On February 29 (yes, we know it was yesterday - Ed) you enter a Twilight Zone, this day comes but once every four years and the regular laws of nature are suspended. Things get spooky.
Do do do do do do do do do do do do do-
“You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead, your next stop - The Twilight Zone.”
And some of the oddness of this day, that comes but infrequently, is bound to carry over into Premier League Darts; the tournament where anything can happen under normal circumstances, and frequently does.
Kevin Painter v James Wade
At this point the bizarre and outlandish outcome of this match, fitting with the oddness of the Twilight Zone tungsten we will no doubt witness in Exeter, would be a Wade win.
James Wade sits bottom of the Premier League table with nothing to show for his efforts of the past three weeks but a Legs won difference of -10.
At one point Wade will pull himself off the bottom of the table by his bootstraps
At one point Wade will pull himself off the bottom of the table by his bootstraps, but seeing him win would feel as jarringly strange as 50 YEAR OLD SPOILER ALERT: when in Twilight Zone episode the Eye of the Beholder the plastic surgeons grossed out by these people:
Turn out to look like this:
Pig People! AAAAAAAHHH!
Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Hamilton
Andy Hamilton started his first Premier League Darts campaign with a bang; a tub thumping win over Wade declared him more than worthy of his place in the traveling circus of darts.
Tie both arms behind his back. Make him chuck from 20ft. Then he would lose...
A dispiriting loss to Gary Anderson in week two was followed by a draw with Adrian Lewis that offered Hammer Time some tiny-small-minuscule measure of revenge for a World Final whooping.
Barney’s second bottom spot on the PLD league table belies his positive start to the campaign, with two hard fought draws, followed by a Phil Taylor spanking. A spanking that Barney took with as much gentlemanly good humour as is possible when your bottom is revealed to thousands of irishman and paddled away at for twelve legs. It has happened to the best of us.
His arse was in ribbons.
Both players come into this in fine fettle. But Hamilton has beaten Barney only once in his career, and that was six years ago. A Hamilton win would be another example of things getting spooky in darts land.
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor is on a monumental surge of exceptional form. Last week’s Barney spanking was a tour de force. Oh yeah, and he hit a nine-darter the week before.
Tie both arms behind his back. Make him chuck from 20ft. Then he would lose, of course, he’s not superman.
Under normal circumstances?
But this is Twilight Zone Tungsten, and no one believed William Shatner when some sort of monkey man was cavorting on the wing of his passenger plane 20,000ft up.
It could happen.
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
An oddly underwhelming start to his 2012 PLD campaign has seen Adrian Lewis draw for three consecutive weeks. Taylor. Barney. Hamilton.
They were all good games, they were all hard fought. But each of those draws has been a moral victory for the other player, the other guy, they weathered an onslaught from the World Champion, held on for dear life and conspired to eke out a draw against the overwhelming force of Adrian Lewis’ talent.
If he truly wants to pinch from Taylor the mantle of the greatest darts player in the World; Adrian lewis must learn ruthlessness.
And here’s where we enter the Twilight Zone.
Adrian Lewis has been bouncing with joy and self-satisfaction after squandering three victories that should have been his. He was OK with it. No that’s OK it’s cool, he seemed to say, with body language - which is a sizable amount of human communication if you believe the nice people Lorraine Kelly has on her sofa.
Taylor. Barney. Hamilton.
Extend a hand to these three men and you're likely to have your watch pilfered.
It’s still early in the competition, and Lewis’ natural skill with chucks is so beyond what even great players could aspire to that he’ll be fine but...but...if he truly wants to pinch from Taylor the mantle of the greatest darts player in the World; Adrian lewis must learn ruthlessness.
The kind of push your Granny off the bus, throw a bag of kittens in a river, resort to cannibalism ten minutes after a plane crash RUTHLESSNESS that Phil Taylor has made a - terrifying - trademark for 80 years, or however long he’s been playing.
Lewis must display ruthlessness against Gary Anderson or he will draw again.
Four draws in a row for Adrian Lewis really would be spooky.
Things get spooky on leap day, and some of that weirdness will no doubt enter the most unpredictable darts tournament going. You’re traveling through another dimension, that’s the signpost up ahead, your next stop - Twilight Zone Tungsten.
You can follow Lenny on Twitter @Lenny_Boyle, and read more of his words about Darts at Tectonic Tungsten
Read Owen Blackhurst on why Phil Taylor should be Knighted
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