I've been meaning to write this post for days. In a way, I'm rather glad Christmas got in the way. Phil Taylor's reaction to Barney after he beat him in the semi-final of the PDC world darts championship only underlines my point further.
Stoke darts players are so far up their own arses it's a wonder that the late Sid Waddell ever got as far as he did up The Power's without suffocating. It seems in Waddell's place, Rod Harrington, SKY Sports darts commentator and ex-darter of renown himself, is trying to force his way between the folds of Taylor's still-warm buttocks now that the Geordie tongue-twister is commentating on the sainted Taylor from Heaven.
Stoke darts players seem to think they're untouchable
Phil Taylor, the most successful Stoke darts player of all time, is the undisputed king of mind games as well as the sport itself. After successfully winning his quarter-final to line up a semi-final against Phil Taylor, Raymond Van Barneveld played a little mind game of his own.
Quite obviously, from the reaction in the video, Phil 'The Power' Taylor doesn't like a taste of his own medicine. The fact that the crowd were supporting, in the main, the large Dutchman over the Englishman goes to show what darts fans really think of The Power and, if truth be told, all Stoke darts players: not a fat lot.
Equally, when another Dutch darts superstar, Michael Van Gerwen, dismantled Phil Taylor on the oche at Wolverhampton in November, The Power became physically narked. Again, what The Power has done to so many darters in the past, he did not like when Van Gerwen ripped him to pieces and beat him around the head with the soggy end of his darts' arm.
It should make for a lively PDC world darts championship final as MVG and The Power once again go head-to-head, this time to contest the greatest prize in darts. It's been renamed in honour of the late Sid Waddell and Taylor wants to be the first name on the trophy. Destiny it may be; MVG will, however, want to stop fate realising its opportunity.
Adrian Lewis has got to learn that respect is earned
This is not just an anti-Taylor rant. Adrian 'walk-off-the-stage-when-I'm-losing' Lewis (to Peter Manley and James Wade) is also starting to believe his own press. In an earlier round of this year's world darts championship, the reigning champ defeated a below-par Kevin Painter.
Kevin Painter, upon congratulating Lewis, commented that his own display was 'rubbish', to which Lewis took exception. In the post-match interview, Lewis said that he was sure 'Kevin would apologise later' for a 'lack of respect' shown by The Artist's comment.
Apologise? What for? If Painter thought his own display was poor (which it was by his standards), he has every right to say so. And if Lewis hasn't yet learnt, I'll tell him now: you don't just get respect, you have to earn it. Something none of the Stoke darts players have yet done on the basis of this year's world darts championship.
We cannot conclude this piece without mentioning Andy 'The Hammer' Hamilton. Lewis conned his way into last year's final after the 'breeze on stage' incident against James Wade to face his fellow County-man, Hamilton. The Hammer makes up the current trio of Stoke darts players to feature in the PDC top ten world rankings.
Like the other two Pottery pillocks, there is very little likable about the Henry VIII lookalike. Personality as rounded as a sheet of A4 paper and so smug you just want to turn the box off every time he opens his gob. And that just about sums all three of them up.
What do you think? Am I being overtly harsh? Are are all Stoke darts players deserving of a public flogging and a lesson in etiquette and common courtesy before they're allowed on the oche again?