You should never bite the hand that feeds you. Now that’s good advice for any situation, but, after reading through some of the gripes that have been posted on a prominent New Zealand motorbike web site over the years, it rings even louder.
Motocross and enduro riding is a minority sport here in New Zealand, and in almost every other country on this planet too (we don’t know about what passes for sport on other planets but we think we can rule out sychronised swimming on Mars).
Maybe countries such as Belgium, Italy and France are the only places that come close to boasting motocross as a major sport but, even in those places, it still comes some way behind other sports like football (soccer), golf, basketball and cycling.
Anyway, we digress, the reason for my words of wisdom are because of the rabid remarks we’d read a few years ago on the very popular silver-bullet.co.nz web site.
It seems the results hadn’t been available on-line for a couple of days after a particular event but, within one day of the final race being run, the site was already under a barrage of hurtful and unhelpful comments.
We confess we only know this because we too, had been seeking full results to assist with our BikesportNZ.com or Kiwi Rider magazine contributions.
Anyway, here’s a sampling of some of the comments registered with Silverbullet:
- “Are the RIGHT results going to be on Silverbullet before the next round. The juniors are all stuffed up big time. Please get your shit together as my son is asking where he is on the table.”
- “I hope whoever is in charge of the results going on the silver bullet aren’t getting paid for it. For the money that we pay for entry into this event, you would think the results would be posted by now and correc.” (Ed. yes, we left the spelling mistake to show the level of intelligence we’re dealing with here).
- “I waisted (something to do with dieting perhaps? Ed) my time putting on the computer again, if they put the results on as fast as they took our money, they would be boomers. I bet those cheques have been banked.”
- “I would hate to say how long people will have to wait on the last round for results, they will probably be drunk before they get their results.”
- “Nothing against the person who puts these up but last year you had it sorted and this year it is nothing but an abortion.”
Yes, incredible, isn’t it? You know it wasn’t so many years ago that, to get the day’s results, you’d have to wait around until long after the last race and hope you could fight through the crowd to read the hand-written results pasted with cello tape on the outside of a caravan. No print-outs or internet access in those days.
To John’s credit, in the comments section of his web site, he wrote: “If you are a foul-mouthed git then you will be censored (normal gits are more than welcome)”.
But we think he just needed to give his delete key a bit more of a work-out if the previous comments had made it through to publication.
As for the question of how much Silver-bullet is paid? It’s none of our business. Whether John Rushworth makes money out of the site is entirely up to him. If it’s his prime income and he makes a hash of it, he suffers with a reduction in visits and a possible loss of income.
If it’s a mere pastime, for the love of the sport, and it fails, he’s disappointed and we all miss out but there’s still no need to criticise a man who is, therefore, a motocross and enduro philanthropist (big word? Look it up).
For the record, we have not asked John whether he makes money from it. If he does pocket a few dollars, good luck to him. We don’t know what motivates John and his wife Jane to give up a large part of their lives to produce the site, but we’re glad they do.
John told me us he is pretty stretched on many weekends, sometimes expected to be in two or three places at once.
“Both of us were up before 5am on Sunday and both spent all day furiously entering results. I arrived back in PN at about 1.30 am on Monday morning and now, Wednesday evening, we have just finished sorting out Sunday’s results (hopefully). I am reluctant to post them to the web site until I have sorted out the problems with the last lot of results. But that will have to wait until another day,” he said.
“Anyway, to top it all off, the mini results were not available, so I guess that there will be even more disappointment when we do finally post the senior results.”
He can’t win can he? There are many people who give up hours of their time, travel countless kilometres and spend money for this minority sport to function in New Zealand. They need your support and gratitude if they aren’t going to ask themselves the inevitable question “why do I bother?”, just before they give it up entirely.
Motocross and enduro racing does not receive Government funding to employ a vast team of paid employees, so we should be forever thankful for results providers like John and Jane at Silverbullet (and others such as MX Timing and Timing Tech).
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you … it may just stop dishing up tasty morsels.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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