I agree with your last "heartlands" comment to a degree but did cricket, soccer or field hockey have the same restraints on them that RL/NU had from day one i.e. an influential other sport with a vested interest in keeping RL down and restricted as much as they possibly could? No wonder the game has a "heartlands" geographically restricted to the north of England. What we need to do is put the past behind us as best we can and attempt to extend the "heartlands" so that the term itself becomes irrelevant.
Good point: no they didn't and that's been one of the core, unique even, challenges that Rugby League has had to face. I'm well aware of the historic issus that Rugby League has had and still has to deal with.
What I find debilitating, is people's attititude from within the game to the situation, and it isn't just geograohy either-Rugby League's demography is far narrower than say Union, which has strong support from working class people, right through to the Royal family. There's a kind of pride in it, an inwardlookingnesswhich whilst providing a steady income for professional Northerners isn't good for the sport.
This retreating to 'the heartlands' attitude is not only pathetic in its small mindedness, it's counterproductive, and IMHO incredibly boring.
If we live by the principle that Rugby League is a Northern game for working class Northern people, then we are doomed. Rugby League isn't even the major sort in its own 'heartlands', it generates a stereotype-bad in itself, even worse because it isn't somethingthat ohter people can or want to identify with. It's unmarketable and it's dreary.
The ridiculous self serving idea behind the two tier sL whish relates to tyhis thread, is massively retrogressive. It's the reintroduction by stealth of a structur that was killing the game, purely on the basis that it suits hte agenda of the original poster and those who share his attitudes.
Edited by l'angelo mysterioso, 16 March 2013 - 11:46 AM.