 301, and another one for good measure in cricket. So it didn't take me too long to get warmed up and adjust to my new surroundings. But I've been through this before. Next week is...next week. I could very well come home lamenting again.
Look...I know this isn't life-changing stuff. It's plastic-tipped darts thrown in the right holes on a red and yellow circular board. Big deal, right? It won't cure world hunger, it won't stop the polar ice cap from melting, and it won't make Sarah Palin a viable candidate for national public office.
But it sure did feel good. So good that I bought my buddies a round of drinks with my 10 bucks. (Don't worry...I'll make more.)
— • — • —
Not long after our league games were finished, a couple guys walked into the bar, and one of them went to the bar while the other walked past me, headed toward the bathrooms. I'm about 6'4", and this guy was a good two inches taller than me. Not that I often feel like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput or anything, but...this guy was big enough to get noticed, is what I'm saying. And one of the guys at the end of the bar who'd had enough to drink, asked, "Is that Tim Harris? I think that's Tim Harris. That's Tim Harris!"
So the guy comes out of the bathroom, and the happy drunk goes up to him and talks for a few seconds, and then turns and says, "See, I told you it was Tim Harris!"
Guess what? It was Tim Harris. (linebacker/defensive end for the Green Bay Packers from 1986-90.) And he hung out and chatted with everyone in the bar for the next couple hours, drinking free shots and shooting pool and accepting the advances of a girl who was...(how shall I put this)...unwaveringly and unashamedly vying for his attention. *ahem* (I think that passes the censors.)
The guy with Harris was a Vikings fan (even had a Viking tattoed on his calf) and my buddy is also a Vikings fan. I, of course, am a (shh!) Lions fan. So Harris had a field day ripping on other members of the NFC North.
Not exactly on my list of Top 10 Celebs I'd Like To Party With, but hey...it was the second most exciting thing that happened on Tuesday night.
(how lame is it that I can't find a good Google Image pic of a former Pro-Bowler to add to this post?)
"It took me about 10 years to get rid of.
I'm all right now, though, lovely, I'm throwing
some nice darts at the moment, but every
now and then I get a bit of a jump. I wish
I could find a cure, I'd make a bloody fortune."