Sporting delights can turn up in the most unusual places. Here are the five unlikely personal highlights of the 2019 sports year.
Watching the All Blacks get smashed
In hindsight, there was no more delicious sight than watching the precious All Blacks getting chewed up and spat out by England, of all teams, at the World Cup.
I don't have anything against the All Blacks per se. They're probably all lovely blokes. I've loved watching and supporting them over the years – the standards under Steve Hansen reached amazing heights, even if it did end in a disaster.
But New Zealand Rugby is an arrogant and aloof institution with a mind blowing sense of entitlement, and a disgraceful attitude to Pacific Islands rugby.
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Over the years it has trampled its way over anything and anyone, from commandeering the state school sports system to supporting apartheid in South Africa.
I also blame the NZR's narrow self-interest and unbridled influence for Auckland being lumbered with Eden Park, their outdated 2011 World Cup temple. Eden Park's mere existence, at the expense of the sort of every day stadium the city desperately needs, is wrecking sport in this area.
The idea that rugby is a wonderful influence in this country gets rammed down our throat. It is and it isn't depending on what aspect you are talking about, and your point of view.
Watching the symbol of the NZR getting its comeuppance was very satisfying, even if an English victory – at the time – was very hard to take.
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Rugby's arrogance would have gone through the roof if the All Blacks had won a third consecutive World Cup.
Anything which might teach rugby in this country a bit of humility is a winner in my books. Not that much will change of course.
Cricket's World Cup final
New Zealand has an unusual sporting landscape. It enjoys a fair deal of international sporting success, but our domestic competitions have collapsed because the economy is so small.
Even passionate support for Super Rugby, which was booming in the early years, has dissipated as New Zealand Rugby turned the franchises into All Black branch offices.
Fans get used to losing in other countries. It's part of the deal in professional sports competitions, where there is only one winner every year.
But in New Zealand there is an over-emphasis on the All Blacks whose win ratio is off the charts. It sets the agenda.
The patriotic factor, the view that the only form of success is winning, has become too large in New Zealand sport.
This brings me to the cricket World Cup final, which is known as the Ben Stokes final after the x-factor England all-rounder conjured up a remarkable victory.
A great final can be magic, even in defeat.
The Lords final was the best individual sports event drama of the year, a gripping match full of everything you could ever want in a contest.
Great sport is not just about winning. It was fantastic to be part of that heartbreaking ride.
The way Neil Wagner bowls isn't normally my sort of cricket thing because there is little obvious artistry to his medium-fast short-pitched deliveries.
But then you look a little closer.
People tell Wagner he shouldn't bowl bouncers. Wagner's response – that's all he bowls in the situation. But he's even added a few variations including something called a knuckleball.
Bowling bouncers is actually an exhausting and difficult thing to do well, requiring incredible discipline and pinpoint accuracy. He has virtually designed a new way to bowl – the relentless under-paced bouncer.
I love that. Wagner does it his way, in the spotlight. Stuff the criticism.
You sometimes wonder what former Labour leader Andrew Little - whose support was on life support - feels about PM Jacinda Ardern's rise to power and acclaim after he stepped down.
Similarly Janine Southby, whose disastrous reign as national netball coach paved the way for Taurua's elevation.
Southby will be delighted with the Silver Ferns world title under Taurua on a patriotic level, but we're all human. Her dream job turned into an unfortunate footnote in New Zealand sports history.
Taurua turned the Silver Ferns around in almost a heartbeat. It is an example of coaching prowess that will be remembered for a long time. An unhappy team became united.
The Silver Ferns had become so bad that it was impossible to envisage this performance u-turn. Similar feats will come to be known as Doing a Taurua.
She proved that there is indeed an art to coaching and that – given the right circumstances – a turnaround does not take forever.
She made the excuses we get from and on behalf of other outfits - okay the Warriors - less credible. And they deserve to be less credible.
Going into 2019, I gave the Silver Ferns no chance of beating the Aussies when it counted most.
Israel Folau bashing
It's a bit like the 1981 Springboks' tour of this country.
On one hand, the New Zealand Rugby Union should not have invited the 'Boks.
But if the tour had been cancelled, South Africa would have blamed a communist conspiracy. Instead, the people of New Zealand could take to the streets, to help show that ordinary citizens around the world abhorred the racist system.
Whenever axed Wallaby Folau opens his trap (so to speak) with his pathetic religious-based views on homosexuality, it gives those of us in the other camp a chance to shout them down and support the LGBT community.
Folau is far from alone in holding those sorts of views. There are some, like Folau and Aussie tennis legend Margaret Court, who revel in professing their non-inclusive attitudes on things like same sex marriage. But they speak for more people than only their fundamental religious mates.
Getting the chance to bash Folau is a chance to express a view. His supporters are right in a way about the free speech issue, even if it is a conundrum.
I love bashing Folau. It feels very liberating, and it is also a chance to get views about religion off the chest. Watching the homophobic footballer sacked was very satisfying.