Friday, 6 April 2012

Derby days and measuring manhood

It's Good Friday at time of writing. Earlier today, Hull FC beat Hull KR and Wigan went to St Helens and beat them. Warrington beat Widnes last night, Wakefield take on Cas and Bradford play Leeds later on. Down the divisions, there are derbies up in Cumbria, the Heavy Woollen district and in Wales. This has seen an incredible amount of action on twitter as fans compare dick size and even the official Super League website claiming that a debate as to which constitutes the biggest derby in the game is raging.

It doesn't rage though. What it does is rumble on incessantly in the background ahead of the traditional Easter programme and the contrivance of the Magic Weekend. We are, in the main, a game entrenched within certain regions. The result is having a lot of clubs near to one another and, inevitably, playing one another on a regular basis. This has been going on for ages, these clubs have been playing each other for ages and whether you've played each other 200 times or 198 doesn't really matter a great deal.

These are all spectacles in their own way. They attract big crowds, the atmosphere can be genuinely breath-taking at times. It all feels like it matters. Celebrate that. Enjoy it. Why ruin it by saying "yes, this is both amazing and great, but not as both amazing and great as something else that is also both amazing and great"? What the hell is wrong with you? It's a curiously rugby league thing to do to play down the things that make the game special and other. We should be shouting about how we've got some great derby games that bring out the crowds and put on some spectacular rugby. The finish by Kirk Yeaman in the FC v KR game today was on the end of some spectacular rugby, but today it just felt like it meant more.

Frankly, the need to waggle ones manhood about and claim it's bigger than someone else's smacks of insecurity. Anyway, the answer is Dewsbury v Batley, with London v Catalans a close second.

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