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Chatting Bull with Dan Dawson - Issue #009

Chatting Bull with Dan Dawson
June 27, 2024

Chatting Bull with Dan Dawson - Issue #009

Chatting Bull with Dan DawsonChatting Bull with Dan Dawson

 

Dozens of nations descend on Germany this month to compete in one of the most exciting sporting events there is. Not only is there a highly valued trophy at stake, but there is also national pride. And the best bit about it is that the England team are unlikely to bore everyone into a coma, unlike with the football. Yes, the World Cup of Darts is upon us, and it is here to provide England fans with a welcome antidote to the (so far) hugely unimpressive Euro 2024 football campaign.

Truth be told, I am not sure it quite works like that.  Are there many darts fans out there who passionately want their country to win the World Cup of Darts?  It seems to matter more to the players than the viewers who actually wins it. But it really does matter to the players. Look at the long-running battles we have had for spots in the tournament - last year was all about Luke Humphries and Rob Cross, with “Voltage” nicking the spot by beating “Cool Hand” in a European Tour final in the last day of qualifying. 

This year the most captivating fight has been for the Northern Irish team, with Brendan Dolan maintaining his ever-present status by denying Daryl Gurney. Cross, Humphries and Gurney had all spoken about how the race to be one of their country’s top two ranked players by the cut-off date had been stressful and even affected their performances. The opportunity to pull on their nation’s (much improved) shirts is a big deal.

 

Luke Littler Wins Premier League Darts 2024 And Celebrates With Trophy In HandLuke Littler Wins Premier League Darts 2024 And Celebrates With Trophy In Hand

 

When Australia picked up the title for the first time in their history, Simon Whitlock ranked it as possibly the biggest moment of his career. That is a man who made World Championship finals in both codes of darts, and counts a major title (the European Championship) amongst his dozens of career victories. Jonny Clayton believes that winning the World Cup is what catapulted him towards becoming a multiple major champion. The players care about it.

But do the fans, really? Is it just viewed as a bit of a fun event? Isn’t that how darts fans view the sport in general? We do sometimes see partisan crowds when players are competing in their home nations, but it often feels quite arbitrary whom darts crowds decide to cheer for. Ultimately, whether watching in the venue or at home, a night at the darts is exactly that - and most fans are not too invested in the ultimate outcome, rather the journey they are taken on to get there. And this is where the World Cup of Darts delivers spectacularly.

With the solely pairs format nowadays (something fans had been requesting for years), it brings a unique dynamic to PDC darts. The danger of letting their teammate down, the threat of letting their country down, heaps even more pressure onto the players. So enjoy the World Cup this weekend in Frankfurt. You may not really be that bothered who wins it, but don’t tell the players that… it’s nice to watch them suffer.

Luke Littler On Stage Raising His Hand as He Sings To Crowd Luke Littler On Stage Raising His Hand as He Sings To Crowd

 

 


Issue #009 Quiz Answers

1) German Giant
2) Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld
3) 18-6

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