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ChoboMog last won the day on September 7 2017

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  1. The miracle tweet was already hinted at in yesterday's announcement of the Toronto Wolfpack season opener official viewing party, at Northern Maverick, this Sunday :
  2. I've e-mailed Sportsnet Now, requesting info on Super League rugby games, and they have indicated that the following will be available, this week: Wigan vs. Warrington -— Thursday, 2:30pm St. Helens vs. Salford -— Friday, 2:00pm Toronto vs. Castleford -— Sunday, 9:00am Leeds vs. Hull FC -— Sunday, 11:30am That said, the current schedule grid only lists the Thursday and Friday games, putting their coverage of Toronto Wolfpack games into question. It will also require the very expensive SN Now+ package. So, you're looking at $27.99+tax per month ($20.83+tax per month, when billed annually), or a full $9.99+tax per week if you wanna test it out. That's pretty steep, considering it's merely a Sky Sports feed, since there is no guarantee every game will even be broadcast, and since I have little use for the SN Now+ service otherwise... It also feels like a kick in the teeth that the team likely won't see a penny, given that Sportsnet purchased the rights from Sky with TWP apparently still not receiving central funding from the TV deal. I'm seriously tempted to find an alternate means of watching the game, and using the money saved to purchase additional merch/jerseys/beer/tickets as at least some of that money will trickle down to the team.
  3. @The Parksider, as with before, I'll do my best to keep responses on topic, polite, and concise, and I appreciate your attempts to do the same: If the Super League is so short of viable clubs (I disagree, but I'll run with your logic), then allowing a currently successful Toronto Wolfpack club to join, with deep pockets to back it and with future financial viability seemingly likely, clearly isn't a bad idea. Toronto's inclusion in Super League could even provide increased financial stability, in the medium to long term, once details of travel costs are ironed out. The single easiest way for the Toronto Wolfpack to secure a TV deal is to be in the top flight, to be in the Super League. I obviously have no idea what discussions the team has been having, with sports media outlets, nor the level of success or interest they've had. However, should Toronto successfully gain promotion, on Saturday, with the local media coverage they have garnered, and with the connections within the Canadian sports media landscape Chairman and interim CEO Bob Hunter has, a TV deal would not surprise me in the least. Further to the point above, please keep in mind the following: 1) Toronto Wolfpack have, already, been broadcast for three straight seasons within Canada on both GameTV (SD/HD broadcast, depending on region) and the CBC Sports app (Free HD streaming), as well as on Sky Sports Arena (HD broadcast) in the U.K; 2) Sky Sports has, also, provided significantly more coverage of the RFL Championship than it has in the past, largely due to the increased interest in the tier and due to the coverage of Toronto games provided to them by the Wolfpack. The typically weekly non-Toronto regular season Championship game, now shown on Sky Sports, is a good thing and it would be hard to argue that Toronto wasn't at least partly responsible for this development. 3) While these don't yet constitute a new net positive TV deal, financially, any additional exposure such coverage provides to the sport, and the RFL/SL as a whole, is substantial and should not be ignored. Player development takes time. Deal with it. Thankfully, Toronto Wolfpack community outreach has been happening since day one, and the number of kids (girls and boys both) and families at the game and often sporting their local kids' team jerseys, is not insignificant. They are our next generation. Similarly, the exposure gained from TV coverage, especially when promoted more widely from a more substantial TV deal, is the easiest way to entice completely new players and fans, as well as both gridiron and RU players via code conversion, into the fold. Please, give it a rest with Eric Perez, at least when it comes to conversations specifically about the Toronto Wolfpack. He no longer plays any meaningful role with the team, and hasn't for at least the duration of the 2019 season; so, repeatedly harking back to comments of his, from 3+ years ago is barely relevant and does nothing but hold back the more important questions: Where do we go from here; and how to we make Toronto's expansion a net benefit for the Super League, the RFL and all it's constituent parts, and for the game of Rugby League in general? Thankfully, and with RFL/SL/TWP official statements still pending, for some reason, the Super League seems to have seen the clear potential Toronto's success has. Looking forward to a sold out Lamport, this Saturday, to a Toronto victory, and to seeing our Super League opposition in 2020!
  4. Very true... That said, it's not gonna stop me from looping this video, for the rest of the week, just to get in the mood for a Wolfpack victory:
  5. Just saw the following new item, here, on the TotalRL front page: We are still waiting for official statements from the RFL and the Super League, not to mention the obvious fact that this is all pending a Toronto Wolfpack Victory, in the Championship Grand Final, this Saturday, October 5. This is big news, though; and, as a season ticket holder since 2017, I couldn't be more excited! Official Statements: Super League Confirmation on Promotion https://www.superleague.co.uk/article/1094/super-league-confirmation-on-promotion News Reports: Rugby league officials say Wolfpack meet promotion criteria if they win Saturday (Neil Davidson | The Canadian Press | Multiple Publications | 2019-10-03) » https://www.cbc.ca/sports/rugby/toronto-wolfpack-promotion-1.5307405 » https://www.tsn.ca/rugby-league-officials-say-toronto-wolfpack-meet-promotion-criteria-if-they-win-saturday-1.1375728 » https://www.thestar.com/sports/2019/10/03/officials-confirm-wolfpack-will-be-promoted-to-top-tier-super-league-with-win-in-million-pound-game.html » https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/article-toronto-wolfpack-approved-for-super-league-promotion-if-they-win/ Toronto and Featherstone both approved for promotion by Super League (James Gordon | Love Rugby League | 2019-10-03) https://www.loverugbyleague.com/post/toronto-and-featherstone-both-approved-for-promotion-by-super-league/ How the Toronto Wolfpack Could Shape the Future of Rugby League on Two Continents (Morgan Campbell | Toronto Star | 2019-10-04) https://www.thestar.com/sports/2019/10/04/how-the-toronto-wolfpack-could-shape-the-future-of-rugby-league-on-two-continents.html Wolfpack Look to Win Promotion, Change Face of Rugby League (Neil Davidson | The Canadian Press | CBC Sports | 2019-10-04) https://www.cbc.ca/sports/rugby/toronto-wolfpack-promotion-1.5307405 Toronto on Verge of Promised Land in Bid to Become Global Sports Brand and Change the Face of Super League (Ross Heppenstall | The Telegraph | 2019-10-04) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-league/2019/10/04/toronto-verge-promised-land-bid-become-global-sports-brand-change/
  6. @ojx, I skipped the first 53 pages, or so, as well, but I've at least tried to keep things on topic, here. Your frustration is definitely shared. @Big Picture, I think Elstone's point about Toronto being seemingly pretty "random", and likely not even in the top hundred cities you would have expected a rugby league team makes some sense, at least if someone were positing the idea a half decade ago. These days, the only thing "random" is the fact that the team has taken off so well, and that public interest has seemingly blossomed out of nothing, to the point where 7000+ fans are to be expected each week and where 9000+ for any important game is standard. I agree that he is, still, trying to get his head around what Toronto represents, going forward, but I feel like the potential for growth, international exposure, and increased TV/advertising revenue it presents will be impossible for him and the other owners to pass up. Thankfully, there is nothing "random" about the fans in attendance. Those of us who are into rugby league are a given; but the vast majority, in my experience, are completely new to the sport, came to a single game and then decided to return again, and again, and again... @The Parksider, I will do my best to keep my response concise, and I do appreciate the fact you specifically addressed my points: While Eric Perez is still listed as "Founder" of the Toronto Wolfpack, in many places, he hasn't had a meaningful role with the team for at least the duration of the 2019 season. Were he still actively involved with the Toronto Wolfpack, his views might be relevant; however, given that he is not, and the fact he has clearly moved on to Ottawa, there is really little value in referencing his past statements in relation to Toronto. I fundamentally disagree, as I am sure many others here would, that viewing expansion as a zero sum game makes sense. It is a truly flawed calculus. Not only are there easily players for more that 12 professional clubs, the increased opportunity to turn professional provides significant incentive for youngsters to follow their dream, for those down under to maybe give the Northern Hemisphere a try etc. Similarly, the single best way to foster new player development, RU-to-RL player conversion, and even the to date mythical NFL/CFL gridiorn-to-RL conversion of players is to have the combination of exposure and opportunity, both of which North American expansion provides. I won't pretend those benefits will be seen overnight, or even within a year or two; but for anyone thinking long term, here, playing the long game, those benefits are undeniable. I don't believe that there will be a need to persuade/select any teams for relegation, amalgamation, and/or relocation for this expansion to work. This will happen relatively naturally as the circumstances, and the landscape of the RFL's three tiers, change. Further to the zero sum point, above, as interest grows the RFL ranks and even the number of teams in the SL top tier can also grow. Rugby Union definitely has a much stronger foothold in North America, at the amateur level; however, realistically, I've seen a grand total of one advertisement, combined, for the Toronto Arrows and Major League Rugby, in my life. They are hardly the threat some will make them out to be. MRL looks bigger in North America, perhaps on paper and after a quick glance at the Wikipedia map; but if a NYC, Boston, or Montreal rugby league team were to emulate the Toronto Wolfpack's business model, I genuinely believe RU/MRL would be pushed aside and the better code would prevail quite easily. I don't have any inside information regarding investors. However, the addition of Bob Hunter to the Toronto Wolfpack management team is potentially a huge deal given his decades of experience dealing with stadium construction [SkyDome, Air Canada Centre (aka Scotiabank Arena), BMO Field, B.C. Place & Vancouver Expo etc) and local government support, as well has having massive connections within the local/national sports media scene, should give you hope that a TV deal and/or further sponsorship is not only planned but likely to become a reality. The fact that Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), which owns the CFL Redblacks, OHL 67’s, Ottawa Fury FC (USL), and manages the 24000 seat Ottawa rectangular stadium TD Place should give you confidence there is local money to back such expansion. Lamport Stadium is actually a pretty fun venue. Old school and utilitarian, for sure; but it gets the job done and just feels right for rugby league. You should really come to a game, sometime! In a nutshell, while I'm not going to pretend that there are no kinks to iron out, I genuinely believe that Toronto Wolfpack promotion to Super League will cause a lot of these pieces to fall into place in much the way so many have done so already. Even if there are disagreements in terms of the present value of such expansion, it will be fun to watch and a great ride as it happens!
  7. The only update I have seen, from the past week or so, was from Mr Elstone's interview on Rugby AM: Rugby AM -- Elstone discusses potential Wolfpack promotion... https://youtu.be/NeuJ3dzgk1A You can clearly hear him hedging his bets, somewhat, and he does raise some genuine question marks and caveats about the challenges of a trans-Atlantic Super League, from long distance travel to balance of competition. That said, the impression I am left with is that if TWP win next Saturday, and a few details can be ironed out, then entry into Super League is not only something which will happen, but something which will be promoted to ensure its long-term success; an impression also, thankfully, in line with what Mr Argyle articulated, during his season ticket holder Q&A, on Tuesday. Caveats notwithstanding, and obviously pending the final score, if this is what Mr Elstone is saying, this week, then I am fully confident Toronto Wolfpack promotion to Super League will happen. Considering this thread already has five times as many replies than the Rugby AM interview does seconds in its video, and it doesn't feel like this discussion here has gone anywhere but in circles, perhaps we should start to focus on: What the Rugby Football League and Super League can do, organizationally, to ensure the success of a trans-Atlantic Super League; and What the Toronto Wolfpack can do, or what will the team need to do better, in order to ensure their entry into the top tier is not only smooth, but a win for all involved. Admittedly, this is all still hypothetical, even if the discussion might as well assume suggestions are for the 2020 season. It simply seems, to me anyway, to be a heck of a lot more useful and practical than out-of-context quotes and aspirations from years past and from those no longer running the show.
  8. So, I guess we can add this to the no news is bad news category, if it's getting the Wolfpack some additional early season TV coverage ? To be honest, I was definitely in that "this must be some sort of PR stunt" category, even in my first post about it here; but, I guess this is legit and the team is simply trying to make the best of a bad situation.
  9. The Sportsnet SN Now app definitely supports casting for any/all live content, as when I gave it a try I only watched content on my TV. It might even have an Android/Apple TV app, as well. What I am not sure about is whether the lookback feature, specifically, supports casting since it is only available through the Sportsnet website. We probably won't know for sure until somebody takes one for the team and gives it a try. I may go for it, and will update everyone if/when I do; but I am going to wait until towards the end of the promotion period to bump that $199 CAD hit into the next credit card cycle ?
  10. Yeah, IF your focus is exclusively, or even anywhere close to this, to watch Rugby League, then WatchNRL is the gold standard. All games; live + on demand; all TV shows, 24/7 TV channel etc. There is, quite simply, nothing anywhere close for the RFL. I love it and am happily going to renew. I just wish there was a combo deal for WatchNRL and WatchAFL ? IF you also watch the Blue Jays, Raptors, Leafs etc., and don't have cable, then SN Now+ (after the price drop) is a good choice. The SN Now+ FAQ does list the ability to use a "look back feature" for games you miss, which is essentially an on-demand feature. However, with no personal experience, I don't know how well it works, nor do I know whether casting to a TV is an option. I would love for someone who does know to let us know, though.
  11. So, somewhat unexpectedly, an interesting announcement just showed up in my e-mail inbox, indicating that there now exists a Sportsnet SN NOW+ package as an annual subscription marked down to $199 CAD per year if purchased by March 31, 2019 (reg. $249 CAD): This is actually the Plus (+) package which includes all the extras; and, when you consider it's now $199 CAD per year instead of $27.99 per month ($335.88 per year, if paid monthly) it had been, that's not such a bad deal. Despite my less than stellar review above, I am actually tempted by this price drop. I'd be willing to be the price drop has nothing to do with rugby league, and is actually a direct response to DAZN's acquisition of Premier League and UEFA Champions League games for the coming years and it's less expensive price point; but if you were on the fence before, now might not be a bad time to go for it.
  12. I'm not sure if there is some sort of inside joke, I am missing, between here and the team's official announcement regarding the costume's whereabouts. Surely, though, this merely some sort of Carmen San Diego-esque, Where's Waldo/Wally-like publicity stunt, right?
  13. I'm going to leave the back-and-fourth at this, as I think our respective points have been sufficiently made and because I don't really see the conversation going anywhere. If the attitude towards Toronto is, indeed, that the Wolfpack is simply a "guest to the sport"; then, perhaps, the insular, jaded, and narrow-minded heartland stereotypes, we have been abundantly warned of are, sadly, more prevalent than most of us had hoped. Not a good state of affairs. I'm still very confident, though, that such an attitude is not representative of the broader Rugby League community, and that Toronto's continued participation in the RFL/SL is a win-win, a chance to grow the game. Feel free to prove me wrong, though. Nobody is asking anyone to bow down, nor to create problems. Suggesting as much, and in a pejorative manner, I think purposely misrepresents the whole situation. Tweaks are being suggested; tweaks which mitigate the logistical challenges of a trans-Atlantic league and ones which present little to no downside (beyond change itself) for anyone involved. On the one hand, as much as this may surprise some here on the TotalRL forums, the world does not revolve around Sky Sports. On the other hand, Sky Sports itself clearly sees sufficient potential to carry every single game, home and away, for a second tier team which is apparently a mere "guest". Go figure. With Championship teams otherwise struggling to get any airtime at all, and with the odd SL game still somehow not making it to TV, perhaps we should focus on the positive, here: The growth in Rugby League interest, and broadcast, in the heartland and abroad alike. Perhaps we should build on this interest, and pester the powers that be to ensure that even more games are televised and that even more teams share in the privilege. Perhaps I'm a bit naïve. Honestly, I just hope this whole TWP experiment works out as it's been an absolute blast to attend games in person, and be able to follow something truly new, unique and exciting. Bring on a Montreal, a NYC a Boston, a Liverpool, or a Philly, as far as I am concerned! The fact that the couple of dozen people I've brought to games, their first RL games ever, have ALL loved it and returned to see TWP at Lamport of their own accord (paying for their own tickets, merchandise, food and beer) means I'm far from an outlier. The untapped, or perhaps barely tapped, potential is clearly there.
  14. Toronto isn't gaining any advantage by having games scheduled as "home" yet played away, in the U.K. If anything the reverse is true, with Toronto being denied a supportive home crowd and the away teams not having to deal with the travel fatigue and jet lag they otherwise would have. If the "Super Dooper League [sic]" were smart, they might consider the scheduling tweak proposals in my previous posts, as it actually mitigates the effects of and limits the need for any TWP special treatment as well as introducing other benefits... ? Should Toronto gain promotion, the Super League (and it's constituent clubs) would be rather short sighted, and I would argue ill advised, if they were not to not find some way to continue to make things work. The scheduling solutions are really fairly simple logistics; having an SL team in Toronto a win for all involved, even more so with a 14 team SL as TWP promotion wouldn't displace anyone; and, while some seem to still deny the obvious, there is something rather special happening over here and Toronto has serious potential for Rugby League to break into a new and very lucrative market.
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