The Badger Does Darts

The Badger unearths the world’s worst sport

The Badger is confused. Once again he finds himself in a mental maze that no amount of digging or third-person references will help him get out of. Were the Badger not immortal, he would have a lot of questions for the God of Sport when he died. You see, the Badger has just discovered that darts is a sport.

Now the Badger may hate many things; wheelie-bin locks, Michael Longley’s poetry, any TV3 documentary, footballers who wear hairbands, but right at the top of the list is darts. The Badger always just thought it was an excuse to get men into a pub, so imagine the Badger’s shock when he found out that this hogwash of a pastime is a sport, and that one of their ‘sporting events’ was taking place in Dublin.

Is the Badger mad in thinking that a sport requires some sort of movement? The Badger was annoyed enough that snooker and bowling are sports, but darts really stepped on the Badger’s tail.

Is it so much to ask that a professional athlete have some form of physical fitness? That diabetes cannot be used as a legitimate excuse for an athlete not to compete? Yes, fat people need sport too (they need it more by definition), but is it too much to ask that they not be ushered into a sport where you burn as many calories drinking your pint as you do playing the game?  Surely Andy Reid can be their motivation, not Phil “The Ironic Nickname” Taylor.

Darts players cannot get past the Badger’s list of what it takes to be a sportsperson; if your body fat percentage is more than your age, you shouldn’t be a professional athlete. If hydration during training is a pint of lager and a whiskey chaser, you shouldn’t be a professional athlete. If you’re Robbie Savage, you shouldn’t be a professional athlete.

So when The Badger turned up to the Citywest Hotel, where the World Grand Prix Darts was being held, to laugh at the men dressed like Charlie Sheen, he wasn’t surprised to find others had joined him. What he was surprised about was that they turned up to cheer these men.

Among the Badger’s kind, these men would have been eaten long ago because of their inability to outrun predators, but among a race of drunken humans, they are hailed as gods, and good ones too, not those useless Mormon gods.

What is there to cheer for? The Adonis on stage mastering the incredible technique of throwing a piece of winged metal at a circle? The ability to multiply numbers by two or three really quickly?

Or is it endearing to see people who are clearly not athletic become athletes, for these people to punch above their weight (though the Badger doubts that there’s anyone above their particular weight) in the world of sport, and share the same generic title of “athlete” with Usain Bolt?

The Badger realises that all this discrimination will lead to more allegations of Nazism, so will finish with a compliment to darts. The Badger’s lack of opposable thumbs means that overweight drunk men can beat him in a “sport.” Kudos to them: theirs truly is a triumph of the will, in a sport that will (unfortunately) last a thousand years.