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DC77

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Everything posted by DC77

  1. An immense talent, a maverick, that RL simply doesn’t capitalise enough on. He’s one of the few (in fact only) RL players that I can remember having their own segment on Sky Sports News after a performance where he re-enacted what he did. It was that that would inspire kids to pick up a rugby ball and want to emulate (and indeed watch). For me the smart strategy for any RL authority would be trying to make the game more open like this (like it used to be), with a greater emphasis on flair and creativity, and cut down on the wrestle/stifling tactics imported from Australia. Brits are more flair based followers, Aussies more the biff. What’s popular in Aus doesn’t translate here.
  2. The players (or at least their agents) will know what contracts they are entering into. They aren’t being duped. The top earners in RL are the exceptional talents, and that’s the case in all sports (and entertainment). It’s how it should be. In communist Russia talent wouldn’t be rewarded and they’d all get the same. If a player gets 14k a year, it’s generally because that’s all his talent generates (i say generally as I’m sure there are rare cases when a player is being ripped off). There can’t be any moaning. He either needs to get better, to earn more, or choose another profession where there is more money swirling around. They all have choice. I’ve seen other sports being brought up in this discussion as though one “deserves” more than another, but you can’t compare sports. Other sports that have more interest, generate more money, so players get more; other sports that have less interest, generate less money, so players get less. You can only focus on your own, what you generate. If 3 million people watch a game you play in, and 500k watch a game someone else plays in, the player in the latter cannot complain that you earn more. There is a greater demand for what you do, so you generate more money. Then there’s the issue of supply..a sport like football has millions of participants, and only a tiny number make it. So if you’ve beaten 10,000 others for a spot you’ve had to do more than a player who beat 500 others for a spot. If I REALLY applied myself I think I’d have had a real shot of being in my local Gaelic team, but with equal application I’d have had a lower shot of being in my local football team as the competition (supply) is much greater in the latter. GAA isn’t that lucrative, and as a result its stadiums are archaic...a throwback to the all terraced stadiums in England. Remember when we put in a bid to host one of the upcoming RUWC tournaments and thinking absolutely no chance. One or two venues fine, but no more.
  3. “Pay them what they deserve”. What do they “deserve” mate? If your club generates X amount of money, you get a percentage of that, you don’t get above it. A club spending above that is called debt. You kind of answered your own question with your last sentence. If you don’t generate more money, you don’t get more money. It’s that simple. Why does Tom Cruise get X amount of millions, while over 90% of actors get paid peanuts? Because one is a draw that generates millions (and he gets a percentage of that), the others generate little, and they get a percentage of that. In the field of entertainment you get what you earn. As for an argument I’ve seen before, “putting their bodies on the line”, firefighters put their lives on the line, so do soldiers, and they get paid less. No disrespect to those who do the physically demanding (often brutal) stuff on the field of play, but that’s not a unique attribute. It’s something most, young, able bodied people can do. It’s not an exceptional talent, nor does what they do go viral online/generate clicks, headlines etc. It’s admirable yes, but it’s run of the mill stuff. I know Gaelic players who can barely walk after their careers have ended, and they are on benefits. Just because you chose to put your body through a battering doesn’t mean you should be compensated for it.
  4. You are comparing two different things. Football is my main sport, and the reason it’s full of diving is because you can get rewarded for it (with the instant video assistant referee now in force this has declined thankfully). You can’t get rewarded for diving in rugby (both codes) so it’s not done. If it was they would. There are other forms of cheating in rugby which players use to garner an advantage, such as late hits to take out a player, wrestling/holding on to a player to prevent him from releasing the ball quickly (probably my biggest gripe about the game). The latter the officials do nothing about. There’s nothing worse than seeing a player make a line break, get tackled, then try to get up quickly to release the ball to catch out the disorganised defence, only to be held sufficiently for the defence to regroup. When rugby (both codes) was at its purest it was much more free flowing, far less cheating/spoiling.
  5. The little kick to set up one of the tries for Wighton was a beauty. On the crowds point, totally agree. Let’s say allow 10% of capacity. Having them spread out would work. Think the sporting bodies are going to have to push the government on this.
  6. Was reading a Wikipedia article on the history of Everton...that minor club from Liverpool..and came across a link to a basketball team they initially financed, the Everton Tigers (subsequently renamed Mersey Tigers). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mersey_Tigers Tigers...a team from Liverpool called Tigers. Is this a homage to Knowsley Safari Park? Mentioned previously you’d need a high threshold for embarrassment to embrace all this gimmicky stuff...seems few in Merseyside did with the team folding in 2013. They were in a league called the BBL, and here are the current teams: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Basketball_League#Teams Like most people I’d never heard of any of them. The names are ludicrous. Sheffield Sharks...what? Glasgow Rocks...hahaha. Surrey Scorchers....oh ffs. Cheerleaders in basketball I’m not against as it’s something to distract you from the basketball. What this basketball league (and the rugby codes) should do, if they are to persist with their gimmicks, at the very least make them some way relevant to the team/area in question. Liverpool Beats (short for Merseybeat)...tacky, but at least it has a smidgen of authenticity. Sheffield Steelers (in fairness) works in the ice hockey with the city being the home of the steel industry. Generic things like Giants (Manchester Giants), that’s a nonsense, as is Worcester Wolves.
  7. Obviously we don’t yet know if he’s guilty of anything or not. That will have to go through the courts to decide. On a broader point though, domestic abuse is a major issue in Aussie RL (not aware if that’s the same for other Aussie codes). https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/22/rugby-league-has-a-domestic-violence-problem-the-nrls-lip-service-wont-fix-it That’s from 5 years ago; don’t know if much has changed. Ben Barba was only last year. Remember reading an article on Russell Crowe and Oliver Reed (I assumed the two of them would have got on like a house on fire while filming Gladiator), but Crowe wasn’t impressed by Reed’s drunken antics or how he was around people. Rude I believe is what he called him. Any kind of crappy behaviour wouldn’t be tolerated by Crowe.
  8. “GO TEAM GO....RA RA RA” Code for: “WITH THE ABSENCE OF REAL PASSION IN THE CROWD, LETS MANUFACTURE AN ATMOSPHERE” The lack of genuine passion (among many spectators) is why fans of sports teams there are transient, have a passing interest, hence why a team can relocate without any bother. It’s not entrenched in the community like here (good book on this very subject that appeared on this site a year or two back). A supporter here is for life, there its for Christmas. When Wimbledon FC left for Milton Keynes, the whole U.K. was disgusted...”you’ve ripped the heart out of the club”, “how can you take the club away from its community”. There’s none of that there. A team just up sticks and leaves, and plops itself down into another area. If it doesn’t make enough money, it will then move again. These are “franchises” (cold, clinical concept)...the objective is to make money, and moving is not an obstacle. The owner (no not the players, or the coach) gets to pick up the trophy. Contrast that to this: “At a football club, there's a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don't come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.” - Bill Shankly, Liverpool FC Besides the lack any authenticity with cheerleaders etc. you’d need to have a very high threshold for embarrassment to embrace this. Aussie crowds are dead, so it’s no surprise they have adopted it. The rugger at Twickenham has cheering prompts (signs that go right around the stadium to tell the toffs to ‘make some noise’)..as it too is devoid of any atmosphere. Telegraph article says the biggest cheer on the day of an Eng vs NZ test was when Beckham appeared on the big screen.
  9. It’s tacky and plastic...ie. fake. It’s the equivalent of those ‘applause’ signs that appear in talk shows. It’s forced, manufactured. None of it is real. The fakeness is even more blatant with the ‘get on your feet’, or ‘make some noise’ signs that appear on signs around certain stadiums of certain sports. Cheerleaders, pom poms, giving teams silly nicknames (Widnes ‘Vikings’, Newcastle ‘Thunder’, Leeds ‘Rhinos’), a plethora of gimmicky fakeness. Stuff like this belongs in fake stuff like WWE. Of course all this fakeness comes from the home of fakeness. The worst aspect in a sporting context being teams relocating at the drop of a hat as they have zero connection to their community. Imagine saying to the people of Liverpool, “cheerio folks, we are leaving Anfield and relocating Liverpool FC 2000 miles away”....cue WWIII. Barcelona FC fans, we are renaming your club “Barcelona mavericks”, Real Madrid fans, your club will be known as “Real Madrid titans”. Cue rioting. Genuine passion, atmosphere and authentic identity beats fakeness every time. The Aussies are very Americanized in their sports, and that’s seeped into the rugby codes here. Super League is basically a junior partner of the NRL and adopts so much of what they do.
  10. I’m not surprised by this, and for me it’s best highlighted by the fact Coronation Street, a soap entrenched in the north of England, as parochial a TV show you can get, actually has an audience in Canada. I thought the furthest a show like that (a northern kitchen sink drama) could travel would be Ireland (where I am, as culturally the UK and Ireland are basically the same), so to find out it was watched in Canada was a bit of an eye opener when I first heard. Anne of Green Gables, parochial from a Canadian standpoint, was enormous here, so there must some shared cultural way of life. The protectionism of the game here is understandable. I didn’t know that much about Rugby League’s history until about five years ago, and then read an article by Jonathan Liew (think that’s how it’s spelt). He wrote about the doomsday attitude of many RL fans, a feeling as though the sport is endangered. I was shocked as I had no idea of the history and the fight it has faced for survival basically. Expansion is a constant theme...expand or die an often repeated phrase. But because so many expansion attempts haven’t worked there is a heightened sense of wariness of any new venture. There is also the fear of diluting the “heartlands” by having teams from outside. So it’s a constant battle of knowing what’s the best way forward. I’ve mainly followed the Premier League most of my life so all this protectionism stuff or constant worry about the game’s future is a completely new subject for me. I’ve never known a sport to focus so much on its survival, and what can be done to help it grow. Many RL followers talk about that as much (or even more) as their own teams results. When you read what the sport has gone through though you understand why.
  11. They obviously did, or at least that’s what they set the UK a deadline for, which they only abandoned in 2007 and allowed dual imperial-metric marking on goods to continue indefinitely. I’ve linked the BBC source on this. When did the 10 metre lines in rugby come in? Both codes have it I believe.
  12. I’m not bothered either way, it would just be massive nuisance to readjust our way of thinking if we did have to change. When I was at primary school in the late 80s early 90s we had all the metric measurements like they do now, but it’s something you just learn as opposed to put into use. It would take an enormous cultural shift to stop people thinking of height in feet/inches and weight in stone/lbs, then there’s road signs with miles/yard having to be changed. Imagine Michael Buffer at Wembley stadium...”and weighing in at 75 Kilos, Anthony Joshua”. Cue blank faces in the crowd. The only measurement I (and I’d say most) can easily use interchangeably is metres and yards, although in football (which I still play) I’ve only ever used yards. “Beckham scores from 15 metres”..unheard of. All the key measurements are in yards (six yard box, penalty spot 12 yards, 10 yard wall for free kicks). Also play golf, which still uses the original Scottish rules, so no “putt from 10 metres”. Rugby is different though, which I’m guessing is due to trying to have uniformity with Aus/NZ/SA by using metres.
  13. Body measurements is one aspect, but ultimately imperial for distance is easier for us, because road signs are in miles and yards. For those that use metric that come here it’s bloody difficult. What you are taught in school doesn’t carry into society, as the dominant use in society prevails. I remember having the metre ruler in school (with inch markings), also the kg weight, but neither translated into measuring your height or weight in those. If you told someone you are 1.75 m and weigh 60 kg, 99% of society would need that converted to feet & inches and stone & lbs to grasp what height and weight that is. Metres in terms of 100m, 200m, 400m or 10k run people get, thanks to the popularity of athletics (doesn’t translate to car journeys though...tell someone the next town is 10k away they’d need that in miles). Similarly if rugby was more mainstream then it’s highly likely people would grasp metric heights and weights.
  14. More on this from the BBC: From 2007: EU gives up on 'metric Britain' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6988521.stm And from 2011: Will British people ever think in metric? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16245391 “It is 200 years since Napoleon backtracked on his grand scheme to make his empire metric, but today the British remain unique in Europe by holding onto imperial weights and measures. Call it a proud expression of national identity or a stubborn refusal to engage with the neighbours. Either way, the persistent British preference for imperial over metric is particularly noteworthy at a time when its links with Europe are under greater scrutiny than ever.” For me (and I’d say most others) it’s not about national identity in sticking to using British stuff or refusing to use anything French, it’s more the nuisance factor of having to adjust. If I see (or hear a NZ/Aussie commentator) say a rugby player weighs 105 kilos, I just think that’s heavy without knowing exactly what weight that is. 1.90 cm plus you just think tall, but I couldn’t convert what that is.
  15. The EU did push for exclusively a metric system here though (“must have have it by X number of years”) and only abandoned it in 2007 when they realised it was never going to happen. Brexit will have put a final nail in the coffin. Miles and yards for distance, weight in stone and pounds, height in feet and inches, it’s too entrenched here for it to change. Tell someone your height is 1 metre 68 centimetres, or you weigh 68 kg, or that you are travelling 70 km, you will generally get blank stares. Distances in metres most can grasp (as well as being taught in school the athletics track has helped massively with that)..so 1 metre up to the 10k run. Weirdly if you said you are travelling 10 km in your car, it wouldn’t register. Rugby league followers here are quite unique in being more accustomed to metric in that Australia is the dominant rugby league nation, so a lot of their metric usage appears in the game here. The 10 metre line, is that an Aussie concept? Players heights given in centimetres, weight in kg (RU is the same I believe). Football being my main sport I rarely come across such usage. Klopp (coming from Germany) has since adapted to the Premier League in speaking in yards...”6 yard box, 12 yard penalty spot, shot from 20 yards” etc. Must be weird for the likes of him seeing road signs in miles though.
  16. He tried to relocate Everton to Kirkby, miles outside the city. After that failed (which left him “bitterly disappointed”) he then got desperate and was all for sharing a stadium with Liverpool FC. Don’t know if he contributed to their decline, he certainly did little to halt it.
  17. Definitely much easier stopping/destroying than scoring/creating, which is why the top earners in sport more than often are those that do the latter. Ella was before my time, but Campese was an absolute joy to watch. Think I may have got the teams mixed up. I’m almost sure I recall the French RU public waving white hankies in displeasure at their team not playing open, expansive rugby (Barcelona FC fans used to often do it, though it could be both a display of displeasure or pleasure as I remember Ronaldinho scoring an overhead bicycle kick and the white hankies came out). What the French definitely did do was jeer their own team. This from 2005: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/lets-jeer-boys-2407485 “LET'S get the French crowd whistling and jeering. Those will be the last words Wales captain Gareth Thomas says to his team before they walk out at the Stade de France for their Six Nations encounter with Les Bleus. Thomas has already revealed how much the French rugby public admire the way the Welsh team play. But today he went a step further, by insisting his boys must stir up home frustration by exploding out of the blocks in their third Six Nations encounter of the season. "I think turning the French crowd against their own team has to be an aim for us," said Thomas knows all about the French rugby psyche, playing as he does for Toulouse. “When teams go to France their first objective is to provoke the whistles and the jeers," he said. This has long since stopped as it would be pointless given the French no longer play expansive rugby, so jeering the now commonplace attritional, limited rugby would achieve nothing. They just accept what they are served up now. It’s sad as I loved watching them play. The Aussies haven’t gone the same route as the French as they wouldn’t tolerate it. As I said I think it’s because Aussies are so used to expansive rugby with RL, whereas all the other RU nations don’t have this contrast to deal with (although RL is also played in Eng and NZ, it isn’t the dominant code like in Aus, so there isn’t that wider public demand for more open RU). Lol. Just a stereotype then. What about “shrimp on the Barbie”? haha
  18. That’s a good call. Remember playing football video games back then (pre FIFA franchise, can’t recall the name of it), but choosing AC Milan as your team was the ultimate. To me that name carries great gravitas, but to younger fans it definitely would not. Regards the thread topic, I think if you asked the average bloke on the street to name an Aussie sport (if they could name one of course), the first would be Aussie rules. Now this may have changed, but it was certainly the one that would have come to mind when I was growing up. Obviously a cricket fan will say cricket, and a RL fan will say RL, but non devotees of any I’d have thought would still say Aussie rules. It’s as Australian as corked hats. In terms of the profile of RL in Aus among the UK public, it would be very small (much smaller than the profile of English RL, which itself is quite small outside the heartlands). I doubt any non RL devotee could name any player from there, past or present. Think Shane Warne would be the best known Aussie sportsman.
  19. I miss that tbh. Those games I used to get up at 7am for. Hugely competitive with evenly matched teams, and when RU was much more open and expansive than it is now. It was one of those fixtures that non RU devotees would watch, a highlight in the sporting calendar. RU has killed itself by becoming too attritional, with an emphasis on bulk over skill (player size skyrocketing in that period). Aussies were the sole RU nation that still demanded an open playing style over bulk (possibly as it is also a RL nation, where play is more expansive). But as a result of this they’ve been outmuscled in that time with the pack getting annihilated, so lose much more frequently, aren’t anywhere near as competitive, so interest has nosedived. Wales and France used to be expansive, but to survive they had to become attritional in order to be competitive...the French public used to wave the white hankies if they weren’t entertained, they’ve long since stopped doing that as there’s no hope of the style of RU they used to play as they would get swallowed up by the mammoth brutes that now play the game. The only way I could see RU being revived in Aus if the game itself went back to a more expansive style of play, as only that interests the Aussie public.
  20. He’d have been a hypocrite to kneel for one cause given his views on gay people. He’s free to be bigot. You cannot make bigoted people not be bigoted. The issue is allowing such a bigot to play the sport. Super League says it’s inclusive, yet has a player that is anything but. His presence on the field makes a mockery of the sport. On one side there’s rainbow flags, on the other is a backward, knuckle dragging meathead thinking gay people are an abomination.
  21. You are from Liverpool aren’t you Eddie? There’s a stained glass window in Paddy’s wigwam with Lancashire on it. Remember when I saw it being slightly surprised as I hadn’t realised the historic connection.
  22. Massive club. Remarkable it’s been so long. Bielsa is the difference in finally getting them back up. He’s a complete one off. Must say the break also worked wonders as it gave all his players a much needed rest. Because he runs his players into the ground they often fade as the season closes as they run out of gas (almost all his previous teams have done), so to get a second wind with the break was huge.
  23. I could be wrong here (he could really be a RL aficionado) but I think Adams is really all about bettering yourself regardless of what your sport is. He’s a great role model in that regard. He must have become accustomed to RL through the players he’s worked with and clearly has huge admiration for what they put their bodies through. Regards promoting sport, I’ve hardly seen him as a pundit on any football games (maybe twice)...as I say I think his work/focus is bigger than that.
  24. It’s aimed at a UK audience. Natural most people answering the poll will only have seen players from here. They have thrown in a token Aussie in the five. Few people here know RL players from here, even far fewer people here know RL players from Australia. If you are a RL anorak and watch extensive footage of old games from here and Oz, then you will have a much more broadened view, but you would be in a tiny minority that would have such knowledge, and a poll such as this is not specifically aimed at those people. My top five would all be from the UK. You cannot assess the five best players just from hearsay. If you do that then your view is null and void, as it isn’t your view. I’d have Hanley at #1. Two reasons. 1.Superior athlete. Players of African descent are much quicker than Caucasians, it’s a mismatch in a sprint, and so much of RL is just evading players on the run. Don’t think I’ve ever seen an Aussie even make a sprint final. Offiah would be ahead of them too in this category as he leaves them in his wake. 2.Hanley had the skills to go along with his athleticism. Jason Robinson was awesome in league too. That side step could leave anyone for dead.
  25. To respond to my own question about Japanese interest in RU and the talked about possibility of NZ clubs looking towards the Japanese market to secure their future, just read that the Japanese club team the Sunwolves are being turfed out of Super Rugby. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2019/03/22/rugby/sunwolves-kicked-super-rugby-2020-season/#.XfRs_sqnyhA Looks like they are not financially viable. With the Perth team having pulled out that sees the competion drop to 14 teams, and that number will drop further when (as has been reported) South African teams pull out and head north. Aussie RU doesn’t have a pot to pee in, so it doesn’t look good at all for the club scene in NZ. Ultimately the main issue is the product is not appealing enough to pull in new followers, as the more attritional RU has become the less popular it is.
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