Friday, 21 March 2014
It's back to the start for the darters
No, your eyes do not deceive you; that really is Peter 'Snakebite' Wright live on stage at last night's Premier League Darts in Leeds. I hope you're as thrilled now at seeing him as I was then.
Thankfully there was special medicine available (in plastic glasses) to help Daniel (left), Paul and me cope with our all too predictable nerves.
Of course, when you go to a sporting event - especially one that's going out live on TV across our great nation - you want to think you're getting to see something armchair viewer is missing out on. And we weren't left disappointed.
Have a look at this picture.
On the big screen you can see current World Darts Champion Michael van Gerwen chucking his arrows with a scary degree of accuracy.
On the left (indicated by my arrow) is the runway the players use to walk on stage to the music of their choice whilst the crowd cheers and spills beer over each other.
Now, for years, I have wondered how the security folk got the players through the masses to the start of the runway for their big moment.
But last night the mystery was revealed.
Let me show you by means of this simple illustration.
The yellow arrows indicate both the start and end of the runway.
Pointed out in blue (although confusingly wearing green) is Michael van Gerwen who, you will immediately notice, is in fact walking towards the start rather than the end. Yes folks, he is indeed walking the wrong way (his error highlighted in green).
This is because the unsmiling security bods - get this - actually walk the player from their dressing room to the start of the walk-on area along the runway itself before - when the cameras go on them - making them retrace their steps onto the stage. Really. I always thought there was a little gate at the start, but no. They don't bring them through the crowd at all! REALLY!
I still can't quite get over the shock of this discovery, but I'm hoping to come to terms with it as time goes by.
But it won't be easy. I'll bet you sleep better than I do tonight.