I still love newspapers – perhaps it’s my age but while my younger colleagues scan phones, tablets and computers to keep up to date, usually when we are eating, I still like the rustle of news print. My delight on a MotoGP weekend is to find an English newspaper at the airport on Monday morning and spend the flight home scanning the page of football results, often to the annoyance of the passenger next to me who is busily checking the news on his tablet causing no inconvenience to anybody.
So imagine after the memorable Valencia weekend I arrived at the airport on Monday morning, nursing a sore head, to find a copy of the most famous English newspaper in the world on sale for four precious euros. It was surrounded by all the Spanish dailies with massive front page pictures of Marc Marquez celebrating his MotoGP World title. Rather than the usual football page I looked forward to reading what the esteemed publication reported from Valencia.
After all the Valencia Grand Prix was the biggest sporting event of the weekend in Europe and probably in the world. A championship still to be decided at the final round of eighteen, a weekend crowd of 209,000 and a race day crowd of 128, 00 was surely a clear indication just what a massive event this was. A championship that had provided 73 overtaking manoeuvres between the top six riders three weeks earlier in Australia. Certainly the social media following gave a clear indication the world was very interested indeed. Facebook reported 51 million video views from the official feed with 4.8 Million Instagram followers thirsting for information. There was no doubt this was a major sporting event.
Having parted with my four Euros I settled down for my favourite Monday morning read. I ploughed through two pages reporting on the Formula One race in Brazil although the championship had already been decided, pages of Rugby Union, ATP tennis and Ashes cricket. These are sports I love and thoroughly enjoy the coverage but where was the news on Marc Marquez’s win. I looked and looked and found absolutely nothing. I doubled checked and still nothing although the results were shown in the results section but not a word, line, paragraph or photograph from the race. For once the football results page was unread as my favourite newspaper for the last 50 years found itself on the rubbish bin at Valencia airport.
Apologies if the English edition did contain a report because when I got home my daily delivered copy of the unread newspaper also found itself in the rubbish bin. Perhaps those younger colleagues are right I need to change my reading habits to keep up to date with the real sporting news.
I’m not Oliver Twist asking for more but just for something. Just a paragraph would be a start. Otherwise that tablet could be top of my Christmas present list.