ANY GIVEN MONDAY
One of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, we're drawn to sport is the concept of "glorious uncertainty".
On this Queen's Birthday weekend – a normally dreary occasion pockmarked by baubles, boring platitudes and the onset of winter – the glory was writ large across a multitude of sports.
The biggest shock of all happened at Madison Square Garden, where a fat Mexican took down a chiseled Brit while the rest of the boxing world looked on in slack-jawed amazement.
As the fighters made their way to the ring, ESPN boxing analyst and champion trainer Teddy Atlas tweeted that "One look at Ruiz body and you don't need to be the Marquess of Queensberry to know what Joshua's fight plan will be."
Okay, so the spelling and grammar were lacking but the point seemed sound enough: Anthony Joshua would work Andy Ruiz Jr's ample body, stay out of trouble and let his far superior conditioning take over in the latter rounds.
Instead, Ruiz wormed his way inside Joshua's head while slapping shots to the outside of it, knocking him down four times en route to an upset of Buster Douglas proportions.
To illustrate the surreal quality of the fight, remember that Joseph Parker overcame Ruiz to win the vacant WBO heavyweight belt, then tamely gave it up to Joshua, and has now watched it being stretched around the ample girth of the man he beat little more than two years ago.
This was not the only upset of the weekend – far from it.
On a global scale, the Chiefs' tickling up of the Crusaders in Fiji might not have registered but it was epic in its own way. Few teams beat the Crusaders at all, let alone after conceding a 20-point lead inside the first quarter.
Grant Elliott: The big reason the Black Caps could go all the way
The Crusaders' hold on Super Rugby has become so tedious for the neutral that victories are often accompanied with references to death and taxes, neither of which are fun. It's not their fault of course, but watching the Crusaders' dominion over the tournament evokes the same sort of joy as watching the Takanini roadworks: you know it shouldn't last forever but deep down you suspect it might.
So watching the once-ragged Chiefs spirit the ball all over Suva's ANZ Stadium, sapping the Crusaders' defensive efficiency was just the fillip the competition needed.
(It was also a useful showcase for Brad Weber who seems a clear and obvious top three halfback at present.)
The third example of sport's ability to soar came in the early hours of Monday morning when Bangladesh beat South Africa at The Oval in front of a crowd that must have made the Proteas feel like they were playing in downtown Dhaka.
After South Africa were bludgeoned by England in their opener, few would have backed anything but them regaining their equilibrium by brushing aside Bangladesh, especially in conditions that appeared to favour them more than their spin-heavy opponents.
To put it in perspective, Bangladesh have been going to the World Cup since 1999 and while they have won 11 matches, just five have come against test-playing nations.
They made South Africa's vaunted pace attack look toothless on the way to 330 and only briefly looked like they might have trouble defending it. The sight of stuffed toy tigers being hoisted into the air by a rapturous crowd was both heartwarming and yes, slightly weird.
New Zealand, who meet Bangladesh next on the same ground, would do well to take note.
The flipside of this glorious uncertainty is hubris.
The darker side of human nature doesn't just offer the pleasure of seeing an unfancied contender win, but also gives joy in seeing failure when we think somebody, or some team, has got ahead of themselves.
As already mentioned, many who care little about the Chiefs took joy, not in their victory, but the Crusaders' defeat. For the first time in the brilliant Scott Robertson era (which will in all likelihood end with a third successive title), his team played like victory was inevitable.
They will not enjoy watching the replay.
South Africa's hubris was their obvious belief that they could turn up and bowl short to Bangladesh and the subcontinent minnows – if you can call a team that represents 165 million people a minnow – would cower.
Joshua's fall, and fall, and fall, and fall, was the most obvious case of looking to the future while taking his eye off the present.
The New York fight was billed as his introduction to America. Boxing is built off the back of hyperbole, but late replacement Ruiz was meant to be nothing but a judder bar to be quickly negotiated before the big-money unification fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, an American.
Those carefully laid plans were laid to waste by Ruiz, prompting Wilder to exclaim of Joshua: "He wasn't a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts. Facts and now we know who was running from who!!!! #TilThisDay."
I'm not even sure how to unpack all that other than to say it reads like the words of a man heading for a fall.
But I can't be certain of that.
Along with the obvious factor of access to ESPN, one of the possible reasons young New Zealanders tend to gravitate more towards American sports these days is not just for the global superstars, but because of the uncertainty. Artificial barriers like salary caps, drafts and luxury taxes make it difficult for one team to dominate.
In the 1996-2018 era – the existence of Super Rugby in other words – the most any team has won one of the "big four" American sports is five, the Lakers, Spurs, Yankees and Patriots, though the latter took their tally to six by winning the 2019 Super Bowl. Back-to-back victories are so rare only the Yankees (98-00) have done it in the MLB.
The Crusaders have won the Super Rugby title nine times. On seven occasions the team that won the previous year won it again the next.
The Champions League final was dreadful, and that's coming from somebody who really, really wanted the good guys to win (and they did!).
It was probably the only wet blanket in a warm, embracing weekend of sport.
Still, if you're a Kloppite, you probably don't care.
Fair enough too.
THE MONDAY LONG READ ...
Recently, my colleague Cheree Kinnear eloquently stated her case as to why Donkey Kong and other such pursuits should be considered a genuine sport .
While we may never sing off the same sheet on this one, I would concede that the rise and rise of es***ts has been compelling. I have seen the "Fortnite Effect" take hold in my own house (and I don't much like it, as you can probably guess). But what if the phenomenon was all based on a lie, or series of lies?
It's a good question, right, and it might be answered here , in this piece on kotaku.com.au.