Whether we want to admit it or not, social media is a huge part of modern life and whether you use it for keeping in touch with friends and relatives or you use it to share videos of cats playing the piano, there is little arguing that it seems to be the way forward of spreading the word about literally anything.
The same rings true for speedway with clubs like Glasgow in particular using it to great effect. That doesn’t mean that every other club is being left behind though, with most clubs being fairly well represented across various social media platforms, including your very own Berwick Bandits.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter, social media is without doubt a handy and somewhat powerful tool but unfortunately, it also seems to be full of tools...and I don’t mean the people who are wondering what time the shop they can see from their window closes on a night time!
We’ve all got one of our friends list... but I digress.
Not so long ago I spoke at great length about the power of social media and how it can be such a powerful tool when used in the right manner, but since the speedway season started I have sadly seen that go the other way.
Now this isn’t anything new and it’s hardly breaking news but most of the speedway fans I know love a bit of to and fro banter (some of which I often participate in myself) but it seems that all some folks want to do is take cheap shots at the sport they claim to love.
We’re all here for the same reason, so can’t we all just get along?
Well...apparently not it seems.
Having witnessed a great meeting up at Armadale in which the Bandits went oh so very close to claiming another famous victory, I walked away from the meeting most satisfied with the evening’s entertainment, despite the result going the way of the Monarchs, albeit only just.
It was one of those meetings that had a little bit of everything you could want from a speedway meeting, plenty drama, close racing, thrills and spills and a last heat decider to top it all off. But despite getting out of jail and picking up a narrow victory, this wasn’t good enough for some of the Monarchs fans on Facebook who angrily voiced their clear displeasure.
“They (the Monarchs) will win nothing riding like this” and “Changes needed ASAP” were the cries of one disgruntled resident of Smugville.
“Not acceptable” read another.... to which there were a couple of sensible replies questioning how a win can be unacceptable.
“Yeah but they should be doing better and winning by more.”
Had this guy ever thought that maybe his team isn’t as good as he thinks they are? Where is the credit for a very good visiting team?
After all it takes two teams to make an entertaining meeting.
As one, far more sensible fan pointed out “Hopefully plenty of one point wins over the course of the season, as last heat deciders is what keep us coming back.”
A good point well made, and one of the more sensible posts I have seen on social media in recent weeks.
I wonder what they made of the Monarchs recent 67-23 demolition of Scunthorpe?
I imagine the comments read along the lines of “Best meeting ever! All hail that same rider I wanted dropped a week ago!”
This sort of thing isn’t just exclusive to Facebook either, oh no, Twitter can be just as bad too!
Following a dramatic draw between Belle Vue and Poole, in which the Pirates clawed back a 16 point deficit it appeared that some of the Aces fans weren’t too pleased, and having thrown away a lead like that, I can understand the frustration, but you simply can't win them all.
But with that being said, is there much need to comment with “F*****g poor poor performance."
I think not.
To me, comments like this help nobody and they don’t exactly do much to raise the profile of the sport.
One sensible tweeter asked the reasonable question of “Why support a team only to bad mouth it on social media every week?”
A valid question I’m sure you’ll all agree.
The reply, which I have taken the liberty of translating...
“Because fans get hurt at any defeat. Nobody wants to see their team lose any matches. Fans are allowed to voice their opinion. Score 15 and you’re rightfully praised, you score 1 you should get rightfully slated and that is part and parcel of being in sport I’m afraid.”
Breaking that down, granted defeat can be hard to take and for sure and nobody is out their willing their team on to lose, that part I can understand, it’s just the rest I’m having difficulty processing.
I agree, fans do indeed have a right to voice their opinion, but not everyone needs to hear that opinion, because frankly, not everyone cares. Being praised for scoring 15, sure I get that, absolutely, but being slated for scoring a solitary point? Meh, I'm not so sure.
We all have off days sure but let’s be honest, sometimes in speedway the difference between scoring very little, and scoring a bucket load isn’t always an awful lot.
Would you rather have your team lose and your top man has a great night, or would you rather your team win on a night where your top man has a below par night? Also would you be complaining about your top man having an off night if the team still got a win? Of course not!
Don’t get me wrong, I admire the passion of these folks, and don’t think for a second that I am criticising their passion for their team because that is something that I am certain we can all relate to, it’s just the way of channelling that passion I am getting at!
Sure we are all different and it would be boring if we were all the same, but just because you have access to a social media account, doesn't give you a free pass to take cheap shots at the sport. Yes spread the word and yes, tell the world about our great sport, but don’t drag it down by spreading negativity and generally hateful slurs, because that is not what your club, or Speedway in general needs.
In other news, it’s the Bandits vs. Sheffield Tigers this weekend in what promises to be an absolute cracker as we go in search of our first league points of the season. Shielfield Park, the theatre of dreams and the place of pace, 7PM, don’t be late and bring a mate to witness the Etheridge strike back!
Tell everyone you know!
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me email@example.com or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time...and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan