Captain Survival

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Captain Survival last won the day on June 22

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    Toronto area after numerous escapades....
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  1. Toronto v Halifax venue

    As is typical for me, I am hitting the forum late in the day, and after wading through this thread and all the melodrama I am glad I missed all the in-between! I honestly feel like I just dived into a pool of teenage angst. @Krzzystuff hit the nail on the head. The stadium is owned by the city. And TWP is almost certainly waiting on the city to update them. Have any of you ever had dealings with a city bureaucracy? Particularly a large one? And you all expect TWP to focus on this thread (only 15 hrs old now as of my time of writing) and turn said bureaucracy over in order to provide you an answer on this life or death matter? Really? The thing about being Canadian besides the fact we say "sorry" a lot is that governments, particularly municipal governments can never be seen to be doing anything special or any favours for anyone, especially a team that is owned by a very wealthy individual, or all the left wing politicians on city council will start screaming about the homeless, and the LQBT community discrimination, and all the other causes for the poor, misunderstood or maligned who are being given the shortshift in favour of a gazallionaire, yada yada yada. So Wolfpack, and the powers that be in the city that might be inclined or responsible for the work at the field all have to tread very carefully - think walking on eggshells in attempting any "progressive" (or even "definitive") work schedule for the field. When TWP guaranteed 10 home games out of a schedule of 12 the fact they would have 2 games in May moved overseas was not on anyone's radar to my best knowledge. So should they have said no? Likely their thought was exactly the same as mine - give all the season's ticket holders free entry into the first playoff game, or some other in-kind compensation. I doubt many of the seasons ticket holders care quite frankly. The tickets are beyond cheap as it is. I suggest kicking your feet up and having a drink, and giving the team a day or three to await feedback from the city, who almost certainly has not even signed a contract with anyone yet to actually undertake the work, if my past experience with the city on work projects is any barometer of how this is progressing. The current mayor is actually very good, but this is a multibillion dollar bureaucracy, and it is not responsive on the drop of a dime. Angst vomited, now feeling better.....
  2. New Super League Board structure

    Let me ask, would Brian Noble not be someone that should be considered? I think from his cv he has had almost every role imaginable, he is tough as nails but still extremely personable and collegial, and he has to my best knowledge almost universal respect in the RL community. And his very move to Toronto shows he is prepared to make bold decisions.
  3. Brian Noble collects his MBE

    It was a brilliant move by TWP to obtain him as the Director of Rugby.

    I have to say from a Canadian perspective the whole idea of a "sponsor" being necessary is very, well, amateurish. Maybe its part of tradition, but it seems like a very unstable/haphazard foundation of a league. Not trying to insult anyone or ruffle feathers. Branding on a stadium I understand. Teams having sponsors I understand although we don't see that here at the pro level other then soccer where I guess it is a tradition again brought over from Europe. But a whole league?
  5. 2018 Season In's/Out's

    HI Harry. Thank you for that information and assessment. I don't believe any of us TWP supporters know to much about these particular signings. It does seem Rowley raided Leigh for all the players for whom he had a positive opinion. I guess it can also be said that whatever the public might think about Rowley, the fact so many players have signed is indicative that he has their confidence. I am quite big on Olsi - there is a player I think works hard, runs hard, tackles hard, has high durability and does not give up easily. And he is young enough that he can play a lot of time and be a real asset to the team. Overall the new signings appear to add to the TWP and I think the team appears to be in a pretty good position talent wise. It will be interesting to see if that can translate to wins against high quality opposition.
  6. Sims, McCrone & Taylor confirmed

    That criminal conviction makes it extremely difficult for he to gain a visa. Someone is going to have to give an exemption in order for he toobtain one and gain entry into Canada, and it can be revoked arbitrarily at any time. There is a special category for sport stars and like, but even then I think its 50/50.
  7. I just wanted to chip in that I do think it is great that TWP and TO are kicking of Magic Weekend. That TWP lost a home game really is a very minor matter in the grand scheme of things. IMHO this adds a nice flavour to the weekend, and for once I think SL brass actually managed to come up with a really solid idea that has tons of merit and very little downside. Whether one views TWP as a novelty or not, the fact is it is generating some excitement in the marketplace. Teams rev up for their games against TWP, and all the clubs TWP visited last year had well above avg (and to my knowledge usually their best of the season) attendance of the season. Even if the team is mostly stacked with UK players, its still a "Canadian" team. And I know we all love Canada! I have to say btw that I think Paul Rowley, irrespective of his past record at Leigh (I know he has both supporters and detractors) has been doing a great job in Toronto. I get an impression he has perhaps grown in all the right ways since assuming the job. He certainly his hit all the right marks both in his coaching, and also his public statements. I have only seen one misstep (I think he was incorrect on his judgement of the playing and coaching about one team and I am still not clear on what set him off on that instance). But otherwise he has been doing a very good job. Sometimes a drastic change of circumstance is what is needed to bring out the best of a person, and force them to grow. His comments about the inclusion of TWP in his news conference today hit all the right marks in my opinion. BTW, looking at the schedule I see that TWP and Leigh play 3x this season. Do you think anyone will be left standing after 3 games between these 2 teams? Every other club in Championship might be the ultimate victors after these 2 are finished mauling each other.
  8. 2018 Season In's/Out's

    That was ugly. I got reversed clothslined in lacrosse once and it took me a week to remember my name. I really do hope this is not indicative of his general character and we do not see that sort of conduct from him as a player on TWP. Thank you for this info on these players. What is with the swapping of players between Leigh and TWP. Is there an issue at Leigh causing them to lose talent or did they decide they can find better? I know they have been signing people left and right as well but I am fuzzy on the details. Are these castoffs who contributed to the their demise or do you all believe we are getting quality?
  9. Toronto - a winning city

    Harry, I think only the players would be able to confirm this, and they would also have to be truthful in their answers - but I get a strong impression that players coming to Toronto are looking at the "total experience" and are coming to Toronto as they view it as an opportunity not just to play rugby, but to actually enjoy playing rugby - aka, enjoy the whole experience. That has a lot to do with management, fans and the overall atmosphere. I would propose that anyone who had the opportunity to watch a game, or attend a game in Toronto knows of what I speak. And we had lots of independent affirmation of the positive experience from away fans who came to Toronto, the visiting clubs and their post visit comments, and the RL journalist who posted the video blog of his Toronto visit. Toronto Star is Canada's largest daily newspaper. It was good to see them acknowledge TWP since one of their journalists the other day got it wrong and completely forgot TWP when discussing Toronto wins this year in another article - for which I understand he got a lot of grief, and deservedly so. The Toronto mayor was at the Wolfpack final season game so we know the city knows who they are.
  10. Toronto vs. Toulouse Magic weekend

    Interesting, I am on the Wigan site, and no mention at all of the Toronto/Toulouse match:
  11. Wolfpack developing domestic players

    I'm busy watching the news conference....
  12. 2018 Season In's/Out's

    They were a pretty grim looking bunch at the outset - I think not to used to being in front of the press. I don't know to much about any of these players but I am guessing they are mostly in their 30's? Is TWP at risk of having an "old" team that might run out of gas? Of course all these guys have deep conditioning but I do wonder if some of them might be at risk of having lost a step or two to the march of time... Paul very much comes across as a players coach - he is all business but I think he has the respect of the players and their belief he will look after them. Do you read the same way on him?
  13. Wolfpack developing domestic players

    Absolutely. I am certainly not implying that every high calibre athlete can transition. Some will be like ducks out of water. Hopefully my point above was clear that there is simply a large pool of "potentials" and if not let me be clear here that I am not suggesting every individual can make this transition. Or even many can make it. But I am certain a few can, and given how large the pool of bodies is, a few may be all we need.... The high school football and baseball systems (and I suppose basketball) in the USA are unbelievable, and I think not comprehensible for anyone who has not experienced it. In Canada, high school only has one role - to educate and prepare one for what comes after, whether post secondary education (the majority of students) or alternatives. But in the USA, often this is not the case. High schools with elite sporting programs foremost mission is to dominate in that sport and raise prestige and money for the school, and groom the top players for a sport scholarship at a college or university. Many of these high schools are semi-private or private - continuation of income is everything for them. They might have 150+ students just on the senior team, with the first team, backup squad, practice squad, special teams squad. And this is replicated on the junior team. They train every day, all day. Most states have 15-20 high schools at this level, and a few states like Texas, Florida and have probably 50+ schools at this level. Its why as I have stated before on these forums that I do not worry about production of new talent. I agree that learning to tackle properly is something that would have to be retrained. In fact tacking properly is something football players here in NA are grappling with. POR: if you read some of the posts on the general forum there are comments from different people who bemoan the short supply of professional players, and advocate that unless one has trained from childhood, and academies are in place with 15 yrs to build up....etc no one will ever be good enough and its the end of the world in the interim. That is their opinion and they are entitled to it. I am just stating in my prior comment that I disagree with a bit of foundational experience and observations as to why I disagree. Oh my, i cannot wait to read the rest of the forum threads!
  14. Wolfpack developing domestic players

    Hi Harry. I know a fellow Canadian has lingering doubts about your identity but you should also be aware he likes to "tweak noses" in order to see what sort of a response he obtains, for fun. He got that habit from the pub at our university, appropriately named "The Bombshelter"..... As someone who played all the traditional Canadian sports - Canadian football, lacrosse, and also played rugby, I will say IMHO that if we gain a couple more successful high profile North American entrants into RL (Hamilton does not qualify as high profile) you will see many high quality athletes from physical sports start to give rugby a more serious look. And many will have the skill sets other then the specific rugby knowledge to make the jump fairly easily. What I find fascinating on the general forum, but I have always refrained from commenting out specifically, is the belief among the diehard UK fans that pro RL rugby is some enormously difficult sport to master unless one has gone to an academy for 15 yrs, and so on. And yet, from my perspective it is in fact one of the simplest to pick up and master. Hearsay I suspect to most. But for a "gridiron" player who might have to master 50-100 set formations and has to deal with a rule book that is as thick as a bible rugby is a pretty straightforward affair. Every sport has its idiosyncrasies and RL is no exception. But I think as a former player in both sports that there is in fact an enormous pool of potential players here. And I doubt even my fellow Canadians really have much experience with the intensity of what Americans who play football at the high school and college level go through for training and lifestyle as we do not have any real Canadian equivalent other then perhaps our hockey programs. There are many high schools in the USA, particularly the southern USA, where the student eat, sleep and train 24/7/365. Where games are played in front of crowds in excess of15k fans for each game. Can you imagine that? 15,000 to 20,000 people attending a high school football game every week for an entire season? With a full time well paid coaching staff, dedicated work out facilities that are on par with what one finds at a university, and more. If RL gains a successful American foothold that is what it can tap into. A machine for pumping out athletes. This is an important perspective to remember. Every 4 years the world has the Olympics, and the USA always runs away with the medal total. The other important thing to remember is that most of the US athletes are the 2nd and 3rd tier of their country, with the best all having gone into a pro sport. When you let the pros compete in the Olympics - basketball for the USA, hockey for the Nordic countries, the pros run away with it. So what might happen if some of the 1st tier who in the end might not make the cut for the NFL decide to see where else they can earn a living. The CFL (Canadian gridiron league) has been one outlet. I think RL could end up being another, and it might also draw attention from the middle quality who know they could never aspire to the pros in gridiron. The size of this pool is not in the hundreds, or even the thousands, but in tens of thousands, and some might even estimate more. Its a lot. But my speculations above are predicated upon successful launch of 2+ American RL teams. Actually, on success of 2+ American teams, not successful launch. They have to survive for 3+ yrs and make a notable impression on the sports psyche of the American public. If we get to the point where we have a 6 team conference on this side of the pond, then the player pool will grow in leaps and bounds. That is my 2 cents worth. Not everyone is going to agree and we each are entitled to their own opinion. But I though you would like to hear from someone who once upon a time played "gridiron", and had a bit of rugby in the mix as well (in high school), plus who has had exposure to the US factory system for producing athletes, and to professional sports at the business level. What actually mystifies me the most and I think in its own way presents the most challenge for all North American interest is the complete ineptitude of SL and RL management. There I think many of us would agree....
  15. Toronto vs. Toulouse Magic weekend

    So TWP are playing Leigh in one big event as the marquee match if my understanding is correct, and we are playing Toulouse in another big event. Is there an underlying theme here? Perhaps even more then one if all the slate of rumours and discussions that I just waded through on the main forum (and held my tongue on them all) about restructuring, etc come to fruition.