Saturday, 13 December 2008

Do I care if you can't be bothered to get of your arse?

This is a bike race, it's not a difficult concept is it?

Cycling, we are told by the British press is an 'impenetrable' sport, so many different events, so many rules, so difficult to follow, so what!
Take a cricket match to France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium and the vast majority of the population will be left looking confused, how many days? Five?, But sometimes it's over in half a day? Why 6 balls? Why a red ball? Why three stumps? Why white? Why bother?

The press attitude to sport is one that is both pathetic and infuriating. Make an effort to engage with a 'new' sport? Make an effort to understand rules and get a grasp of the history? Oh no, it's much easier to trot out the little Englander mentality, mock 'foreigners' and settle back to chuckle about inferiority. Take the easy route, take the route of the fat twat, get an early heart attack and die, but don't tell me it's difficult to follow, make a bloody effort for God sake.

But it's not just the press is it? Lets be honest here, I know plenty of people who understand the rules of Cricket, Rugby (either code) or Football in minute detail, yet claim it's too complicated to understand how the Tour de France works.

Over the years most cyclists will have fumed at the coverage our sport gets, but then are we any different to any minority sport? Do Sailing or Rowing or Canoeing get the crack of the whip they deserve? Of course they don't, it all drip feeds back to idle sports editors, scared to take the risk of even mentioning a sport outside the holy pantheon of Football, Rugby, Cricket, F1, Tennis, Snooker and horse racing. If sports media coverage was based on success the picture would be almost a complete negative of the current position.

Am I bitter, nah, never was, bemused has always been my stance, it's always been a case of 'Exactly why don't you get this?' It's exciting, it's fun, what's the problem? Cycling is the worlds greatest sport and certainly in the top five of the worlds greatest human activities. Of course there were / are those that moan and complain, but you could give some people a gold plated toilet and they'd still not be happy, that, I'm afraid it's mother nature at her finest. There are far more of us though walking around with slightly smug expressions on our face as we all have the same collective thought - 'See I told you so.....'

The one thing the Olympics and the nominations for SPOTY have done is stick cycling under the noses of the media hacks and fat boys that rule the roost when it comes to sports coverage in the UK. OK come Monday we may well be forgotten, and to be honest I wouldn't care too much if we were, we'd just be back doing what we do, winning races, developing talent but this time with an extra few million in the fund, works for me either way.

Er, rant over, I thank you for your indulgence.


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