Face-off: Is the professional era better than the amateur one?

first_imgWhen rugby turned pro in 1995, did the game embark on a road to amazing new heights or commence a slither into the abyss? Read this debate from our July 2020 edition Here are my beefs – or at least some of them. Media handlers. Players are too often cosseted, their personalities kept under lock and key. Previously, you watched guys perform, then drank with them in the clubhouse.Covering the All-Ireland League was a weekly joy, until professionalism came along and those brilliant rivalries and the craic that went with them slowly ebbed away. Great clubs in Ireland and Scotland and Wales are bit-part players now, there but largely forgotten. A sin.Teams used to tour in the amateur era. Proper tours to weird and wonderful places. Stories? How long have you got? There are few proper tours left. Something special has been lost.Fist pump: Tom English (left) at Scotstoun in 2017, proving he can still get excited about rugby! (Inpho)Teams play too much rugby. The game has become too expensive, too attritional, too dangerous, too lacking in too many of the qualities we loved about it in the first place. The best defence wins. Free spirits are a dying breed. It’s sad.Self-interest rules in all corners to the point that the Lions, another sacred entity, are forever endangered by players being too exhausted to deliver their best.I’m ranting. Rugby is still a delight but the old boys had a point. I know that now.” Catch your breath: Ireland v Japan at RWC 2019 had a ball-in-play time of 38min 59sec (Sportsfile/Getty) Face-off: Is the professional era better than the amateur one?SAM LARNERCo-host of Running the Numbers podcast and RW contributor“Christmases and birthdays were better when we were younger. It follows that rugby was also better back in the halcyon days of our youth. It wasn’t.In the 1991 World Cup the ball was in play for an average of 24min 48sec; in 2019 that figure was 36min – 11 minutes more per game. Even England v Australia, the game with the fewest minutes of ball in play, had more rugby than the average match in 1987, 1991 or 1995.There is also more happening in a game – 273 passes in 2019 versus 201 in 1995, 174 rucks or mauls versus 94. There are fewer kicks (45 to 59) and penalties (17 to 26). The sport is filled with more action than occurred in the amateur era.The common response is that all those things are true but rugby now lacks invention. Yet in 2019, 56% of tries were scored from two or fewer rucks and 53% of tries were scored off the back of four or more passes. This is rugby at its best.The players are far more skilful, a side-effect of not having to fit training around a second job. Forwards can no longer make themselves scarce until it is time for a scrum. Arguably the biggest change in rugby has been the vast improvement in the skill level of forwards.As incredible as Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett, David Campese et al might have been, they were performing their magic against less skilful and less fit players. Their modern-day equivalents are doing the same thing against people who have been pros since they were 16.”Legend: but would Campo have scored all those Test tries against modern defences? (Getty Images)TOM ENGLISHBBC Scotland’s chief sports reporter and RW contributor“Back in the day, us young guns in Ireland used to chide the older scribblers when they bemoaned the arrival of professionalism. I can’t say they were wholly right, but they weren’t nearly as wrong as I thought they were. The more that time passes, the more I feel myself drifting into old fogey territory.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Proper tour: Mike Teague and Wade Dooley have a beer after the third Lions Test in 1989 (Getty Images)What do you think? Email your views to [email protected] debate first appeared in the July 2020 issue of Rugby World.last_img read more


Sen. Warren Turns Sights Toward Wall Street Again

first_img July 4, 2016 1,219 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News About Author: Brian Honea U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), whose continued fights for tough Wall Street reform may prevent her from being chosen as the vice president on Hillary Clinton’s ticket, is trying to make sure that big financial firms and not taxpayers are on the hook for losses that occur from risky derivative trading.Warren along with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), and U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), Ranking Member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have introduced the Derivatives Oversight and Taxpayer Protection Act in order to strengthen federal oversight of the derivatives market, which totals in the multi-trillions. Derivatives were reported by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to be the center of the storm in the financial crisis.“The only way to make sure that derivatives can never lead to a financial crisis and taxpayer bailouts again is to put in place clearer rules and stronger oversight,” Warren said. “Otherwise, big financial firms will be able to rake in billions when things go well, then come back to taxpayers with their hands out when things come crashing down.”According to an announcement on Warren’s website, a lack of federal oversight of the derivatives market allowed firms to build up massive levels of leverage and risk, which resulted in billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts and precipitated the crisis in 2008.“Reckless derivatives trading at AIG helped precipitate the global financial crisis of 2008 and usher in the Great Recession. That is why Congress required stricter capital, margin, and clearing requirements for derivatives activities in Dodd-Frank. This bill builds on our financial reform efforts by improving transparency, closing gaps in regulatory oversight, and giving CFTC resources adequate to accomplish these goals,” said Warner, who is the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance & Investment.Derivatives trading has also hurt the housing market in the last year, leading to Freddie Mac taking a loss of at least $350 million in two of the last three quarters.The Warren/Warner/Cummings bill would strengthen federal oversight of the derivatives market by authorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to collect user fees from financial firms, similar to what the SEC does, and imposing tougher penalties on those who break the rules. The bill also aims to close loopholes for firms that are looking to go around the CFTC rules, and it creates an incentive for private parties to better assess the risk of derivatives contracts by ending special treatment for derivatives in bankruptcy. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Sen. Warren Turns Sights Toward Wall Street Again Tagged with: 2008 Financial Crisis Derivatives Trading Elizabeth Warren Wall Street Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days agocenter_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Sen. Warren Turns Sights Toward Wall Street Again Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. 2008 Financial Crisis Derivatives Trading Elizabeth Warren Wall Street 2016-07-04 Brian Honea Previous: CFPB’s Cordray for Vice President? Next: Investing? Do Your Homework Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post Subscribelast_img read more