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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

    Forgotten Europeans...

    Remember the Falcons having a really odd look in 1994 (or 93?) - Henk Bangma, Andy Bossner and Toni Svab. All came out of the blue. Svab turned out to be a solid signing, Bossner had the odd moment, but was really inconsistent, Bangma was well out of his depth.
  2. From a sporting perspective, it's a fairly interesting development...no more. The idea that the fastest rider gets to choose the best riding position is a bit underwhelming. But there is potential here. If there were bonus points to be gained from qualifying, that might make it more interesting, say 5-3-2-1 for the top four? From a tech perspective, this could open the door to more interesting developments. I find swimming a very boring sport. But at the Olympics and major televised meets, I do like the red line of the world record that is superimposed onto the race. I wonder if something similar could be used for speedway? In a boring race for example, it becomes a whole lot more interesting if Tai Woffinden is chasing down the track record. I have also long thought starting tapes to be very old fashioned. Surely, the GPs could easily use a laser beam device, which could provide absolute accuracy for any 'tape' touching. It could also be used to decide any particularly tight finishes - the winner breaks the beam first.
  3. falcace

    R.I.P. Vikki Orvice

    I was surprised to read she had a speedway link. I worked with Vikki for several years in athletics circles and she never mentioned it. Then again, did i mention i was a speedway fan? Probably not...it's usually a conversation killer. Very sorry to hear of her passing. She was an incredibly strong woman. She had to be in a blokes world, working for the blokiest of newspapers. She fought her corner like a tiger and I felt the sharp end of her tongue more than once! But she never bore a grudge and could also be incredibly warm-hearted and humorous too. She was also a bloody good journalist. RIP
  4. falcace

    SPEEDWAY MAIL.

    ...and I was only 8 at the time too
  5. I remember this young yank being half a lap behind at some tinpot pairs meeting I went to at Swindon in 1989. I'd love to see the scorecard from that now. Forget his name...Glen Hancock...something like that. Wonder whatever happened to him...
  6. falcace

    SPEEDWAY MAIL.

    Erm, let me get this right...you are digging out quotes from 16 years ago to revive a long-gone discussion? I've heard of quiet Sundays, but this is something else!
  7. There are some really excellent constructive points on this thread from several posters. Let's not let it veer off into "back in the good old days" chat. I love to reminisce as much as the next man, but those days have gone. In the early 80s I absolutely lived for the sport attending Hyde Road every week. So, I was chuffed to see someone had uploaded Aces v Cradley and Aces v Halifax from 1982 on YouTube. Morton, PC, Penhall, Carter, Ross, Gundersen...on those wide open spaces...what could be better than that? The thing is though, looking at it again, the racing wasn't as brilliant as I remembered it to be. Even if you teleported speedway from the 60s, 70s, 80s to the modern era, it would still be struggling, arguably even more so. Admittedly, what was served up then bore a more favourable comparison to the competition in the wider entertainment industry. But the big problem today is not that it isn't what it used to be, it's that it hasn't evolved enough!
  8. Well done for supporting your son. Not all sporting parents are as supportive, so you deserve credit for letting him have a shot at it. But my answer would be for riders to get a trade then that fits with your sporting ambitions. Paint, decorate, plaster, labour...if you truly want to make it, you will do it. The same goes for any sport. Speedway does not owe anyone a living.
  9. Amen to TMC. It must have been 2-3 years ago now I read in the Speedway Star on some CL novice on how he was investing in getting his bikes tuned by Mike Lee. a) learn to ride a bit better before you do that b) learn to tune and engine yourself if you must c) where are you getting the money to pay for a former World Champion to work for you?! - ultimately from the punter, as the sparse terraces they stand on crumble around them As others have said, you can't blame the riders for trying to get the best deal possible each year. It's a dangerous sport and a short career. But if they are not bringing in the revenue to the clubs, then the sport has to cut its cloth - pay them what is affordable and sustainable. You can go back to the Nielsens, Crumps, Adams and such like...all made a decent living out of British Speedway (and fair play to them), but whilst they were taking their fat pay cheques, the crowds were dwindling and there was less and less to invest in the long-term health of the sport. There are so many factors inside and outside speedway that make it a very challenging environment for any speedway promoter. The key audiences of working class to middle class young families that promoters crave have less disposable income than ever before and much greater choice over where they ultimately decide to spend what they do have. Live sport is now available on tap online and virtually the whole of the rest of the leisure sector can offer a more comfortable, safe, modern environment for families. So, it has to compete really hard to get people to fork out. I agree the sport should be not be paying full-time professional wages. I also agree that it needs one big league. But I doubt those improvements would be enough to bring crowds back. I think the sport has to be more radical and offer families a proper full day out on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. If this means partnering with other sports and activities like sidecars, stockcars, greyhounds, flat track alongside bands and fairground rides, face painters, beer tents and making it a full day of entertainment, then that constitutes much, much better value. Like any other live entertainment, speedway needs footprint and once they are in and the longer you keep them, the greater chance of shifting food, drink, merchandise and the rest to the punters. The chances of 15 heats of league speedway attracting a good crowd on a weekly basis now or in the future are slim to none. And, well, we know where slim went...
  10. falcace

    SPOTY

    Some are equally incapable of separating you (the speedway fan on a speedway forum, talking about speedway) from your relatively random 60 people. As if such an exercise would even enter the head of some random person who hadn't even heard of speedway?! Whether it's a quick straw poll or a wide ranging investigation you are doing, you don't include yourself in your sample - you, who knows the subject, are the least representative of all! Still, I do admire your willingness to tolerate and humour some folk. You've certainly got more patience than I have. There comes a point when you are having a debate with a fool and you wonder who is being the more foolish. Best ignored really.
  11. falcace

    SPOTY

    I must be ruddy mad to take the bait. You have jumped from accusing me of making up sports to now falling back on Sport England as a guide. They are a reasonable pointer on the range of sports in England. But to directly quote the site you have linked to: "The sports councils do not decide what is and what is not a sport. There are many different opinions as to what constitutes a sporting activity and the sports councils do not have their own definition of sport. " The activities I have mentioned all exist, if not in your mind, then you will find google a useful tool. I mention these as extreme examples to try and encourage you to tell us where the line should be drawn for SPOTY. Help us all extract some clarity from the fog in your mind. So, far there is no line forthcoming. Nine pages in, I think it's safe to say we are not going to see one. So, for the third and final time, are you big enough to admit that you were wrong in accusing me of making things up?
  12. falcace

    SPOTY

    Sigh Yes they are. If you can't be bothered to find out (one is even a Paralympic sport and the world governing body is in the UK!) - that's your business. Still, I have my answer, you are not big enough to admit your mistake. Best wishes for a happier 2019 to you.
  13. falcace

    SPOTY

    So, you were not being literal. The problem is when your whole point is around THAT being compared to THIS and THAT is knowingly untrue, well, then the comparison and THIS are invalid and your point is redundant. As for Tibetan and Russian historical figures, I am not going to pretend to be an expert and I'll take a punt that goes for you too and the bloke down the pub too. But I do trust that the qualified professionals employed to make those decisions will be in a better position than you, I or BDTP to make those judgments over who are truly significant national and international figures. I will also add I am not being disrespectful to Nigel Boocock. My post clearly said that to look at it from the point of view from the layperson. I am a speedway fan, I am biased. My personal view, will - like yours - be extremely coloured - and not at all consistent with the big picture view that those in charge of obituaries have to be. Finally, I like the tactic of "not being literal' later on. Nice face-saver.
  14. falcace

    SPOTY

    Ah, welcome back. Happy New Year. Before you sidle back into the debate, will you now be able to answer my question. You made a lengthy post stating that I was making up sports, effectively lying. That's incorrect and has proven to be so. So, I'll try again, are you going to redact that and admit your mistake and apologise? Are you big enough to admit that? Or will you just sit back in the shadows hoping it just goes away? Let's see.
  15. falcace

    SPOTY

    And, the BBC themselves are the ones most voiciferously questioning her lack of recognition at SPOTY. I don't know of any other media organisation that holds itself to account so stringently! I only wish Fleet Street took the same approach.
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