IT’S a hard life being a speedway journo.
No, really it is. Some people think it’s just about watching four blokes go round in circles then going home, writing a few words and hey presto, job’ s a good un.
But let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s take last Saturday as an example.
Having already been into work in the morning, I had to drag myself all the way to Berwick in the evening to bring the good people of Teesside a first hand account of the Bears’ first Premier League match of the year.
Having booked with the new Official Travel Club, this necessitated a full 10-minute walk to the pick-up point. I can sense you reeling already.
Said point was my local pub the Wheatlands Farm which, of course, meant the added inconvenience and out-of-pocket expense of calling in and having a pint of Black Sheep.
Surely now you can see what I have to endure. I even felt obliged to part with another quid to boost club coffers and try to earn myself a few bob on the blind card.
Ad on arrival at the stadium there was more anguish to behold. The nearest fish and chip shop was a good 10 minutes’ walk away. Another 10 minutes! Heck I’d already done that once not two hours earlier!
Fortunately one kind friend and Bears fan who had arrived earlier took pity on my plight and saved me an onion ring. Claire, I salute you and thank you most humbly.
So with an arduous 10-minute trek clearly out of the question, the only option was to make do with a burger inside the stadium. First hand experience of what a press release from the Bandits PR man celebrated “what may be British speedway’s best catering” it had to be then.
And all of this before the meeting. That’s right, while you lot were out at your local, maybe going clubbing afterwards and all, or staying in with your feet up sipping a glass of chardonnay watching Casualty, I was 114.7 miles away putting my loyal army or readers first by watching Matej Kus give one of the most impressive league debuts we’ve ever seen since speedway came back to Teesside.
Such dedication also robbed me of my chance to watch Man Utd drive another stake into the heart of Chelsea’s fast-fading title challenge – the opportunity of watching the Football League Show after trudging wearily through my front door at midnight being scant consolation.
And now I have a trip to Edinburgh in Friday to plan. I’ll probably be dragged kicking and screaming into a Pizza Hunt before the meeting this time too…
OK in hindsight, perhaps it isn’t too bad after all. I could certainly find worse things to do with my time! And if you want details of the Travel Club’s upcoming trips, you can find them here.