December 29, 2008

I live close to Alexandra Palace (and park). This is normally quite a good thing, but for the last week or so they’ve had the World Darts Championship there, which means that if I time things badly, I end up sitting on a bus with hordes or darts fans, all wearing ridiculous shirts and shouting: “Darts! Darts! Darts!” which is the traditional cry of the dartsman.

They have transformed one window of the Palace into a mock-dartboard, and the crap Phoenix pub has been turned into BAR 180,with the surrounding area strewn with more beer barrels than I have ever previously seen. Still, it makes a change from the Dinghy Show or the hugging woman from India.

I don’t really mind darts. It’s definitely not a sport, despite the protestations of Barry Hearn, who I saw on Sky Sports News about a week ago, explaining how darts was now the second most popular sport in England after football. I don’t trust Barry Hearn, so I don’t believe him.

The crowd seems to be mostly men in their 20s and 30s, although a fair few women come along as well. It’s a very, very white crowd, but darts is pretty much a white, working-class game. It’s not kabbadi, is it?


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