ANY GIVEN MONDAY
We might be a few weeks from the vernal equinox but winter has never been my thing so I'm happy to run with the crowd and have it officially called off tomorrow.
In the spirit of spring cleaning, then, it's time for a bit of a notebook dump from the past few months.
1. Beware the strawman arguments everywhere. For example, the "argument" used by Sky chief executive Martin Stewart – on socmed – to claim inaccurate reporting and to defend the commodification of school sport and student athletes by saying the Next programme is a free service. It is immaterial.
The push into school sport is clearly strategic on the broadcaster's part – much like building playgrounds in restaurants was for McDonald's – rather than revenue driven, but Sky Next is undeniably a commercial arrangement underpinned by commercial contracts that the network is party to and from which somebody stands to profit. If that is wrong, then please walk us through the mechanics of this altruism.
2. Likewise, nobody is arguing that shining a light on minority sports that struggle for coverage is a bad thing. Commercialising children playing sport is though. It's not that difficult a concept to grasp.
3. Do not get me started (well, not yet anyway) on the "Charter" that is designed to protect televised school sport from all its ills and consequences. It has more chance of eliminating dengue fever.
4. What is actually happening in rugby? Apart from the Sort-of-North v Somewhat-South on Saturday does anybody have any real idea about how the rest of the year will pan out?
5. The Warriors might not win the NRL this year – or any year – but they'll always have Tamworth.
6. A small plea for the negotiating parties to wind their necks in and get the Joseph Parker v Junior Fa fight over the line.
7. We all want to see it, but it feels like Lionel Messi to the Premier League is a season or two too late. The diminutive Argentine is a genius with the ball at his feet but a lot of modern success seems to be based on what you do when you haven't got the ball.
The high press or geggenpress is today's tactical currency and Messi wants no part of that. Still, someone please make it happen.
8. Scott Dixon is an ageless wonder. It was more than four years ago that I pondered upon page whether the open-wheel racer was the country's most under-appreciated athlete, and if anything the question has more currency.
With 50 race wins he is just two behind the legendary Mario Andretti who sits at second on the all-time list. In all probability he's not going to get to AJ Foyt (67) but finishing your career sandwiched between those two on the Indycar honours board is not the worst thing.
There's the small matter of five championships that could be six by the end of the year, as well.
9. Has there ever been less anticipation about a tennis grand slam event than the US Open? Even New Zealand's most celebrated tennis extremist Matt Brown must be struggling to muster his usual breathless enthusiasm for a tournament shorn of Federer, Nadal, Barty, Halep, Monfils, Fognini, Wawrinka, Kyrgios, Svitolina, Andreescu, Bertens and Bencic.
Martina Navratilova is quick to point out that the titles won't come with an asterisk and technically she's right, but it will be a slightly hollow triumph.