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Selling The Drama


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6 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

Because it would just feed the narrative that the UK press love of the game being for ignorant thugs 

I did enjoy the Wane and Tony Smith running battles, they were always good value. 

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1 hour ago, Sports Prophet said:

Well it’s ok to disagree. Perhaps you can give your reasoning why you think that?

Because it’s cringeworthy and embarrassing to watch the build up to a Boxing fight these days. Thankfully, it appears the dark days of boxers coming out with t-shirts with their opponent beheaded on them, threatening to kill each other and the embarrassing handbags at a weigh in are largely behind the sport. Its a shame the likes of David Haye and Tony Bellew couldn’t both lose when they fought each other. It’s not what Rugby League needs or particularly wants. 

We had years of Shaun Wane professing his hatred for St Helens and frankly, it was cringeworthy and did more harm than good and just seemed to fuel the small element of idiots that support both clubs and would make leaving a ground and drinking locally, whether in St Helens or Wigan Town Centre, unpleasant experiences if you wandered into the wrong place. 

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16 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

That would be why top boxers can earn multi millions from a single fight. Because it's small time. 

NB just because there are many small fights doesn't mean the top stuff isn't very much bigger than RL. Not even including the number of gyms *all over the country* where people box. 

I didn’t say small time. I said smaller. It is.

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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16 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

And just to add, it’s not about being the biggest or most popular, it’s about whether it feels like it’s going somewhere- which in my opinion, RL isn’t. 

20 years or so ago I would be boring everyone to death about how RL going to be much bigger and it was only a matter of them seeing it and they’d be on board. 
 

But it’s always ‘jam tomorrow’ and I no longer believe that it will change or grow. 
 

But that’s ok if that’s what it wants, just don’t kick off when it doesn’t get media coverage and expect people to give a monkeys. 

To many insular people within the game who can't see the benefits of expansion if done right and no long term plan for the game. "Short term gain, long term pain"

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28 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

In what way is  boxing, smaller than RL? That’s completely ridiculous.

I don’t even follow boxing and Frank Bruno was probably still at it the last time I watched a fight, but I can still name off the top of my head...Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, Tyson Fury, David Haye, Joe Calzage and Anthony Joshua. That’s without googling or anything, just names and boxers I’ve heard of. I seriously doubt that non rl fans could name even 5 RL players of recent times.

Look at when they have a big fight on PPV, absolutely loads of people either get it or club together with mates and have a right pee up, often staying up til the early hours. Not necessarily regular boxing fans either, they just get on board with a big event. Does the same thing happen with any RL events? We know it doesn’t. 
 

But yeah, RL is bigger than boxing. 

They wouldn’t have to name players. I bet they could name more than five currently playing clubs though. I think half your boxers have retired. And how much have you personally spent to watch a PPV event featuring them? And if you’ve only spent that why do you think other people spend more?

There are fewer people boxing, fewer professional boxers, no FTA coverage worth the name, little awareness of who is fighting for what at any point, and generally very low public awareness aside from a couple (literally: a couple) of “names”.

Don’t let the Matchroom hype fool you.

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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23 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

In what way is  boxing, smaller than RL? That’s completely ridiculous.

I don’t even follow boxing and Frank Bruno was probably still at it the last time I watched a fight, but I can still name off the top of my head...Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, Tyson Fury, David Haye, Joe Calzage and Anthony Joshua. That’s without googling or anything, just names and boxers I’ve heard of. I seriously doubt that non rl fans could name even 5 RL players of recent times.

Look at when they have a big fight on PPV, absolutely loads of people either get it or club together with mates and have a right pee up, often staying up til the early hours. Not necessarily regular boxing fans either, they just get on board with a big event. Does the same thing happen with any RL events? We know it doesn’t. 
 

But yeah, RL is bigger than boxing. 

So you think the answer is to have just half a dozen games of RL on TV a year ? ,Then we'd get people paying for it and big ###### ups in people's house , cracking idea Grommit 👍😂

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5 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I would say F1, WWE (I know, I know), UFC, American Football off the top of my head. I would even say the NRL had some great narratives that boosted interest at the start of this year. 

1. Panthers are now Nathan Cleary’s team, how will they go?

2. Roosters to attempt first three peat since turn of the 80s.

3. Smith to bow out? If so, as a winner?

4. Bennet v Siebold

5. Rule changes and one referee

6. SOO didn’t stay out of headlines for long

Giants are now Watson's team how will they go ?

Saints to attempt first 3 peat since 🤔 ?

Is it Wires year ?

Can Leigh do a Leicester ?

Marshall to keep the Salford push ?

Which ref will be the worst ?

Will Tony Smith moan if they get relegated ? 

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I think at times we get a bit hung up on household names, but in the UK I'd say the vast majority of people just don't know that many names from sports. Focusing on UK players. 

Football - I couldnt name too many of the England squad (maybe 4 or 5), but could name the key Premier League players like Kane and City players like De Bruyne and Aguero because I follow them. 

RU - if you asked me to name the England XV I probably would get zero. Is Darrell still playing? So maybe one. 

Boxing - Joshua and Fury, absolutely crossover into the mainstream. 

Motor Racing - Hamilton, and maybe one or two others. Hamilton is mainstream. 

Darts - I couldnt name any nowadays. 

Athletics/Swimming - not sure I can name any now apart from Peaty in swimming. I'd possibly recognise a few if I saw them on screen I suspect. 

Cricket - I semi-follow it and could name a small number of the England team, the likes of Stokes, Anderson and Morgan maybe move into mainstream. 

Other sports - not a Scoobies tbh. Tennis has Andy Murray, before that we had Tiger Tim and Rusedski. Could name Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. Couldn't name a single US Football, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Netball star etc. 

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I'm not great with names 😆, but I think nowadays people don't watch sport in mass numbers on a regular basis, or watch QoS by the millions, I just think times have changed, if they were ever really like that. 

Having mainstream superstars is nice, but we can be a very successful sport without that, most sports people are known by that sports' fans imo, the majority are nowhere near household names. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

RU - if you asked me to name the England XV I probably would get zero. Is Darrell still playing? So maybe one. 

Good to see you are on first name terms with the England XV!

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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2 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

You’ll have to remind me where I said there should be half a dozen RL games on tv? (Although there can only be that many on terrestrial tv anyway as it happens)

But since you mention it, the current number on all channels isn’t exactly resulting in mass interest in RL. So maybe less is more could be an improvement, it can’t be any worse. 

Stop comparing RL to every other sport under the sun , they are all different , all you are doing is depressing yourself , if you don't want t watch it ? , Don't 

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1 hour ago, Johnoco said:

I’m not remotely depressing myself as I choose to see the reality of the situation. You can live in pretend RL land if you like, no skin off my nose.

But we know nothing will change in the next 5 -10 years. Only difference will be the list of excuses why things haven’t moved on. And possibly a different new club will be in the firing line. 

You sound depressed to me 

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1 hour ago, Johnoco said:

I’m not remotely depressing myself as I choose to see the reality of the situation. You can live in pretend RL land if you like, no skin off my nose.

But we know nothing will change in the next 5 -10 years. Only difference will be the list of excuses why things haven’t moved on. And possibly a different new club will be in the firing line. 

Things don't have to change. For many people (I'd say the majority) it is a hobby and source of entertainment. RL doesn't ever have to be big in Canada. If doesn't need to aim for world domination. Its a sport that many people enjoy, and many people have done so for 125 years. 

Personally I'd like RL to be more popular wherever you go, but I've enjoyed the sport for 35 years without that being the case, and I'll go on enjoying it whether it ever becomes something different or whether it carries on doing what it's doing. 

I'd love there to be a team near where I live, and every pub showing games with people watching, but if there aren't, I won't let it ruin my enjoyment. 

And I'll say again, RL will not die, so we don't need to go down that route. 

The fantasy stuff is great, and having a dream of what could be is exciting, but I strongly suggest stopping and enjoying what we have right here in front of us now, rather than constantly hoping for RL to be something else. 

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8 hours ago, Johnoco said:

You are right, RL won't die, there will probably always be some people playing it.

But I don't think it has a future as a popular spectator sport. It would possibly be better off going back to part time and just focussing on the areas that it still remains relatively popular in. But not strive to be anything other than a regional game.

And while you say you suggest enjoying RL for what it is, I say no. I don’t want to follow a sport with such a narrow view. And if it won’t or can’t be anything else, then I am happy to leave it there. Well not happy, but I’ll accept it’s me that’s out of step. 

It’s not the popularity issue as such that turns me off, I’m fine with liking unpopular things. It’s the regional thing I can’t truly get behind. 

RL has never been different. It's you that has changed outlook mate. I think sometimes we outgrow things, our values misalign, we get bored with the same old things, maybe it is time to move on for some people. 

I do understand the frustrations, but in the last 25 years watching the sport I have had some great times, I've been to all the usual places like Wigan, Leeds, Featherstone, Cas, Workington etc. but I've also been to Barcelona, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Swansea, Newcastle, Perpignan, Galashiels, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold coast, Penrith - had circumstances allowed I'd also have been to Paris, Toronto, Denver, NZ etc. I've met some brilliant people and had some amazing days and weekends away.

Like I say, I want RL to be bigger and more popular, but that doesn't mean I won't enjoy what it is right now as well. 

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For my part, Rugby League has had two massive missed opportunities in the last 20 years or so... one far more significant than the other.

The first is the Wolfpack. Seeing around 8,000 people regularly attend Rugby League games in North America gave hope that the game could appeal to a virgin audience and stand up in its own right. I won't go into that subject more as it has been done to death but it felt like a missed opportunity. 

The second (the significant one) was the massive growth in the community game around 2000 or so. Teams and leagues were emerging in new areas and through investment in development officers we saw loads of kids playing the sport. We weren't just on the verge of a huge change, it was happening.  And then it contracted again and a smaller number of the outliers continue today and well done to them.

But over time, that uplift in playing numbers across the country would have led to more. But it didn't happen and I can't help but feel that was our chance to break free of the regional constraints.  And we missed it.

I am with Dave T. I will still enjoy our sport... the Super League, the NRL and (in particular) the World Cup and the latter may lead to another opportunity for growth but it feels to me that we are just not set up as a sport to grasp these opportunities. 

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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16 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

For my part, Rugby League has had two massive missed opportunities in the last 20 years or so... one far more significant than the other.

The first is the Wolfpack. Seeing around 8,000 people regularly attend Rugby League games in North America gave hope that the game could appeal to a virgin audience and stand up in its own right. I won't go into that subject more as it has been done to death but it felt like a missed opportunity. 

The second (the significant one) was the massive growth in the community game around 2000 or so. Teams and leagues were emerging in new areas and through investment in development officers we saw loads of kids playing the sport. We weren't just on the verge of a huge change, it was happening.  And then it contracted again and a smaller number of the outliers continue today and well done to them.

But over time, that uplift in playing numbers across the country would have led to more. But it didn't happen and I can't help but feel that was our chance to break free of the regional constraints.  And we missed it.

I am with Dave T. I will still enjoy our sport... the Super League, the NRL and (in particular) the World Cup and the latter may lead to another opportunity for growth but it feels to me that we are just not set up as a sport to grasp these opportunities. 

Bingo.

I'm not sure specifically what went wrong(*) but the clear answer is "Everything ... because look where we are now".

(* = beyond the very obvious one that cutting back development officers was the most stupid decision ever taken by a governing body with a track record for 'interesting' decisions)

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 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Bingo.

I'm not sure specifically what went wrong(*) but the clear answer is "Everything ... because look where we are now".

(* = beyond the very obvious one that cutting back development officers was the most stupid decision ever taken by a governing body with a track record for 'interesting' decisions)

Wasnt the problem ultimately that these are very expensive and don't always deliver the scale of numbers that then secure that funding as part of the next round? 

The funding models always seem a touch short sighted to me. If the national bodies believe in these strategies shouldn't there be more patience. I understand it being a numbers game, but not all areas are equal and not all dev officers would lead to high numbers in those areas in the short term. 

But ultimately, as with pretty much every bad decision that is highlighted it is because we can't afford it.

Although you guys appear to be talking about 2000 which was before Lewis secured the funding, so I may be talking about a different time. 

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Just now, Dave T said:

Wasnt the problem ultimately that these are very expensive and don't always deliver the scale of numbers that then secure that funding as part of the next round? 

The funding models always seem a touch short sighted to me. If the national bodies believe in these strategies shouldn't there be more patience. I understand it being a numbers game, but not all areas are equal and not all dev officers would lead to high numbers in those areas in the short term. 

But ultimately, as with pretty much every bad decision that is highlighted it is because we can't afford it.

Although you guys appear to be talking about 2000 which was before Lewis secured the funding, so I may be talking about a different time. 

There were issues with the Sport England model (from memory) as well as the usual issue with the RFL not being exactly flush *but* the sport really was starting to have a genuine national footprint. Not perfect and, as usual, issues everywhere but numbers really were coming through.

What there wasn't - and this may shock you - was a real plan about what to do next? What happens once you engage all these people?

My personal view is that because we're all old on here, it feels like yesterday and thus we need to go over and over it. However, we're talking 10-15 years plus in the past. We can go again. We just need a bit (not masses) of funding and the will.

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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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2 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I haven’t changed my outlook though, I always thought  RL was just in the process of getting people onboard but IMO it is only interested in keeping things as they are until the well runs dry.

I too have had some great trips and times following RL and I’m glad you are still getting enjoyment out of it, honestly. As they say...enjoy. 

My personal view is that during my 35 years watching we are the same as ever. We want to try some stuff, but can't afford it, so we end up doing it half-hearted and then give up when skint. 

If you look at the last 25 years we have done a fair few random silly things, maybe we should have focused our efforts on the top 3 or 4 key things. That would involve a real strategic leader though. 

I don't think we are any more insular than in the past, TWP are little different to Paris. 

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I don't think that telling people it is them that has changed their outlook is accurate at all. People are disillusioned for a variety of reasons and it shouldn't be a case of anyone just moving on. For better or worse the game of Rugby League has changed drastically since I first watched or played it. Some things are better, some are worse. The sport is certainly not in an upward trajectory, I think most at least agree on that, and telling fans it is them they are wrong is something the game cannot afford. The game needs all the support it can get.

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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

I don't think that telling people it is them that has changed their outlook is accurate at all. People are disillusioned for a variety of reasons and it shouldn't be a case of anyone just moving on. For better or worse the game of Rugby League has changed drastically since I first watched or played it. Some things are better, some are worse. The sport is certainly not in an upward trajectory, I think most at least agree on that, and telling fans it is them they are wrong is something the game cannot afford. The game needs all the support it can get.

Yes , but let's get real here , we are entering into the second phase of a global pandemic , after 9 months of world upheaval which most thought would have been gone now , so things aren't good right now , the world is depressing ATM , let alone the minor details of RL 

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1 minute ago, GUBRATS said:

Yes , but let's get real here , we are entering into the second phase of a global pandemic , after 9 months of world upheaval which most thought would have been gone now , so things aren't good right now , the world is depressing ATM , let alone the minor details of RL 

Well of course but the trajectory was the same before the pandemic. I don't think anyone is basing their discussion on the last 9 months.

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20 minutes ago, Damien said:

Well of course but the trajectory was the same before the pandemic. I don't think anyone is basing their discussion on the last 9 months.

you may be right but it surely take one's mood  a little lower... hence impacting the severity of emotion.

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