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About 4thbender

  • Birthday 04/21/1950

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  1. That's just farcical. If it rains for the meeting in 3 weeks time it means your fans won't have seen speedway for 6 weeks! Whatever the problems, rationing the sport is not the answer.

    Speedway has never been able to make up its mind about whether it's a team sport or a circus for daredevil showmen. For my money, they should drop the pairs, the fours, the league riders' championships and all the other window-dressing events (which are just meaningless dross). They should concentrate on a single league of 18 - 20 teams and a regionalised cup competition. League play-offs should be consigned to the dustbin, and the simplified structure of a single league and a cup competition could guarantee all teams a solid programme of 25 home matches per season, potentially a few more for teams with a good cup run. Speedway could learn a lot from those other "dying sports" of cricket and rugby. Through sharpening up the presentation and encouraging greater partisanship they have turned around their fortunes and crowd numbers have gone through the roof. I remember as a lad going to Bramall Lane to watch Geoffrey Boycott bat for a day and a half. By the third day of the match there was no-one left in the ground. Compare that to a Twenty/20 match last summer at Headingley when the terraces were packed, alive and buzzing. Speedway needs to ask itself what its own version of that looks like. Trust me - there are solutions, but it needs people with vision and ideas. Rationing the sport to reduce financial losses is a losers' charter and, if that's the best the promoters can offer, they should be hounded out of the sport.

    I'm not a fan of lost causes.

    Words might fail YOU, but happily they haven't yet failed ME. Maybe your powers of observation have also failed you. In 2017 there were 360 Championship matches; this year there will be 220 (that's a 39% reduction - with one MORE team!) I began supporting the Tigers 52 years ago, but this is the first time I've felt that my loyalty is being taken for granted. Once summer really gets underway, with a load of blank Thursdays in the fixture list, fans like me might get out of the Speedway habit. After all, there are many alternative Thursday night distractions: Quiz Night at the Red Lion Crown Green Bowling at Hillsborough Park (they're after new members) A round of golf at Worrall Road Leave for the caravan a day early and have an extra-long weekend Have a swim at Hillsborough Leisure Centre For those with more eclectic tastes there's Spearmint Rhino or (dare I say!) Naked Night at La Chambre. With the exception of the latter, these are all Thursday options I'm planning to take up over the course of 2018. If Speedway wants to reverse the trend of diminishing numbers on the terraces it had better get its act together. Otherwise fans like me might discover that there's life outside Owlerton Stadium.
  5. It's Thursday night (Speedway night at Sheffield) and I'm sitting at home looking for things to do (I might actually get in the garden and do a bit of weeding). Tonight's match has been "rained off" - the 41st casualty of the 2018 season (and it's barely 2 weeks old). I wonder how hard promotions are actually trying to get these fixtures going - I've seen meetings go ahead in far worse conditions than those outside today. Admittedly the weather in late March and early April has been pretty awful but, with so many blank Thursday nights planned for this summer, I wonder whether promoters are taking the view that it's an easy option to call matches off at the first sniff of moisture in the air and tell riders and fans to stay at home. Moreover, with such a dearth of matches planned for the height of the season when kids are on holiday, is it a pre-meditated plan to postpone early matches at the drop of a hat to allow the extremely thin July and August fixture lists to be "padded out" with re-runs? In the unlikely event that Sheffield fail to make the play-offs, without a load of early re-arranged rain-offs their season will be over on 23 August. There is a clear danger that people (like me) who are looking for something else to do on Thursday nights might actually find something. When that happens, the promoters' policy of "less is more" might turn round and bite them in the bum.
  6. Sheffield v Peterborough 12-4

    Don't set off - it's POST-PONED! (http://www.sheffieldspeedway.co/news.php?extend.2516)
  7. Sheffield v Peterborough 12-4

    You're right to check. It's been awful misty drizzle for the past two days, but the precipitation has been light and there's no sign of flooding on the streets round about. Forecast for tomorrow is brighter so, fingers crossed, we should be okay (but watch his space). The UK season is barely 2 weeks old but according to my calculations there have been 39 rain-offs, so you never can take things for granted! Whatever the weather brings, the little Peterborough bubble of euphoria following the shock result at Ippo is about to get burst - you're gonna get your ass kicked, so don't come expecting a result.
  8. Sheffield v Newcastle 05.04.18

    Second leg is at Newcastle on 29 April.
  9. Peterborough Panthers 2018

    Sorry, but your bubble will be burst next Thursday at Owlerton. Your feet will be firmly back on the ground come Friday morning.
  10. Sheffield v Newcastle 05.04.18

    Tactical Substitute rule does not apply in any competition which is played out over two legs.
  11. Scunthorpe Scorpions 2018

    Really really sorry to hear about Steve Worrall. Top riders are at a premium in the Championship this year and to lose one this early in the season is a real bummer. The issue of guests raises a really important issue. With the doubling-up policy on one hand and riders' overseas commitments on the other, there is a danger that riders will simply end up running themselves into the ground. Mention of Kyle Howarth is a case in point. As well as his commitments to Sheffield and Wolves he's also doing a stint in Poland. If he starts getting invited to do guest slots elsewhere, the issue of "burnout" becomes a serious possibility. At Sheffield we've had more than our fair share of injured riders in recent years and, remarkably, most of them seem to get injured whilst riding for teams other than Sheffield. I'd welcome the day when Championship and Premiership combine into a single league and this doubling-up farce is consigned to the annals of history.
  12. Sheffield 2018

    Does anyone recall (as I do) the promise made to loyal, long-suffering fans after the shambles at the end of 2017 when the ambulance failed to turn up and the start was delayed by almost an hour? We were told that if we retained our re-entry tickets there would be half-price admission to the first match of 2018. I've not seen any mention of the offer in any promotional publications and there's nothing on the website. Is this an offer that has been conveniently disregarded?
  13. A change to the rules has just been announced: riders were previously required to remain astride their machines when preparing their start area. This will now revert back to the wording as per the 2017 Regulations.It therefore now reads: "Only if a rider is at the starting gate with sufficient time remaining of the 2-minute allowance, be permitted to prepare their Start Area, provided they remain in full, personal control of their motorcycle, have their Cut – Out Lanyard attached, and with their motorcycle facing the direction of racing." Is this for better or worse?
  14. Ipswich 2018

    Forget it. You won't be taking anything away from Sheffield other than your tail between your legs.
  15. Ipswich 2018

    It's not how you start the meeting that counts... it's where you are at the finish!