Mark it down in the calendar - Sunday, November 6 - the day we finally got confirmation All Blacks supporters have grown up. In a week and year when the upset has 'trumped' all (sorry about the pun), there was not the usual reaction we've seen after All Blacks losses. Usually coaches are caned, selections pulled apart, game plans analysed and dissected with ruthless efficiency - the blame game in full swing. Yes, radio host Mark Watson may have taken things to a unique level by labelling this our worst year ever, alongside that horror run of five-straight losses in 1998 but for the most part, as an overly obsessed rugby nation, we did ourselves proud.
I was chatting with All Blacks selector Grant Fox and he was full of praise for the way Kiwi fans who travelled to Chicago handled the defeat. As he put it, there was not the "feral" reactions of the past. If there was one test match to lose without pain and devastation, this was it. The record for the number of test victories was locked away, it was a one-off game and, in the scheme of history, would anyone have remembered this match or result had the All Blacks won?
I remember Murray Deaker saying there was nothing like being on radio after an All Blacks defeat - just read out the phone number and watch the lines erupt. Well, last weekend on my NewstalkZB show, they did, but for all the right reasons. Genuine supporters who, like me, thought the Irish deserved it. The phones didn't stop ringing for six hours.Perhaps we have matured as a sporting nation.
Kieran Read's Cardiff moment
I wonder if All Blacks captain Kieran Read will look back at last week's defeat in a similar way Richie McCaw did after that World Cup quarter-final loss to France in 2007.
Back then, McCaw was a relatively raw leader and, by his own admission, made mistakes that day as skipper, not realising the French had not been penalised once in the second half or putting enough emphasis on a dropped goal. That match helped define McCaw as the great captain he would become.
Something similar may well happen with Read. These boys who are normally super-cool or, as mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka calls it "living in the blue", were rattled. They didn't follow the game plan set out in the first half and reiterated by the coaches at halftime. They were scatty and panicky and that comes back to leadership.
I'm not saying Read is to blame for that history-making loss. I just think as a skipper, he may well look back and think that was the day when he learned a lot more about what it takes to be a great leader.
Joe Parker: The Real Deal
I have no idea if Joseph Parker is the real deal. I listen to and read those in the boxing world to get a realistic gauge of where he stacks up, but I'm still confused. What I do know is Parker is one of our most popular sportspeople. I would go as far as putting him up there with Steven Adams. I can tell how stories trend on my Facebook page and these two are giants on the engagement front. They both share a similar story of Kiwi spirit, doing it the Kiwi way, working their butts off and never forgetting where they came from.
I know the pay-per-view debate causes frustration and controversy but Parker is the reason why this fight is a big deal for New Zealand. You don't even have to like boxing or understand it, you just want Parker to do well. I'm stoked this fight is in New Zealand and, while many others will bleat and whinge about boxing and its promoters, I say to Duco Events: 'Good on you for having the balls to make this happen.'
A decision on Kieran Foran's application to play for the Warriors next season may not come from the NRL until Christmas. Foran has already met the integrity unit around various allegations and his mental wellbeing. The NRL will now take their time before deciding if he will be officially registered. From what I'm hearing, early indications are positive.