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falcace

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    Speedway, Running, Cycling, Theatre, Good Food, 5-A-Side Football, Writing

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  1. falcace

    FIM OCEANIA Solo Championship

    I sort of understand their frustration with the success of the SEC. But I would be very, very surprised if an effort to replicate it succeeded in the southern hemisphere. Without wishing to tread into another rather delicate subject....the concept and identity of Europe and European is so much stronger and, of course, more marketable. Hence the relative success of the SEC...and indeed other major European sports events. Oceania? I lived for a year in Oz and I don't think I've ever heard of anyone describe themselves as "Oceanic". The little mermaid perhaps? The football version has failed...why would a speedway one succeed?
  2. falcace

    Speedway's future IMO

    In short, speedway is saying to Dave and his family down the road that it cannot cater for them because it has to accommodate the wishes of some Danish bloke you've never heard of, so he can also ride in a Polish town you've never heard of either. Bonkers
  3. falcace

    Speedway's future IMO

    I do hope we are not drifting into the cheap "snowflake generation" argument here are we? I'll give my own experience as an example... I was first taken to the sport aged 7 to Belle Vue's Hyde Road and was hooked..we then went every Saturday. Not a school night, no problem. Though I suspect it might have been a problem had it been a midweek track at that young age....less so 2-4 years later. Then, we certainly had the odd midweek trip to follow the Aces to Sheffield and Birmingham. I am now a father of six year old twins, they will be 7 by the time of the next speedway season, so the right age (I think) to have a grasp of what's going on and potentially engage with it. Bedtime at ours is 7-7:30, later at the weekend. So a midweek track is out for now. Additionally, even when they are a little older and could cope with a later midweek night, we - unlike my parent's boomer generation - are much more squeezed for time...and disposable income beyond the mortgage and bills. Like many in the 30s-40s generation, both us parents work and after the kids get back from after school club and we rush to make dinner, there's little time left for anything before bed. In contrast, as a child, I had the luxury of a stay-at-home mum who could get us kids home at a decent time, have dinner ready early for the whole family and much more time for any possible midweek outing. Society has changed. Now, this isn't all about me, speedway can draw from older and younger groups. But I do think that appealing to my (current) demographic is absolutely key for speedway now and in the future. We only really have time- and money - for weekend outings and if speedway can't cater for us, it is going to miss out on thousands of families like mine.
  4. This is an absurd line of argument from Castagna too. My simple question is: "If that's the case then what new and wider audiences were attracted by the 25pts for the winner system in the early 2000s?" Show us the evidence, show us the market research.
  5. I'd love to know what work has been done in these areas. Of course, it's very easy for me and others to say "they should be doing this and that" and there may well be perfectly good reasons why the SGP hasn't broken new markets. I don't doubt some efforts have been made. But on the face of it, I would think a place like Qatar where they don't mind losing money on sports events and have a herd of white elephant stadiums-to-be hosting the 2022 World Cup would be an obvious port of call. Ditto, somewhere like Majorca or Malaga; very reachable for all budget airlines and in a country where the locals like bike racing, decent football stadiums that might be convertable? Surely worth a go?Or Ireland? There's an established scene of bike racing and an international series like the SGP could be welcomed. Who wouldn't fancy a Dublin GP? Or can we even piggy back on the Superbike or MotoGP calendar and offer a Saturday night SGP in the same city as the Sunday's road racing? Happy to shot down on all these of course, but it would be good to know that all avenues are being explored.
  6. I agree. This is change for change sake. I can't help but think that this is just the result of fresh blood within the SGP organisers who - like a lot in elite sport - want to be seen to be making their contribution. This is the result of that, not the greater good of the series. I am a fan of the SGP and the job that IMG/BSI have done. But the area of real stagnation is in venues. On the face of it, Togliatti is progress. But in recent years, we have lost Stockholm, Copenhagen, Australia and New Zealand. The trend is regression rather than progression on that front. A new scoring format can't smokescreen the SGP retreating to traditional audiences rather than expanding to new audiences. That's the major failure of the SGP organisers and one in which IMG's global reach really should have been able to unlock by now.
  7. falcace

    Speedway's future IMO

    Give or take a few quid and notwithstanding the public liability insurance risks for bouncy castles, there are some sound suggestions here. But, it's all pretty worthless if speedway takes place on a school night in the middle of the week. Straight away you are restricting the number of potential customers. Football, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Ice Hockey, Netball, Basketball all have a core schedule for the weekend for this very reason. What makes speedway so special that it expects to entice families out on a school night every week? If ever a sport needed to widen its net, it's speedway. British speedway needs to be honest, cut its cloth and stop working itself around Sweden, Poland and the GPs and go for the weekend crowd. If that means we lose a few riders on the way, so be it. Let's face it, bending over backwards to accommodate riders demands isn't working now. So what is there to lose? You would more likely get greater commitment from riders who put their UK team first and foremost and we got that stronger team identity we all crave. I think speedway works best as a team sport, but I would incorporate much of the above alongside some other track-based sport...sidecars, quad bikes, flat track perhaps and give the families a full 4-5 hours entertainment on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
  8. I can only think the idea is to bring speedway into line with some of the other major motorsports where the winner automatically receives the most points. The big difference being that F1, Motocross, MotoGP all have one race each or (if I am correct?) two races at Superbikes, as opposed to (up to) seven each at a Speedway GP. Thing is though, you cannot compare sports with sports, it's apples and pears. This systems works for speedway and whilst we should always be trying to make things as simple as possible for the casual viewer, I don't think this system is beyond the wit of even the most uniformed layperson.
  9. It's good that GP organisers constantly look to tweak and improve the product. But I do think in terms of the scoring, this is an area that needs leaving well be. Through trial and error over several years, they have arrived at a format that provides an exciting climax to each GP, but is also fair and rewards consistency across the series. It's right the winner of the Grand Final, the winner of the hardest race of the night is crowned the night's winner, but it's also right that the night's most consistent performer goes away with the most points. I'm all for change, but not in this instance.
  10. falcace

    British world champions ratings list

    No.I do have a private story..which doesn't shine him in a good light. Not for here though. But whether I know him or not is irrelevant. 1) He clearly has lost the respect of our top riders 2) He presents a poor figurehead beyond our sport, so why keep him? I actually think he was allowed to move on with some dignity and was allowed to jump before he was pushed. You have to think about him in the wider context of national coaches and managers. Gareth Southgate, Eddie Jones, Dave Brailsford, Tracey Neville...not only are they highly respected by their teams, they are all highly articulate, intelligent, professional and presentable people. Good figureheads for their sports. Can you imagine Alun Rossiter being wheeled out in front of a blue chip company CEO as the face of speedway trying to secure some major backing? The mere thought of it is cringeworthy.
  11. falcace

    British world champions ratings list

    The rose tinted I refer to is less about the racing and more about the people. If you think PC was riding simply for the love of speedway, Belle Vue and England, you are being very naive. He knew his worth and if it didn't work for him, he didn't do it. He was single minded-just like the very best riders often are. It's documented that he notified John Berry he wasn't willing to ride for England in WTC and Test matches in 1985, but would only be available to defend the pairs with Mort. And on the occasions when wasn't getting the deal he wanted with Belle Vue, he entered talks with King's Lynn and Leicester to leverage more money from the Aces. Where he riding today, you think he would be putting Belle Vue and England above lucrative continental contracts in Poland and Sweden? Nonsense. Now, I don't have any issue with any of the above. As I have already said, it's a short and dangerous career. Good luck to him. But I cannot pretend that the riders of yesteryear had some stronger moral fibre than today's riders. They did what was best for them, just like today's riders.
  12. falcace

    British world champions ratings list

    Do you think PC would have been passionate riding for GB managed by Alun Rossiter with no world class riders in support? Do you think Tai Woffinden would not have been winning titles and test matches with England if he were surrounded by world class riders and those competitions had the same prestige as years previous? You are comparing apples with pears. And you are also looking back with seriously rose-tinted specs.
  13. falcace

    2020 Wildcards

    Based on him comfortably qualifying for this year's GP and exceptional circumstances ruling him out. How many more ruddy times does that need pointing out to you?! Again, for the 117th time, let's see your 15 better riders. Let's see your alternatives, then we can truly contrast and compare. (he says...knowing there's no bleeding chance of this guy ever willing to list them as it will expose the futility of his argument).
  14. falcace

    British world champions ratings list

    You think Peter Collins wouldn't take exactly the same approach as Tai Woffinden? He knew his worth and the price of a pint, there's no doubt about that. His rich pickings were in England and on the German long track scene and that's what he prioritised. And when he didn't fancy the British scene in 1981 or riding for England in 1985 he opted out. If they were riding today, do you think PC, Mauger, Olsen and Lee would stick with the British League with bigger bucks in Poland and Sweden available? No chance. They followed the money then and they would do it again today and good luck to them, its a dangerous and short career.
  15. falcace

    British world champions ratings list

    I believe there is no notable - and certainly no provable - difference in the quality of top riders across eras. Woffinden, Doyle, Hancock, Zmarzlik are all superbly skilled riders and in no way inferior to the leading lights of the 70s.
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