There is a lot for the brothers to catch up on after the longer-than-expected hiatus. Top of Jake's list is the Women's Rugby World Cup and the USA Eagles looming semi-final. Ethan's list of what to talk about was notably short, having drifted away from rugby-thoughts during the hiatus. MLR, The Rugby Championship, and the USA Club 7s Championships all come up as Jake tries to catch Ethan up and blow life into the embers of Ethan's "real fan" status.
Ethan made the apt observation that watching the USA defeat Canada and then almost immediately watching the All Blacks v Lions made the minor league status of the American accomplishment clear. Still, it was a good win, and both brothers enjoyed that. Jake pushed Ethan to pick a favorite player, and gauged Ethan's attitude toward the financial promise of rugby in America.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.