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ChoboMog last won the day on September 7 2017

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  1. ChoboMog

    SBW to Toronto??

    I'm going to leave the back-and-fourth at this, as I think our respective points have been sufficiently made and because I don't really see the conversation going anywhere. If the attitude towards Toronto is, indeed, that the Wolfpack is simply a "guest to the sport"; then, perhaps, the insular, jaded, and narrow-minded heartland stereotypes, we have been abundantly warned of are, sadly, more prevalent than most of us had hoped. Not a good state of affairs. I'm still very confident, though, that such an attitude is not representative of the broader Rugby League community, and that Toronto's continued participation in the RFL/SL is a win-win, a chance to grow the game. Feel free to prove me wrong, though. Nobody is asking anyone to bow down, nor to create problems. Suggesting as much, and in a pejorative manner, I think purposely misrepresents the whole situation. Tweaks are being suggested; tweaks which mitigate the logistical challenges of a trans-Atlantic league and ones which present little to no downside (beyond change itself) for anyone involved. On the one hand, as much as this may surprise some here on the TotalRL forums, the world does not revolve around Sky Sports. On the other hand, Sky Sports itself clearly sees sufficient potential to carry every single game, home and away, for a second tier team which is apparently a mere "guest". Go figure. With Championship teams otherwise struggling to get any airtime at all, and with the odd SL game still somehow not making it to TV, perhaps we should focus on the positive, here: The growth in Rugby League interest, and broadcast, in the heartland and abroad alike. Perhaps we should build on this interest, and pester the powers that be to ensure that even more games are televised and that even more teams share in the privilege. Perhaps I'm a bit naïve. Honestly, I just hope this whole TWP experiment works out as it's been an absolute blast to attend games in person, and be able to follow something truly new, unique and exciting. Bring on a Montreal, a NYC a Boston, a Liverpool, or a Philly, as far as I am concerned! The fact that the couple of dozen people I've brought to games, their first RL games ever, have ALL loved it and returned to see TWP at Lamport of their own accord (paying for their own tickets, merchandise, food and beer) means I'm far from an outlier. The untapped, or perhaps barely tapped, potential is clearly there.
  2. ChoboMog

    SBW to Toronto??

    Toronto isn't gaining any advantage by having games scheduled as "home" yet played away, in the U.K. If anything the reverse is true, with Toronto being denied a supportive home crowd and the away teams not having to deal with the travel fatigue and jet lag they otherwise would have. If the "Super Dooper League [sic]" were smart, they might consider the scheduling tweak proposals in my previous posts, as it actually mitigates the effects of and limits the need for any TWP special treatment as well as introducing other benefits... 😅 Should Toronto gain promotion, the Super League (and it's constituent clubs) would be rather short sighted, and I would argue ill advised, if they were not to not find some way to continue to make things work. The scheduling solutions are really fairly simple logistics; having an SL team in Toronto a win for all involved, even more so with a 14 team SL as TWP promotion wouldn't displace anyone; and, while some seem to still deny the obvious, there is something rather special happening over here and Toronto has serious potential for Rugby League to break into a new and very lucrative market.
  3. ChoboMog

    SBW to Toronto??

    I don't think the point is missed, even after going back through and re-reading the thread. Toronto have fixtures scheduled as "home" and "away" from Rounds 1 through 6, despite three of those scheduled as "home" games actually being played at venues away from Toronto. Leigh will have to travel to Toronto while others won't because that's how the RFL scheduled the games. A game in Toronto, at that time of year, won't happen. I would rather all games scheduled as "home" be played in Toronto and all those scheduled "away" be played elsewhere, which is why I suggest the RFL/SL scheduling tweaks to accommodate the team's unique circumstances in a way which is seemingly detrimental to no one. In a nutshell: With a February start to the Championship/SL, have TWP games scheduled/played away for the first six rounds; OR, have the Championship/SL season start dates align more with those of the NRL, leaving TWP only needing the first 2-3 rounds scheduled/played as an away block; AND, then, in either case, schedule/play the remainder of the season in blocks of any size, with a ratio of slightly more home games in Toronto than away played elsewhere (just shy of 2:1 ratio and barely above 1:1 ratio for the first and second options respectively). In terms of a new/next Marquee Player: I haven't a clue and will gladly defer to the experts 😋
  4. ChoboMog

    SBW to Toronto??

    What's great about the Toronto Wolfpack, so far, is the fact that regardless of any new "big name signing": interest continues to grow; continued success, and especially promotion, will only increase this; and most fans have been won over by the Rugby League game itself and/or the great team (in terms of skill and positive culture) we currently have. Any new signing, whether SBW or someone else entirely, is simply the icing on the cake.
  5. ChoboMog

    SBW to Toronto??

    Toronto Wolfpack currently play a few home games at away/neutral venues, out of necessity, due to the fact these "home" games are scheduled during the early rounds, at a time of year when Canadian winter weather makes playing professional rugby league outdoors a pretty bad idea. Potentially playing in -10°C to -15°C conditions, before windchill, on a frozen pitch is simply a non-starter, both from a fan enjoyment and player health and safety perspective. With a February start, by Round 6 Toronto is typically warm enough and stadium available. There's no reason they couldn't do six away games to start the season, followed by 20 rounds, broken into home/away blocks totalling 13 home games and 7 away (not quite 2:1 ratio home:away), with the Summer Bash at a neutral venue and scheduled whenever the RFL sees fit. My point was also that if the RFL/SL were to play more in line with the NRL's schedule, say mid-March through October as I proposed above (finishing later than the NRL to accommodate any weeks skipped due to Challenge Cup games), Toronto would be good to go for home games at Lamport by Round 3, and even Round 2 is the City's Department of Parks & Recreation were to expedite winter dome removal. To be completely honest, while things aren't quite as extreme in a U.K. winter, a slightly later start isn't that bad an idea weather-wise on that side of the Pond as well. Enough about weather and league/round scheduling, though. That's a (potentially really good) topic for another thread... FOX League Exclusive [2019-02-21]: Rugby League Club’s Bold Play to Bring Sonny Bill Williams Back From Union From the looks of it, Toronto Wolfpack might have made an offer. I'm new enough to the game to be blissfully unaware of whether this is, or is not, such a big deal; and thanks to that, if TWP do end up with a different "big signing" I'll still be plenty happy. This is at least some interesting drama, early in the season, and doing wonders to help me forget how pathetic Toronto F.C., down in Panama, was last night.
  6. ChoboMog

    SBW to Toronto??

    Playing games in home/away blocks, with the first several rounds obviously being away, would solve the issue of Canadian winter weather. A shift to a mid-March through October season would do the same, as well putting the RFL/SL more in line with the NRL's scheduling, (not a bad thing when considering player contracts, internationals, the World Club Challenge etc). I'm not holding my breath, though. Change = Controversy. A motto for some. However, we aren't talking about a bit of snow, sleet and rain, over here, and the need to just "toughen up". We are talking about consistent and persistent frozen pitch conditions with exposed skin being frost bitten in minutes with game time temperatures potentially hitting -10°C to -15°C.
  7. ChoboMog

    Positive CBC Article

    I kind of wish there were some way to cross-post this thread with the General Rugby League Forum. While the article and topic is somewhat Toronto Wolfpack specific, the fact that such articles are to be written demonstrate growing awareness of the team and, should any of the U.K./France based teams/supporters be so interested, I am sure that them reaching out to Nigel/CBC would be an easy way to gain coverage in an article as well.
  8. ChoboMog

    Watching Super League and NRL in Toronto

    I thought I saw the World Club Challenge on last year's WatchNRL schedule, and it has indeed disappeared from this year's. It may still show up on FOX League, which is included, or as a live/on-demand "special". That said, given how good the WatchNRL coverage throughout the season/playoffs/internationals, I would easily give them a pass if this one game goes AWOL. Sportsnet, on the other hand, continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth. The online schedule doesn't list what is available live/on-demand with the expensive SNNow+ package, and not a single Rugby League game is even scheduled on any of the other half dozen channels they broadcast. If I am going to pay for a service, especially that much and in an era where streaming is replacing traditional broadcast distribution, there is no excuse to not cover make every game/round available.
  9. ChoboMog

    Watching Super League and NRL in Toronto

    Sky/SkySports doesn't broadcast in North America, or exist in any meaningful form on this side of the Pond, despite being a big deal in the U.K. and often the source stream used by major broadcasters over here for European sport. Toronto Wolfpack games were originally produced by the team itself, with 2018 feeds provided to GameTV and CBC Sports for broadcast and online streaming respectively. In 2019, SkySports was added to the mix, without sacrificing the two partners from the previous season, broadcasting all Wolfpack games, typically on SkySports Arena in the U.K. Originally, I thought that SkySports were simply going to use that same Wolfpack produced feed; however, it seems as if the first few games have come with proper announcing, as well. Not sure what the deal is for games at Lamport; but I'll be there in person, so it's less of a concern. I still can't wait for the Toronto Wolfpack to hit the more mainstream TSN/SportsNet channels, possibly something like DAZN, or especially on an OTA-available HDTV channel like CBC/CTV/Global; but that's gonna take a few years.
  10. ChoboMog

    Watching Super League and NRL in Toronto

    Being a tech savvy cord cutter (well, more accurately, went straight to OTA broadcast TV and streaming so never had a cord to cut), I've dabbled in pretty much all the options available. CBC Sports All Sky Sports or Toronto Wolfpack produced TWP games available. Not sure about Summmer Bash or Magic Weekend game(s) in 2019. Free, HD. Update: Apparently, if last week's coverage of York City Knights vs Toronto Wolfpack is indicative of the year to come, the CBC website/app will also include on-demand full match replays. Sportsnet Now / Sportsnet+ Gave Sportsnet Now a shot, last year, testing it out over the month where Toronto played at both the Magic Weekend and Summer Bash. Wolfpack produced CBC streaming wasn't an option for those games, in 2018, which made the service worth a try. Sadly, my experience was: Weak selection, with RL as an afterthought; limited, if any, on-demand playback if you cannot watch live; unreliable schedule, listing either incorrect teams or start times; and delayed playback if something more popular was on at the same time as the Super League games. Cancelled after just one month and have no desire to return. Sportsnet Now was a waste, then, at $20/month; and is now a complete joke, with the Sportsnet+ ("Premium") package being required, for any Rugby League, and demanding a hefty $30+ per month once taxes are included. IF money is no object, or IF you are BOTH a non-tech savvy cord cutter who watches an unhealthy amount of Leafs/Raptors/Jays as well (live only), then go nuts. Otherwise, take your money elsewhere and rely on free options for RFL Championship/SL games. Semi-Legit/Pirated Streams (Reddit / IPTV / etc) I'm not going to see this post removed, or get myself banned, for posting any links. That said, if you want to watch non-TWP Super League content in Canada, this is sadly the best option. OurLeague Live streams not available in Canada. Would happily pay for it, if it were. DAZN Good service. Great service if you are also into RU/EPL/ChampionsLeague/LaLiga/etc. No Rugby League, though, despite my requests via customer service. IF you subscribe, then you should pester them for some RL, as well. WatchNRL What a paid streaming service should be! This app has excellent video quality, easily least on par with any paid streaming service I have seen. EVERY game is available live, with match replays being available all season right back to Round 1. International tests, occasional womens (NRLW) and lower league matches all included. FOX League 24/7 live channel included, as well as on demand viewing of every single show which airs. Almost perfect. The only downsides to this service are limited (honestly, almost non-existent) off season content and no 4K@60fps; which really says more about the current quality of the service than it does represent any genuine concerns.
  11. Exactly. We've been into the -20's Celsius for several days, over the past two weeks; just got dumped on by another 25+cm of snow, yesterday; and will be back into the sub -15 degree deep freeze for at least three more days. Even if there are years where we coast through winter relatively unscathed, with weeks on end of highs above zero, the RFL/SL will need to consider the potential for such extreme weather here when planning future seasons. In the short run, I see no problem with continuing with the pattern of early rounds being away and/or on tour in Europe etc., with a minimum of 10-12 regular season home games in Toronto. Start chipping away at the number of games in Toronto too much, and it does limit potential local supporter growth. In the long run, though, assuming continued success of the TWP franchise and especially with any further expansion into North America, the RFL/SL will need to adjust season timing slightly. There is no reason why it can't work, though, and work well for all involved. The NRL season starts later, for example. The RFL/SL season simply following a similar March-through-September/October timeline would: solve any winter weather related issues; keep the northern/southern hemisphere leagues' seasons in sync (not a bad thing from a player/coach contract and World Club Challenge scheduling perspective); and do so without any significant downside, expect for possibly requiring some creative Challenge Cup scheduling. Perhaps I am missing something. The solution seems too easy.
  12. ChoboMog

    TWP cut from Premier

    I really don't understand the aversion to having as many games on TV as possible. Every single Super League game, without exception, should be on TV; as should as many Championship games as possible, including the playoffs/final for each level. Similarly, the more games on standard TV channels or online streaming services, as opposed to specialty channels/packages, the better as it expands the potential audience. Whether a few bums in seats are lost to the idiot box is almost irrelevant, at least in any professional or semi-professional sport I've been exposed to, when you consider: The increased exposure to the game among the general public; the increased value of each league's/team's brand from said exposure, leading to ticket/merchandise sales; the fact that TV cameras lead to everything from fan videos on social media to highlight reels of news/sports casts; and, especially, the casual (or even first time) fan support the sport gains from non-RL fans who stumble upon a game or highlights while flipping through the channels and think "well, this is cool!" Whether the Toronto Wolfpack (the original topic of this thread) are on Premier Sports (U.K.) or GameTV/SportsnetWorld (Canada) isn't really that big of deal as none have any serious penetration in the North American market. Have the Toronto Wolfpack games start showing up on the CBC Toronto (CBLT-DT) main channel or on the non-specialty TSN/SportsNet channels, or streaming on DAZN which many subscribe to due to NFL GamePass/RedZone, Europa League, UEFA Champions League, and now Premier League football etc., and the team's support/interest will grow in leaps and bounds.
  13. ChoboMog

    Toronto - On the road

    There is another thread, in the Toronto Wolfpack forum, where I have posted my thoughts in more detail. However, in a nutshell: It is not unreasonable to expect the RFL to schedule the first few rounds as actual away games to avoid the worst of Canadian winter. If nothing else, it's for the health and safety of the players as the potential for -20°C is a bad idea for all involved. < 2 "home" games played away is fine, for most fans here; 3 is OK; 4, unless some played elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, is really pushing it; and >= 5 will leave many supporters and/or season ticket holders (myself included) pretty annoyed.
  14. ChoboMog


    To be fair, with jerseys at 50% off and other stuff marked down, there are a few good deals to be had, today 😎:
  15. ChoboMog

    Rowley leaves Toronto

    Looks like it's official, and McDermott is on his way to Toronto: