My view on this has always been one of logic and logistics. I struggle to see the sense in dragging part-time players the length of the country to play in non-contests in front of 175 people, then dumping the players back at base at 1am when they have to go to work in 5 hours. I doesn't stack up. In soccer, teams who play in front of similar sized crowds play in the conference North/South to prevent small clubs the cost and hassle of having to drag their - often volunteer - staff (and their more hardcore fans) seven hours up the motorway. I've done every 'southern' away game this season (and doing Oxford at Hemel in a fortnight) - and sometimes even I wonder why I'm doing it. Not sure I hold with the thought that heartland clubs bring 'more travelling fans' either - home attendances at the development clubs look pretty consistent regardless of who they're playing. I did notice that the All Golds attendances against both us and and Swinton were around the 200 mark, and we took probably 50 to Cheltenham tops (and imagine that Swinton did the same): It's hardly an invading horde that'll get the stewards sweating.
I think the league needs the ability to split into two 8s to give at least half of the division meaningful, competitive games - with the 8s split by geography rather than league position. It's not perfect - but it's the best I've got whilst eating my breakfast.
Well, as an adman of 30 years' standing its biggest crime is it's a bit dull. And it's rammed with sporting visual clichés. And it doesn't really land the 'every minute matters' message. And the first half is an attempt at cod-poetic drama, but 'now' and 'your whole life' cant be the time: just pick one (now's the time: to show up and play because it means something?). And the 'The Time' theme kinda peters out a bit halfway. And It seems torn between the pumped-up drama of the 'concept' and the actual action that the game delivers. And is it about promotion, or relegation, or the SL Grand-Final? The three things kinda meld together in one throwaway thought. And did I miss a reference to the 'bottom'/Championship relegation 8?
If 'Every Minute Matters' is the value proposition of the Super 8s, it should be the core theme throughout and the script should hang from that. It smacks of a promo built by committee; where two or three discrete ideas have been presented, but the client's said 'I'll have a bit of that one, a bit of that one and a bit of that one...'
Will be interesting to create a league table at end of season based only on games between the 'contending' teams and order them on the basis of league points per game played to take account of the different number of games played against other contenders. Compare that with the final actual standings. I would like to think it would be the same, in the interests of fairness, but I suspect it will not.
My point all along has been that - given the disparity twixt top 8 and bottom 6 - points difference is a defacto bonus point this season. And my fag-packet calculations on potential results/winning margins for the remaining games suggest that points difference could be the clincher between 4th, 5th and 6th. With York the clear benefciaries.