Daytime TV: Slings and arrows
Outrageous fortune runs through the worlds of darts, particle physics and Dad^s Army, learns Gary Day
We are talking darts (World Darts Championship, BBC One, Saturday 2.30pm). Clifford Geertz unlocked Balinese culture by giving a "thick description" of a cockfight. But this simplest of sports still awaits its own great anthropologist. It has its own argot and rituals. It is a remnant of our spear-throwing past, and has echoes of the Fort-Da game, where the infant throws a toy out of its cot in an attempt to control the presence and absence of the mother.
But who cares about all that? This was the big semi-final at the Lakeside. Big Tony O^Shea versus big Darryl Fitton. They bounced on to the stage and bumped their bellies together, sending shock waves through Surrey. When the audience managed to pick themselves up from the floor, they cheered wildly.
Tony and Darryl rolled to the oche, first one and then the other launched their arrows at the board. Three dull thuds. A computer did the maths, a Geordie bellowed the scores, the fans roared. And so it went on.
First Tony was ahead, then Darryl. But it was Tony who had the steadier hand. 170. He needed two double twenties and the bull. Yes! His earring flashed as he turned to salute his fans. "What emotions are you feeling now?" asked Ray Stubbs. "It was the best of games, it was the worst of games," panted Tony.
Bobby George, twice runner-up in this competition, was on hand to give his verdict. "What a bull!" he rasped in a voice that was part-gangster, part-market trader. Bobby^s left arm is weighed down with jewellery; his right arm had failed to take the strain and was in a sling. No wonder Bobby was never world champion. He couldn^t lift all that bling.
Story By : The Times Higher Education