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Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Le Shane Williams 'Tiny Dancer' of Le Tournament

What makes a great winger? Is it the ability to beat the best defenses? The slight of foot, and dashing balance as they navigate through a trove of stout defenders? What about a lethal step, or an unimaginable field vision?

Uncle Johnny was in studio to flesh out who Le Shane Williams 'Tiny Dancer' of Le Tournament is for this dazzling affair in France the past few weeks. While many names come straight into mind (.... think RWC 2019 final when Owen Farrell got spun around like a ballerina) ... John has his list of names both old and new who were in contention for the prestigious Rugby PickEm Award. Could it be Mack "The Knife" Hansen, Sir Darcy Graham (straight out of a Jane Austen novel), or a rather new name on the winger circuit ... the Portuguese Raffeale Storti (aka Storti the Shorty) ???

All that and more on a rather wild and crazy Rugby PickEm. 



Thursday, October 5, 2023

The French Immersion (ft. Uncle Johnny)

Bt & Uncle Johnny recap what has been an exquisite month of Rugby World Cup action in the home country of France. From sharing a suite with hot & sweaty Irish lads, to close encounters with Jellyfish in the famous Basque country surf, the lads give the blow by blow of what has been a fantastic RWC. Que Magnifique!

We recap rounds 1-4, and preview what is being dubbed as the "pre-quarterfinals" this weekend. Hang onto your hats.


Thursday, September 7, 2023

RWC 2023 - Year of the DOG

 Ladies and Gents, it's here. The event we've been waiting for. The Rugby World Cup in France.

Rugby Reddit Internet Scholars (we're talkin' 21st century academia baby) are dubbing this one the year of the UNDERDOGS. Teams that have yet to sniff a RWC Final are predicted to shine and break through the boring traditional mold. Who will be barking and groveling for treats (remember, dog theme) come the knock out rounds in October?

Everyone Knows ... Hungry Dogs Run Faster!

For those that don't know (or choose to conveniently forget, I'm looking at you European Rugby fans), only 4 total teams have hoisted the trophy over the years, with 7 wins going to Southern Hemisphere power houses (South Africa 3x (and reigning champs), New Zealand 3x, and Australia 2x) and a measly 1 win going to England in 2003. France has battled and been ridiculously close (losing in 3 finals), and Ireland .... well Ireland have a QF exit hump bigger than Quasimodo's C3-C4 vertebrae (see meme below).

Is this the year for Irish Fans?

But who are the true UnderDogs of the tourney? 

Argentina - the spicy South Americans have the talent, and a massive bone to chew on for the next 8 weeks. They've been battling Southern Hemisphere teams for the last four years and the intense competition has paid off. The Pumas export the majority of their professional players to France anyways, so it will almost feel like a home tournament ... Right?

Wales - the Rugby Reddit Internet Scholars are pissed that the competition pools are picked 2.5 years in advance. Surely the overlords at World Rugby (lookin at you Billy B) knew that the world rankings would shift as the tournament approached, yet here we are. Wales made the 2019 semi-final back in Japan, but their form going into this years tourney is down. No one expects much from a country that punches well above its population weight in Rugby Union, but perhaps now is the time to back a team with a (relatively) clear path to another semi-final appearance.

Fiji - the flying coconuts seem to be the darling of the tournament. Losing their starting flyhalf Caleb Muntz a mere days before the tourney is set to start is certainly a gut punch, but the men in White & Black can turn a game on its head ... in seconds. Their time as the Fijian Drua in Super Rugby Pacific has shown that if World Rugby invests in Pacific Island Countries, the payoff is mighty. A competitive Fiji has always put up some crazy highlight reel team tries, but this year they're sniffing everyone's butthole they cross (again, we're hammering home the dog theme).

Australia - Eddie Jones may be the biggest shit talking dickhead of a coach that test rugby has ever and will ever see. But it's all forgiven if he can neuter their losing ways (0-5 in the tournament buildup), pin their ears back and become junk yard dogs again. They are by far the youngest team in the tournament (perhaps by design ... Eddie's got a rock solid contract from Rugby Australia and would rather compete with young talent ... win or lose). Can the lifeless Wallabies find their form, or will they piss on the porch with the puppies?

If you want to place a relatively safe future bet on teams that could (and should) win it all, ... go with South Africa, France, New Zealand or Ireland. 

But if you want to play with the UnderDogs (and reap the rewards with huge odds), go with Argentina, Wales, Fiji or Australia.

Until then, Rugby PickEm will be giving you a boots on the ground perspective from France. We'll take in the sights, sounds & smells of this rugby rich country as we travel down the west coast for the opening weekend in Bordeaux.

Until then, remember .... Hungry Dogs Run FASTER!


Monday, August 7, 2023

Broccoli Guy - Seattle Sports SuperFan

Sometimes, an interview is so big ... so massive and emotional ... so monumental and groundbreaking ... that you simply can't edit & publish it in the following hours. No, sometimes the weight of the moment is simply too grand ... it needs to simmer, and grow with the wild and fantastical rise of the individual.

Presenting Broccoli Guy. Ladies and Gentleman "We Got Him".

The interview was aptly conducted in his car (in a hotel parking lot) back in the summer of 2021. The man (myth & legend) they call Jim Stewart Allen was everything one could imagine and more. 

Broccoli Dancing: It's All In The Hips and Shoulders

In the summer of 2021, the club rugby world rejoiced when summer 7's resumed and the club national tournament was held at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila Washington. The big names and clubs were all in attendance, but none bigger than a man who has been trailblazing super-fandom in the Pacific Northwest for years. In an ode to a high fiber diet, and absolute kookiness, Broccoli Guy has injected himself into the heart and soul of the Sports SuperFan Universe by munching on assorted vegetables while also dancing, while also just raising the roof on each and every sporting event he attends.

"Raw Broccoli? Why Not?!"

Inspired by Seattle Super-Fan legend Kris Brannon aka "Sonics Guy", Broccoli Guy made his first jumbotron appearance at a Mariners game and was immediately addicted to the rush. He has since made a splash across just about every professional sporting event in the Pacific Northwest. He's no stranger to Seawolves games, and even made the 35 hour round trip to LA to watch the 2021 Giltinis final

While he'd love to make fruit and vegetable dancing a full blown money making career, his day job as a substitute teacher keeps him busy. He one day hopes to be a positive role model for kids who are looking to improve their healthy eating habits. If you are a piece of produce, be on the lookout for the dancing fool in the stands of StarFire stadium who may just gobble you up.

Special Thanks to Jim Steward Allen for being a good sport and having a laugh at himself!