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TheReaper

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  1. We could argue "degree of separation" on a non-existent scale from medieval mob football to NFL-played-by-robots-in-space all day. None of that matters to the success or failure of a sports team in Toronto, for reasons I thoroughly explained. Being convinced that the code of play on the field matters this much is all too common and holds rugby league back.
  2. That this was you takeaway from what I posted, shows me you're just more interested in taking petty potshots at a sport you don't like, rather than any actual discussion about why a rugby (or any other) team may or may not work in the context of the city of Toronto and playing in international sports leagues. Maybe you can take your clever remarks to the cross code forum, I'm interested in the factors that influence success as a sports business and how the Toronto Wolfpack fit into that overall landscape. Also, methods of moving the ball - backwards passing, kicks, running type of contact allowed offside concepts scoring concepts basic player positions structure You know.... just most of the core elements of both sports.
  3. MLSE ARE the broadacasters, so that's sorted if they bought in. They are owned 37.5% Rogers (Sportsnet) 37.5% Bell (TSN) and the last bit a rich guy named Larry. However, go take a look at TFC's history of playing Canadians. They meet the minimum, barely, at all times. They know Toronto better than anyone, and are in it to make money. Playing Canadians that are only there based on nationality won't sell any more tickets. We love our local stars when they make it big, but they do it on their playing merits. If the RFL truly wanted Canadian players in their league system, they would mandate that ALL teams have one or two. That way it's fair and not team is hamstrung by a different player pool, and all teams would contribute resources and give guys a chance. But the RFL has a really big problem with treating teams equally.
  4. I'm pretty sure that's how MLR was able to pay it's players out for the season, I think they have to put the years' money in up front and everyone is paid centrally. So they already had and had accounted for it as money spent already. Just requires the cash flow buffer to be one year ahead. Exactly. I didn't want to get to far into this in my other post for clarity, but there is a directly observable effect of having the teams in "major" America leagues and a greater negative perception of the CFL - NHL excluded because it is Canadian originated and has many Canadian teams, and has a mostly opposite season. So Montreal has the Impact and had the Expos, Vancouver has the Whitecaps and had the Grizzlies - even though two of those teams have left, these cities are now in the "big league" club - too good for the Canadian-only CFL. Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Ottawa, even though they have NHL teams, have never been and likely will never be in that club - so they support their CFL teams much, much better. Still clearly second-fiddle to the NHL, but that gap isn't as wide and permanent as some would believe. The Melnyk disaster in Ottawa at the same time as the rebirth and relative success of the RedBlacks has them on very strong footing in comparison to the Senators. That really is the most likely outcome for many. How many would have gone to their first game based on a random event - a friend invited them, they caught a news clip, they saw an ad, someone handed them a free ticket . It will most likely be equally random if a similar random event happens to get them out to an Arrows game. I think access to the TWP mailing list would be a very valuable thing for the Arrows - I'm not sure if privacy laws allow that to be sold/shared though. One thing that hasn't made sense to me is how the TWP presence has had seemingly zero effect on the amateur Ontario scene. I know several guys who play in it, and if anything it's been a slow decline over almost the exact same time frame. They went from 4 teams (barely) down to two. I think the biggest reason was that they no longer avoid RU season, and most players are/were doing both, but it's very strange that there's been basically no natural swelling of playing interest.
  5. I'm not so certain that would be best. Most successful leagues are based on a local/regional core that added to that core - NHL from Eastern Canada/Northeast US, NRL from the NSWRL, AFL from the VFL, NFL from Ohio/PA leagues. Rugby does give us two example of "equal" members in multiple countries without a defined core, the Pro 14 and Super Rugby. One was very successful but now appears to be collapsing, and one is fairly successful overall but appears to be in danger of taking on the same problems as SR by adding the SA teams. To me there is a pretty obvious way to accomplish what you're suggesting while keeping most (not all) people happy. Expand Super league with defined slots per country, and let each country allot them as they see fit. So England can have their 12 spots, and keep P/R, with the bottom English team being replaced by the top Championship team. Canada and France can have two spots each and give them to Toronto, Ottawa, Catalans, and Toulouse. If they do this now, England actually gains two spots (Catalans and Toronto). It will be on the historical record that the "foreign" slots are in addition - no bitching about an English team going down from 12th place out of 16, it's clear and obvious that the four extra spots are "bonus" spots that wouldn't exist if not for the foreign clubs. It will greatly increase the likelihood of broadcasting deal in Canada in France, since they have a guaranteed 2 spots and a local derby. All TV money present and future divided equally. Travel for all teams comes out of that pool before splitting. Nobody is disadvantaged by location (why this blindingly obvious solution isn't already in place I don't know). Get airline agreements done at the league level. Given the locations of the teams and possible future teams in USA, the rest of UK/Ireland, and Spain seeming mostly likely, call it the Atlantic Super League or Atlantic Rugby League if a rebrand is necessary.
  6. To some, sure. But out of say 10000 regular Wolfpack fans (the specific numbers aren't terribly critical to making my point): If we suppose, as many do, that roughly half of them are "here for the beer" i.e. a social outdoor event with friends at a convenient location, or just your casual sports fan who will watch anything - will a slight change of code on the field matter that much? If they can continue their habit of spending sunny afternoons at Lamport, would they stop? How many would care that much, 500 out of a supposed 5000? Say a quarter of our 10k were existing union fans, players/former players/their friends + families in the Ontario amateur scene, expats, etc. This is probably the "overlap" crowd, i.e. the 2500 strong "base" supporting potentially both the Arrows and the Wolfpack. How many of those do you think would prefer league so strongly that they would not go / no longer go to the Arrows one TWP is no longer an optio.? Obviously a few as commented above, but I'd say less than 10%, call it 5%. Then again, not really an area of growth for the Arrows since they already have most of these people. And our last quarter is the true opportunity lost for rugby league, is the sports fan who, previously unexposed to any form of rugby, saw the Wolfpack as their first introduction to rugby and fell in love with rugby league. These are the people who will have RL as their benchmark when watching RU, and may find that they don't like the different pace of play or the often unclear breakdown. This is the largest chunk of people who may not bother with switching then, but I'd suggest that if they were open minded enough to adopt a new "foreign" sport when a new team came around, and they really enjoyed their experience, then they may be open minded to following a similar (if not quite as appealing to them) version of the sport, at the same location with a similar game day experience. I'd say that at least 1/3 to 1/2 would be open to that switch. The team is only 4 years old, most people won't be THAT diehard. So I'd put it at 500 + 125 + 1675 = 2300 who would find RU so unappealing as to turn them off of the rest of the Lamport experience. And I assumed that 2500 were already union/Arrows fans. That still leaves 5,200 possible fans that will be looking for something else that the Arrows can provide. It is a big opportunity for them. They key will be finding a classy way to reach out once TWP is dead (and it isn't yet, let's not forget that!) and say "Hey, if you still want to watch rugby at Lamport, we're here". Maybe a discount to former TWP STHs? The crux of everything I've said is that there is far, far, more to a successful sports team than the specific version of chase-a-ball-around-a-field. Marketing, game day experience, fan culture, community outreach, visibility, all play very large parts. In fact, in Toronto, the biggest hurdle by far is not the code, or even the location. It's being perceived as "major league", i.e. big enough to be taken seriously. In sports especially, Toronto loves to be among the best, to the point of excluding the rest of Canada. Soccer tried and failed many times, and was seen as the game for girls/sissies/European immigrants. But when big-time, big money MLSE (Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto Rock Lacrosse, minor league hockey) bought into the "major league", big American MLS, it became one of the most successful franchises in that league. Proving the sport didn't matter so much as the big league credibility and right kind of marketing. Toronto continually looks down on and fails to support the Argos while the NFL increases in popularity - The Argos play at the same field as TFC, so it's not location, it Toronto's desire for the big-time, and turning it's nose up at anything "second rate". Instead of enjoying our game for it's different rules and field and history (much of Canadian football's history came about from various Toronto clubs and U of T), because the American's do it different that must be the better way. They're to big and too important to play against Saskatchewan and Hamilton, they want to compete with New York and Boston. In fact, despite it's reputation as a hockey town, Toronto is actually notoriously bad at supporting junior hockey. That's something that small towns do, not Toronto. Their AHL farm team (senior men) the Marlies get ~6k attendance (13th out of 31 teams in the league), largely because the NHL is so expensive that many families can not attend, so instead go the affordable option with a few rising or rehabbing stars. That attendance number is beaten by 2 or 3 OHL junior teams every year, in cities a fraction the size of TO. Several OHL or previous junior leagues had Toronto teams drop out or move. So a big part of TWP's attraction was the double whammy of playing in England (instant credibility - we play with the best on the American leagues in American sports, now we play with the best in England in an English sport) AND the big-money,big-time professional appearance of having a very rich owner like David Argyle. Spare no expense, millions upon millions of dollars operations is the expectation for a sports team, not nickel-and-diming over sandwiches and coach bus costs. And while they didn't go straight into Super League, the path was clear, and by having or at least attempting to have a Super League calibre team from the get-go provided that perception that they would be in the the big league very shortly. "Build slowly" as the mantra on here would not work with that. They could overcome the perception being in a "minor league" with teams getting attendance in the 100's, with the combination of playing in England and being a multi-million dollar operation, but only for a short time. Fake it till you make it. The "big league" perception is a WAY bigger challenge for the Arrows than any quibbles over what oval-ball rules they play by. Right now MLR exists somewhere in the Major League Lacrosse, Arena Football, WNBA, USL soccer, minor league baseball realm. All of these teams can have decent fan bases, make a bit of money, have some games on a secondary sport channel etc. But they never have their scores on the TSN or ESPN ticker, they don't get included in the results-roundup on sports radio, and might get a once a year highlight on TV with a miracle play or a championship win. The MLR is following the MLS's approach so closely because MLS is the only league that has managed to make that step to "major" league status. So petty English code rivalries are the least of anyone's worries here.
  7. That's not exactly a hard prediction to make, given the gap between the two last year. I do think Arrows numbers will be solidly up. I think they would have been anyway - they're a strong team in a growing league. Will that number be higher than it would have been if everything was fine with TWP? Maybe, but we'll never know or be able to tell. Sharing a stadium means there was almost never a conflict of attending one vs the other. But I think there will be a fair number that hadn't been going to Arrows games, that will do so now. For the exact same reason that thousands of union fans showed up to watch TWP at the start of their venture. Any rugby is better than no rugby.
  8. Do we have a popcorn emoji? I can't load them on the cottage wifi. The fireworks have started earlier on here than I expected. I thought it would take an official announcement for this many grave-dancing and ######-on-all-of-ya posts.
  9. Billionaires absolutely do take advantage of cheap lending when it suits them. And it's not just you, but I'd have thought after what, a year of the club being announced would be enough time for people to learn how to spell Ottawa properly.
  10. And if any fans care enough to look into it, MLR paid all of its players their full contracts despite only playing 5 of 16 games. Something they committed to in March at the very beginning of the shutdown. That's certainly appealing to anyone soured by the current state of TWP affairs. MLR to pay players despite Coronavirus shutdown
  11. But the overall attitude, regardless of specific terms or amounts of money, would certainly be more than enough to chase away any potential investors.
  12. A team in a league makes up an equal part of the league schedule. A broadcaster pays for the rights to be the exclusive broadcaster of that league. The only fair way to distribute the income for the rights to broadcast that schedule, which each team makes up an equal part of part of what has been sold, is for each team to receive an equal portion of what that money is for. Complaints of "British money leaving" .... That's what happens in world trade. You import bananas, you export money. You export coal, you import money. You import a rugby team, you export money. If most of the players are British and that team still has a base in the UK, a good chunk of that money even still stays! And yes, obviously agreements can be made different from, either willingly or coerced with negotiating leverage. But when an unfair deal is made, nobody can be surprised when one party isn't happy, and continues to advocate or agitate for a better deal.
  13. It think it's either/or - The "Independence Day" jersey or the Orange and Blue jersey - the two different photos/links at the bottom. Agree though, the whole page could have been written/edited a bit better though.
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