Rugby league belongs to the fans: Now let’s find out what you think

Tim Gore Columnist

By Tim Gore, Tim Gore is a Roar Expert

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151 Have your say

    At the end of the day, the National Rugby League is 100 per cent reliant on one thing: you.

    Without you – the fans – there are no ticket sales, no merchandise sold, no Foxtel subscriptions, no sponsors, no third party sponsorship, and certainly no broadcast deals.

    We always get told things from the NRL marketing people like “It’s your game” and are invited to take up club membership with lines like “join the family” and “you’re the difference.”

    However, when push comes to shove, who else feels like we – the match attending, telecast viewing, season ticket-buying fans – are actually well down the pecking order of those who run the game?

    There are some actions taken by NRL HQ that are at odds with the marketing lines that also emanate from Moore Park. While there have been improvements recently, State of Origin ticket prices and allocations seem to have become a cash cow that heavily favour the corporate end of town.

    As well, the allocation of free-to-air games among the clubs has been severely biased. Some players appear to get away with far more than others where the referees are concerned.

    These issues show that those in charge can forget that the fans are actually their most important stakeholder. Most of us have an expectation that the NRL’s chief responsibility is to run a fair and equitable competition. For many of us our team and the competition is one of the most important things in our lives.

    Referee Gerard Sutton explains why a try was disallowed to Storm captain Cameron Smith

    It can be sobering to put your life in perspective. However, the reality for the great many of us is that we are destined to be in a lower paying job, doing the bidding of another to earn our living.

    Some of us are cleaning toilets, some of us are digging ditches, some of us are laying bricks, or operating a check out, or answering phone calls, or working in a kitchen, or repairing cars, or being a sales rep, or sitting in an office writing about things that don’t matter and passing them on to people who don’t care.

    These jobs are a means to an end. Paying the rent. Feeding and clothing the kids. Keeping the car on the road. It’s great we have these jobs but it doesn’t mean that they fulfill us or give us a greater sense of worth or belonging.

    That’s where the footy comes in. In supporting our team we can be part of something greater than ourselves and find a sense of belonging. Of course there is also the quest for glory. However, it is that sense of belonging that really matters.

    I love Jerry Seinfeld. His long running show in the 1990’s had so many great and memorable quotes and I use them as frequently. However, I’ve always thought this one was total bollocks:

    “We’re a little too into sports in this country. I think we should throttle back. You know what I mean? People come home from these games: ‘WE WON! WE WON!’

    No, they won. You watched.

    This sentiment can only come from a person who doesn’t get it.

    We did far more than watch. We dressed in our clubs colours and waved our flags. We urged our boys on loudly. We screamed at the ref to “GET THEM ONSIDE!” We gave the match atmosphere. And most importantly we bought our season tickets and showed up – often bringing with us the next generation of players and fans.

    If you don’t think the fans are part of ‘we’ you are sorely mistaken. I can assure you that Josh Reynolds, Aaron Woods, Trent Merrin, Blake Austin, Johnathan Thurston, Tim Mannah, James Maloney and Tom Trbojevic think of their fans as ‘we.’ Each one loves the game and would be in the stands with you if they hadn’t made it.

    Some seasons give us fans everything we could hope for. After 50 seasons the Sharks finally brought the premiership trophy home to their long-suffering fans. In 2014 the Rabbitohs fans went berserk over their first title in over four decades. In 2015 most of Far North Queensland went ballistic as Johnathan Thurston slotted the winning field goal in golden point extra time.

    Cowboys Jonathan Thurston celebrates winning the 2015 NRL Grand Final

    Then there is the other end of the spectrum.

    We all enter the new season with hope and expectations that this season might be a good one, only to have those hopes often too quickly dashed. The Rabbitohs supporters not only had to deal with getting flogged in Round 1, they also lost their captain and superstar for the season.

    While the long-suffering Dragons fans were ecstatic with their first up win, they were brought crashing to earth by the thrashing at the hands of the Eels. The Warriors fans saw the same old ineffectual rubbish from their side as they capitulated to the Melbourne machine.

    We Raiders fans watched on as the reigning premiers flogged our boys. All that preseason hope took a huge battering. The next day I did anything I could to distract myself from analysing just what went so badly wrong. That included showering my cat. Eduardo Luis took a few chunks out of me in the process but even the severe pain of his attacks couldn’t distract me from the utter disappointment of my Raiders’ capitulation.

    But I can guarantee you I’ll be back and I won’t give up on my side. Just like the Dragons, Warriors and Rabbitohs fans won’t give up on their boys. It’s my team and I am in for the long haul. I was supporting the club long before any of those players were born and I’ll be supporting it until someone glues the lid shut on my corrugated cardboard coffin and sends it down the chute.

    Effectively, the players that run out onto the field are just caretakers of our jumpers. Their average career span is less than ten years. A supporter is for life. We fans don’t support players, they come and go. We support teams.

    If Jarryd Hayne had returned to Parramatta the fans would have welcomed their prodigal son back with open arms. His successes and failures would have again been theirs.

    However, by going to the Gold Coast he declared that he – like Sonny Bill Williams – was a gun for hire.

    Fans will welcome a superstar like Hayne or SBW in the hope that they will tip the scales and help bring glory. Everything SBW has touched has turned to gold. However, things have been tougher for Hayne. His performances for the Titans have yet to be top class. He has run foul of his leadership group and now he has a long term injury.

    Jarryd Hayne Gold Coast Titans NRL Finals Rugby League 2016 tall

    An injured mercenary has very few friends.

    A team down on their luck, however, can still have dedicated and unwavering support.

    In recent years the Knights fans have endured the Tinkler debacle, the departure of Wayne Bennett, a big turnover of players, two consecutive wooden spoons and 336 days without a single win.

    And yet their fans never stopped showing up.

    Over the last three tumultuous seasons their average home crowd has been 16,000. Last season they averaged 14,457 fans per game in spite of the horror results.

    To put that number in context, the sides that finished in the top four in 2016 had the following crowd averages:
    • Cowboys – 17,260
    • Raiders – 13,806
    • Storm – 19,024
    • Sharks – 14,579

    This shows that the Knights’ fans are the sort of people you’d want next to you in the trenches. They don’t give up. They don’t desert. The fans are that club.

    In the celebrations following the win over the Titans – that featured the embarrassing reality that the victorious players didn’t even know the team victory song – the players and coaching staff rightly acknowledged their incredibly loyal crowd and how much they deserved the victory.

    And yet some (insert your preferred expletives) has put up the idea of moving the ‘franchise’ to Brisbane… That idea deserves as much respect as a comb over.

    To contemplate moving a side that averaged 14,457 fans each home match during a season from hell is the sort of utter stupidity that I’m unfortunately starting to expect from the movers and shakers in our sport.

    The Newcastle Knights are a club, not a franchise. They are of – and belong to – the proud and indomitable Novocastrians. We should salute their resilience and fortitude.

    How dare anyone suggest that their team could be picked up and moved.

    I’m sick of hearing of these sort of stupid ideas.

    I reckon it is time that you – the fans – told us what you actually thought on the many issues facing the game.

    So here is ‘The Roar’s rugby league fan survey’.

    Tell us what you think and we’ll let NRL HQ what matters to the most important people in the game of rugby league – you, the fans.

    Tim Gore
    Tim Gore

    Tim has been an NRL statistician for ABC Radio Grandstand since 1999, primarily as part of their Canberra coverage. Tim has loved rugby league since Sterlo was a kid with lots of hair but was cursed with having no personal sporting ability whatsoever. He couldn't take a hit in footy, was a third division soccer player making up numbers, plays off 41 in golf and is possibly the world's worst cricketer ever. He has always been good at arguing the point though and he has a great memory of what happened. Follow Tim on Twitter.

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    The Crowd Says (151)

    • March 16th 2017 @ 5:47am
      Milan said | March 16th 2017 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      Great article Tim as ever. I am a Pom here in the Uk but follow the NRL very closely. What I would love to see is more superstars playing the game (the Haynes, the folaus, the SBW’s etc) and also expansion. I note that super rugby could be about to cut one Australian team. From the NRLs point of view would it be best if the brumbies, rebels or force went? (I appreciate that none might be cut). Also do you think this may help reverse the slide of talent which tends to go from league to union. If we could get some good union players over it may help reinvigorate the NRL. We can’t afford to sit on our laurels. What do you think guys?

      • Roar Guru

        March 16th 2017 @ 6:18am
        The Barry said | March 16th 2017 @ 6:18am | ! Report

        If they cut a rugby franchise i doubt it will be the brumbies. Force or Rebels. Probably not too much impact on league either way.

        There’s not really a slide of talent going to rugby. A few fringe players here and there but there hasn’t been a genuine league star go to rugby for a while. League picks up a few rugby juniors – definitely more than the other way around. So it probably all balances out.

        The next generation of stars are coming through now after Hayne, SBW, Folau, etc.

        • March 16th 2017 @ 10:28am
          AGO74 said | March 16th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

          Agree on the rugby comment. At least with Australian rugby. A lot of players/agents throw out the French rugby line these days to try and get a few extra $$$ but realistically it is not an issue. Semi radradra is going at end of season to France but that is as much a consequence of his own off field actions as it is of on field talents. Same with Ben Barba actually….

        • Roar Guru

          March 16th 2017 @ 1:19pm
          Will Sinclair said | March 16th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

          Actually Baz, it seems the drums are starting to beat louder that the Brumbies will be cut and/or merged with Melbourne.

          It kind of makes sense… The Brumbies are not a new development pathway or market for rugby – NSW is easily accessible for their juniors and most of their players are NSW’men and QLD’ers anyway.

          It seems the ARU might be keen to consolidate its presence in NSW/ACT and continue to pursue the developmental pathways and new markets in Perth and Melbourne.

          Can’t say I agree with it, though.

          • Roar Guru

            March 16th 2017 @ 3:56pm
            The Barry said | March 16th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

            Cheers…that would be a disaster. Brumbies have always been the team to cheer for when the Waratahs have been struggling.

            As a result I’ve spent more seasons cheering for the Brumbies than the Tahs…

      • Roar Guru

        March 16th 2017 @ 11:52am
        Riley Pettigrew said | March 16th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        Personally, I feel that from the NRL’s perspective they will receive benefits from the cutting of each franchise.

        Brumbies: Frees up the Canberra market for the NRL, gives the Raiders more exposure.
        Rebels: Gives the Storm a monopoly on the Victorian rugby market, avoids confusion with the Storm and Rebels although it will be harder for the two teams to cross-promote.
        Force: Opens up the Perth market for an NRL team

        The way I see it, the Brumbies and Rebels are likely to merge which will likely not have any tangible benefits from the NRL.

        • Roar Guru

          March 16th 2017 @ 12:28pm
          Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 16th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

          I dont think the benefit comes from the market, it will come from people who have spent the last 5-10 years prepearing a pretty solid pathway for Rugby Union, league is then poised to strike!

        • March 16th 2017 @ 1:13pm
          Joshua Burnell said | March 16th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

          My concern is the effect on facilities. Whichever city they cut the Super RUgby Team from do you really think governments will spend multi millions on just an NRL team stadium in Canberra for example. The Brumbies go and you can be sure Raiders never get an upgrade

          • Roar Guru

            March 16th 2017 @ 2:02pm
            Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 16th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

            I am sure Canberra could push for an A-League team to fill the void. The W-League team has been very successful

            • March 16th 2017 @ 3:52pm
              Moonboot said | March 16th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

              The Soccer team closed there 20 years ago.

          • March 17th 2017 @ 12:29pm
            Bakkies said | March 17th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

            The University of Canberra facilities were completed for the Brumbies just a few years ago.

    • Roar Guru

      March 16th 2017 @ 5:55am
      The Barry said | March 16th 2017 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      Some pretty provocative questions in there Tim.

      My concern would be that some of these questions and their responses will lose credibility for the results overall.

      “Do you have confidence in the bunker to get most decisions right?”

      The answer to this should be yes simply because they get far and away most decisions right. But I’m sure there’ll be plenty that hate the bunker and will answer no.

      “Is the NRL administered fairly” this ones a beauty. Raiders fans will be saying “no way look at the Roosters TPAs” and Roosters fans will be saying “no way look at the Raiders junior catchment area” and Queensland fans will be saying “no way Sydneys over represented” and NSW fans will be saying “no way the Broncos have Brisbane to themselves”

      I’m expecting maybe 3% for that one!

      • Columnist

        March 16th 2017 @ 9:45am
        Tim Gore said | March 16th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        Sometimes 97% responses need to be made, rather than assumed.

    • March 16th 2017 @ 6:27am
      Silvertail47 said | March 16th 2017 @ 6:27am | ! Report

      Is this about fans or TV coverage? Seriously if it was about the fans then the ABC or SBS should ,must be allowed to broadcast those games that arnt on ch9 , every week fans miss out on fantastic games ,especially saturdays , not everyone can afford or wants a pay TV sub!

      • Roar Rookie

        March 16th 2017 @ 8:41am
        eels47 said | March 16th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        Unfortunately the TV coverage is too important to the game for it to be shown on ABC or SBS. It provides too much money, without which the game would not be able to grow, increase the salary cap to keep players etc. Allowing ABC or SBS to televise games would significantly reduce the money that Foxtel would pay to televise the game. The NRL must also make decisions that are commercially minded, and at times these decisions are not always what is best for the fans. Sure there is no NRL without the fans, but there is also no NRL without money, and lots of it.

      • March 16th 2017 @ 9:37am
        Silvertail47 said | March 16th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        there’s your problem , Rupert destroyed this game , and it shows that it can’t stand on its own , how sad , the AFL would still be here if it gave the salute to Fox , maybe less money but it wouldn’t be as exposed , from a business risk perspective , TV and Fox own RL , the game no longer owns itself or sets its own agenda

        • Roar Rookie

          March 16th 2017 @ 9:46am
          eels47 said | March 16th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          Whilst I like the sentiment of your argument, the game is not sustainable as a professional competition without TV, so Rupert did not actually destroy the game. I don’t agree with how it happened , but he brought the game into the modern day. Without the revenue gained from TV we would not have Hayne, Inglis, Burgess, RTS, Slater etc as the game simply would not be able to afford them. Like it or not, the market is too small for the game to be self sustaining.

          • Roar Guru

            March 16th 2017 @ 10:35am
            The Barry said | March 16th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report


            It’s not like pre-pay TV (Rupert) every game was televised on FTA.

            Pay TV allowed every game to be televised and the money to grow the game.

            The quantity of FTA coverage hasn’t really changed.

            • Roar Rookie

              March 16th 2017 @ 11:01am
              eels47 said | March 16th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

              Spot on. Pay TV has made the game more accessible to fans (albeit at a price) and has provided the game with much needed funds to grow.

              • March 16th 2017 @ 2:12pm
                Glenn said | March 16th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                If you want access to RL then you pay for it, either a pay TV subscription or pay for a seat at a stadium (and all the other costs – transport, food, maybe parking) so everything has a cost.

                The big thing for me is the inequity between clubs, some have huge influence over the NRL hierarchy, some have $m of TPAs and others don’t and some have a whole large city to themselves. Also many fans have little confidence in Grant and Greenberg to run the game properly.

        • Columnist

          March 16th 2017 @ 9:47am
          Tim Gore said | March 16th 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          Takes two to tango. Rupert had a dance partner.

          • March 16th 2017 @ 1:24pm
            your kidding said | March 16th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

            Good read Tim. Just two things, its not really a national rugby league competition yet and be careful in quoting crowd statistics in getting a point across. Its a bit like politics , the NRL uses rubbery figures and hyperbole to push the game. Thats ok, but dont always believe everything that is said.
            Newcastle and the Titans are for sale, if the numbers were that good etc, someone would of bought them by now.
            The fans are the backbone of any competition and should demand that everything is fair and above board. The Broncos dominance of prime time FTA television is a sham and an insult to other clubs who are desperate for more support. They also have an entire ruby league mad city to themselves.
            I would say the game no longer belongs to the fans it belongs to the money men.

            • Roar Guru

              March 16th 2017 @ 7:25pm
              The Barry said | March 16th 2017 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

              It doesn’t have to have a team in every state to be a national league. It’s a national league as opposed to being a state based league. The name is completely appropriate.

              None of the NFL, NBA and NHL have a team in every state of the US…should they take the national from their names?

            • March 17th 2017 @ 1:08pm
              Nathan said | March 17th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

              Exactly right. Brisbane have the whole city to themselves so have little competition when it comes to corporate support. Having a FTA tv game every week also increases the value and exposure of their shirt sponsors in relation to teams that may only have 1 FTA game a year.

              FTA games should be shared as evenly as possible.

      • March 16th 2017 @ 9:57am
        Silvertail47 said | March 16th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        That’s my point , $$$$$ , it’s Rupert game now ,doesn’t belong to fans or the clubs , look at RU it’s a flop ,why ? But it’s got Ruperts $$$ , my point is yes you need a dance partner but the fans should be picking the songs

      • March 16th 2017 @ 10:22am
        Arnold krewanty said | March 16th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        All 16 Teams should be getting equal FTA coverage – just like the NFL does. The current ongoing Broncos Friday night preferencing is damaging the game, and other teams struggle to attract corporate sponsors as a result.

        The Bunker/Video Referee has absolutely destroyed RL as a spectacle. I’ve gone form watching all 8 games every weekend with avid interest, to only watching my team (with gritted teeth).

        I attended the Knights/Titans game last weekend. Although there was plenty of emotion in the stands and on the field at the end of the game, the actual game was a drawn out saga of endless super-slo-mo replays seeking to over analyse tries. In the end, I just stopped cheering when a try was scored, because I simply couldn’t guess what would happen anymore when that ball went over the chalk.

        It’s unfortunate that this continues my tendency in now saying RIP tainted NRL — Hello true RL – CRL

        • March 16th 2017 @ 10:32am
          AGO74 said | March 16th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

          Your comment on NRL is true of only Thursday night football which is lowest rating game of week (out equivalent of Sunday arvo game). However the nationally televised Sunday night and Monday night games are cherry picked. You dont see the see the jags, Titans, Browns etc in any of those premium games.

          • Roar Guru

            March 16th 2017 @ 11:48am
            Riley Pettigrew said | March 16th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            Agreed, although the NFL is a completely different beast when it comes to broadcast.

            It had blackout policies in place before they were phased out in 2015.

            3 FTA channels have the rights to air NFL (Fox, CBS, NBC) with one Pay TV partner, every broadcast partner is on a level playing field.

            The NFL also has strong streaming deals with DirecTV and Twitter in addition to the behemoth that is the NFL Network and NFL Game Pass.

            While I don’t suggest the NRL copy the NFL verbatim, I think they can do a much better job at negotiating an appropriate deal with Nine, Fox and digital streaming partners by innovating in their broadcast deals to adjust to an ever-changing technological landscape.

            • March 16th 2017 @ 1:00pm
              andrew said | March 16th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

              Agree on the Digital streaming partners.

              I lived in London for two years (14/15). You couldn’t watch NRL game pass in the UK and there was zero NRL on TV, yet you could watch at least 5 AFL matches each week on ESPN – which while a pay tv product, was the cheaper (BT Sport) product than Sky sports, and better than zero coverage which is what rugby league had. it was easier to watch AFL in London than it was to even watch the UK Super League.

              But why the NRL couldn’t work a deal to stream the game to an overseas audience is ridiculous and criminal.

              I watch NFL ‘Game Pass’ and MLB ‘At Bat’ all the time. Great products.

              • Roar Guru

                March 16th 2017 @ 2:05pm
                Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 16th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                The NRL broadcasts every game live to nations which dont have a streaming partner through livestream. I really wish this was an option available for all overseas nations, even for a subsciption based option.

              • March 16th 2017 @ 5:59pm
                John said | March 16th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

                And yet I can catch a lot of NRL games in some pubs in Hong Kong, there is a bit 10-15 minute broadcast delay for live matches though, so I usually ignore my mates text messages during SOO and the finals.

                It is quite bizzare that it is so hard to catch them in London.

              • March 17th 2017 @ 9:35am
                Glen PH said | March 17th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

                Wrong – Every NRL game has been shown on Premier Sports live the past 4 or 5 years in the UK. Additional fee channel just like the AFL on ESPN. Great coverage.

        • March 16th 2017 @ 2:41pm
          steve said | March 16th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

          The current Broncos Friday night preferencing is damaging the game? Is this the Broncos that after tonights game against the Storm have played two out of three games on the low rating Thursday night?

          That aside, the Broncos get Friday night games because they rate on TV. It really isn’t that hard to work out. It boils down to that in the end. Some teams rate on TV far better than others, and considering advertising and corporate dollars are at stake, it isn’t unsurprising.

          Fun fact for all the whingers and whiners who like to go on and on about this, the Broncos themselves want Sunday afternoon games, it what they ask the NRL for every year, less Friday nights, more Sunday games.

          • Columnist

            March 16th 2017 @ 8:46pm
            Tim Gore said | March 16th 2017 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

            Low rating Thursday night?

    • March 16th 2017 @ 6:36am
      Milan said | March 16th 2017 @ 6:36am | ! Report

      thanks Barry, I just though it would be great if we had the likes of folau, cooper, Kerevi etc are running around suncorp and and. I am sure the nrl will be watching the super rugby developments with interest at the very least

    • Roar Guru

      March 16th 2017 @ 8:07am
      Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 16th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Do you think clubs should receive salary cap concessions for players they’ve developed from the junior ranks?

      Just BTW, they do have this. I think it should be increased but to say its not there is a fallacy.

      While I would love every one to be able to afford and watch everything its just not feasable.

      • Columnist

        March 16th 2017 @ 8:48pm
        Tim Gore said | March 16th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

        They are insignificant.

    • March 16th 2017 @ 8:31am
      I hate pies said | March 16th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      Geez, you guys are still banging on about Cameron Smith. His relationship with the refs has nothing to do with this article, yet you still managed to have a dig. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be an issue if he played for a Sydney club.

      • March 16th 2017 @ 11:51am
        Oingo Boingo said | March 16th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        But he wouldn’t get the soft ride if he played for a Sydney club.
        The Storm have always had the rub of the green ,as the NRL knows a basket case in Melbourne would not be a good look .

        • March 16th 2017 @ 12:28pm
          I hate pies said | March 16th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

          Yeah sure they have. It looks like the NRL have told the refs to go easy on them…

        • March 16th 2017 @ 5:52pm
          John said | March 16th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

          What nonsense, are you saying if Paul Gallen or James Graham played for Melbourne they would get along better with refs?

      • March 16th 2017 @ 1:01pm
        KenW said | March 16th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        ‘Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be an issue if he played for a Sydney club.’

        Nonsense. He’s the Australian captain, possible future immortal, and he has a way with refs that is clearly a level above others and clearly assists his team. His influence is more than noteworthy regardless of club.

        Anyway, being in Melbourne actually gets him a bit out of the spotlight. If he was a Rooster, Rabbit, Bulldog or Dragon the banging on would only be louder, not softer.

      • March 16th 2017 @ 1:16pm
        soapit said | March 16th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

        do you mean if he didnt have the australian halves constantly outside him he wouldnt have done enough to warrant any attention from the public?

        that seems harsh.

      • Columnist

        March 16th 2017 @ 8:49pm
        Tim Gore said | March 16th 2017 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

        So respond to the survey question about that in the negative IHP.

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