Sunny Wellington for Episode 15

The Frechette Brothers talk about the Mitre 10 for the first time, having watching North Harbour defeat Wellington. Turns out, Ethan likes watching New Zealand rugby. Imagine that! If all matches can be as entertaining at that North Harbour/Wellington match, Ethan will care a lot less about television production values. Jake also spends some time encouraging Ethan to figure out how to get out and see a high-level match in person.


Every 9 Needs a Whistle

The brothers talk about the end of The Rugby Championship, the potentially bad news about their pod's namesake, and The Stoop. There is also some USA Rugby to discuss, though not in cheery tones. Ethan expressed a desire to watch a USA Selects match if the European Cup matches aren't available. Jake will take that as a good sign.


#13: Need for a Rooting Interest Revealed

In Episode 13, the brothers quickly review some USA Rugby news, Ethan wonders if the All Blacks are too good to be interesting, and Jake decides he didn't want Ethan to be a Bath fan anyway.

One thing that perhaps the brothers underestimated was how important it is for a fan of anything to have a rooting interest. Watching for the love of the game can only take a new fan so far. According to Jake, the only thing Ethan needs to take another step forward on the really serious fan path is to pick a club team. We'll see how that goes.



#12: Such a Pretty Package

Bath's disappointing--at least, disappointing to Jake--performance to Leicester is central to this week's conversation. Ethan was ready to be positive about the match and being able to watch on television. Ethan comments again on how watching rugby compares to watching football, and Jake shares what rugby-related detail kept him sleepless this week.



Episode 11: Watch the Space, Not Just the Ball

Another weekend of The Rugby Championship for the brothers to chat their way through. Jake gave Ethan a few suggestions for how to watch a match with a slightly more educated eye. It does not take a particularly educated eye, and the Frechette brothers join the rest of the rugby world, to appreciate the skills of Dane Coles. Ethan's work obligations prevented him from watching any rugby from the Northern Hemisphere, but Jake allowed it--just this once. Next weekend, the focus will be on Leicester v Bath, which they will watch on actual tv.


Trying to Create a Scrutable Spectacle

In Episode 10, it is back to The Rugby Championship and a chance to talk about Argentina's great 50 minutes against New Zealand, as well as the rest of that match and Australia's win over South Africa. This was the first weekend that saw rugby competing with the NFL season for Ethan, who is a pretty serious football fan. Before they talked, Jake was pretty worried about how that competition would go.

The conversation continues to evolve as Ethan's journey into rugby fandom progresses. Unfortunately, the brothers' skills with the technical details is evolving at a slightly slower pace. You might notice some hiccups in the episode which are the result of Jake's mic deciding to take some breaks during the recording.


Episode 9: Ethan's First Northern Hemisphere Chat

With The Rugby Championship taking the week off, Ethan and Jake watched three matches from the Northern Hemisphere--one from each of the major European leagues. It was, in many respects, a mixed review from Ethan. Jake was pretty tickled by the Aviva Premiership matches.

The conversation was recorded on Monday morning, but a few human hiccups and technical glitches delayed the publishing. There is a bit of an echo which caused by an error Jake hasn't figure out yet. So far, he is blaming the dog, Josie.


Episode 8: The New Car Smell Wearing Off?

In Episode 8 of The Carter Divide, it was another week with The Rugby Championship at the center of the conversation. Ethan continues to become more aware of the current landscape of rugby, and not everything is good.

I confess that I am pretty excited for a chance to talk about some Americans again. Ethan selected Toulon (because of Samu Manoa) and the Cardiff Blues (because of Blaine Scully and Cam Dolan) as teams to follow. With talks about PRO12 expansion to North America, and rumors about Top 14 ambitions in America, it will be interesting to see which league grabs Ethan’s attention. We’ll be able to watch Toulon on Saturday.

Ethan continues to be more interested in rugby than, necessarily, American rugby. My hope is that rooting for some Eagles in Europe will be a way to get him to care more about America’s national teams.

Since we recorded, Juan Martin Hernandez looks like he will be able to play against New Zealand on September 10.


Episode 7: Rugby Championship Kicks Off

While Jake's dog chews a squeak toy in the background, the brothers talk about the first round of the Rugby Championship. Among other things, the brothers talk about how rugby's refereeing sets it apart from most American sports and wade into expected returns from different decisions made from penalties. Jake is eager to turn the conversation back to America, while Ethan seems to just want good rugby.


Episode 6: Looking for Rugby's Soap Operas?

One way to think about why we find watching sports interesting is that the games, seasons, and tournaments are good stories. The athletic spectacle is nice, but we need more than that. Ethan continues to think that rugby looks good when compared to American football, but he's still more excited about the NFL season than the rugby championship. The task now is to give Ethan compelling stories, or the right information so he can find his own narratives.