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Tides Of History

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  1. Very fair comments. My thinking was that renaming it would be both a nod to Burrow and an opportunity to make the award even more special. It's not as if it's not relevant to the award - he's the only person to have won it by a unanimous vote. Seems like a good opportunity - after almost 25 years of grand finals - to give the trophy it's own history. It might even mean more to the winner if it's attached to a historic moment. Good discussion though -good to gear a range of opinion!
  2. There's no history with Harry Sunderland and the Grand Final. What are you hoping to preserve?!
  3. What are we doing when we present the man of the match in the grand final as the Harry Sunderland award? Why do we still call that it? Isn't there an opportunity here to do something better, more apt and more fitting of the occasion?
  4. It's ten years since the best individual grand final performance of all time. I can think of no more fitting tribute to Rob Burrow than a rename of the Harry Sunderland award in his honour... I put some thoughts together on what was so important about his performance that night and why we should honour him. Would love to hear your thoughts on it!! https://thecritic.co.uk/robert-the-lionheart/
  5. Yes and by 1999 - every club that has won a GF had played in one. It is highly unlikely to change in the next 5-10 years on the strength of depth at Wigan and St Helens. Wire as always our only hope...
  6. I agree with this - and I think, on reflection, the original super league mergers were an attempt to capitalise on new affluence. Like you say there are affluent areas and opportunities for sponsors - but a brand such as Cheshire was thought to have a better chance of securing them than Widnes and Warrington fighting separately. With that would come stronger teams and a shot at breaking the dominance of Wigan. Granted, we have a Wigan/Leeds/St Helens dominance but there are no clear pathways for new teams to emerge and break their stronghold. One of the biggest disappointments of the SL era is the fact we have had only four winners - and they were four of the clubs that were earmarked for survival in 1995.
  7. The objective in 1995 appeared to be to merge and expand in order to equip the game for the demands of the 21st century. The move to Summer would make it a better product and align the season with Aus - with the potential for an expanded end of season world club challenge. By making it more of a TV sport - with Manchester, Cumbria, Cheshire etc - seemingly more appealing - the game could grow and then teams from Newcastle etc could join. In the early days, for example, Newcastle United were said to be interested in making a bid. Of course, it all sounds great on paper and it may not have been possible to grow the game this way. We will never know. I do take issue with your suggestion that nobody could have predicted what happened - in fact Super League was meant to address the new leisure market, the rising competition between sports for revenue and identified the small areas in the north were we played were unlikely to ever compete on a big level. They didn't predict the financial crash, but identified that any league based on teams in such economically weak - and close geographical - areas would struggle to grow. In that sense they were right - we as a sport have to decide whether we are going to live with that decision (manage the decline and strengthen small areas) or look again at how we can reach new fans. Either option we can all work with - but it is probably time to decide.
  8. Its a good point and I did debate whether to use that line. In the end, I think you can point to teams like Wigan, Leeds, St Helens, Warrington and Hull and say they have got stronger as a result of Super League. One of the major issues facing the game in 1995 was the need to upgrade facilities and these clubs managed to do that and are still well placed to grow further if the game becomes stronger as a whole. Attendances have risen at those clubs from the early 90s and they've embedded themselves further into the community in a way they probably weren't at the time of the SL launch. I take your point about the amateur game however - that is proof that beyond the top level the game is in decline - but perhaps this is part of wider sporting trends that would have happened anyway?
  9. After a quarter of a century, is it time to re-evaluate the success/failures of Super League against its founding principles? On the one hand, we are still here as a professional sport embedded in the Sky Sports schedule. On the other, nobody could claim that we are in the position we thought we would be when we set out on the new era 25 years ago. For my latest piece in The Critic I have gone back and looked at the dreams we once had of national and global domination. Is it even possible now to finish off the revolution? Thoughts from you all welcome as ever! https://thecritic.co.uk/super-league-at-25-the-unfinished-revolution/
  10. Does it matter? As a sport we perhaps revel in the fact we have never have a knighted player But if we want a seat at the top table with the big boys - should we try and embrace the establishment? Would be interested to hear your thoughts on whether we need some ambassadors with titles. I think Sir Ellery, Sir Kevin and Sir Martin would have a certain clout (and of course they also deserve to sit alongside the elite sportsmen in this country!) Here are my thoughts published recently: https://thecritic.co.uk/class-matters-why-rugby-league-players-dont-receive-knighthoods/
  11. Hi, Thanks for sharing this article on this site. The Critic is a new political magazine and after I approached them with my idea for the piece they ran it straight away. I would be grateful if people could share it on social media pages and with fellow League/politically minded people. Hopefully it will gain some traction and encourage other magazines to run features on the sport. In the 1990s we used to feature in many of the Sunday mags and we could certainly do with broadening the debate about our identity. Also if any of you have any comments/criticism/ideas for future topics I'd be delighted to here from you. The identity crisis facing 'the people's game' and the 'people's party' is something I am eager to explore further My site is https://tidesofhistory.wordpress.com and can be contacted on anthonybroxton19@gmail.com Thanks for your support, Anthony (TOH)
  12. Hi all, I recently put together a list of some of the great documentaries and old matches that have been uploaded online. The full list is here. Please share widely with Rugby League people who may be feeling isolated at the moment. Hundreds of hours of RL history https://tidesofhistory.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/the-peoples-game-the-rugby-league-tv-archive/ Will add some of the ones mentioned on this forum Cheers Anthony
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