The 2017 PDC World Darts Championship kicks off tonight as the first of many lager-fuelled Christmas party nights at Alexandra Palace gets underway.
Who cares? More people than you might think. Darts is a huge deal nowadays and Sky Sports are dedicated an entire channel to the sport this winter.
But why does Britain love the darts?
1. We can relate to it
Sure, football’s great, so is tennis, cricket etc, but your mate Big Dave who weighs 150kgs and gets breathless walking upstairs can’t even dream of talking part. Darts, however, is within his reach.
Dave can legitimately allow himself to be inspired by watching world-class darts on TV, and then buy himself a cheap board to have a go at becoming a sporting hero. Go on, Dave!
2. It’s great to bet on
It is no coincidence that pretty much every PDC TV event is sponsored by a bookie. Darts is a dream to bet on because there is always a winner (no draws, Premier League aside) and the action is non-stop.
3. Bang, bang, bang
Football often provides periods of play where one team will simply pass it around and nothing really happens. Darts doesn’t have that problem.
In darts, every throw is an event. If MVG whacks in another 180, that’s an excuse to celebrate. If he misses the treble 20 and lands a dull 60, that’s a reason for his opponent to get excited about potentially punishing the soft throw and taking charge of the leg.
4. Drunkenness is encouraged
Us Brits love getting tanked up while watching sport.
At football, fans are restricted to a tiny window at half time and must consume their mini bottle of warm beer as fast as possible because alcohol is not permitted in the seating area!
Conversely, at the darts, lager is served in double-pint glasses and tables are provided to encourage you to drink and watch.
5. Dancers and models
So, stand up if you love the darts!