So Kirk Shepherd was unable to rediscover the fearlessness that characterised his adventure into the World Darts Final. The first clues that this seemed a step too far for the sheet metal worker, came as he made his way onto the main stage.
Kirk brought the flag of St. George with him. He waved it at the crowd in a bid to evoke a powerful sense of patriotism. In doing so he forgot to shake the hands of the match officials. When he remembered to do this, he then stumbled, nearly tripping over.
Perhaps the reason he needed the crowd to get pumped up, was that Kirk had had too long to think about this game. He had lost his innocent momentum. Too many questions. Too many possibilities. Too many people wanting a piece of him. Too much to think about. Too long to wait. No containment. Maximum dispersion. Kirk Shepherd needed his buzz back.
If the final had been played the day after his victory over Wayne Mardle, then Kirk’s adrenalin and momentum would have been intact. No time to think. Lets make it so!
But the time between the semi-final and final seemed to have drained him of the electric energy and belief which had coursed through his competitive veins. All that was left, was a man urgently needing to feel the glowing pulse of intensity again.
The St. George’s flag was a good try. But it was no replacement for the real thing. The experience will teach Kirk Shepherd how to keep critical momentum contained, whilst waiting for a World Final. It’s a lesson well worth learning.