8 August 2022
The Dirt Xtra
It’s been a long time coming but the Bandits finally picked up…
Who’s ready for story time with the Mythman?
Well now the dust has all but settled on the 2021 season we now find ourselves in that strange period between looking back on a season gone by and looking ahead to the 2022 season.
Now I could do a blog about the Bandits signing Chris Harris. I could also do a blog about Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley returning for 2022, but I’ve an entire winter to talk about all that and trust me, I will! But as a look back on 2021 I can’t help but feel a sense of pride in how it’s gone.
As most of you will know I generally try to keep my content on here and my programme notes more about speedway and less about me, because I figure that nobody could give a rat’s backside what I’ve been up to.
But truth be told, despite the Bandits perhaps not hitting the heights that I’d like them to, I’ve had possibly the best season of my life and because of that I want to share a story with each and every one of you.
Rewind back to earlier this year and we had all endured a year without speedway, and I like many others wasn’t really feeling things and to be brutally honest, keeping up appearances on here was becoming tougher and tougher. When there’s nothing happening there really is nothing to talk about but despite that I did my absolute best to try and conjure up some content for you to enjoy on a somewhat regular basis.
Let me tell you it wasn’t easy, I was struggling with things and more often than not I stared at a blank screen and inspiration was virtually non existent. The very thing I loved was becoming a chore and the doubt in my abilities began to play really heavy on my mind.
So when the 2021 season began to roll ever closer I found myself with a decision to make, and to be completely open and honest, I had more or less made up my mind that I had penned my last programme column.
In a couple of isolated incidents out with my Bandits related stuff I had been burned by certain individuals promising me the earth and delivering nothing and finding my hard work not being credited as I felt it should be.
Simply put I was p****d off and mad about it.
I was fully prepared to walk away from it all and go back to just being a fan, because after all that’s what brought me to the dance in the first place as it were.
I confided in a few folks about it and they convinced me to stick with things just a little bit longer, let the season start and hope that a return of racing would see my enthusiasm return. Now because these people, and they know who they are, believed in me more than I did myself I decided to stick it out, and blimey am I glad I did.
As the season got underway and racing resumed, I began to catch up with a lot of familiar faces again and sure enough my enthusiasm for all things speedway returned and things started to seem somewhat normal again. At that point the mindset began to change as I realised just how much I had missed the speedway and as a result I figured that I wouldn’t take it for granted again. Not only that but I figured I wouldn’t say no to anything speedway related in 2021, in a bid to make up for lost time.
So when a somewhat surprising offer came my way to do a bit of commentary for Redcar’s live streams I jumped at the chance. In truth though I was just happy to be included and I agreed to do it, figuring I’d either hate it or be terrible and it would be a one and done. But at least I’d have tried something that I wouldn’t ever dreamed of doing a couple of years ago.
As it happened it was way more fun than I ever thought it would be and working alongside some insanely talented folks we have began to see the creation come to life and it’s something I’ve thrown myself into. But the key thing is that not once has it felt like a chore and the fun and laughs I’ve had along the way, have been nothing short of incredible.
For the most part the feedback on what we’ve done has been good and while I appreciate it’s impossible to please everyone, it has been great to be part of and I can’t thank the guys at Redcar enough for not only welcoming me into the fold but also believing in me and encouraging me to try something outside of my comfort zone.
But that’s not all, as well as my regular Bandits programme columns and my commentary and column at Redcar I found another forbidden door was about to open. Before long I had a weekly column in the Leicester programme which also happened to lead on to columns for Poole and Belle Vue with the highlight being a column in the British Final programme. That isn’t to mention a couple of articles in the Speedway Star and a few interviews with riders for the British Speedway Podcast, which again was something far and away from my comfort zone.
Yes the season was busy but large parts of it were the stuff of dreams for me and I didn’t want it to end. I realise now just what a foolish and hasty decision it would have been to have called time on things.
To those who saw light when I didn’t, I thank you.
To those who believed in me when I didn’t, I thank you.
To those who saw something in me that I didn’t, I thank you.
For me it might not ever get any better than it did in 2021 and if that’s the case I can make my peace with that. But at this precise moment in time I can’t wait to see what the 2022 season brings. The fact that none of this would’ve happened without Berwick Speedway is not lost on me either, so to each and every one of you, I salute you.
A wise man said it best when he said “Hard work pays off, dreams come true, bad times don’t last but bad guys do!”
I hate to break it to you, but I’m not going anywhere, well provided we can all agree terms and my average fits that is!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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