Dear Rogue Bludger,
I basically support what you want to do – you want to give cutting, hard journalism without having to hold back. It’s the kind of journalism which I would find really interesting, and if done right, can be a really good complement to the QP and the Chuckle Bludgers etc. While I am torn on your anonymity, I understand your choice to be hidden (at least for now). In my eyes the more diverse thoughts and opinions, the better.
But with such a strong idea, your execution was poor. Instead of being tactful and insightful, you came across as petty and cutting. Not honest, just harsh. Words are powerful, but there is a way to fulfil your goal without looking like a misled team.
Please find below an edited version of your article, where I highlighted certain words and then suggested some changes, which I hope you will take as feedback. While I am not the most informed quidditch player in the community (hands over head, I don’t claim to be), I still believe your article could have been worded better. I hope you find them useful for future articles.
Quidditch in the UK is having a lot of firsts at the moment, The Rogue Bludger is the first decent quidditch publication, (Give it another few articles…) SQC firsts are finally good again, and the UK came first at EG. But there was another major first for the sport this summer: the first season of the Quidditch Premier League. This was a league slicker than Jay Holmes’ hair in his early teens. It promised to take the mostly appaling (Spelling mistake) standard of the regular season and make it slightly less shit, and to their credit they pulled it off. Here are some thoughts on the performances, tactics and rule changes that defined the season.
“This was a league slicker than Jay Holmes’ hair in his early teens”
WE TALK ABOUT
The Biggest Surprise: What happened to the Watch?
The North South Balance
The “Quality” of the Managers
The Biggest Surprise: What happened to the Watch?
So West Midlands won and Mermaids came last. Well done on that masterful prediction. You must be so knowledgable to have worked that one out. Going into the championship most teams finished exactly where they were expected to finish, the biggest exception to this rule was the Northern Watch. (Passive voice)
You can almost work out who the better players are by the looks on their faces. This is the team that came 2nd in the North and yet the only teams they ranked above are literal garbage (I would have worded it differently. Perhaps “and yet the teams were part of a bracket where the team’s skills were sub-par when compared to the south and their TeamUK-dominated teams”). The Watch looked like dark horses to maybe challenge for a medal going into Championship weekend due mainly to their roster boasting a few big names such as Bridgen, Riley and Cooper.
“Having such overrated players, especially in the beater game, is why the Watch did so much worse than people expected”
However, their roster also boasts some very overrated names such as beater pair McDonald and Baker of Edinburgh. While Baker has extremely good core skills and does well in one on ones, he completely misreads the game and requires a very competent supporting beater to make any real impact, which McDonald is not. Gohil also disappointed with his performance, lacking leadership on pitch and generally lazy play. Having such overrated players, especially in the beater game, is why the Watch did so much worse than people expected. We saw the better players on the team such as Bridgen lose their heads as the day went on and their play suffered as a result.
This was also one of the best examples of the leadership of QPL teams biting off more than they could chew (more on that later). Eddie Bruce should be commended for the effort and impact he’s made on the sport however he should have gained more experience before running the Watch. He under utilised the better players on the squad such as Cooper and rarely ran a full strength line to their detriment. In the end, this was a poorly organised squad on and off the field and that is what cost them a higher finish.
“This was also one of the best examples of the leadership of QPL teams biting off more than they could chew”
It wasn’t all doom and gloom however, like most teams in the league, the Watch had a few players who typically go unnoticed in the regular season over perform and play quite well. Gavin Hughes showed mad pace and decent quaffle handling skills while Connor Climo delivered great intensity and scrappy play.
(I would have had a quote from Eddie discussing his experiences training the squad during publication, or some more research on what training itself was like – though this is more personal style and if I had more time)
The North South Balance
Considering QPL was supposed to shake up the sport by requiring players to represent the region in which they live as opposed to where they study, it was surprising how much teams were a reflection of the clubs in their area.
“There was a clear gap between the top three and the rest of the squads with the South having more depth at the top and the North dominating the mid-tier”
The upcoming season sees a shift in the quality of Quidditch clubs to heavily favour the South. While Raptors remain the top dogs there is a clear top five and the other four clubs are all based in the south (Werewolves, Warwick, Bears and SQC). While this is interesting for the season ahead, for this article we were interested to see this pattern reoccur in the QPL. Top dogs Revolution were always favourites to win and drew heavily from Raptors while the other elite teams (Knights and Monarchs) were southern based. There was a clear gap between the top three and the rest of the squads with the South having more depth at the top and the North dominating the mid-tier.
At the other end of the table, you could see clubs which have traditionally been shit (again, I would have said “have traditionally been weaker than neighbouring teams”) translated into the worst teams of the QPL. Norwich Nifflers made up about half of the Eastern Mermaids, with Cambridge mostly making up the rest, and the Broadsides showed how much the South West relies on Bristol to be represented at the top level. While Bristolian players bolstered both teams they failed to prove they can perform outside of their club and drag those teams up from the bottom two.
The “Quality” of Managers
QPL being the large undertaking that it was made the smart decision to delegate the majority of team management to a single manager for each team. However, being an unproven league at the time, it struggled to attract the best managers it could. (Passive voice) While this will likely improve next season, it left some teams with a lack of leadership and in many cases some very questionable decisions. Lets rank them:
1. Connor Simpson not knowing who Reuben was
At least that’s what we’re hoping, otherwise this should be even higher on this list. Word on the street is (abysmal, check your sources) squad selection for the Southwest Broadsides was a bit of a clusterfuck of bad decisions (requires further substantiation). Initially Reuben, a man who Team UK coaches explicitly train their quaffle players not to run towards because he will kill them was absent from the roster.
To make matters even more hilarious, fellow Team UK quaffle player Joel Davis was originally on the roster but he had to drop out because Cornwall is at the end of fucking nowhere. But you know who could have helped him get places? Reuben.
2. Mikey Ansell not picking Bidwell
This is the original scandal of QPL, and like many others on this list was eventually fixed. Simon Bidwell is one of the most accomplished leaders in the sport in the UK but it seems this talent was more of a curse than a blessing for the Werewolves keeper. Few players know the sport as well however faced with this asset for his team, manager Mikey Ansell instead opted for Scott Brown of Portsmouth.
While in many other teams Brown would be a solid pick, for the Knights it was a clear misstep which caused much chatter in the various circles of players who actually knew something about the game.
3. Who was the Broadsides captain?
In the QPL, the managers where free to create and delegate roles as they saw fit. What this meant however was many teams made questionable choices for their captain and there was often a void of leadership.
“As my grandmother used to say, presence is more important than competence”
For Broadsides this came in the form of Bex McLaughlin, who is certainly an experienced and competent captain, however was not present for virtually the entire season. And as my grandmother used to say, presence is more important than competence. It was up to Sam Senior to step into the role and he actually did a decent job.
4. Mermaids Manager and Coach not showing up to Championship
And on the subject of being present, I heard many of the Mermaid players grumbling about the fact that neither their manager Sally Higginson or their coach Anthony Tatman showed up to the QPL championship. (Passive voice)
To be honest though, given that the Mermaids were a sinking ship, they probably made a good call which is why this isn’t higher on the list. And given the state of their coaching, the Mermaids probably weren’t much worse off without them.
(Again, some more research on the Mermaids would have made the article slightly stronger. How many members went to training? To what extent was it the manager’s fault, if at all?)
5. Eddie Bruce trying to do everything
Certainly not the only manager guilty of this, but manager and self appointed captain Eddie Bruce should have lent much more heavily on the wealth of experience in his team. He often started very questionable lineups, lent too heavily on overrated players and had no real strategy for his team.
(Some more information on what these misseps were would help. They read as assertions without weight. Another paragraph of examples would have helped this section, or at least making reference to previous examples from the section on the North)
These are just a few of our favourite managerial faux pas, however there are sure to be many lesser known ones, if you have one feel free to rant in our comments section.
Looking at the future of the Quidditch Premier League and the sport as a whole. We could have the whole debate about whether Quidditch is still on the rise or slowly dying. The Quidditch Premier League has injected some life (and so have you, by the looks of it…) into the UK community, hopefully QUK can now take that momentum and run with it.
We’re seeing evidence of that with the new rulebook and the introduction of the back-court violation rule. Debuting this QPL season to combat slowballing, we’ve seen that it doesn’t really achieve its aim however it is still a welcome addition to the rulebook. What it really does well is allow a dominant team (especially one with dominant beaters) to really go to town to force turnovers more easily. It negates the ability of most mid-tier teams to resist presses by simply legging it backwards and that would allow teams at that level and above to use presses more and generally utilise a more aggressive defence.
QPL has set a high bar for QUK to live up to branding wise. It’s generated hype and press coverage to be envious of and we will be doing well if the regionals and BQC are managed as well. (Passive voice)
(Where was the analysis of the Yorkshire Roses? Or the East Midlands Archers? Why miss out analysing a quarter of the League?)
(37% of sentences in the article are over 20 words, much higher than it should be.)
(The passive voice dominates the article. Consider using the active voice for clarity)