This Month in Britball – June 2019

Welcome to the inaugural edition of This Month in Britball, a look back at all* of the weird and wonderful things that have happened this month.

I’ve sprinkled in some of the best of the month’s memes because I know words can be hard for some of you lot (naming no names, D-Linemen)

Is the Prem North.. competitive?

A good** thing about Britball is how the top level of the sport nationally has been more or less a three horse race for the last decade plus – the last Britbowl competitor from outside the Phoenix/Blitz/Warriors hegemony was the Coventry Jets in 2010 and the last time a Britbowl contained none of those three teams was in 2006, which is so long ago that it basically didn’t happen.

So, when we’re all used to Tamworth going 10-0 in the regular season, it felt like a huge moment when they got shut out, at home, by the Titans. Was there a power shift in the North? Were we witnessing the end of Tamworth’s status as a regional super-team (by the virtue of being Just Close Enough To Not Be A Ballache To Get To for the best players from rival teams phed up of getting phisted)?

It made sense, Manchester is a proper city with things to do (the Wikipedia article for Tamworth has a picture of the A5, strongly implying that Tamworth’s key selling point is how easy it is to sack it off and go somewhere else). I’d written a whole thing about it, then the Titans went and lost to the relegation threatened Wolves on Sunday. Phucked it.

Still, this means that we’ll have a genuine battle at both the top (where the Titans or even the Nighthawks could still nick the division with a late run of form) and at the bottom, which is a genuinely welcome change to the top tier.

Fortunately the Warriors have more than made up for the shift towards parity in the North by becoming the Prem South’s answer to the Brady n’ Belichick Patriots. Their two meetings with the Blitz used to be the highlight of the season and a sneak peek at what to expect in the Britbowl, but this year’s meetings were won by a combined score of 100-22. Ouch.

Getting relegated because of the refs? Well; yes, but also; no.

The Doncaster Mustangs had to postpone a game due to a lack of refs. So far, so Britball. Then it emerged that they would instead be taking a 1-0 loss for doing so, and guaranteeing their own relegation in the process.

I’m not saying that BAFRA are notoriously unreliable and deserved the immediate pile-on in the aftermath of the news breaking, but.. BAFRA are notoriously unreliable and etc etc. Once it emerged that Doncaster were given ample pre-warning and decided to not arrange for alternatives because they were probably going to lose anyway, then we had a full blown controversy on our hands!

Whether you side with BAFRA (real ‘tells the teacher when they’ve forgotten to give homework’ behaviour, don’t do it), the Mustangs (real ‘believes your ex when she says she won’t fuck the star QB this time around’ behaviour, also do not do it) or with watching the drama from afar and writing about it in a monthly round up list (this is the only correct answer, sorry), it’s started a genuine conversation about the infrastructure that Britball relies on.

On which note, our coverage of the controversy has led to a 3000% increase in applications to become a fucking narc – I mean, ref.

I’m not going to take 100% of the credit here – I’m the one calling you all narcs, after all – but I did come up with the idea first in the critically acclaimed*** list How to Make Money from American Football.

You’re welcome, BAFRA. In return, please never flag me for PI ever again.

Have Hastings scored a point yet?

No. No they have not.

There was a time when if a team put up zero points in a game it would be worthy of a spot on the wall of shame, but now that seemingly half of the games in a given week involve a shutout, it’s less noteworthy (but still fucking awful, honestly, score some points).

But! And there always is a but, and it’s normally Hastings:

After being literally 69’d by Swindon on Sunday, the Conquerors drop to an unsurprising 0-5 on the season. What is surprising is that they’re the only surviving (RIP Carlisle, gone but not missed) team yet to put a single point on the board. And listen, we all love our beautiful incompetent boys – god knows we’ve got enough of them in Britball – but at least they’re putting points on the board. Maidstone even scored on a double reverse to an O-lineman!

They have a genuine shot at not only points, but a W, when Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World come to town. The reverse fixture was only a 9-0 win for Jeff Goldblum et al, and they’re half way through what we can only assume will be a double fisting by Blitz B so spirits might be low enough to let the unthinkable happen.

Quickfire Positives

-Coverage of games has reached a new height this year, with several teams offering live streams or high quality highlight footage

– Only one team has folded so far, which is a bit like saying “yeah, three of the wheels are still on!” about a car you’re trying to sell, yes, but look, we’re trying our best.

-Hail Mary Hits continue to do genuinely excellent work supplying funding to clubs who need it

-This is all far too nice, I don’t like it.

Until next month!

*Okay, fine, like, three things.

**By which I mean bad, obviously, but the lines have been blurred for me forever by this content I create for you all. If some kind of wizard, genie or competent governing body (listed in order of probability) made Britball good then I’d be stranded without purpose. So; good?

***Someone said that my unnecessarily long run-on sentence about making Neil Reynolds cry was ‘the best thing they’d ever read’ and honestly that’s better than winning a Pulitzer anyway.

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