These increasingly drunken darts tournaments are an accident waiting to happen. They have been for some time.
The most depressing aspect of a "fan" spitting on the ongoing world champion Phil Taylor before he played in the Premier League in Glasgow on Thursday night was the unsavoury episode's ability to detract from the unique skills of such figures, to soil the game's soul.
The incident has been greeted with surprise. This onlooker was not shocked. Not in such febrile conditions laced with copious amounts of lager where Mr Joe Public and a few pints of confidence cannot be trusted to behave himself.
Some of the characters turning up at these events are like cavemen. But that is perhaps an insult to our prehistoric ancestors. There are stories in years gone by of grown men openly urinating in front of women and kids only, well, a good throw of a dart away from the main stage at a loutish Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) because they could not be bothered to discover a toilet.
There is a traditionally strong following for the multiple Dutch world champion Raymond van Barneveld, Taylor's opponent on Thursday, among Scottish darts enthusiasts, but that does not excuse the Englishman being pelted with phlegm.
He has had coins thrown at him in the past at a frothed-up venue that can house almost eight thousand spectators.
"It was disappointing and I'm a bit disgusted to be honest," said Taylor. "I wanted to give the fans a show so it's a shame if one fan tries to spoil that."
Spitting on somebody is perhaps the ultimate insult, a disgusting act that no human being should need to stomach. In the eyes of the law, it already constitutes a physical assault. The coward who opened his filthy gob to launch one at Taylor should be banged up for a week to think about his actions.
Taylor appeared in shock as the camera quickly cut away from him to focus on what looked like a cross between a football crowd, a lynch mob and some sort of Billy Graham gathering.
Darts players waltz on stage like boxers ahead of these matches as Sky have tried to dramatise and popularise the sport. It has worked to great effect in increasing prize money and player profiles, but what they cannot control is the amount of alcohol being consumed on the night.
Any semblance of sobriety is also tossed out of the window leaving men like Taylor open to the elements at such primitive events. And open to all sorts of abuse as they make their way onto the stage like prize fighters. It would be interesting to know how many boxers are spat on when they make their way to the ring.
Rather than revel in the marvellous skill of these tungsten titans, it would not be ridiculous to suggest the treatment of Taylor and his fellow world champion Adrian Lewis, who is also from Stoke, was probably an anti-English sentiment fuelled by booze in Scotland’s largest city, a throwback to the old Scotland-England football rivalry that has faded with the demise of the fixture.
Lewis said that he was worried about his safety during a match with Andy Hamilton. "I was shaking. Not because of playing Andy. I just didn’t feel safe. Every time you come to Glasgow, it is going to be tough because the crowd don’t like me. When they are swearing at you and booing, it’s hard."
Lewis had grog and coins hurled at him two years ago. “In Glasgow it’s nasty and personal, I don’t think that’s necessary,” commented Lewis after another arduous night at the oche.
Being a Scot brought up watching the jocular Jocky Wilson win his second World Championship against Eric Bristow at Lakeside Country Club in a tumultuous contest in 1989 and revelling in Les "McDanger" Wallace replicating the feat eight years later, it does not say much for Scottish hospitality when Taylor, the 16-times world champion and greatest figure to throw a dart, is subjected to such shameful treatment.
It certainly does not do much for Glasgow tourism - with its traditional moniker of being 'no mean city' - but there is a darker side to a sport they claim is just all about having a good night out, a few beers and some old-fashioned, innocent high jinks.
I wrote earlier this year that darts has always had a drink problem emanating from its heritage as a pub game, but the players dispensed with lager, vodka and fags on stage long ago as the need to be viewed as public role models and promote healthier living became glaringly obvious.
The rogue element tailing the sport are the most protruding problem.
Some of the punters are actively encouraged to dress up while others spend the night throwing up as they test how much booze they can consume at one sitting. They are hardly the great thinkers of our time.
What wearing a Batman or Scooby Doo costume has to do with watching darts is beyond me.
If the public attending darts can't control themselves, liquor licenses should not be granted to stage such events. It is time darts, and especially television, studied itself in regards to what sort of product they are selling. Would you take your kid along to watch darts?
Can darts be trusted to police itself at such tournaments? If darts needs the Old Bill to patrol old Bully, it might as well retreat to the pub where it came from. At least your local White Horse calls last orders on weekdays.
What next? A spot of GBH to go with your three-dart average? Phil Taylor being attacked during a match? Or how about a live, televised mass brawl between Taylor and Barney fans? When the drink is in, the wit is out. It is not such a ridiculous concept.
Taylor was spat on. So too was the image of darts.