An Open Letter to Phil Taylor, British Professional Darts Champion

Subject: An Open Letter to Phil Taylor, British Professional Darts Champion
From: Terry Jones
Date: 5 Jan 2013
Phil Taylor

Dear Mr Taylor,
In a year that has seen Team GB take honour, glory and prestige from our superb arrangements for and performance in, the London Olympic Games, I congratulate you on winning the Darts World Championship. As a 53 year old, it shows that there are some games where age isn’t a bar to international success.
I use the word “game” advisedly. I am afraid that darts is just that. A game. It is not a sport. And while I applaud your competitiveness and bulldog spirit, I do think that the media coverage of the darts world championship is just a damp squib after the fireworks of the most successful Olympic Games in history in London last year. At those Olympic Games we saw the finest honed, trained athletes at the top of their game stretching their sinews to be the best in the world. Compare their four years of hard training with what training you did for preparation for the darts championship. You chucked mini-arrows at a board. That’s all. I am sure you would agree that it is not a punishing schedule like real sportsmen and sportswomen have to endure to become the best in their class.
I don’t want to rain on your parade, but Mr Taylor, you must admit, that darts hardly has much international appeal beyond our shores. Why is it that Russia, the United States, China and many other countries fail to provide teams of dart-throwers to compete against you? It’s because they recognise that darts was, is and always will be a pub game usually played by overweight beer-swilling laddites and boy-racers who can’t be bothered to try their hand at something more challenging and physically demanding.
Please Mr Taylor, prove me wrong. Get a cycle and train in the Velodrome. Or get trim and try your hand at boxing. Or rowing. Or anything where you don’t have to stand a few yards from a target and chuck mini-spears at it. It’s soppy and demeaning, and just reinforces the view that Britain is full of unfit bozos with sawdust for brains and flab for fitness. I am amazed that the game of darts commands such interest and support in certain sections of the country. Perhaps it is those people who, like yourself, don’t want to do anything that might exert themselves, or bring them out in a sweat? Well, whatever the reason, you can make a stand by going on television and admitting that darts is just a soppy kids game that has got out of hand. Instead of getting “180” with three darts in the treble twenty slot, why not turn yourself round 180 degress and take up something similar but a recognised Olympic sport- throwing the javelin? I wish you well!