Now that Dakar is in full swing and the Roar Before the 24 is coming up fast, it's time for us to post a friendly reminder: there is no such thing as a "spoiler" in motorsports. We're not going to give you "spoiler warnings" on races because that's not a concept that applies to live news.
Of course, we're not talking about big wings from Super GT in this context. We're talking about the heaploads of whining that occurs whenever we post breaking news and some special little snowflake is butthurt that the entire Internet didn't wait for him to watch the race on time-delay.
The global nature of motorsport has a lot to do with people erroneously applying the concept of spoilers to motorsports. Many races are shown on a time delay for certain television markets, and races we follow that don't have a huge TV presence are often downloaded to watch later, or watched on a special app.
However, it's this same worldwide appeal that proves why spoilers aren't a real thing in motorsport. If we wait for a race to have been broadcast in every market that shows it before we post any interesting highlights, recaps or other news, to half the world, we're late.
In fact, it's the very definition of "spoiler" itself that explains why it's not a concept that applies to a live event, such as a race weekend. Merriam-Webster defines a media-related spoiler as:
information about the plot of a motion picture or TV program that can spoil a viewer's sense of surprise or suspense; also : a person who discloses such information
Unfortunately, because "spoiler" is more of a colloquialism, few dictionaries actually list a definition for this context. However, the happy crowdsourcers at Wikipedia elaborate the concept well:
A spoiler is an element of a disseminated summary or description of any piece of fiction that reveals any plot elements which threaten to give away important details concerning the turn of events of a dramatic episode. Typically, the details of the conclusion of the plot, including the climax and ending, are especially regarded as spoiler material. It can also be used to refer to any piece of information regarding any part of a given media that a potential consumer would not want to know beforehand. Because enjoyment of fiction depends a great deal upon the suspense of revealing plot details through standard narrative progression, the prior revelation of how things will turn out can "spoil" the enjoyment that some consumers of the narrative would otherwise have experienced. Spoilers can be found in message boards, articles, reviews, commercials, and movie trailers.
One major piece is consistent in both definitions: a spoiler refers to works of fiction, not live news.
People don't say, "Aw, man, I don't want to hear anything about today's earthquake yet. I have the local news on my DVR at home." They also don't say, "lalala, I'm not listening, don't tell me anything about those Syrian rebels until I'm done with this paper and can go home and binge-watch CNN!" Why? Because those are news events.
Not even other sports' fans are as content to call information about games they haven't watched yet a spoiler. Sure, it's easier for dedicated fans to follow sports in the same time zone, but even fans of obscure Faroese Yak Wrestling or whatever don't have the same level of vitriol when it comes to watching their carefully acquired foreign footage as someone who accidentally overhears a tidbit on a Formula One crash before they can sit down and watch the race.
Motorsport fans, it's time to put on your big girl panties and realize that you are but one of billions of people on this planet. The news doesn't wait for you in sports just as Mother Nature doesn't wait for it to rain, and ex-Disney child stars don't wait to be human trainwrecks. Motorsport news happens when it happens, and often, that's when we'll make a post about it.
That's our job, you know: to write about things that happen in motorsport.
Honestly, I have a hard time caring about spoilers. I'd rather see how a race plays out than hang everything on who won in the end. Who wins is nice to know, but what happened in the 620 miles in between? Isn't that the whole point of watching motorsports in the first place: to see how the trophies get won?
Granted, the fact that motorsport spoilers aren't real doesn't give you free reign to be a know-it-all fartknocker offline, either. Believe it or not, there is more to life than being at home to watch a race as it happens, and we get that. If someone hasn't watched a race and they're doing the smart thing of avoiding online media until they do, it's best to respect that.
After all, if they wanted to know who wins in the end, all the motorsport outlets covering the event in real-time will be here on the Internet with the news.
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