Any attempt to bring the noble sport of darts to the Olympics was probably set back eight years this morning through the publication of this Bloomberg report.
BSkyB plans to charge viewers £9.95 to watch the two darts world champions — Andy Fordham of the BDO and Phil Taylor of the PDC — meet in a showdown. Barry Hearn's ubiquitous Matchroom Sport put the deal together, with the fact that the Circus Tavern in Purfleet is a PDC venue, but is near Andy Fordham's home patch of Dartford.
But forget all that, because as far as Bloomberg is concerned, the interesting points are that:
(a) Andy Fordham weighs 420 pounds
(b) he trains by drinking eight bottles of beer a day (only eight? When we were in serious training, that was a lunchtime aperitif).
(c) the venue will sell about 400 gallons of beer during the game.
To explain the game, the Bloomberg reporter points out that pub goers call the game "arrows" and that to win you have to finish either with a bullseye or in the "bonus double area".
However, to qualify as an Olympic sport, even though 6m people play the game in 69 countries, the sticky question of alcohol has to be tackled. Would it be on the International Olympic Committee's banned list? Currently "alcohol, local anaesthetics and corticosteroids" are allowed "up to certain limits". Londonist would hope that this would be about, ohhh, a bottle of vodka or the equivalent.
PDC champ Phil Taylor and hot favourite to beat Andy Fordham would support an alcohol ban, but Londonist thinks this would be a retrograde step. What the Olympics needs is more rather than fewer drugs.