Rain pouring, dark nights and dare I say...the heating on, it would appear that the arrival of winter is imminent.
Which of course means the arrival of what is known as “Silly Season” where the riders move around and the rules change and we as fans are expected to know all of this by the time March rolls around again!
Before all that is said and done though there is the small matter of who is going to be crowned league champions, both in the Premiership and Championship.
The Premiership semi final second leg, which was originally the first leg, (only in speedway eh!) between Belle Vue and Wolverhampton has now twice been rained off, with a restaging date set for tomorrow (Friday 29th September).
Whoever prevails from this tie will meet Swindon in the first leg (or is it the second leg) of the Premiership final on Monday and that promises to be a spectacular meeting whoever prevails. Hopefully the weather plays ball and we get to see some “Proper Speedway” as Kelvin Tatum would say.
In the Championship semi finals, Ipswich and Sheffield disposed of Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively to progress to the final with the first leg set to take place tonight (Thursday 28th September). Undoubtedly the best two teams in the league this season battling out head to head for the bragging rights for the champions.
Hopefully Josh Bates and Josh Grajzonek are fit to ride after taking tumbles at Glasgow in the semi final, and we get to see two full strength sides battling it out for the crown, as opposed to the “guest fest” we have sadly had to become accustomed to this season.
Whoever prevails from the Ipswich and Sheffield final will then go on to face the Premierships bottom side Leicester in a promotion and relegation playoff, which I really don’t know how I feel about if I am perfectly honest.
Don’t get me wrong I like the idea in principal, it happens in other sports so why not speedway? Well as we have all alluded to in the past, speedway isn’t like many other sports.
So supposing Ipswich goes through and ends up taking on the Lions, let’s have a look at the line ups...
“Hang on, doesn’t that Danny King guy ride for Ipswich, only I’m sure I’ve seen him riding for Leicester too, and that Kyle Newman fella too.”
Remember how I was saying speedway wasn’t like other sports? Well, there it is in a nutshell!
Does it look any better if Sheffield go through? Well not really given that Josh Bates and Lasse Bjerre ride for both the Tigers and the Lions.
Now there is a statement you won’t hear every day!
Next time you’re at the zoo I bet you don’t see a tiger that was a lion the day before.
The doubling up rule has caused much debate over the course of 2017 and here I am rambling on about it again! I think this promotion and relegation playoff only further hammers home the fact that something really needs to be done to avoid things like this happening.
In a time where we are desperately trying to attract new fans to the sport, how do you even begin to explain situations like this to a newcomer? Simple answer is you can’t. While the fact that speedway is a unique sport is part of the attraction for me, it seems like it is part of its downfall too and in a way its own worst enemy in some respects.
Now don’t think for a second that I am knocking the sport I love, far from it. I simply want to see Speedway thrive in this country, I want others to view it the way I view it and I want others to love the sport the way we all do.
In a world where extreme sports are all the rage, why can’t the original extreme sport be all the rage too?
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 Mythman666@hotmail.com. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to just 140 characters. You can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time...and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan