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Steam Pig

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  1. I think it was more revolutionary liberalism. Liberal in the sense of freedom - why can't people be paid for playing rugby, if someone is willing to pay them? Revolutionary in the sense that it was a direct challenge to the authority of the upper middle classes who ran the sport at that time and were trying to impose their values (amateurism) on everyone else. Whatever it was, 1895 and the creation of the Northern Union is something to be very proud of!
  2. You will need to be even older than me to answer this, and maybe also from the West Riding, but here goes. I am certain (I went to the matches) that in the 1970s Bradford Northern and Halifax played each other every Boxing Day. But I have a vague recollection that until the late 1960s the two clubs played each other every year, home and away, on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I vaguely remember from my very early childhood, my father not being allowed to go on the 25th, but was allowed to go on the 26th. Or do I have a false memory? Does anyone know for certain if Northern (none of this Bulls rubbish please) played the Thrum Hallers, in their standard league fixtures on the 25th and 26th December? Thank you!
  3. I am mystified by the global interest in soccer, but I recognise it has two important selling points. Firstly, it is a simple sport to understand. This is an important asset in helping it to appeal to the widest of audiences. Secondly, matches are highly competitive and it is relatively rare for one team to thrash another one. Matches are usually close with only a goal or two in it and "weaker" teams often beat "stronger" ones or draw with them. This gets the heart pumping and creates excitement. In our sport, however, a strong team will beat a weaker one 93 times out of a 100, and often will beat the weaker one by a very large margin. This might be fairer, but is not in the long term interest of the sport. It reduces the interest of fans of weaker teams. It actually makes the sport less enjoyable for supporters of teams that win all the time (Wigan in the 1980s and 1990s?) A sport needs a degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. It needs competitive matches. I think our rule makers need to think about this. The Wembley final wasn't a great match, but I enjoyed it more than I have one for some time because it was highly competitive and the underdogs won. We need more matches like this! Do you think we need to make matches more competitive (i.e. - closer scores)? If you do, what rule changes should be introduced to do this? I haven't a clue about the latter!!
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