Adrian Lewis, the World Champion of darts, recorded his first win in seven weeks against Kevin Painter in Premier League darts last night. It was a long time coming. He was struggling. And to shed some light on why; lets look back at Glasgow when Lewis lost against his old nemesis James Wade.
So aggravated was Lewis he let out this stream of consciousness narrative on twitter:
“The crowd were as expected but least I played better than the last 4 weeks.” This is true, Lewis averaged 99 and finished 83% of his doubles. He was let down by some inconsistent scoring and Wade’s matchplay nous carried the day.
“I said too [sic] the tv since winning the worlds and world cup I've had no time to recover, mentally drained not physically, but least I'm improvin.”
“Not including Aberdeen no!! It's good up there.” Look, he doesn’t hate all of Scotland.
“At the end of the day we are up there trying to earn a living, and trying to entertain folks, we aren't there to be abused.”
“Sincerely sorry to all my fans but I'm coming off twitter, I'll do what most people do and let someone else run it [their twitter account], sorry again take care.”
“Sorry folks really am but I'm a genuine person ask any of the players I'm sick an tired of taking shit when I've done nothing wrong.”
“Lol ok I'm back just got the hump lol xx.”
This is stepping on an opponents throwing area behind the oche, not crossing over into Klingon space
This won’t come as a monumental revelation but; Sportsmen are human. Adrian Lewis is the Champion of the World but hadn’t won a game in six weeks of Premier League action. Frustrating. And if he lets off a little steam with some tweets he may regret in the light of day, so what?
One of the reasons darts holds a special place in the hearts of a sizable subculture of British sports fans is the relatability of the players. They are not bronzed, coiffed, pseudo-Cristiano Ronaldo wannabes. They are not ripped male-models with Aftershave ads and a moody pout for the camera. They couldn’t be further from David Beckham.
And that’s why we love them, that’s why we can empathise with them. The only fashion commercial they’re likely to get is from Jacamo.
And that’s why when Adrian Lewis unleashed his slightly ill-advised twitter burst fans immediately showed their appreciation for Lewis by starting a #StayOnTwitterAdrian hash-tag. Because it’s human. We’ve all had a few and sent some embarrassing tweets we had to delete the next day. It’s a social-media right of passage. Don’t drink and tweet.
And for more examples of the lovable antics of the every-man darts player look no further than the latest statement released from the Darts Regulation Authority (An Orwellian title designed to strike fear in the hearts of mis-behaving chuckers). Here’s a list of the naughty stuff darts players have been fined for the last six months:
“These cases relate to abuse of a fellow player, disruptive behaviour, drunken behaviour, failing to complete a match, a physical altercation between two players, swearing to camera on live TV [Copying Rooney no doubt, what a terrible role model], offensive gestures, repeated exclusion zone incursions [This is stepping on an opponents throwing area behind the oche, not crossing over into Klingon space] throwing darts away, throwing water over the crowd [Colin Lloyd in a famous incident at the Worlds, he also stripped to reveal his rippling torso] failing to follow player instructions and inappropriate postings on social networking sites.”
You have to hope Lewis’ latest twitter tete a tete does not constitute, “Inappropriate postings on social networking sites,” This was a tale of redemption after all. Lewis was annoyed, yes, but fans talked him off a ledge and his, “Lol ok I'm back just got the hump lol,” is the only confirmation required that he learned a lesson and engaged with fans in a way that footballers could only dream of.
Yes footballers also post ill-advised tweets but Lewis’ constant back and forth with his fanbase endears him to many. And the fact he would never be asked by Calvin Klein to model under-garments means he possesses in abundance a quality many modern sports-stars all too plainly lack; relatability. We are all Adrian Lewis.
If you liked this have a look at these other darts stories
You can follow Lenny on Twitter @Lenny_Boyle, and read more of his words about Darts at Tectonic Tungsten
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