Friday, May 14, 2021

Red Eye to SoFi

 Tyler Grant was born and raised in Arkansas. 

He has never been to Los Angeles, yet tomorrow night's red eye trip to LA to watch the top of the table Giltinis host the Warriors as they christen SoFi stadium's first live sporting event with fans seemed like a good idea to him when offered the chance. 

SoFi Stadium ... host the 2031 RWC Final????


When the big announcement came that the Giltinis would be playing in Stan Kroenke's new mexa-pleg, I applauded their effort to go "next level" in this 2021 season. You really only get one chance to bounce back in a big way after a 100 year pandemic, and they have delivered with big performances on big stages.


But Utah is hot, and they will back themselves to fight for a spot in the Western Conference Final. Could this game be a preview of the WCF? If so, it will be back at the Coliseum, but Rugby PickEm is excited to put boots on the ground in LA to (yet again) witness MLR history.


More to come ...

Go Big Or Go Home 



Thursday, May 6, 2021

Hartford Harpooners @ Colorado XO's (ft. Colton Strickler)

Colton Strickler joins the show to discuss everything Colorado XO's. They will be hosting the Hartford Harpooners on Saturday, May 8th in what could be argued as the most hyped (non-MLR) game of the 2021 spring season.

These two squads will christen Infinity Park for the first time in 2021 ...


A little background on Colton. He was the first (ever) writer for the MLR in its inaugural 2018 season (and 2019 too). Colton shaped the MLR as we know it today (online ..., via match reports). A passionate member of the rugby community, Colton first played in high school before transitioning to the reporting side of the emerging Rugby Media Industrial Complex (RMIC).


Don't forget to stream the match!


PICKEM!


Harpooners +12

XO's -12

O/U: 60




Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Rugby Clubhouse Delivers

There's no shortage of Major League Rugby content these days. Not just on The Rugby Network (which we have sincerely and thoroughly enjoyed each week since the season started), but all over the Rugby Media Industrial Complex (RMIC). This week's media review has to be ... The Rugby Clubhouse.


The rugby world could not have been blessed with better complimenting accents for this show set in a rugby pub (via the internet ... but it still looks like a sweet set and after a while it just feels like you're having out with Fodes and Mikey). 

Just hangin w the boys 🍻... online ... at The Rugby Clubhouse .... on The Rugby Network

Commish was a guest for The Rugby Clubhouse. He has been making the rounds and I love it. A couple things I learned ...., he's definitely on the same page with Rugby PickEm's #operation2031 and he knows that a confirmed hosting of the 2031 RWC would shoot this league into the stratosphere. He also acknowledged that the league has to generate more revenue in order to increase the teams' salary caps. That's done by maximizing your traditional gameday revenue (asses in seats, merch flying of the shelf, and providing real exposure for your long term sponsors). Provide value. To the die hard fan, to the average fan, to the sponsor partners, to the league as a whole. That should be the front office goals around the league.

He is also pushing the teams to have the players last names on the back of the jersey. I'm all for anything that helps engage the average American sporting fan, but the rugby traditionalist (apparently Tommy No Piks is one of them) will roll in their graves when they see something that's different and straying from the norm. But why pass up easy opportunities to boost revenues. We gotta turn these quirky international footy stars (aka the Giltinis roster) into mega stars over here in the states ... where sports fanaticism has no bounds.

"To A Man" (a Killebrew classic line), he is a phenomenal commissioner, and we're happy that he's steering the helm of the League. After all, you only get one shot at launching a pro rugby league .... (Sorry Dougie, but we can never forget). Every time I hear Commish talk, I learn something new and insightful. We are fully behind our Commish and hope he continues his media tour pretty much forever.

Some other great MLR podcasts that I'd currently recommend are Road to Glory and W Nation.


PICKEM!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Oh The Punditry!!!

 

The Glorious 2021 MLR Table

Through 5 weeks, it's still early days. But some teams have made serious statements with their play


Heading into week 6 and the season is steaming ... as a meaningless way too early prediction foretold, the current table in the West features a Gilbowl Western final. 

In the East, RUNY sits in the drivers seat, as NOLA looks to hold off the other 4 eastern teams (all still at play). Toronto may get some home games on the backend, but it's wishful thinking to bank on that. They need to win a massive game in New York (well, Jersey) this week to stay in the mix.

Meaningless way too early piks still holding strong 💪



Expert Media Pundit Pick Squares are back thanks to u/oddballgentlman and thank god! We weren't sure what to do with all the pundits piks scattered all over the interwebs ... but now they are in a nice neat excel spreadsheet thanks to our man Alastair "Tackle The Numbers" Poole, the vet by day, numbers guru by night. Big props on supporting the league.

Here was his comeback week back in week 4. Six pundits. And in the blink of an eye ...

At least ARN legend Bryan Ray acknowledged his 0-5 punt on twitter (honorable punditry!)


Just look at how many pundits he found from week 4 to week 5!

The Punditry is literally off the charts!

From 6 to 10 rugby pundits in just one week. Who knows ..., maybe this thing will look like the NCAA March Madness Bracket by week 10. Naturally Rugby PickEm had to decline punditry status because we simply acknowledge that we've been picking with dumb luck since it all began. 

Grassroots return in rugby as Bt and Tommy NoPiks return to coaching HS rugby in Denver. 

More Boots on the Ground (and MLR punditry updates ...) to come.

PICKEM!