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USA sports fans in awe of Rugby League hits


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10 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Another perfectly good thread derailed.

On the one hand, yes.

On the other, a bit of a wake up call that all these American fans suddenly in awe of the big hits don't really exist. No more than the UK became a hotbed of australian rules because a fair number of people used to watch the AFL before Gazzetta Football Italia on Channel 4 in the 90s.

Because if the impact was real, this thread wouldn't be going backwards and forwards about calling the game "jeu a treize" (in absolute and profound ignorance of why that's a somewhat loaded name for the sport), we'd be seeing wave after wave of comments about US interest in rugby league.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Being sneered at probably doesn't encourage new fans either, whether in the USA or anywhere else.

The size of a sport usually determines how successful it is more than the administration of said sport. Take soccer for example. FIFA is an organisation that at times beggars belief the way it is run.

Treize is the answer. Most people wouldn't know it's a real word meaning thirteen on French. 

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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

On the one hand, yes.

On the other, a bit of a wake up call that all these American fans suddenly in awe of the big hits don't really exist. No more than the UK became a hotbed of australian rules because a fair number of people used to watch the AFL before Gazzetta Football Italia on Channel 4 in the 90s.

Because if the impact was real, this thread wouldn't be going backwards and forwards about calling the game "jeu a treize" (in absolute and profound ignorance of why that's a somewhat loaded name for the sport), we'd be seeing wave after wave of comments about US interest in rugby league.

Of course, a Youtube reactor being impressed by a short "best of" clip is a long way from any of them becoming fans, or even watching one full match. But every little helps in brand awareness, especially when you see the number of subscribers some of these accounts have. And there's always a few comments below the videos pointing out that there are two separate codes.

"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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15 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

Of course, a Youtube reactor being impressed by a short "best of" clip is a long way from any of them becoming fans, or even watching one full match. But every little helps in brand awareness, especially when you see the number of subscribers some of these accounts have. And there's always a few comments below the videos pointing out that there are two separate codes.

That's a good point.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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14 hours ago, DeadShotKeen said:

I get what you're saying and when I first started watching NRL in 2013 I was totally baffled by this as well. As an English RL fan I naturally recoil in anger when I hear anyone here refer to RU as "rugby" so that was my first reaction hearing it there as well but then of course I started to get it and how in some ways rugby was used as a disparaging term for union - that and the fact that they had rebranded their own sport as "footy", which I thought was healthy and also showed a lot of confidence (ie "Never mind those other versions - this is proper footy"). In an indigenous sense the Aussie rebranding completely works. The sports basically have separate names with one of them relinquishing the rugby tag. The only problem as I say is that this doesn't work in a wider global sense, hence the need for something specifically tailored to the US and other new markets.

Agree with all of this bar two points.

First, the use of footy or football for RL in the eastern states is purely colloquial. They can hardly be seen as "relinquishing the rugby tag" when their primary organisation is the National Rugby League, and the sport is branded and marketed as NRL.

Second, the failure on this thread (and multiple others) to come up with an apposite substitute name is not the consequence of a lack of verbal dexterity. Every option would be as likely to sow confusion as resolve it. We can only relentlessly, painstakingly, assert the terms "Rugby league" and "Rugby Union", never using only "Rugby" to describe either. If we want to abbreviate do so to "League" or "Union", never to "Rugby". RL fans should have a swear box for every time they say "Rugby" unaccompanied.

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12 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

If we want to abbreviate do so to "League" or "Union", never to "Rugby". 

I am amazed when I see people on this forum refer to Rugby League/League still as "rugby".

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4 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Of course, a Youtube reactor being impressed by a short "best of" clip is a long way from any of them becoming fans, or even watching one full match. But every little helps in brand awareness, especially when you see the number of subscribers some of these accounts have. And there's always a few comments below the videos pointing out that there are two separate codes.

It brings a sinking feeling when you see the same type of comments (both the ill-informed and attempting to clarify) attached to all these "American reacts to Rugby for first time" YouTube videos.

There are so many such vids that someone could run a channel "RL fan reacts to Americans reacting to Rugby for first time". The comments underneath might initially go further down the same rabbit-hole, but then emerge blinking into enlightenment. You never know.

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4 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

I am amazed when I see people on this forum refer to Rugby League/League still as "rugby".

But you understand why though, right? Cos if you grow up in a UK RL community the two sports are known as "rugby" and "union" (if not something more derogatory). From our perspective it's really shocking when you hear Aussies and others referring to union as just "rugby", because we are all interested in proper rugby and don't think that other sport where it's all about waiting for a scrum to collapse so you can kick a penalty and lots of booting the ball into touch really deserves to be called rugby at all.

(And yes, I can understand your POV and the points above about brand awareness to get new people to watch the right game and not get put off our sport by watching a different one, I just wanted to make sure you get why we call it just "rugby" over here.)  

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10 hours ago, gingerjon said:

On the one hand, yes.

On the other, a bit of a wake up call that all these American fans suddenly in awe of the big hits don't really exist. No more than the UK became a hotbed of australian rules because a fair number of people used to watch the AFL before Gazzetta Football Italia on Channel 4 in the 90s.

Because if the impact was real, this thread wouldn't be going backwards and forwards about calling the game "jeu a treize" (in absolute and profound ignorance of why that's a somewhat loaded name for the sport), we'd be seeing wave after wave of comments about US interest in rugby league.

Even before the internet there were lots of features on how amazed Americans were by RL big tackles or the lack of padding and helmets. Some here would react with a glow of pride or sense of curious vindication. Why though would we think that this superficial reaction would lead to an interest in RL. It`s no different from us watching those American big truck smash-ups that used to be on "World of Sport".

I genuinely tried to get into Aussie rules when it was on channel 4, but remained completely flummoxed by its appeal. No offence intended to its fans but the only reason I carried on watching was that, in the days before LOL became a thing, it was a laugh a minute.

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29 minutes ago, mrfranco said:

But you understand why though, right? Cos if you grow up in a UK RL community the two sports are known as "rugby" and "union" (if not something more derogatory). From our perspective it's really shocking when you hear Aussies and others referring to union as just "rugby", because we are all interested in proper rugby and don't think that other sport where it's all about waiting for a scrum to collapse so you can kick a penalty and lots of booting the ball into touch really deserves to be called rugby at all.

(And yes, I can understand your POV and the points above about brand awareness to get new people to watch the right game and not get put off our sport by watching a different one, I just wanted to make sure you get why we call it just "rugby" over here.)  

If "The Rocket" is an Australian gentleman he might comprehend less, but I understand your traditional explanation. And in Featherstone, Leigh, etc it makes perfect sense. But related to any ambitions we have for RL beyond its heartlands we should have more care and imagination over the terms we use.

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Americans manage to cope with two variants of pro baseball - American League rules and National League rules.

North Americans accept two variants of what the British call "American football" - as played in the American Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Americans will eventually figure out that there are two different species of rugby, if they get interested enough. So use rugby union and rugby league as appropriate, but no need to bash them over the head with the billion year history of code wars, disgruntlement, and look-back-in-anger. They simply won't care. Better to give them a nice clean slate and help them to love the game.

 

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5 minutes ago, Loup said:

Americans manage to cope with two variants of pro baseball - American League rules and National League rules.

North Americans accept two variants of what the British call "American football" - as played in the American Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Americans will eventually figure out that there are two different species of rugby, if they get interested enough. So use rugby union and rugby league as appropriate, but no need to bash them over the head with the billion year history of code wars, disgruntlement, and look-back-in-anger. They simply won't care. Better to give them a nice clean slate and help them to love the game.

 

Eh, The only rule difference in baseball is the designated hitter, and that has temporarily changed this season and its only a matter of time before its permanent. Even with that rule difference it doesnt make for a completely different sport like Union vs League; its more like Super League vs NRL with their various rule differences.

North Americans don't accept two different codes of gridiron football, only Canada does (and I'm not sure how popular the NFL is compared to the CFL up there). The rest of us don't know squat about it other than its where players who werent good enough for the NFL go.

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16 minutes ago, Loup said:

Americans manage to cope with two variants of pro baseball - American League rules and National League rules.

North Americans accept two variants of what the British call "American football" - as played in the American Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Americans will eventually figure out that there are two different species of rugby, if they get interested enough. So use rugby union and rugby league as appropriate, but no need to bash them over the head with the billion year history of code wars, disgruntlement, and look-back-in-anger. They simply won't care. Better to give them a nice clean slate and help them to love the game.

 

In the international section there was a thread about RL in Vermont featuring a press article which had references to the game as "blue-collar Rugby", so, like it or not, the social and political history is picked up on by North Americans.

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17 minutes ago, emesssea said:

Eh, The only rule difference in baseball is the designated hitter, and that has temporarily changed this season and its only a matter of time before its permanent. Even with that rule difference it doesnt make for a completely different sport like Union vs League; its more like Super League vs NRL with their various rule differences.

North Americans don't accept two different codes of gridiron football, only Canada does (and I'm not sure how popular the NFL is compared to the CFL up there). The rest of us don't know squat about it other than its where players who werent good enough for the NFL go.

CFL is to me (A brit) 100 times better to watch though 3 downs is fab the receivers in CFL are really excellent I have seen some amazing plays that one would never see in the NFL.

On the subject of Rugby Americans that have watched both codes always to a man prefer League simple rules fast easy to follow and enjoyable:)

 

Paul

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8 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I am amazed when I see people on this forum refer to Rugby League/League still as "rugby".

My kids are born and raised in Canberra and are Raiders fans. They often call the sport “rugby”. They picked that up out in the community where people are from all over Australia. It’s also called “rugby”, “league”, “football” and “rugby league” in day to day conversations in Canberra because of the varied national influences.

Up on the Central Coast where I was raised it’s nearly always called “football” or “footy” in day to day conversations. When I was 16 and met a kiwi girl she talked about “rugby” without a “league” or “union” attached, I didn’t know what sport she was talking about.

In Melbourne it’s not unusual for Storm fans to refer to the “rugby”.

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9 hours ago, mrfranco said:

But you understand why though, right? Cos if you grow up in a UK RL community the two sports are known as "rugby" and "union" (if not something more derogatory). From our perspective it's really shocking when you hear Aussies and others referring to union as just "rugby", because we are all interested in proper rugby and don't think that other sport where it's all about waiting for a scrum to collapse so you can kick a penalty and lots of booting the ball into touch really deserves to be called rugby at all.

(And yes, I can understand your POV and the points above about brand awareness to get new people to watch the right game and not get put off our sport by watching a different one, I just wanted to make sure you get why we call it just "rugby" over here.)  

You know what ? I had no idea. That must be why I keep seeing it refererd to as " yawnion .  And that explains why David Argyle calls Rugby League " Rugby" '  I could never work that out, because surely he couldn`t be confused. I thought that maybe he was making some sort of statement about claiming the name for our code. 

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9 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I genuinely tried to get into Aussie rules when it was on channel 4, but remained completely flummoxed by its appeal. No offence intended to its fans but the only reason I carried on watching was that, in the days before LOL became a thing, it was a laugh a minute.

And I will tell you what it, it has only got funnier, because it has got faster.. There is so much of it on T.V. over here . Sometimes I will flick it on for a few minutes and honestly it`s hilarious . But as a comedian over here noted recently, what takes place on the field and what is described by the commentary team are two completely different things. They take it so seriously.                                                                                                                                                     They call it the "national game" I call it the "national embarrassment".

Yes "The Rocket is an Australian gentleman

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On 09/07/2020 at 01:22, unapologetic pedant said:

The Australian RL attitude to the word "Rugby" is particularly baffling and infuriating.

Their flagship competition, and the most well-known globally, is the National Rugby League. They ought to know that to any logically-minded person who does not already know different, this is interpreted as the game of "Rugby" played in a national league. Just as, in an American context, the NFL is the game of Football played in a national league. Yet they persist in calling RU "Rugby" without adding "Union".

Hey , easy fella. Your thinking too much and what`s with the " any logically minded person ".

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14 hours ago, Copa said:

My kids are born and raised in Canberra and are Raiders fans. They often call the sport “rugby”. They picked that up out in the community where people are from all over Australia. It’s also called “rugby”, “league”, “football” and “rugby league” in day to day conversations in Canberra because of the varied national influences.

Up on the Central Coast where I was raised it’s nearly always called “football” or “footy” in day to day conversations. When I was 16 and met a kiwi girl she talked about “rugby” without a “league” or “union” attached, I didn’t know what sport she was talking about.

In Melbourne it’s not unusual for Storm fans to refer to the “rugby”.

Canberra seems to be an unusual case. I read somewhere that in the Raiders` early days, when they were playing at Queanbeyan, RL was the fourth most popular code behind Aussie Rules, Soccer, and Union, in the ACT.

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27 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Canberra seems to be an unusual case. I read somewhere that in the Raiders` early days, when they were playing at Queanbeyan, RL was the fourth most popular code behind Aussie Rules, Soccer, and Union, in the ACT.

I have heard that story as well and that the success of the Raiders combined with the Brumbies drove "the silly game" out of the A.C.T. That story always gives me hope that maybe one day we can drive it out of Melbourne,  Hell  even Australia.

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17 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

I have heard that story as well and that the success of the Raiders combined with the Brumbies drove "the silly game" out of the A.C.T. That story always gives me hope that maybe one day we can drive it out of Melbourne,  Hell  even Australia.

You could send it back to Ireland if you`ve kept the receipt.

Perth offers better prospects, but V`landys keeps using the phrase "rusted-on AFL states" at the suggestion. Perhaps he should be encouraged to look at the ACT football code history to see what might be possible.

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11 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

You could send it back to Ireland if you`ve kept the receipt.

Perth offers better prospects, but V`landys keeps using the phrase "rusted-on AFL states" at the suggestion. Perhaps he should be encouraged to look at the ACT football code history to see what might be possible.

Their really worried about the finances of a Perth bid . The Queensland bids have their finances ready to go. I do get the impression that as far as having a team west of the three eastern states has become low priority . I think that their strategy now seems to be  growing the game in the Pacific. Internationals, SOO and high profile club games  in Perth /Adelaide with a longer term strategy of getting teams there.

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3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Their really worried about the finances of a Perth bid . The Queensland bids have their finances ready to go. I do get the impression that as far as having a team west of the three eastern states has become low priority . I think that their strategy now seems to be  growing the game in the Pacific. Internationals, SOO and high profile club games  in Perth /Adelaide with a longer term strategy of getting teams there.

There is some logic in that thinking.  The AFL had a lot more to gain from expanding into Sydney and Brisbane than RL stands to gain from expanding into Adelaide and Perth for the simple reason that Sydney and Brisbane are much bigger markets than Adelaide and Perth.  That said, the Pacific islands are even smaller markets so there's a definite limit to what they can do for the game.

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