Ethan keeps asking Jake, "Why does that thing happen?" Or, "Why doesn't this other thing I think should happen actually happen?" The framework for this week's round of Ethan's questions was Quins v Wasps and some of Jaguars v Sharks. The brothers differ about which match was the more interesting of the pair. Jake is also excited about watching two college rugby championship matches this coming weekend, and Ethan is genuinely curious about what his own reaction will be.
When the brothers first started these conversations, the first test was to see if Ethan liked the rugby. He did. The next step was to get Ethan involved with a team or league. He was interested in the end of last season's Super Rugby--and, specifically, the Hurricanes--but that interest did not stick long enough to last into this season. However, we have now found a team that has sucked Ethan in: the USA 7s team. Ethan and Jake talk some about the Singapore 7s, including the potential star power of the current USA squad. Ethan also asks Jake about how he is finding being an assistant coach for his son's team. They also touch on some European rugby, including getting their plans set for what to watch this weekend.
It's been clear for a while that to get Ethan even further into rugby fandom, he needed a team to follow. He has that now: The men's USA 7s team. He still needs help figuring out how to watch, which is not a good sign for anyone. Fortunately for Ethan, he has a personal rugby concierge in Jake who makes sure he doesn't entirely miss out. This episode involves a bit of fawning over Madison Hughes, as well as touching up Super Rugby, Aviva Premiership, and the potential of Major League Rugby.
When we took a break, the podcast feed was deleted from iTunes, so re-subscribing is necessary. We'd also love to get some feedback, include reviews!
For Ethan's benefit, here are the times for the USA 7s pool play matches on Saturday in Singapore:
v Wales at 1:36am EST
v Scotland at 4:34am EST
v New Zealand at 8:50am EST
Ethan definitely likes March Madness, and he had the chance to compare the experience of watching college basketball and rugby. The rugby he watched was two Saracens' matches--one against Bath and one against Glasgow. Jake also sent him a couple highlights of college rugby, which provides more meat for the episodes. Having watched part of the second match of the recent women's Can-Am series, Ethan also asks Jake's thoughts on the support women's rugby receives.
In addition to enjoying the fifteens from Allianz Park, Ethan is excited for the Hong Kong 7s. Unsurprisingly, Jake is also excited. Ethan's excitement, though, is a direct consequence of having watched the USA men's team play well in Las Vegas and Vancouver. It is easier to root for and get excited about a winner, and the USA 7s men can win any match they play.
Speaking of Chris Ashton and the Wasps v Leinster match, swan dives came up. Jake confused Ollie le Roux with Willie le Roux. Oops. The dream of every winger is to be confused with a prop, as we know.
Some swan dive classics.
A bit of Chris Ashton.
I have looked to try and find an answer to Ethan's question about why a box kick is called a box kick. So far, I have not found anything beyond my own theories. Anyone with knowledge of who started calling a box kick a box kick, when, and precisely why? Let us know.
Finally back, Ethan and Jake talk about the USA 7s from Las Vegas. Jake was actually in Vegas, while Ethan watched on tv from New Hampshire. However, both brothers were excited by what happened and have fun sharing their reactions.
After a bit of a break, the brothers are back. Turns out, that without the push from the podcast conversations, Ethan found it easy to slip into old, non-watching habits. There is a lot to cover, so no single match gets too much attention. They also look at a graphic Jake created. And, of course, plans to see Rogue One are mentioned.
With a longer than usual span between conversations, there is a lot for the Frechettes to cover. Jake reports on his trip to Chicago, and Ethan tries to understand if the Eagles are as bad as he thinks they are. Not everything is negative, but Ethan does struggle to understand the how and the why of Jake's consistent optimism.
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.