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From Russia With Love

Wake yourself up on a sleepy Friday with this showboating Russian darts legend

December 17, 2021

If you're a big darts fan, the name "Boris Koltsov" is sort of like the name "Guido Migliozzi" to American golf fans like us. As in, you know him, vaguely, but he's not from a traditional powerhouse in the sport and he's still pretty low in the world rankings. In other words, obscure.

But now, imagine Guido Migliozzi had a larger-than-life personality, did weird voices, and performed a little dance every time he made a big putt. Suddenly, our boy Guido wouldn't be so obscure, would he?

Such is the case with Boris Koltsov, who entered the hearts and minds of dart fans—nay, sports fans—the world over. Playing in the first round of the PDC World Darts Championship in London this week, he won his first round match, and managed to send the crowd into hysterics as he did so. (If you don't know about the world of professional darts, the fans are about 10,000 times as drunk and enthusiastic as you might expect...not to hammer the golf analogies to death, but imagine every single hole on the PGA Tour was like no. 16 at Phoenix, except with more singing, and you're getting close. The bigger the moment, the louder they get, which is hilarious for a sport that puts a premium on concentration.)

Watch Koltsov close out Jermaine Wattimena, the no. 37 player in the world:

(Before we go on, can we take a moment to appreciate the score announcer, doing his best impression of the lead singer of Future Islands?)

The slow nod as the moment builds, the fake shock afterward, and of course the dance...vintage. They bloody love him in the pubs, innit!

Here he is earlier, juicing up the crowd:

Afterward, he gave a long, wild, semi-rambling interview complete with voices, confusing asides, and several interesting stories. My favorite part came when the interviewer pointed out that his life could change in the next two weeks, and he responded with, "maybe tomorrow, I wake up with COVID!" This guy rules:

Next up, on Wednesday, he plays Dirk van Duijvenbode, who is apparently also a ham. But can he match this magic??

I've already set my calendar to remind me on Wednesday that the Moscow Maniac will be playing again. Please, Boris, give the people a show. And for god's sake, don't get COVID.