Super 8s early ballot boxes are in – and its paved the way for big changes

every minute matters

Well, the opening weekend of the Super 8s is here, and the early ballots are in:  it’s changed absolutely nothing.  It’s been that way all year for the #NewEra:  crowds were no different, the teams 9-12 were the same, the teams 5-8 were the same, the teams 1-4 were the same, Koukash is still bonkers, and Maurice Blair is still fat.

In an era where most sports bloggers understand the game and its complexities and nuances more than administrators, it behooves us to hold them accountable, folks.

The great thing about it all has been that it’s shown us how the guys at RFL towers would handle a flat tyre on their car.  They rotate the tyres, put out a press release announcing it with some hashtags, give each other the thumbs up, and drive home.

flat tire drive home


The great thing about it is, the RFL have created the only sport in the world where fans are more interested in who finishes 12th than who wins the competition – even the Premier League can’t pull that off.

But of course, the great thing so far about the Magic 8-Ball is that the crowds have been exactly the same as every other season for the past decade.  That just confirmed to both the RFL and Sky that they can do whatever they want (including continuing to add the words “expert commentator” to Barrie McDermott’s name) and the people who liked rugby league before will continue to watch after.  You just know that new “Distance to Target” thing is a hilarious joke developed by Phil Clarke just to taunt rugby league fans: “you don’t know what all those lines on the pitch are”. When we all know “distance” is just a theory like Gravity and Blood Alcohol Content.

The good news folks, is the RFL is taking this to heart, and is going to be more confident about itself, and be bold & dynamic.

bold and dynamic

The great thing about this is the guys at RFL Towers can now push through more rules to attract “exciting commercial partners” like Foxy Bingo and Steve’s Sand and Gravel.

fantastic commercial portfolio

And for the first time, we can exclusively reveal the proposed future Magic 8-Ball rule changes for 2016 #Bold&Dynamic:

  • The heaviest player on the field when the try is scored would have to kick the conversion.  This will be known as the Fui Fui Moi Moi rule. If you like fat guy tries then fat guy conversions are even better.
  • Force all teams to move grounds every 24 months, change kit colours every 12 months and name every 5 years to give London a fair chance.
  • Owners will have to nut slap to see who kicks off.
  • A fan from each team who hasn’t played rugby league since high school should have to get one hit-up per game.
  • New grounding rule: a player can run into the in-goal from any direction, including the grandstand as long as he gets downward pressure on the ball.
  • The team with the worst record in whatever league gets moved to London’s most recent ground.
  • Salford can pick any player from any club at any given point of the season or game – and if his current team won’t give him up by the time Marwan Koukash can send a tweet, the game gets postponed.
  • Paul Cullen can deliver the team talk to any team at halfitme of any televised game. Or both teams if he’s really full of gibberish like he was during Leigh-Hull KR.
  • Introduction of an indigenous round to celebrate the heritage of white people, sheep and Tetleys Bitter.
  • Add a 9th team.


Sure they might seem silly now, but this is all part of the RFL Towers plan to take away the dominance of darts on Thursday nights, and attract more drunks and overweight people to the sport.




The really great thing about this format that won’t actually happen is that it allows a Super League team to be relegated twice in 8 weeks.  Once with the chance to play teams like Sheffield and Featherstone, and then a second time to play teams like Batley and Workington.   That’s encouraging your top teams to invest in youth just like they said it would.

Check out how London promoted the Super 8s.  Randomly using team names, nicknames and the word “town”, in the hope you might think its not Workington.  That’s enthusiasm for the concept, folks.  To be fair to them, they were so confused by the concept at the start of the season, they finished 7th in the Championship, thinking it put them in the top 8.

london fixtures

To be fair folks, the Super 8s was never really designed so that #EveryMinuteMatters. Its more #SomeMinutesMightMatter. Doncaster was relegated at half time of their first game.  If my math is correct, that’s more #Every14thMinuteMatters.  If Huddersfield win 2, Catalan can’t qualify – Cats would need to win all their games and have Hudderfield lose 6 to make the 4.  If my math is correct, and it always is, that’s more #EverySeventhMinuteMatters folks.

To be fair to the RFL, the old franchise system represented everything that’s backwards in today’s hyper-competitive world, and was replaced with a more inclusive, progressive option that matches the values that our society should strive for.  Ask any man, there are two smells they never forget: the floral aroma of his mother’s wet-nursing robe and that of his fifth-grade gymnasium.  I recall watching as the more popular, fitter boys and girls were picked first, leaving me odd-man-out with no recourse or kinship.  Ergo, at its best, the franchise system was hurtful to thousands of viewers who saw it as a reminder of a society that refuses to laud its less fortunate.  The capitalists might have won the election folks, but they’ll never win the Magic 8-ball.

Author: Max Smith

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