Northern spice weekend

There is always a choice.  That is my answer to all of those England fans who head up to Wembley to watch England play and expect things to be different in terms of the trains, the atmosphere, the presence of the Mexican wave, the disappearing crowd after 70 minutes and of course the performance.  Look up the definition of madness and then answer the question “do I have a choice?”

Of course you do.  As we all do.  So yesterday we chose rugby league.  Harlequins v Bradford Bulls.  A family fun day no less in Twickenham.  We dressed Cynical Dave up as a 14 year old schoolgirl and trundled off down the A316 in our 4 x 4 to enjoy an afternoon of fan focused entertainment. A picture tells a 1,000 words so here is my 16,000 word report.


Harlequins RL v Bradford Bulls, a set on Flickr.


A game played by gentlemen, but not for the fans

“Number 17, Manchester City will play number 32, Manchester United.  That concludes the draw for the fourth round of the Carling Cup.  Games will be played in week beginning 3rd December 2012 in The Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi.”

Far fetched?  Not as much as you may believe.  We have seen a growing trend of American sports playing regular season games over here in London in the past few years, with NFL being a regular fixture every Autumn at Wembley Stadium and in March the first NBA regular season games taking place at The O2 Arena.  But next weekend potentially the first step towards a trend of taking our regular season sport abroad takes place.  A step that will almost certainly lead to our beautiful game being prostituted overseas.

Rugby was once seen as the game that had its house in order.  Clubs seemed to be well managed and publicity stunts were kept on the pitch with the likes of music are scores, remote controlled cars bringing on kicking tees and games not being changed for TV.  Then things started to change.  Clubs started switching games to “neutral” venues for the sole purpose of selling more tickets – nothing wrong with that you may say, but would football fans ever tolerate games such as QPR playing Leicester City at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena simply so that the away team could bring in more fans, or stomaching an increase in season ticket prices from £99 to £300 in 3 seasons? Continue reading