The new logos for the National Rugby League and the NSW Rugby League.
THE new NRL logo makes Discord's blood boil — but luckily other aspects of the new strategic plan calm us down a little bit.
We all had our hopes for the ARL Commission. My biggest was that we would have an inclusive, outward looking organisation which accepted its role to lead the game globally in much the same way the MLB, NFL and NBA do in the US and the AFL does here.
These organisations tirelessly push their brands as flagships in new markets, value new converts highly and do their best to distance themselves from parochialism and geographic limitations.
New logos for the Queensland Rugby League and Country Rugby League.
The AFL props up expansion teams to the detriment of those in Melbourne, has played many exhibition games overseas and has worked hard to foster links with Gaelic football. Like the NFL, they are the international governing bodies for their sports.
The NBA and MLB are much better resourced than their sports' international governing bodies. They could wash their hands of all but domestic matters but instead they do the heavy lifting to spread the gospel — on a grand scale — because their massive TV and sponsorship incomes allow them to (yes, the NFL logo does feature stars and stripes, but all their franchises are within the US).
Instead of taking this path, the ARL Commission has gone in exactly the opposite direction, removing the black-and-white recognition of the New Zealand market from their logo and adding every jingoistic Australianism to the new symbol excepting a meat pie and a Holden car.
It is so parochial they've had to do another one for the Warriors! What use is a new logo that instantly requires you to design another one? John Grant reads out the Australian team, the commissioners go to Tests in green-and-gold ties and only visit the Australian sheds, not the Kiwis.
It's embarrassing. When you think Premier League, do you think of the England team? No, you think of a cosmopolitan competition which brings together players from around the world, contributing to dozens of national teams.
Maybe the old NRL administration was cumbersome but at least the separation of "church and state" — club and country — at Fox Studios was dignified and professional. David Gallop once described the Warriors as the "jewel in the crown".
Now they're not even a pixel on the logo.
Remember when the Broncos had to run around with a big blue NSWRL logo on their chests? That was seen as a symbol of Sydney-centric administration and the likes of John Quayle and Ken Arthurson had the good sense to rename the competition the ARL — with a minimum of fuss. Again, we have seen regression.
Luckily, the commission showed some courage in announcing its aims for 2017. I can't remember a rugby league administration that has been as specific in its aims anywhere, ever. So full credit for that.
But my fear is that in this country — particularly in sport — we are too quick to hoist the national colours in tokenistic gestures and too slow to accept that our achievements and resources carry responsibilities towards everyone else who plays those sports — responsibilities that go beyond just beating them.
The Americans have no trouble understanding this. In Oz, we tend to be good underdogs — but very bad leaders.
Hawaii to Vegas to Hull
Apologies for the late appearance of the 41st Discord for 2012. From Hawaii to Vegas to Hull in the space of a week was always going to take some doing and with other deadlines pressing, I just didn't get around to it until now.
The England-France game at Craven Park on Saturday was flat as a spectacle, but the crowd kept it entertaining and East Hull was definitely the right place for the event.
With Australia and New Zealand turning their backs on the English this year, the Rugby Football League has done all it can to prepare their team for the World Cup.
However, I'm not sure that cakewalks against Wales and France, or a mid-season run-out against the Exiles next year, will be enough.
A quick word about last week's game. There was never a call to cancel the Hawaii All Stars-Queensland Indigenous game because of the tsunami. Quite the opposite — the announcement over the PA in the first half was that the Kaiser Stadium was in a "safe zone" and nobody there had anything to to fear.
Let's go to the comments...
Feedback keeps coming on the origin for Origin players...
El Seano said we should have place of birth for Origin but I think Ben's response to that covers my own thoughts.
Neslom's idea of restricting Australia, New Zealand and England to players born in their respective country for the World Cup isn't a bad one. But then, those three countries would only want to use those men in the lead-up games and I think players with legitimate claims to selection would start suing.
And they'd win — because in the tournament itself, the other teams are subject to different selection criteria which any court would find procedurally unfair.
I think the best policy is simply for players to have "tier one" eligibility, which is the big three, and "tier two", which is everyone else. If you miss out on tier one selection, you can play for someone else without it impacting on your primary country of election.
Greg A argued in favour of again adding New Zealand to Origin. I'm opposed for the reasons I have already stated — I did see it in action in 1997 and didn't like it.
Jimbob talked about the Kiwi Origin. We were supposed to be getting it next year. Now it looks more like 2014.
TheLambethBronco — residency certainly has a massive impact on the make-up of most rugby union national teams. Many national basketball teams feature expat Americans. Tennis and golf players often represent the country they live in, not the one they were raised in. If rugby league denies athletes the same rights which other sports now take for granted, it could face censure and legal action. In the case of MLB and NFL, the All Star teams do not represent geographical areas.
Opinionator had some ideas re Origin. Origin will not be "removed" from where it is because it is worth a fortune. There is no TV market, sponsors or venue for a "Non-Australia" team.
Dear Watson, I think the reason we look at age 16 for Origin qualification is that players take up the game at different ages. If we have one player who is a Queenslander because he played there at six playing alongside another who qualified at 17, people would be bagging that as inequitable too.