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Vikingste

Mike Calvin- Unadulterated Rubbish

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I find it hard to think that what you suggest doesn't automatically happen. In any business I have been we pay huge attention to this sort of detail, well not really detail its the blatantly obvious first rules of ensuring you do all possible to minimise any poor perceptions and look after your customers and potential influencers. OK they may still have those perceptions but you ensure you have a effective and detailed plan for each identified attendee of your invited guest list or the media people in attendance.

I can not believe that what you outline could happen in any business marketing, communications or sales depart I've ever been in - mind you the companies have been amongst the most if not the most successful in the world. I just assume its the way any well run business conducts itself. It would be an eye-opener if what you outline was allowed to happen.

This is analogous to a restaurateur getting a tip off that AA Gill had booked a table for the evening; this sort of thing really should be a trigger moment.

Perhaps the RFL needs to employ (articulate) ex players in ambassadorial roles on match days in order to meet and greet and deal with these very situations.

It's clear the sport has to win hearts and minds within the media if it wishes to escape the ghetto this writer depicts.

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Perhaps the RFL needs to employ (articulate) ex players in ambassadorial roles on match days in order to meet and greet and deal with these very situations

Great idea.

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Possibly not but I am not sure we should allow lazy journalists to get an easy ride. I was not abusive to him or anything, yet he was portraying RL as some sort of freak show.

Simply not good enough. He doesn't have to like RL but his piece was insulting and ill researched.

Not sure we would get Dave Hadfield reviewing polo or something and get away with calling them a bunch of braying hooray Henrys.

That is the most disappointing thing about the piece, not the RL negativity (which we have come to expect), rather the ignorant stereotyping of northerners. It's a form of social prejudice that pervades 'southern' attitudes despite other forms of discrimination becoming increasingly unacceptable. Surely it is the responsibility of Calvin to be more open minded, rather than RL adaptable to his expectations. If he doesn't 'get' the game, fine, but no need to insult and categorise its fans with narrow minded views.

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I read Calvins, "attempts" at writing about a sport he clearly knows little about in this Sundays Independent. His was a smirking exaggerated, undignified piece of garbage describing our sport as a prisoner of geography. He describes our day at Wembley as the need to make the most of the codes "day release" from the "Ghetto " of satellite television, and stated that Wembley Way in the rain was a cross between a works outing and an annual re-union of extra's from phoenix nights.

For me with age, I believe has come dignity but his piece of trolling reminded me of a certain Christopher Hilton describing the Widnes Ground Circa the signing of Jonathan Davies as a "Gaunt Citadel". I don't have any idea why once respected journalists stoop to detract from Tradition and pride and love for a game. I a world full of corporate greed and financial meltdowns , Calvin believes that a lack of a corporate middle tier, detracts from our game.

On the Contrary, because as a sport we are dependant on spirit and pride and dare I say heritage and these three principles are lacking in every respect in the words of Calvin, who in this piece failed at every level to inspire the reader.

That was brilliantly written, much better than the post online course in journalism rubbish that Calvin wrote.

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Apparently he stayed in the media room, virtually alone, throughout the whole game. They seem to think that he watched the whole game on TV, without going outside once. He was also notable by his apparent absence from the post-game press conferences.

Speaks volumes......."ronery, oh so ronery......."

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Well, that response will  go a long way to putting him right....NOT  

 

The guy is clearly no fool, and enjoys the support  and endorsement of the very people we need on our side. So abusing him and making fun of him are hardly likely to win him and his mates over.  Martyn's point is an excellent one and I do feel that the game - fans, players, owners, deserve some sort of remedial action from the RFL

 

I repeat, though, perception is everything and if the article represents what he perceives there must be a reason for that.  Maybe that really is how our game looks to our uninitiated friends in the home counties. Yes, research might have led him to a different conclusion but why should he have had to have done his own research at such an event: why didn't the RFL press pack handed out on the day provide some guidance.

 

Look at this way: For the Grand Final, For the World Cup and for next year, the RFL now knows exactly what it has to include in the press pack.

 

"Calvin established a global reputation during a twelve-year spell as Chief Sportswriter on the Daily Telegraph. He held similar positions at The Times and Mail on Sunday, and is current columnist for the Sunday Mirror.[2]

He has twice been named Sportswriter of the Year, twice named Sports Reporter of the Year and has been honoured at the British Press awards on six other occasions. He has worked in more than 80 countries, covering every major sports event and such seminal news events as the release of Nelson Mandela".

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"Calvin established a global reputation during a twelve-year spell as Chief Sportswriter on the Daily Telegraph. He held similar positions at The Times and Mail on Sunday, and is current columnist for the Sunday Mirror.[2]

He has twice been named Sportswriter of the Year, twice named Sports Reporter of the Year and has been honoured at the British Press awards on six other occasions. He has worked in more than 80 countries, covering every major sports event and such seminal news events as the release of Nelson Mandela".

With that kind of CV John you'd expect something better than an opinion that was developed in the hospitality room on your own during the match unless of course he has an agenda and RL and northerners aren't part of it. Does he also denigrate the supporters if he covers a Sale v Newcastle RU game?

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The RFL should have an early warning system to prevent this sort of thing happening.

When a journalist such as Calvin applies for accreditation, the warning lights should flash. If he writes positively about the game the publicity can be priceless, but if he writes the sort of nonsense that we see, then it does great damage.

Although I was in the press box on Saturday, I don't remember seeing him, so I checked with the RFL.

Apparently he stayed in the media room, virtually alone, throughout the whole game. They seem to think that he watched the whole game on TV, without going outside once. He was also notable by his apparent absence from the post-game press conferences.

We get very few sports feature writers from any of the nationals attending any of our big games these days.

Therefore, when they do, the RFL should have someone whose job it is to sit with the individual concerned to explain the game to them, both off the field and on it. Calvin clearly doesn't seem to know, for example, that RGS Wycombe won the Stephen Mullaney Trophy. So much for a northern ghetto!

It's called news management, and the RFL needs to learn how to do it. If the RFL had asked me, for example, to speak to him before the game, I would gladly have done so. But I didn't know he was there.

It's important, because in a World Cup year this sort of thing is likely to happen again, if the RFL allows it.

Excellent post Martyn.

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Engaging sympathetically with someone with such entrenched regional/class prejudices would be a waste of resources. Even with his expenses paid, he couldn't even be bothered to go outside and witness the game first hand. The guy's a charlatan.

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So an RFL ambassador engages with him, what then?

 

He writes an article about how the RFL are so desperate to overturn prejudice that they spend their time talking to scribblers like him on what should be their biggest day of the year.

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So an RFL ambassador engages with him, what then?

He writes an article about how the RFL are so desperate to overturn prejudice that they spend their time talking to scribblers like him on what should be their biggest day of the year.

It might only need ex player A asking him if there is anything he needs to know about the game or whatever. It needn't be like that Forrero Roche advert

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It might only need ex player A asking him if there is anything he needs to know about the game or whatever. It needn't be like that Forrero Roche advert

 

The obvious question would be: " If you're a professional sports writer planning to write an honest article about this game, what are you doing in here?"

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The obvious question would be: " If you're a professional sports writer planning to write an honest article about this game, what are you doing in here?"

Yes it would. But in terms of preventing a hatchet job, it might help

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It might only need ex player A asking him if there is anything he needs to know about the game or whatever. It needn't be like that Forrero Roche advert

 

"It says something about how rightly concerned the RFL is about how little it impacts on the conscience of the nation south of its deindustralised heartlands that I was greeted by Martin Offiah, one of the few rugby league players anybody could be expected to name but sadly one who has not run in anger in more than a decade ..."

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Yes it would. But in terms of preventing a hatchet job, it might help

 

The hatchet was going to fall anyway. The guy has issues. Our response must avoid fulfilling his northern insecurity libel and/or corporate kiss-ass fantasies.

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You are Mike Calvin and I claim my £5.

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"It says something about how rightly concerned the RFL is about how little it impacts on the conscience of the nation south of its deindustralised heartlands that I was greeted by Martin Offiah, one of the few rugby league players anybody could be expected to name but sadly one who has not run in anger in more than a decade ..."

Then he would be clearly showing his bad manners and there is not a lot you can do about that. It needn't be a famous player anyway, just someone who has played the game at the top and can eloquently explain any questions.

Failing that some rough house who will threaten to chin him if he writes anything bad.

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I think the reason for the tone may have been his experience in the media room prior to the game. TBH he will have had a look round and seen very few national feature writers or well known journos. This guy will probably have seen many of these type at Wimbledon, The FA Cup, Cricket, Twickenham etc.

 

That may well have provoked a 'what's the point' attitude. Can we blame him for this? It is the RFL's job to increase media presence and to get prominent journalists to big games. The fact that Martyn Sadler seemed to know everyone in the press box pretty much sums up the make-up of the Cup Final Media.

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The hatchet was going to fall anyway. The guy has issues. Our response must avoid fulfilling his northern insecurity libel and/or corporate kiss-ass fantasies.

Not a question of kissing anyones ass, just ensuring they have the full picture and are not just relying on clichés from the 60's

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I think the reason for the tone may have been his experience in the media room prior to the game. TBH he will have had a look round and seen very few national feature writers or well known journos. This guy will probably have seen many of these type at Wimbledon, The FA Cup, Cricket, Twickenham etc.

That may well have provoked a 'what's the point' attitude. Can we blame him for this? It is the RFL's job to increase media presence and to get prominent journalists to big games. The fact that Martyn Sadler seemed to know everyone in the press box pretty much sums up the make-up of the Cup Final Media.

Whilst I know what you are saying, if he is unable to attend an event without the rest of his jolly boys outing, then that's pretty pathetic.

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It is quite amusing that a lot of the reaction that the game is full of chippy northerners is a good but of chippy outrage.

As has been commented by Martyn, it does smack a little of sub-optimal media management, I think a letter to the independent pointing out the popularity of the game in the South and the fact a team from High Wycombe won the school's final wouldn't go amiss.

Getting chippy and reactionary only confirms and entrenches people's negative stereotypes. With the media we're not big enough to take out ball and go home after poor media coverage, we have to lobby and win them round.

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Just sent  Calvin the link to the Ian Ramsdale piece quoted by GJ.

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Whilst I know what you are saying, if he is unable to attend an event without the rest of his jolly boys outing, then that's pretty pathetic.

 

But on his arrival it may have seemed like a Jolly Boys get together of a very different type (i.e. RL in-crowd). I worked in the media for a number of years and it is very easy to sense the mood of an occasion quickly. The first thing I would notice would be the club Wembley emptiness, Luke Campbell guest of honour etc. Lack of National newspaper journalists.

 

It is up to the RFL to create that mood. Who knows he may have also encountered someone like Andy Wilson being his usual positive self about the state of the game. I am not condoning what he wrote just probably putting his experience into context a little.

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It is quite amusing that a lot of the reaction that the game is full of chippy northerners is a good but of chippy outrage.

As has been commented by Martyn, it does smack a little of sub-optimal media management, I think a letter to the independent pointing out the popularity of the game in the South and the fact a team from High Wycombe won the school's final wouldn't go amiss.

Getting chippy and reactionary only confirms and entrenches people's negative stereotypes. With the media we're not big enough to take out ball and go home after poor media coverage, we have to lobby and win them round.

 

Letter-writing is for losers. RL doesn't need any lessons in either solvency or popularity from the Independent. A bit of dignity and self-respect would be a better starting point. 

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