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Everything posted by bbfaz

  1. Probably not. It's not impossible for Canada to become good but the Wolfpack and the Aces need to become serious catalysts in the growth of the game. Canada got left behind in basketball but a decent amount of Canadians have become good college basketball and NBA players in recent years. The Toronto area has become a hotbed in particular due to the Raptors and Vince Carter becoming an icon for them. 85% of the good prospects in recent years have come from the Golden Horseshoe, about 10% from Montreal and 5% from Vancouver. That's with a team that became a mainstream big deal in its biggest city, a star who went mainstream and a sport/league which is one of the richest and exposed in the world. And they're still not making headway, even with those advantages. They'll likely miss out on the Olympics. I know Rugby League is a smaller sport, the bar isn't as high etc. but when you play Australia, you're playing the equivalent of the NFL for the East Coast of Australia. It's the best athletes with the best coordination. That is something that takes generations to bridge, not 20 years, especially when you have no resources and are working with castoffs.
  2. Haven't been on the forum for a few weeks, might not be back for a few more after reading this.
  3. Hopefully less issues this time.
  4. As Paula Abdul once sang, "two steps forward, two steps back"
  5. From knowing people who've struggled with this, non-dependent alcoholism, the one thing that I've heard time and again is that you can't negotiate with alcohol. If it's not causing serious issues, you may be fine but if you're blacking out, I'd come off it.
  6. The NFL and professional sports in general in the US represent a much smaller percentage of GDP than professional sport in pretty much any developed country in the world. They are massively overcompensated for TV coverage. If you want to expand the game, you need to open it and expand semi-professionalism. Create a genuine capitalist sporting society, not close it like the National Football League's crony capitalist model. Take autonomous, independent, professional Rugby League to every town that wants it and can support it.
  7. Honestly, it has been a pretty bad decade and I honestly hope the next decade improves, though I feel it's far more likely to get much worse for the world in general. I will sit down and write something detail but probably keep it to myself. Unfortunately one of the lessons I learned this decade was that people will use things you've written semi-anonymously on public forums against you. Personally, I finally feel I am on the right track. I finally feel people took me seriously. I finally asked for help. I've lost a lot of people in this decade, lost a lot of sham friends, gained a couple of real ones. I have a hot meal in my tummy and I'm going home to a warm place. In that regard, I'm one of the lucky ones. But the degeneration of the world at large and people's defence of it weigh heavy though. To quote Charles Bradley, who rose to fame and fatally-succumbed to cancer in this decade, this World is going up in flames and nobody wanna take the blame.
  8. Given the limitations you had to work with, I wouldn't beat yourself up. You more than did your bit, not sure who could've made the StormIcanes work long term. We subsequently found out all sorts of stuff which meant that club was unsustainable.
  9. I've seen some bad stuff and some teams are spiteful but that's next level.
  10. Not off topic, Nate. I doubt those numbers exist. There are enclaves of Britishness across Spain. In Madrid, they have FC Britanico and Madrid Barbarians, which are the English-speaking football and rugby clubs. You'd expect some expat action down on the coasts and but I think it's a coincidence that the two biggest autonomous communities for Brits are the same for Rugby League.
  11. Do you know if there's a course or an exam that might make my CV pop?
  12. I'm struggling at the moment with this. Thought I could change careers but something has come up which will stop me from getting into that industry now. I can't get a job as an IT BA right now (Brexit hiring freezes in the UK, my Spanish isn't good enough for Spain plus nobody knows what they'll do with us Brits in less than a month), changing career was my ticket. I genuinely don't know what to do with my life. Sadly, my business takes up loads of time but doesn't bring home the bacon.
  13. Game has been moved to an athletics stadium in Xativa, which is home of the Xativa Roosters. Over on the AERL Facebook page, I said it made no sense to hold it near Jaen to begin with. Torredonjimeno is a small, inconsequential town near one of the smaller, inconsequential provincial capitals. However, and maybe this is coincidence, the regional delegate for Jaen is the president of Asociación de Rugby League de Andalucía. As I said back in May 2017, ARLA split off from the "national" (read Valencian) setup to get their own thing going and there hasn't been a game played in Andalusia in over 2 years. Things have stalled, still no fixtures announced. Maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there but it seems to me that they found this stadium and convinced the national committee that this would help them launch and reboot ARLA. This wouldn't be such a concern if Custodians Madrid hadn't complained that they weren't allowed to host an international game, eventhough they were trying to do exactly the same thing 18 months ago. I think we're at a point where you can say there's an international coach and players who'd play for the team but, for all intents and purposes, the game is gone in Spain.
  14. She's genuinely dreadful, I've no idea how she's on TV. I can only assume cronyism or nepotism. Or she got her job by convincing her half-sister to put out.
  15. I hate starting new threads so I'll put it here. So, the AERL selected Torredonjimeno, 20km from Jaén, for the upcoming RLWC qualifier with Ireland. It's roughly the size of Clitheroe. However, the state of the pitch is making them question whether they'll be able to play this game. My question would be why were they playing a game in a backwater of a backwater to begin with?
  16. Yes, Audois. Hammersmith are Aussies, Wests are primarily Kiwis. Hammersmith won 16-10 against London Chargers. In a result sure to please anybody who played them, Hemel beat Eastern 28-16.
  17. Oh and the finals. Eastern Rhinos vs. Hemel in the East Div Plate Final Hammersmith vs. London Chargers in the National Playoff Final
  18. I'm not surprised, which is why I am still not sure whether to continue with the game. It'd be easy to walk away if I had personal animosity with those in the club but I genuinely like the other people on the committee and the lads makes me laugh. I'm not going to list all my gripes again for fear of being branded a moaner. However, then I look at some other sports. Some of them can't even get results on their website. Some can't tell you your local team. If I am to compare my local amateur RL scene to that of any other sport with a similar number of local amateur teams, or even more, we're not beaten by that many sports. It's deeply-flawed but others are even more flawed. It's like some sort of private race to the bottom.
  19. Final East combined table. Pos Team Pl W D L GF GA GD Pts 1 Wests Warriors 11 11 0 0 432 140 292 22 2 London Chargers 11 8 1 2 312 156 156 17 3 Hammersmith Hills Hoists 11 6 1 4 350 192 158 13 4 Bedford Tigers 11 5 1 5 225 350 -125 10* ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 Hemel Stags 12 6 0 6 252 269 -17 12 6 North Herts Crusaders 12 5 0 7 228 354 -126 10 7 Eastern Rhinos 12 4 0 8 268 312 -44 8 8 South London Silverbacks 12 4 1 7 254 324 -70 8* 9 Brixton Bulls 12 1 0 11 200 424 -224 2 * Both deducted one point for non-fulfillment of fixtures
  20. I think part of the problem with the game is that there's always something bigger and shinier that attracts the attention. Toronto came along and suddenly expanding to Hemel comes across as glamorous as expanding to Blackpool. On the earlier question, what hasn't worked this year has been publicity. A number of promises were made about publicising the competition, I don't think that's really come off. Also, situations with dedicated staff (the competition manager disappeared mid-season) and chopping and changing behind the scenes means it's all been dumped on a person who already had too much to do. Once again, successes in our game seem to come despite the setbacks.
  21. Then again, I don't know how many times we've been on the end of good-natured arm twisting to basically bullying by the RFL so we'd do what they needed from us. The RFL wanted Hemel Stags to go semi-pro as much as they did.
  22. Looking at it, I don't think Merthyr to Bovey Tracey is completely unrealistic, especially compared to the idea of the Welsh clubs travelling to London. Devon Sharks have proved they can play well with others. As Saint1 said, Birmingham would fit the travel for Wales/Swindon/Gloucester but would it fit for Devon too? Brixton play out of Woodmansterne School in Streatham. The school is a perpetual building site, as it is being expanded from an infants school to a full 4-18 primary/secondary/sixth form school. They have a tiny portakabin for changing, they use a pub 10 minutes away as a clubhouse and the pitch has drainage issues. The whole thing is a little bit diminished compared to other clubs and while the quaintness was charming in the Entry League, it comes across as low-rent at this level. I understand they don't have a ton of options and the RFL was apparently prepared to spend money for facilities at the school but that's been put on the back burner. Hopefully a solution can be found. Skolars under-20s (bit of a misnomer, they have some over-20s too) are playing in the London Men's League, which is three firsts (Medway, Newham and Elmbridge), three SCL reserves (Wests, Brixton and Chargers) and a semi pro team's amateur development side. Without the twos, the firsts would have nobody to play. Problem is, they're not on the level of the better twos. Medway are an awkward outfit to play but they only won one game against a team above them, which was a walkover against Wests. Brixton were beating these twos for three seasons.
  23. Right now, I honestly don't know. Any suggestion I've ever made to the RFL has been politely ignored, including a plan for the 2018 London & South East Championship that I wrote on Christmas Day. So all this is just apropos of nothing. Western: I think Cardiff are done. Swindon need to look at whether they're spreading themselves too thin. I assume Devon will apply but get rejected, though an application from Somerset would probably get both in. A Midlands club would better fit the geographic footprint but nobody is anywhere near ready. If they remain at five (or even six), they'd likely retain the current format. Beyond that, who's vaguely ready for this? If Devon do get rejected, the West of England seriously need to nut up and let them into their league. Eastern: It's still an extended London Premier league and it has operated as such. I think there was too much mid-season faffing around tbh and formalising the calendar earlier would be good, as would sorting out rules for relief weekends. The curiosity of the bottom half of this league amused me. I think Eastern beat Hemel twice, Hemel beat Silverbacks twice but Silverbacks beat Eastern twice. As for anybody who'd drop out? Every team has some sort of viability issue, anybody can fall over at any time. However, Brixton stick out like a sore thumb on facilities. Given they finished bottom after two Grand Final wins (and one GF loss the season before), maybe they might question their viability, though that would be very sad. I can't see anybody joining in the East either but that's OK. Brentwood and St Ives emerged from the pack in East Region but that division needs to re-establish itself. The London Premier was dominated by reserve teams. Medway were the only firsts not to finish with a losing record and I've said repeatedly that it would be a mistake to allow a seconds/age group team into the SCL, so that rules out the Skolars U-20s. There needs to be more work done to get teams into the regional setups. I say this every year. What will actually happen? Well, what's the worst case scenario? Probably that.
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