John WP Fan

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John WP Fan last won the day on May 17

John WP Fan had the most liked content!

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    Toronto

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  1. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I did say the Championship was two distinct leagues last year. I didn't use the word "shambles", but that's not an inappropriate word. I agree a lower salary cap would make that league more evenly competitive, obviously. I really do not understand full-time teams competing against part-time teams. I think that one or the other should be a criteria of each league. I would have moved 4 teams up to SL and left the Championship as a part-time feeder league. I also do not understand how contracts work. In every other professional sport I have seen, there are deadlines well before the end of the regular season, after which no player movement is allowed until a week or two after the championship is decided. Contracts in the RFL are a complete mystery to me, and the movement seems chaotic and random, and (brace yourself) not really very professional.
  2. I think I have responded to these points before, but I'll do it again. And by the way, I am not completely denying the points you make, but I do have a vastly different outlook. Grid-iron converts: initially it seemed like we might get a few, but in the end this was largely PR via the Last Tackle show. My guess is that the most promising candidates found out how they would be paid in the RFL and found something more lucrative. TV deal: I think everyone agrees this doesn't become valuable until there are more NA teams involved. In the meantime TWP are getting more eyeballs on the game around the world. What the Wolfpack bring: They are succeeding in bringing in thousands of new fans in Toronto. This will continue to grow. They have attracted larger crowds (often record crowds) almost everywhere they have played in the UK. This may diminish as the novelty wears off, or it may continue if TWP continue to be an interesting team to watch and one other team's fans really want to beat. Let's check in after another few years, including one or two in SL. They are inspiring other teams to step up their marketing efforts to sell the game better. I do agree they could be doing more to develop players, both in NA and the UK. I hope to see more tangible signs of that this season. But this was always going to be a very long-term effort. I will point again to how the NHL expanded as the example that makes sense here, putting teams in non-hockey cities and a generation later seeing great players develop in those places. Once again I will say that "expansion" means adding teams, growing the pool of players, and bringing more money into the game. It does not mean replacing heartland teams with NA teams and destroying the game in the UK as you fear. It's clear that some of those teams are not sustainable as it is, and some chickens are coming home to roost. I think that has little or nothing to do with TWP. I have heard the argument that there are not enough players to stock more teams in SL. Expand the league, create more jobs, invest in player development (and that should be a condition imposed on new teams buying in) and the players will come. There will be a period where the quality drops a bit. That is worth going through to get to the other side. It is also important to have some mechanisms to encourage some level of parity across the league, so that the same rich teams do not win all the time (salary cap and floor, draft of amateur/new players). We have seen this over the past 50 years in the NHL and it works. I do not think the TWP project is without flaws. They have made some mistakes, and some of the criticism is fair. But overall I think they have been good for the game, and continued expansion will do great things both in NA and in the UK. But yes, there will be disruption as well.
  3. I'll admit I tossed my like in there without myself knowing the history (before my time). Thanks for setting the record straight and offering a fair and different perspective on this. My "like" was more about exhaustion from Mr Parksider's endless repetitive tirades that focus on his favourite few points while failing to see the wider picture (IMHO). As for the salary cap issue, of course I want it to remain as it is, so that the path from the Championship to SL is a smooth one, and does not require a team to be completely remade after promotion. Of course there is a huge range of budgets in the Championship which some perceive as "unfair". That league will continue to have issues as long as full-time, fully-funded, fully-professional teams are competing against part-time, barely solvent clubs. Last year it was two very disparate leagues with a huge chasm between 6th and 7th place, mainly because of that contrast.
  4. I can understand both points of view. I just hope the RFL clarifies it well before the season begins!
  5. Where have you seen any suggestion that the Grand Final would not be hosted by the higher finishing finalist?
  6. John WP Fan

    2019 Early Season games

    They rebranded as they joined MLR. Not hugely impressed with the name or logo but I'll drop by for a game to check them out at some point. I wish them well, and I do not think they will hurt the Wolfpack at all.
  7. John WP Fan

    2019 Early Season games

    The club has talked of taking a few home games elsewhere. I'm expecting 2 or 3. Not sure how that got stretched to 3-5 games. More than 3 would be very painful, and I would be very surprised if that happened. For me blocks of 3 or so would be ideal. I expect that February and March will be entirely spent away from Toronto, perhaps 6 away games with 2 relocated home games mixed in. Maybe we could do a home game locally in April if the Lamport dome comes down earlier than in past years, or if they can find another local field like York University to play at. That leaves about 11 regular season games during May, June, July, August and September, so maybe 3 blocks of 3 and one of 2, with one or two away games in between each home block. Probably more back & forth depending where the Challenge Cup games land. I think that's a reasonable balance that minimizes the home advantage of sitting here rested while visiting teams fly in. It still has us flying around far far more than any other team, but that's got to be part of the deal when we're by ourselves over here. We should find out soon whether the RFL's thinking is anything like mine.
  8. John WP Fan

    Team for next season

    My understanding was that MCB signed with us only for the end of this season, so I think he is not tied down for 2019 at this point (I hope he returns!). I thought I had heard that Beswick planned to retire as a player but stay on as conditioning coach. Apologies if I got that wrong. And did you mean to say Quinn would be on loan to a League 1 team (Skolars perhaps)?
  9. John WP Fan

    Million pound game

    Cannabis becomes legal in Canada on Wednesday.
  10. John WP Fan

    What now for Toronto?

    The pain was similar, but TFC truly deserved to win that one (where they did not allow a shot in the game), whereas most agree the Broncos deserved this victory, as their defense matched ours, and we made more errors.
  11. The East stand is sold out. I expect the place to be full or nearly-so. This will be the best crowd in team history, and the best-attended MPG ever (I am not claiming the most tickets sold since it's clear more free tickets have been given out for this game than others).
  12. Some of each, but all the free tickets offered to season ticket holders are on the west side. Clearly more free tickets for this one than previous games (and what a nice way to thank loyal fans by including this for season ticket holders!), but I’d bet they have also sold a fair number. I think it’s smart to do what they can to pack the stadium on a holiday weekend, while still building awareness of the team and sport.
  13. John WP Fan

    Toronto set sights on Super League European tour

    If it’s just a game or two during our cold winter months, why not promote RL in Europe too. We can handle missing a game or two if communicated well in advance, to help make the schedule work.
  14. Look at this year’s schedule; there were many deviations from home/away alernations by many teams. I see many claim this is important but I have yet to hear a substantive reason why. And it not at all how sports work in North America. Schedules take travel into account.
  15. This year was an anomaly due to the field being replaced; I assure you no one here in Toronto thought that was a good schedule either. Large blocks of home games would give Toronto an advantage sitting at home while teams fly in to play them. Alternating home and away would be a ridiculous disadvantage for the Wolfpack. I think a reasonable middle ground would be blocks of 2 or 3 games at a time, which would still see Toronto doing vastly more travel than any other team. And they need to figure out what to do about the first few months of schedule, when it is too cold to play in Toronto. My guess is that they will play several games away in February and March, and find an alternate site or two for a couple of early "home games". It should not be too hard to find a reasonable solution to these constraints.