It was a quiet news day on the World Cup front, and then a story broke.
Well, kind of a story. Sonny Bill Williams' leg injury was a serious problem, so the claim went. He might have to quit the All Blacks before the World Cup starts.
For now, it has been portrayed as a false alarm although no smoke without fire I say.
Whichever way, it showed SBW's pulling power. Sports media in rugby countries around the globe highlighted the situation.
I've been told that SBW's headline-making knack has annoyed some rugby teammates. After all, the great Richie McCaw managed to get through an entire career without saying anything interesting and people loved it.
The All Blacks culture has changed drastically over the years, including the way veterans treat newcomers. But deep down there is something about the "unsmiling giants", as the All Blacks were dubbed many years ago, which still resonates with their fans, and drives the team attitude.
Individualism – unlike in American sport for instance – is basically frowned on. Few – Justin Marshall was one exception – are prepared to go against the flow.
And then along came Sonny Bill.
He's always been great to watch on the field, a legend.
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But some of his behavior over the years has really p***** me off, particularly the way he stuffed the Kiwi league side around for the 2013 World Cup (still have trouble with that one).
But over the long haul, I've done a u-turn.
As the big midfield back heads into the sunset at this Rugby World Cup, his top drawer footy career almost certainly near an end, it's a chance to celebrate someone who has dared to be different.
And that's something we should respect and cherish, particularly in a country which can be so buttoned down it makes you want to scream.
While the SBW-has-a-sore-leg drama was playing out, the Herald ran a revealing interview with TJ Perenara, the All Blacks halfback.
A media veteran who has had plenty to do with international sport over a long period told me Perenara was about the only All Black worth talking or listening to these days.
And Perenara certainly came across that way in the Q&A interview, expressing his views on the environment, education, New Zealand history etc.
Among the revelations … Perenara said Ardie Savea and yes, that man SBW, have formed an All Black vulnerability group attended by about eight players, to help safeguard their mental health.
"We need to show boys that it's okay to be vulnerable and talk about your feelings," said Perenara, words unimaginable in All Black teams past.
From refusing to wear a bank logo, to his cross-code dalliances, to skipping the 2011 victory parade, giving his 2015 medal away, posting about a refugee crisis, spending time with Christchurch massacre victims … SBW has been his own man and defied convention.
His profile alone has been off the charts, matched or bettered only by Jonah Lomu.
It is so easy to be gobbled up by the machine in this country, particularly in rugby. It's got worse over the years, the outrageous control exercised by the Rugby Kremlin squashing individuality, free speech and sports tribalism.
Our society struggles to come up with the sort of characters who used to be part of national life, in everything from the arts to politics. We've become so corporatised, poll-obsessed, PR and dollar-driven.
Williams may hide behind the social media front, but he's stood for something different – that you can be different.
As a player, he has been sublime.
He stands alongside Benji Marshall and Carlos Spencer as rare Kiwi footballers who inspired and delighted with special skills.
He's also a confusing bloke who can appear both self-centred and very giving. But life is full of grey areas - "there's nowt so queer as folks" as the old saying goes.
What I've come to treasure, against earlier judgments, is the unique path he has taken.
Maybe Williams also made it a little easier for the likes of Perenara, Savea and others such as Brad Weber to let their individuality shine through during their playing careers.
Like him or not, SBW has been prepared to break the mould. We should love him for that.