So I went to bed early last night with the aim of a longer sleep, however, I was wide awake at just after 3am, so thought I'd get out of bed. Might as well write a blog while I'm up!
With Wasps about to debut at the Ricoh this weekend, I'd like to wish the club well in their pursuit of sustainability. I hope the alienation of a large portion of the fan base works out for them financially. Yes. Large amounts of sarcasm involved there!
The constant media blitz of 'LOOK HOW AMAZING WE ARE' has rapidly become very boring, My favourite interview being the Andy Goode one where he claims playing a 'home' game at the Ricoh was a childhood dream (The Ricoh opened in 2005, when Andy was 25....)
The 'We've sold over 22 thousand tickets' press release rotation is a bit of a pipe dream too. Free tickets to school and discounted adult tickets with free kids tickets attached have swelled the numbers, and reading the Facebook comments shows that the majority of the Coventry fanbase are 'excited to be going to my first rugby game' e.g. will be utterly clueless to what goes on and will almost guarantee a strange full, yet silent stadium. Let us not forget, Coventry City football club had a HUGE campaign to return football to the Ricoh, and got 17k genuine sales for the first game back there, however numbers have soon dwindled. That, folks, is the Coventry sporting fan base. (It's my home town remember). Bandwagon jumpers.The football club used to struggle to draw a crowd at all but the traditional 'big' games, even in the 33 year premiership/top flight run, The rugby club have currently won 10 games straight and have just had record crowds at the Butts Park arena, when previously, the crowds had often been in the hundreds during their elongated downward spiral, when the Ice Hockey side was the most successful in Britain, they got regular full houses to the Skydome, nowadays, they are an average side and the crowds have dropped. I'm sure that the rugby will go the same way, it's new and exciting (and most notably, it's starting off CHEAP) and unless Wasps quickly jump back to the heights of a few seasons ago, the local 'fans' will vote with their feet.
Less about Sam, and more about the media.
2 games as a replacement, 1 start. The coaching team have admitted they're not sure where to play him, Sam himself has admitted his technique is poor and he gets lost in games, and even the most ardent Bath fan will admit he's not exactly, in truth, set the world alight.
The press however seem to think he's single handedly won every game!
Poor Matt Banahan, comes in from the fringes to score a hat trick against Montpellier, and the headline on the BBC? Burgess sets up try in Bath win. The first line of the report was something along the lines of Burgess sets up a try within 2 minutes of his first start. For the record, the 'assist' was a lucky deflection and Sam offered very little else as his learning curve continues.
Now there are calls for Sam to get a Saxons call up during the 6 Nations!
LET THE GUY LEARN THE SPORT!!!
Rant number 2 over!
Users of the #rugbyunited Facebook group (found at www.facebook.com/rugbyunited) will have noticed a few changes recently.
We are theming every day and posting regular links to Youtube video's that tie in with that theme, I will also be extending that to include other media, links to other blogs, archived match reports etc as we look to grow our Facebook presence. I will also be continuing in my occasional dalliances with the silly pictures/rugby memes and trying to make content EXCLUSIVE to the Facebook group. All you have to do is go and click LIKE on the page (feel free to like and share the content!!!) and I'll do the rest!!
We are looking to hit 500 Likes by Christmas day. We're only about 35 short at the moment!
You can also support @RugbyEdinburgh in their Facebook Quest by liking their page too!! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rugby-Edinburgh/639317562770779
Anyone involved in playing or coaching rugby at various levels really need to check out the new website #rugbyunited alumni Nick Lewis was involved with founding!
Simple to register and if your team ends up having a late cancellation, it's the best way to try and arrange a replacement fixture!
Good luck with it Nick! All those months of hard work will certainly pay off!!!!
We are (nearly) 3
So next week see's the third anniversary of the fateful conversation between Myself, Trevor and Dave Cook that saw the formation of #rugbyunited, and although the 'follow back' ethos has gone, and the core group of people involved has frequently changed along the way, we're still going and more importantly, still growing.
Very proud of what we've achieved in a short space of time, done some great things, worked with some superb companies, amazing charities and met some awesome people (and Dan O'Rourke) and looking forward to the next phases of our development and next years big RugbyAid event!
Thanks to all the people who make it possible for us to continue doing #rugbyunited!!
Will be back this evening with the predictions game!