I am not going to lie. This has been a particularly stressful race weekend. In so many ways, it has been the kind of stress I avoid.
Let me clarify – I love race stress. I mean the one that involves me in my team colours, fingers crossed, screaming at the screen, tweeting like a woman possessed and calling on all possible gods (and there are many in my religion) to help the man I support.
I hate the stress I had this weekend, and combined with race stress, it almost did me in! Read, numerous paper bags to breathe into, as each lap progressed, and especially once the race was over.
For one, I learned to cringe every time I met a particularly fanatic Vale fan. I am ok with fanaticism to a certain degree, passion I support wholeheartedly. But this was different. Vale fans of every hue and color have emerged from the woodwork the past two weeks.
There was the homophobic. And let’s not forget the misogynist (disagree with me? Just look at the memes and tell me you didn’t cringe. They didn’t make me laugh at all).
There was the violent one who wished ill on all racers and the fan who clearly thought all racers had to help Valentino Rossi achieve his goal of claiming the 10th title. There are just so many things wrong with that last sentence, isn’t it?
And then there was the sort I despise – the kind that wished that the racers would crash. I will digress for a moment – one of my idols, a man I have admired ever since I fell in love with racing, died in a crash during a race. I will never forget that. There has never been another Ayrton Senna.
Seeing people actually wish a crash on racers makes me sick to my stomach.
So please forgive me if I don’t write about Valencia yet.
Please forgive me for not being able to shake off my disgust at seeing some of the tweets this weekend.
Please forgive me, because I saw a very different side to our fandom this weekend, and it is taking me a little more time than usual to bounce back.
I will. I love racing too much. But I think we all need to take a deep breath and step back, and figure out why we love the sport.
It is sad. This was supposed to be the best season in a long time.
It somehow just brought out the worst in us.