Last night Michael Smith won the PDC World Championship in Darts defeating overwhelming favourite Michael van Gerwen.
During his victory, Smith nailed an outstanding nine dart finish which saw the famous rugby league commentary line “I can’t speak” uttered as he edged closer to victory.
THIS IS INSANE!!! WHAT A LEG OF DARTS!!
MICHAEL SMITH HITS A NINE DARTER!! 🤯😲 pic.twitter.com/T6HWmRCQYX
— Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) January 3, 2023
The line was made famous by Mick Morgan as Castleford met Wigan long before Super League and he called for a “dirty get” to be sent off and was infuriated by the fact only a yellow card was brandished.
This resulted in the now famous line “I can’t speak” and the video below has nearly a million views as consequence.
Smith himself is a big rugby league fan, a St Helens supporter to be precise.
Just months after seeing them win a fourth consecutive Grand Final, the Saints fan is the won lifting the trophy as a World Champion and will hope St Helens will emulate him against Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge.
Darts is one of the most beloved sports in the UK these days because of its party like atmosphere, the great characters and a real northern attitude.
These are all things that rugby league could have with the right kind of marketing and focus.
Rugby league fans tend to be great characters who can create a great atmosphere. It is a sport that was founded in the north and can bring that great attitude to the sport week in week out.
Darts has great reach now, great marketing, tv coverage, tournaments and even reach beyond the UK with many of the top players from elsewhere in Europe which is something rugby league should look to emulate.
With IMG taking charge of the sport and looking to revamp Super League and even renaming it, Darts is a sport IMG and Super League should look to emulate and learn from especially given the sport’s success in recent years.
It is now a household sport and always on Sky Sports and the marketing they have used can be applied to rugby league especially the creation of characters and stars which rugby league has in abundance though we don’t give enough of a spotlight to them.
The likes of Jack Welsby and other young stars have the ability to become famous out of rugby league like star Darts players and rugby league needs to do the same.
Therefore, if there is a sport Super League needs to emulate, it is darts.