I've been hiding something from my fellow darters for the last couple of years. It's something that many people suffer from, but won't admit it due to the misconceptions that might occur. It's something that, once you have it, you probably don't want to be cured. It's something that brings out the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows in any endeavor that you participate in. That something is what I call The 'Ero' Complex.
For those of you who don't know what that is, let me explain what it is and how it evolved. Back when I was in high school, I was the goalie on the high school soccer team. 2 games in a row were decided by a shoot-out. In the first game, I had the chance to force another series of penalty kicks to determine the winner of the game. I didn't get to the ball fast enough and we lost. The second game fared much better. If I stopped the last penalty kick, we win. If not, another round of penalty kicks would occur. I stopped this one. After that game, my Dad said "Way to go son. You went from zero to hero in 5 days".
Looking back on those situations, I was glad to be in both of them. With the game on the line, I wanted to be the one who is directly involved with the outcome of the game, not sitting on the sidelines watching. Don't get me wrong. I don't want to sound cocky or arrogant, because I'm not. And I really don't like the spotlight, or at least taking it alone. But I am willing to put all on the line for the win or for the loss. Win, I'm a Hero. Lose, well, let's face it, I'm a Zero.
Many, many times, especially in the playoffs, I've had the chance to win the match, but due to bad luck, stupid strategy, or just plain choking, I blew the opportunity of winning and on the next throw my opponent would win. Knowing that you had a fair chance of winning the game, thus allowing your team would advance in the playoffs, but you let it slip through your fingers. You honestly feel that you let your team down. That is probably the worst feeling that can be felt, the lowest of the lows.
About 2 years ago, we were in the last game of the match to determine who would advance to the Semi-Final round. One of the opposing darters hit a 137, leaving 46. Our team had 68 left and it was my throw. A single 20, single 16, and double 16 later, we had at least one more week of darts for the season. Knowing that I didn't let my teammates down and that I finally was able to throw an out in a do-or-die situation was such a rush, the highest of the highs.
I'm a fairly decent darter, though I probably won't win any major international tournaments in the near (or, more to the truth, the WAY far) future. I'm confident in my abilities at the oche. If the match or tournament is on the line, I want to be the one at the oche with darts in hand to end it. If I do, give me an 'H'. If I don't, give me a 'Z'. Either way, I can live with it.