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Captain Survival

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Captain Survival last won the day on June 22 2017

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  1. OK EVERYONE - YOUR OTTAWA BORN AND RAISED EXPERT IS ON HAND TO ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS AND ALLAY ALL DOUBTS! Once again regretfully I have been away from the forum for awhile and I returned tonight as I finally had a little time on my hands and I saw the great news! I cancelled seeing John Wick 3 for the 9th time - staying and answering your questions was that important to me! Its a long post but its only because I multiqouted as i read through all prior 10 pgs - thank goodness it was not the usual 25 "I hate all things Wolfpack" like when I first joined this forum. I do quick answers to each quote and then a few more observations below. Its not a hard read. Sidenote #1: I went to St Pats in Ottawa as did my father. They did. I would say perhaps the most influential communities were Irish and Italian. I have family on both sides. sidenote #2: For those of you who know Ottawa, a family member on the Italian side managed the Prescott Hotel - famous drinking establishment/watering hole in little Italy, and my parents in fact had their wedding reception there (2nd floor is much nicer). Its now quite tame. It was not back then. Worse. I discuss this more below although not nearly as bad as when I grew up. Ottawa is one place where the impact of climate change is really visible for anyone who has lived there for decades. Much to far to walk. The new LRT system in Ottawa would allow you to scoot over to the Carleton University stop and then either walk or take a bus. I see those images and my mouth is already watering at the prospect of beaver tails and hot chocolate. Oh the memories..... There was a time when Ottawa winters and weather were so legendary that if you said you were from Ottawa people from anywhere else in Canada looked upon you with pity - its winters were that notorious. That is because the Ottawa Valley is a bit of a unique microclimate trapped between 2 major zones or so I am told. In my youthful days it started snowing at the beginning of November (snow that usually stayed on the ground) and stopped in late April, and Dec through March were reliably -15C or colder (sometimes much much colder) almost every single day. In my working career I have lived in 7 out of 10 provinces as well as one territory. Ottawa was one of the worst hands down if you hate winter. Those days are gone. Ottawa winters are a shadow of yesteryear. But unless they dome the field there will be no rugby until April. Sidenote #3: I used to own 16 pairs of cross country skis (I was a competitive skier), 4 pairs of snowshoes (I used to race in carnival events) and 3 pairs of downhill skis -> only pansies use downhill skis to go downhill - i used my cross country skis - its called telemarking. Ottawa has the 4th largest CMA in Canada after Toronto, Montreal and Vancover. It is about 1.25 million. Ottawa proper is about 1 million people. Its a great town to visit due to accessibility of outdoors, many national museums, beaches right in the city, major urban parks, the Rideau Canal, Byward Market Area, etc. Plus lots of high quality maple syrup from local sugarbushes. Worth its weight in gold. None. Zero. Zilch. Whoever is saying such must be smoking something green and very powerful and hallucinogenic, said substance being legal here but leading its users to be prone to outlandish figures of speech that have no basis in any reality other then their imaginary one. I played snowcrosse, snowball, snowshoe racing and cross country sking in the stadium at various times (not all legally I might add and very few of you would be familiar with these exotic sports...). But alas I think Rugby players are not tough enough for Ottawa conditions in Feb/March although I personally played many a football game in the early winter. By football I mean real full contact North American football not that pansy thing with the round ball and fake injuries they play in Europe... ? I got trapped in Ice on the Ottawa River once so I know your pain. Actually I have been trapped in ice a few times regretfully. Never let it be said I learn from my mistakes! ? Rumour has it that Perez is going to invite players from several Central and South American clubs to try out as each one of these countries has a diplomatic presence and community in Ottawa. Especially Jamaica, Chile and a few others. I made up that rumour now but I think it is a good idea! ? Seriously since he is planning a slower approach why not? There are likely some players good enough from what we saw in the 9's recently to give a shot to a few. Its L1, not Championship or SL. I think the crowd sizes in Ottawa will surprise you all. Ottawa has a much larger rugby culture already in place then Toronto ever had. Both universities have rugby teams. Both have dedicated practice facilities and Ottawa U even has a its own field just for the varsity team! There is a dedicated rugby park for children and adult leagues. Several high schools play the game. Given time I think they can grow a talent pool. And attract some players from down south to contribute to that pool. People in Ottawa did not grow up knowing soccer. Outdoor rugged sports are the historical norm in the city: football, field lacrosse, rugby, log rolling, beaver wrestling, etc are what most Ottawa people grew up with. I had never seen a soccer ball until I left the city. We did not play it in school. That has changed of course but soccer is not the big sport in the city. The ownership group behind the Ottawa franchise is incredibly well healed. Its not a poor group but a very professional set of owners for which the headline partner already owns every major sporting team in the area other then the NHL hockey team. I think Ottawa will have no issues drawing north of 5k people every game. IF the ownership group targets correctly I believe they could do much better then that. I favour a team in Montreal for the next Canadian entrant. I know the Wolfpack have made some major inroads into broadcast and I suspect an Ottawa team will make all such broadcasters even more interested. SEE. I did not lie. Short easy to swallow paragraphs with semi-interesting biographical details for bonuses. And all facts. Almost no hearsay. I will gratefully accept your accolades now... and even answer a few Ottawa questions from time to time. Going to call all my lawyer friends in Ottawa and get the scoop asap. I only consumed a modest amount of wine (1 bottle but I am 6'1" and 225 pnds of imagined muscle so that is not an overt amount to consume IMHO) during the making of this post. SUPER NEWS!
  2. I like New York Empire. All New Yorkers know Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal due to rivalries in various major North American sports. I agree that Boston, Philly, and perhaps Pittsburgh or Baltimore would be potential targets . Other alternatives might be Detroit, Cincinnati, or Cleveland. It was a good article. I noticed they also published a prior one in 2017 on Toronto. But it will take exposure in one of the New York rags and a concerted effort among expat communities as well as rugby fans in order to put to help put bums in the seats. In America it will help to get a big name personality, such as a movie star to help promote.
  3. Looks like a nice day to me. Perfect fall football weather in Ottawa. I believe I know 3 of the participating partners in the Ottawa bid and as I indicated in a prior recent post the headline partner has deep enough pockets that had this this venture just been them alone they could have afforded to look at the very long term. In fact anytime they place bodies in an otherwise empty stadium that they own, and sell concessions. they are already ahead of the game. They will only need a few inflatables to satisfy all the paranoids here and elsewhere. The rest can be real people eating and drinking and having fun, although I am aware that latter is a terrible prospect to some of you "dry" northern Englanders. The absolute joy witnessed in the Wolfpack crowds must be a bitter pill to some but be prepared as the Ottawa crowd will be even a worse cross to bear. The prospect of their city being part of something international will have fans giddy - Ottawa always has an inferiority complex about such matters being the small sister sandwiched between Montreal and Toronto, and when they get a chance to shine they positively glow. The horror. Perez indicated in his remarks in Salford that he was looking to really grow the game at all levels and Ottawa already has a base of rugby at youth to university levels so he is not starting from scratch. Having a pro team will just redouble interest in the sport. In my opinion it will be easier to grow youth leagues in Ottawa - the city is just better set up for it. I think Ottawa will draw significant numbers in its first season. I expect you will see Toronto pop down for a preseason trial to help ramp up interest and probably Toronto go to NY as well for a game. I am even tempted to suggest that Ottawa will draw as much as Toronto. The field is so easily accessible. As for NY, I am going to draw on my past finance and business experience for my thoughts. This includes having been involved in financing of two major sporting organizations, one which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, the other the Dallas Cowboys. American culture surrounding sports is very much go big (or go home in some instances). No one makes more out of a molehill then any American promoting a professional sport. I suspect the pockets of the US parties are deep. I don't know anything about the public promoters but I think there might be a legitimate concern about attendance. I have no doubt they will draw thousands of spectators but I wonder what they need to draw to approach viability. Is 10k enough? I don't know the answer. Its a good stadium and on public transit but it is a bit remote by NY standards. One plus is that there are approx 50k Canadians living within reasonable commute of the stadium. This will help for the draw for a few games as will the very sizeable UK expats living there. And rugby does have some presence. These 3 are most likely the initial target markets of the promoters. That said might another market like Philadelphia, Montreal or Baltimore been a better first target? I believe this is a valid question however, I think from an American perspective if a pro sport is going to be successful NY is likely one of the first places one has to test the waters in order to gain credibility. Part of me thinks that if you had Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal up and successful first - I leave how each measures success up to you (is someone barking on the forum about youth leagues again as I saw an inference that he was) I think it would be much easier to convince a trio of American cities in the North East to jump on board since they likely are already rivals in pro hockey, soccer and lacrosse. Another aspect of American culture is that they are not interested in playing in the third string league. It might be tolerated for a very short term but my gut check is that they will be looking to fly a path similar to Toronto. Escalate out of L1 right after the first year and once in Championship set a firm course to SL as soon as possible. It might help if League One were not such a boring name. If both teams get in plus I thought there were overtures from a couple of EU mainland prospects management should consider renaming it to something more "grand" although all the best candidates such as the "International Rugby League" are already in use. Maybe "Trans Atlantic Rugby Football League" or something like that. Americans like being part of something important. That sounds important. I know Perez indicated he left the Wolfpack as his vision (which is world building essentially) was different then that of David Argyle et al but from what I understand they are all on good terms - just wanted to do things differently. I read an inference in this thread that it was a bad parting. To my best knowledge it is nothing of the kind. 3 guesses as to who the coach will be....
  4. Really? I did not know. I saw mention of it in a prior comment They are risking legal issues if they continue.
  5. According to this tweet RL has accepted the Ottawa club payment for entry into L1 in 2020; Tweet They also reference in prior tweets a lot of activity from RL players expressing an interest in joining the club. I am glad Hamilton was not a consideration for many reasons I gave on the forum in 2017 posts. On the issue of free tickets, like others here who have attended games I have not met anyone with free tickets. I am certain they exists in the corporate allotments and so on. But I always paid my way. I have to say that I think the club has made a lot of money on concessions, and if you were one of the away fans who came over to Toronto you know exactly what I mean. I really wish they could use Ottawa RoughRiders but the name is owned by a party that will not release it. It was the name of the former CFL club of which I have great memories. Tom Clements, Tony Gabriel, Condredge Holloway and many more- they were a CFL team to be reckoned with in my youth. I read some of Parky's comments. I found them disingenuous, full of triviality, and unsupported and unsubstantiated statements. We are all entitled to an opinion to be sure but the narrow mind and scope and adamant, striding nature on a continual basis is astonishing.
  6. There were a few times where I thought I might have to jump in to get your back when you were a little "over the top" on the forum but most of the time I saw you managed to extricate yourself without to many bumps and bruises, usually! Actually Ottawa has a very large Irish community (I am 2nd gen Canadian of Irish descent) and a lot of Irish players would find a very warm welcome in Ottawa. So would players from anywhere in the Med (Serbia for example if we loosely classify that as part of the med), or Jamaica. My understanding is that like TWP, the team is entirely self financed for all aspects until it does or does not reach SL. I don't know if there is a time limitation - I don't think the matter of a time limits is clear even for TWP or if it is I missed that point. I do not believe TWP is receiving any Championship funding at this time, to my best knowledge. If someone else has more info please chip in. ========= Air Transat is going to be running the flights as they do for TWP. In fact all sides get to improve costs as I think they will run both teams across simultaneously. Air Transat flies out of Montreal (its home), Toronto and Ottawa. Something mentioned above - both Ottawa University and Carlton University (Ottawa has 2 major universities each with over 25k students in them) have both mens and womens rugby teams. And Ottawa U actually has a dedicated soccer and rugby practice field - Matt Anthony Field which has a FIFA-recommended 2-Star designation, the highest synthetic turf rating possible. Ottawa also has 2 indoor field facilities: The Gee-Gees field and The Louis Riel Dome. The Gee-Gees field is a football and soccer field stadium and to quote: The field is also fitted with a dome for use during the winter months, which provides opportunities to be utilized by the schools varsity teams, intramural sports, and other public clubs or community organizations. Its a large field, just built in 2013 with stadium seating on one side and here is a link if anyone wants to see it: https://teams.geegees.ca/inside-athletics/gee-geesfield Carleton U also has a mens Rugby team, and they play out of Twin Elm Rugby Park - yes Ottawa has a dedicated rugby park with fields, stands, junior and adult leagues: https://twinelm.ca/ if you look at all of what actually exists in Ottawa for general rugby infrastructure I think it becomes quite apparent why Perez feels Ottawa would be a good place to establish some roots. And I will say it again - Canadians are not nearly as hung up on the RL vs Union arguements as you are in the UK. It will matter not an iota to anyone, including players in the local leagues and uni teams that its RL. This is purely an English issue, which we Canucks don't care about in the slightest. Were I a Gee-Gee player and I was offered a tryout for the Ottawa RL team I would be there before you finished the sentence and I can't imagine a Canadian who would not. Any player here knows that they have to be flexible whether its an opportunity in 7s, 9s, 15s or RL. Its the opportunity to play that counts. This comes from football btw. If your playing North American football there is CFL and NFL. They have some similarities, and some differences. If you want to play you have to be prepared for either. Its the same for Lacrosse. We have field lacrosse and box lacrosse. Cross over here is just a fact of life. Consequentially all the arguments (and hatred) you die hards have are not even a glimmer of an issue here judging from my own past experiences . Some leagues might have a scattering of old transplanted english who still carry these issues close to heart, but i think now such are few and far between. I believe the intent is to start Ottawa in L1. I am ambivalent on this. I think it might be better if they commenced in Championship solely as I know some L1 clubs had a tough time with the Toronto trips given the part time players and scheduling. It does deprive them of the opportunity to travel over here - the feedback in the past was that for many of the L1 lads (and some away fans) is it was a once in a lifetime experience. I understand Parky replied - is it more drivel? Edit: What is this business about it taking 2 hrs to drive from Montreal? Only if you are slower then the 2nd coming. OMGLOL. maybe from the far side of Montreal. Or if you stopped to sightsee.
  7. Its been some time since I have commented on the forum. I have lurked occasionally but my professional life has had me very busy of late. However, I felt this news exciting enough to log in and comment. Somewhere in 2017 in one of the many exasperating endless threads debating Toronto/expansion I discussed at length for the potential of a viable franchise in Ottawa. In my professional opinion as a businessman it is a slam dunk, and great news for RL. Here are some of my thoughts as to why: 1) Ottawa is a large city with an even larger catchment area - beyond the local CMA which exceeds 1 million people it is in fact within easy driving distance of both Montreal and Kingston, and many Torontonians who are Wolfpack fans will think nothing of the 500km trip to go see a game in Ottawa whether the Wolfpack or new Ottawa team. 2) I grew up in Ottawa and can attest to the fact it is a very sports oriented city. And Ottawans like rugged sports so I see rugby being an easy sell to the population. Ottawa is also generally familiar with Rugby - I played while in high school and I think it will actually have an easier intro into Ottawa then it did into Toronto. BTW Ottawa has a fair sized UK expat population. 3) Ottawa is well known to peer sporting cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York and Philadelphia and having a team in Ottawa will allow for an easy sporting rivalry with any of these should they ever get involved in RL. A Toronto/Ottawa/NY basis for RL to gain a presence in NA is such a natural step. Should it come to fruition adding Boston and Philly would be an easy fit and result in very manageable travel times for both the local and visiting teams. 4) Ottawa is a very pleasant place to visit as a tourist. The venue is easy to get to. Its right beside the Rideau Canal which itself is a tourist attraction. Ottawa has many attractions which can easily keep any tourist busy for several days. And if coming from the UK it cuts about an hour off the flight time. Plus Montreal is an alternative for flights. 5) Landsdowne is a modern stadium in great shape. It beats the pants off almost all the other RL grounds. Its easy to get to as its just off the highway. Its served by public transit. One potential matter might be some scheduling conflicts with the CFL team that the backers also own, but I think that is very easily resolved. 6) the Ottawa partner is very successful. They have the deep pockets such that this venture is not even remotely a stretch for them. Other then the NHL hockey team they own every other major sporting entity in the city already, and have promotion & marketing down to a science. They know their market and how to work it. The entire cost associated with the RF team including travel etc is likely not even a secondary expense figure on their annual statements. If only we had more ownership groups in RL that were as capable and financially sound as this one. 7) There will be no lack of external sponsors - there are a lot large companies with a major presence in Ottawa. Ottawa is one of the high tech hubs in North America as well as a major legal hub due to government. I expect corporate boxes will sell out quickly. I can see Ottawa getting to 8-10k attendance very quickly and Lansdowne park lends itself much more to the type of atmosphere the WolfPack has created as its a much larger space that is traditionally set up for family type events. 7) I do believe having a 2nd Canadian team will imprint upon the psyche of young Canadians the potential of pursuing RL rugby as a sport. It will improve the potential for government funding. Even Ottawa weather is not what it used to be. In the 60's and 70's it was common for the winter temp to be below -20C from end of Nov to end of March continuously. This is a pipedream now. I suspect by mid april games could be played outdoors. I also think they could actually cover Lansdowne but I don't think they have enough reasons yet to justify the cost. And a few early season games in the RL is not enough on their own to justify that expense. With all due respect to Man of Kent and his observation of having visited some family and thinking Ottawa is dull, I beg to disagree. Ottawa would not get a million people attending its winter carnival, all freezing their asses off in Feb, were it a dull place. But I suppose in the end each place we visit is what we make of it. Some do better then others in this regards. I think away visitors will not have any difficulties finding many attractions to enjoy. Thus about Perez and the ownership group and the capability to make Ottawa a viable RL entity I have no qualms. On the usual matters debated ad nauseam on the forum such as the amount of talent available, developing Canadian junior talent, etc I am happy to let someone else discuss - I think they are non-issues. Edit: I think Rowley will be a contender to be coach.
  8. I live in Oakville which is adjacent to Burlington. Burlington is the western suburb furthest out from Toronto - its 55+ km from downtown to downtown. The majority of the Burlington population do not ever go to Toronto at all. So it is no surprise to me that TWP penetration into Burlington is minimal. The games are not shown on regular tv unless one is on an extended cable package with certain providers. You have to watch the online feed on cbc. I believe that is going to change next year. I think every fan this side of the pond agrees on NY and Montreal next, for more reasons then any of us can tick off.
  9. Hi John, Apologies, and I think I knew that in fact from reading your wonderful blog post on your discovery, but for whatever reason it slipped my mind. I played in high school. But as that was 40 yrs ago I consider myself a complete newcomer as I have had not one iota of exposure to rugby since that time until the TWP came along. Even in the mid 1980's when I was in Europe for a long period of time it never entered my view. I may have him ticked in the expat category by mistake. Which of course means that even more of us are born and bred vs what was inferred by Frog. Kman advised awhile ago that he had pressing family matters to attend and had to focus on these. We can only hope that matters are working out positively but the length of time since his last post is several months which is worrying. I agree with your 100% in all respects. As one who grew up playing field lacrosse, Canadian Football, etc I agree hard physical contact sports are the accepted norm here. Its why MMA has thrived so well in Canada. Perez absolutely hit the nail on the head when he said RL was the most Canadian of all sports - it imbues virtually every aspect of athleticism that we here love - its only room for improvement would it be that it was on ice..... Yep! Anyone over there who watched a game would have noticed the incredible diversity of the attendees. This is true of our principal sport hockey as well - have any of you ever seen the CBC Punjabi tv crew call the hockey games? They are renown on both sides of the border. Starting out in Toronto was I believe a must. It is the sporting capital of Canada having the capacity to support more professional sporting teams then any other Canadian city. Toronto is in fact the 3rd largest CMA in Canada/USA. NY, Toronto, Chicago and LA CMA's are the dominant economic zones in NA (Dallas is hot on the heels) and thus also why I think its imperative that the next entry be NY.
  10. I am curious about this as well. I am aware that in the UK, union and rfl are at odds whereas over here TWP are in fact sponsoring a traditional 7's tournament, and everyone on all sides is happy about it. From my perspective, and that of anyone I know, rugby is rugby, just enjoy it and forget all the bull that comes with petty old world rivalries. I guess it will once again be up to Canada to lead the way.... When I played in high school, we did not even refer to it as union just rugby, and I recall our PE teacher saying there were different styles but that was the extent of it. No one really cared quite frankly - we just got to run around and work off some steam. The animosities over there remind me of soccer hooliganism, and we just don't go for that type of stuff over here - down in the USA they are a bit more like that with all this us vs them type stuff.
  11. Something I thought I would mention is that I found this forum purely by accident while doing some googling about TWP in my formative curiousity days in respect the club. This site regretfully has no profile on our side of the pond, or I am certain you would see many more Canadians on the forum. We are a pretty social people over here generally.
  12. Michael, this might be a topic for us to discuss in the TWP forum but are you seeing much marketing yet from TWP over there? I had heard they were doing some at actual games (booths with TWP merchandise) but wondering if anything else is evident yet? I has heard via the grapevine they were intending some real marketing push UK side for the forthcoming year. @John Drake I am aware I am a bit off topic here and if you would like me to move this to the TWP thread I am happy to do such.
  13. Thank you The Daddy (sorry, I do not know your real name) for your welcome thoughts. On the topic of Hamilton I do not believe any Canadian, myself included, believes Hamilton is anything other then a misunderstanding or pure speculation by an uninformed journalist somewhere. I have spoken to this matter in prior comments in various threads so I will leave well enough alone on this matter.... Of my fellow Canadians who post, I know of 5-6 who are expats ( RobertM, ChrisM, CanaBull, John WP Fan, Kman) but to my best knowledge a number of others incl myself who contribute frequently are born and bred Canucks. Furthermore, all of the aforementioned expats have been in Canada for a long time as each has indicated at some point in the past, and I would venture at this point are more "Canadian" in attitude - yes they shed some of your native bred pessimism after being ensconced in the nirvana of their adopted home..... How would one skewer what TWP has achieved? John Drake posted a very nice summation recently on this matter which I think "skewered" all the negativity and summed up the very impressive list of accomplishments quite nicely. Anyways, I personally will continue to post non-reasonable, outlandish, over the top, mind-numbing, disrespectfully positive diatribe (can there be such a thing as positive diatribe?? lol ) not just about TWP but RL in general if its all the same to you....
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