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Raz

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  1. Yeah, traditionally, most leagues charge expansion teams a one time upfront fee, but afterwards they are admitted as full time members. It sounds like RFL had a bit of a strange approach to expansion from the start, and I imagine that’s fundamentally what is causing so much of the friction.
  2. Not at all, I’m at that conclusion myself. I’m just defining “they” as RFL and TWP collectively. My biggest point is that a lot of people on the board seem a bit lost in the weeds about who needs to carry blame for one thing or another, and frankly it doesn’t matter. I’m a relatively engaged TWP supporter, so I’m a lot more patient about things than most, but that’s not where they’re going to make their money from; they need to entice casual fans, who have lots of other options (most notably Toronto FC in the summer months). A fundamental (and reasonable) question that there needs to be a clear answer for is: how do I follow the TWP? For the last two years, that answer was: watch the free online CBC streams on Sunday mornings or come to the Saturday afternooon games at Lamport when they’re at home. This year, it changed to: well, you need to pay for a $50/month television package, but some of the games just won’t be available and some of them are in the middle of the afternoon on weekdays so you need to constantly check the schedule to find out when and if you can watch them. The pandemic causing the loss of every home game basically meant that TWP had zero chance of attracting new fans this year, and likely are going to lose a chunk of the casual fan base they had been growing the past few years. We can sit here pointing fingers at whoever we want, but it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if it doesn’t result in a reliable form of entertainment.
  3. Demotion or not, they still need to figure out how Toronto fans can reasonably watch games going forward.
  4. Even if this ultimately leads to a demotion, I’m hopeful that this lost season may force the league to properly evaluate their presentation as a professional sports league and treat transcontinental expansion with the seriousness it deserves. It’s probably entirely fair to call North American sports fans “spoiled” because we have so many high profile sports leagues, but speaking as someone who has really fallen in love with the sport over the last few years, this year’s jump to Super League has been so disheartening and frankly it’s shameful for how Toronto has been treated. They’re effectively a second-class team in the league, expected to not only get no slice of the Sky pie but be expected to pay additional fees for travel on top of that. The expectation that they should do all of that on top of losing all potential for home revenue during a global pandemic is ludicrous. Their ownership is irrelevant; a professionally run league does not treat their teams with different rules from each other. The cherry on top of all of this is: Toronto had better television coverage while in Championship. The last few years, Wolfpack games were made available as free online streams on CBC and covered almost every game (and for sure every home game). This year, they were going to be lucky to get 2/3 of their games televised in Canada and those that were shown here were behind a premium cable subscription package (above and beyond the cost of a normal Sportsnet package). That’s just completely unacceptable for a league that wants North American fans to take it seriously. That is literally worse coverage than CHL hockey which is an amateur league for 16-20 year olds, let alone any professional league. I love the sport of rugby league, but how am I supposed to cheer for my team when I can’t even watch their games? If Super League is serious about North American expansion (and I hope that they are), they need to solve that issue or they’re not going to have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding here.
  5. Even if it comes at the cost of demotion, if it leads to the Super League getting its act together on how to properly handle transcontinental expansion, then this could end up being a boon long-term. The television coverage was both more comprehensive and widely accessible for Toronto while they were in the Championship (free online streams of almost every game on CBC vs only about 2/3 games on paid Sportsnet subscription), and it just makes the entire league look amateurish. The fact that the league has fundamentally treated Toronto like a second-class team is disgraceful and has frankly ruined my enjoyment of the sport as a fan. If I can’t even watch my team play every week, what am I even cheering for?
  6. Wait, wait, wait. They're not even going to televise their own home games?! There's no excuses for not being able to get a crew for the games in Toronto.
  7. If your main business strategy in the year 2020 is "our radio broadcasts are truly the best" you deserve everything that happens to you.
  8. It is completely absurd that the TV coverage was better when the team was in Championship than it has been for Super League. Between the inability to even watch them play and their mismanagement of fielding a competitive roster, I've already started to lose a lot of interest after being so excited before the year began. That's speaking as an invested fan; I can't even imagine what their plan is to maintain or grow the interest of casual fans when they can't even watch them play and/or win.
  9. Maybe it wasn’t as clear on television but he was holding and throwing extra shots after the tackle throughout the entire game. It was only fitting that when the ref finally called him on it, it ended with the nail in the coffin.
  10. This is fair criticism and stems from two things: 1. North American sports have less organization with crowd noise. I really like how UK/European crowds like to sing chants during games. It’s something I wish we’d adopt more in Canada especially for rugby/soccer. 2. Canadian fans are still learning the rules of the game and it’s not really easy to always understand live without commentary or understanding the referee signals. For better or worse, most Canadian fans are more familiar with the rules of Canadian and American football which have enough differences (successive knock ons vs fumbles is a big one that is resolved very differently between the sports). I think as TV coverage expands, more fans will start to understand the rules more while they’re at the games and can cheer appropriately.
  11. Great game and great crowd to be a part of. Fev fans seemed to be enjoying themselves and making some noise too. I hope we come up with some songs in Toronto eventually too. Not a huge fan of the reffing today but feels a bit sore to complain after a win. Great game by Fev who played hard. Credit to all of them for a hard fought game (except Busey who can go suck an egg. At least he didn’t bite anyone today).
  12. They just have one guy run back and forth along the sidelines the whole game to make it sound like a crowd.
  13. I sent a message to TOWolfpack twitter account asking about streaming options this year and they sent me a DM back saying that they’ll have something to announce later this week. No mention of cost or platform.
  14. Raz

    Widnes Game

    Time to print off a £250,000 novelty cheque to bring to next year's game.
  15. Ref got the result he wanted. Hard to beat 14 men on the other side.
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