Darts: Nothing succeeds like excess

'Mighty' Michael van Gerwen, of the Netherlands, in action  during the  world darts ...
'Mighty' Michael van Gerwen, of the Netherlands, in action during the world darts championships in London this month. Photo by Getty.
Citius, altius, fortius - why not add dartsius? Sports editor Hayden Meikle, inspired by the recent world championships, gives eight reasons why feathered flinging should be at the Olympics.

A bottomless pool, especially when compared with the many relatively bland stars in some of the more mainstream sports. Darts is a sport crammed with big, colourful personalities. And great nicknames (The Power, Jackpot, Dennis The Menace). And the classic master (Phil Taylor, who recently won his 16th world title) v apprentice (shaven-headed Dutchman ''Mighty'' Michael van Gerwen) battle.

''Double tops''. ''The oche''. ''Off the island''. ''A nine-darter''. And, of course, one of the great commentary lines in sport:''Oooonnne hunnndreeedddd aaaaaannnnd eeeeeeeiiighhhhtty.''

No leg before wicket, no breakdown, no infield fly rule.

Just a couple of blokes throwing needles at a colourful board with numbers on it.

The most complicated part of the game is the mathematics needed to quickly determine how best to get to zero - and you can let the television coverage handle the calculations for you.

You can cut the air with a knife during a big darts game (match? encounter? clash?). And no, that's not because of the pre-smoking-ban-pub atmosphere.

The crowd is close, and loud, and every move the darts players (dartsters? dartists?) make is closely scrutinised. If you're lucky, you might even see a little argy-bargy.

Rowdy, raucous, loud and, if we're honest, a bit crass. Test cricket it is not.

Er, yes. Let's just say few of the darts elite can argue their body is their temple. But sport isn't just for the lean and mean. We should celebrate diversity

Off the charts. As much as it pains a newspaperman to say it, a sport can live or die in the modern era based on its small-screen appeal. And darts was made for TV.

Part of a quote from Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympics, who said athletes ''need freedom of excess''.

He might have been talking about darts. Here's a story from Yahoo writer Desmond Kane:''During the world championship semifinal in 1984, Dave Whitcombe outlasted Jockey Wilson in an epic battle, but failed to track down his opponent for the handshake after sinking the winning double.

''An inebriated Jocky had fallen off the stage.''

If that doesn't scream ''Olympian'', I don't know what does.

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