A Penchant For Passion

Published on 16th October 2022
Author Mythman

The Premiership league title has finally been decided and congratulations to the Belle Vue Aces on ending their 29-year wait for top flight glory. So often they’ve been the bridesmaids and not the blushing bride but on Thursday past it was their night and they deserve the plaudits.

Naturally, because this is speedway it wasn’t all sunshine, roses, and straightforwardness. There were crashes, there was some brutal racing, a bit of controversy and a little bit of needle.

Now from a strictly neutral point of view, those all sound like the ideal ingredients you would throw aboard a cauldron, mix up and hey presto, you’d have yourself a meeting befitting of a grand finale.

All the pomp and circumstance that anyone could wish for and all of a sudden you have what speedway cries out for long enough and that is an advert for the sport, the platform upon which to build from and believe it or not, a bit of national coverage.

What’s not to like?

Well, quite a bloody lot if you believe the doom mongers, pitchfork enthusiasts and those who are so insistent on nails, coffins, and such like. Now, I get it, six teams in a league and four of those deciding the playoffs probably isn’t the most fantastic advert, however it would be safe to say that once again the playoffs, especially the final, delivered.

That simply cannot be argued. Naturally if you’re a Sheffield fan, you are likely to see things differently and feel that your side was robbed by refereeing decisions. That is one of those debates that will rage on for generations but if that grand final showed me anything, it was passion for speedway.

That passion is what I want to touch on here. 

If it wasn’t for passion, there would be no speedway at all.

So, what is my point about passion I hear you cry? Well, I’m glad you asked and allow me to elaborate. During the playoffs there were some incidents and riders were naturally unhappy when decisions didn’t go their way and they wanted to vent their frustrations, that is passion, that is the desire to win.

Simon Stead clearly felt aggrieved with some of those same decisions, and he proclaimed that his side were robbed by the referee, that reaction shows passion, that reaction shows a will to win and a desire to do well for his club.

Mark Lemon on the other hand gave an emotional speech after seeing his side clinch the win. He spoke of all the times he was close to that win and the fine margins between heartbreak and triumph. That is passion.

If it wasn’t for passion, those doom mongers would have nothing to complain about…oh wait, yes, they would. They could complain about having no speedway and how much they loved it and how they so dearly miss it.

Newsflash, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Hell, I seen one guy say in one post on Facebook that he was proud of his team for making the final and he was proud of them for not increasing their prices for a playoff final.

Positive stuff I’m sure you’ll agree.

The same guy then said that after what he had witnessed over the two legs of the playoff final that speedway was on its last legs. Which one is it? Are you whining for whining’s sake? Would your opinion be different if Sheffield had won? I don’t know but what I do know is that I can’t figure these people out.

Speedway is driven forward by passion and dragged down by the negativity of those on social media. I’m not daft enough to think that it’s all as black and white as that but think about this for a second.

On the whole, your club is run by passionate individuals with largely the best interest of the club at the core. They work tirelessly and laboriously to put on a show week after week and they rely heavily on other like-minded individuals to help them out in various roles. Many of these people carry out these tasks for little to no reward, simply because they share a passion for that club.

The person on the gate when you enter the stadium, they’re a volunteer.

The person selling raffle tickets once you’re into the stadium, they’re a volunteer.

The people working behind the bars or food stalls, they’re volunteers.

The person selling the programmes, they’re a volunteer.

The guy giving the times after a race, you’ve guessed it, a volunteer.

They are all very different people, but they all share the same thing and that is passion for this sport. Without these people, the sport would be in a far sorrier state than those doom merchants make it out to be.

So, to these volunteers and those who work tirelessly on making sure this club and others stay afloat, I thank you and salute all that you do.

But why would I care? Glad you asked.

You know that passion I have been harping on about, that courses through my veins too. Every word I’ve ever written on a blog, every word I’ve ever written in a programme column and every incomprehensible word or terrible catchphrase I’ve attempted to get out there as I try to call the action from the gantry is put out there with passion for this sport.

I don’t claim to be good; I don’t do it for any other reason than simply for the love of it and I am not alone in that boat, there’s loads of us and these doom mongers fuelled by negativity simply won’t sink that ship, no matter how hard they try!

Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply wish to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me jbspeedwaymedia@hotmail.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 tweet @Mythman666.

Until next time…and there will be a next time.

Right, I’ll hae’tae gan.



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