I'd love to come up with a more elaborate answer, but yes, yes it has become too clickbait. What? Oh, you want more? Isn't that ironic... Here at Scrum Recap, we've been feeling some of that summertime Rugby fatigue; that's what reporting on two consecutive, rushed seasons, a shoe-horned Autumn Nations Cup and a snore-inducing Lions tour will do to you. It became a bit of a chore, to fire up the old desktop and scroll through page after page of whinging, hypothesising and arguing; sure that happens in any sport, but don't us as fans try to push the narrative that we are better than this.
However, outside of what happens on the pitch, which after the final Lions test actually turns out to be less than half an hours worth of in-game sport, it's the clickbait that is really hurting my enjoyment for the game. Every time a team loses, there are countless articles and hit pieces against refs, the rules, the game, the players, the stadiums, the economy, absolutely everything. Every time a decision is made by a coach on squad selection, there are columns and podcasts deliberating whether some previous conspiracy has led to this final harrowing outcome... Too many scots in the Lions team... THE HORROR.
Of course we are going to be somewhat guilty of this. Even this article could be taken as clickbait, and could be easily misconstrued to be acting above all of the other journalism sites. However, we have never bit when it comes to stupid punditry suggesting outlandish law changes and terrible selection choices. Why? Well, it just gives those dumb opinions airtime. I don't care who Ronan O'Gara's five biggest disappointments were in the Lions side, I don't care what Sam Warburton has suggested in terms of a new law to balance Lions selection, I don't care what Mortlock has to say on the Giteau rule... It's all just hypotheticals. Those legends of the game have a far better right to speak on the way it should be played than I do, but those opinions are being reposted by other platforms with their own opinions attached and it snowballs. We will call out Rassie Erasmus for his little video escapade, as that had some form of bearing on what World Rugby wanted to do next; it wasn't a hypothetical, it's something that's effected the Rugby landscape. But World Rugby aren't going to listen to some ex-players suggestion on who should be allowed to be picked for what country; because it's their decision... It sucks, but it's true!
I might have digressed a little there, but what I'm trying to say is that there is too much fluff in the way the modern game is reported. If I was a new fan getting into the sport, I'd find it truly intimidating to enjoy as so many ex-players and fans are telling you not to enjoy it for these different reasons. Can we stop promoting off-colour comments from podcasts a couple years ago about potential rule changes, and start reporting on fantastic games of Rugby, brutal clashes and outstanding performances. Well, that would make the adsense, so I guess not...