Sport and politics have never mixed well in New Zealand and now that Australia has been confirmed as Rugby Championship hosts, there is yet one more episode to say life is better when the two don't collide.
New Zealand being preferred as hosts of a major rugby event only to then lose it to Australia, has happened before - and while there will be those who say New Zealand losing the 2003 World Cup hosting rights can't be compared with New Zealand losing the 2020 Rugby Championship, they absolutely can.
Central to the plot in both episodes was inflexibility and stubbornness – a near irrational and self-destructive refusal to accept that compromise is not weakness.
What's different in the Rugby Championship saga is that the lead character, chief villain if you like, is the New Zealand Government rather than the New Zealand Rugby Union.
This is the social media age so of course rational, logical discussion will descend as it so readily and insanely has, into polarised arguments about Covid-19 management strategies being a straight choice between economy and lives as if there are no points in between.
It's a patently dumb basis from which to view the world as it suggests there are no pragmatic, innovative solutions that can be applied to both protect health and promote the economy.
NZR reasoned with the Government for months that there were ways in which foreign teams could be safely brought into the country and managed through quarantine while still managing to train, but it was to no avail.
The Government insisted training bubbles couldn't exceed 25 people and on this, frankly, arbitrary basis the Rugby Championship was lost to Australia.
Money didn't swing the vote Australia's way. They created a practical means to quarantine foreign teams and won the Championship hosting rights on a ticket of convenience.
Coming to New Zealand was put in the too hard basket, and for the Boks and Pumas in particular it would have proved impractical to the point of being debilitating.
Whatever little hope they had of being competitive would fade to nothing after being forced to train in randomly-sized units that wouldn't enable them to do anything meaningful for 14 days.
And who honestly could argue against 25 being an arbitrary number? It feels awfully like another of the many numbers scientists have seemingly plucked from the ether since Covid arrived.
The fact that the Government were willing to budge from their initial insistence of a maximum of 10, to 15 last week to 25 on the eve of the decision being made, only enhanced the sense the numbers were not rational or scientific. So why bother with them at all?
To infuriate further is the contradiction and inconsistency. Every day we have legal, super-spreader events when thousands of schoolchildren congregate, breathing and spluttering in each other's faces in overcrowded classrooms.
Many teenagers, as every parent knows, don't have the highest regard for personal hygiene or good health protocol. High performance sports teams, on the other hand, are highly practised at hand-washing and best health practice as they live in constant fear of any virus ripping through them.
They travel with a doctor, are regularly tested and constantly monitored and yet the Government is warning parents they must send their children back to school while they put a limit on how many professional athletes can gather at one time.
It's as mad as the old days when border security would confiscate expensive but non-lethal nail clippers only for the airline to hand customers stainless steel knives and forks once they were on the plane.
None of this is to denigrate the seriousness of the virus or to downplay its potential impact, it's to point out that no matter what anyone says, the Government didn't have to see the situation as one where it would be risking the health of the entire nation by compromising its stance on the quarantine rules for visiting teams.
Australia didn't and the decision to reward them with the Rugby Championship is a victory not so much for their entrepreneurial spirit as for their mindset of looking for what they can - rather than can't - do around pandemic health guidelines.
But really, it is a victory for their ability to make mature, holistic risk assessments that recognise that a nation's health can't be divorced from its economy or measured purely by the spread of one illness.
In contrast, the protective arm New Zealand's Government has wrapped around the country is perhaps now squeezing too tight and there are heavily impacted hospitality, catering and tourism business around the country gasping in disbelief that the opportunity to host a heap of test matches has been lost.
What's making them gasp louder is this increasing sense that the arm is gripping not necessarily to protect us, but to enable the Government to stay on track to temporarily eliminate Covid ahead of the general election.
A great opportunity to showcase the best of New Zealand has been lost and it is hard not to conclude on the basis of the known evidence that it has been lost because the Government are pursuing a policy they don't believe is sustainable long-term but is one it believes will sweep them back into power on October 17.
The decision to stay rigid on the quarantine regulations for visiting teams has damaged the country but enhanced the Government's chances of being re-elected.
And that's why sport and politics shouldn't mix.