Aussie riders are in the hunt for two world speedway championships this weekend, but you wouldn’t know it, because the media is myopically focussed on footy finals.
As racing legend Guy Martin once said on Facebook: “I have nothing against football. It just seems very wasteful losing two hours of my life to watch 22 millionaires on TV chasing a bag full of wind in their underwear.”
We will forgive his syntax which seems to suggest footy players have flatulence problems, but we get the gist.
He’s mainly talking about English soccer but the implied message is that the physical feats of footballers are nothing compared with motorcycle racing.
Guy can speak with authority.
He’s raced in the deadly Isle of Man TT, set a world speed record in the Wall of Death and last year signed himself out of hospital days after breaking his back in an Irish road race so he could have a crack at the world speed record at Bonneville.
Like Guy, motorcycle racers are skilled, brave, fit and underrated by the media.
They rarely offend, make up stories about being robbed at knife point, don’t get drunk and molest women, and don’t egg passing vehicles. Unlike too many footy players.
Our world speedway title contenders this weekend will race at speeds of more than 100km/h without brakes and surrounded by a wooden fence.
Brave and talented Aussies whose efforts will, unfortunately, go unnoticed.
Not that Aussie don’t appreciate motorcycle racing. It’s more the fault of a myopic media with vested interests ramming footy and cricket down our throats!
Former competitor, team owner, rider manager and general all-round enthusiast in motorcycle racing for the past 51 years, Dale Schmidtchen, says he is “jaded with the lack of media coverage”.
“This country’s fascination with football and cricket is not as all encompassing as the main stream media would have us believe,” he says.
Dale points out that gifted riders, even at national levels, compete in front of small crowds for a plastic trophy because of poor media liaisons and vested interests.