I grew up with Radio Sport. It was as much a part of my summer as backyard cricket, the beach and stone fruit.
It wasn't called Radio Sport back then. It was Sports Roundup and I still love the practicality of that old name.
The names and voices are still etched in my memory banks. There was Rocky Patterson with his manic tennis commentaries, the electricity of Stu Scott from the bowls, and the mellifluous Alan Richards live from Eden Park.
It was the cricket that kept me coming back. Places like Molyneux Park, Alexandra, and Harry Barker Reserve, Gisborne, sounded so exotic to 11-year-old ears.
There would be frustrations, of course. I would quietly seethe when the commentary didn't shift immediately to wherever Jock Edwards was batting. I didn't mind Dave Dempsey, but the rest of the Canterbury top order was so boring to listen to.
On one family camping holiday around the East Cape I learned that the regional network only patched in Sports Roundup for occasional bursts. When it's blowing a gale and you have no cricket to listen to, Hicks Bay can be a pretty bleak place to hole up in.
The station changed dramatically over the years. Not just the name. The talent did too. For Rocky Patterson, read the equally manic Matt Brown. For Alan Richards, insert Bryan Waddle, Daniel McHardy or Andrew Alderson.
There are many more of course; too many to mention. All are brilliant practitioners of their craft; all voices that gave sport currency and vitality.
The voices went quiet today. Sport is much poorer for it.
Meanwhile let's be optimistic and say big sport will return to screens and stadia somewhere around the middle of the year. In all likelihood, the grounds will remain without crowds for a good while longer, but just play along for the moment.
Sport will return in an orgy of goodwill. If there's one thing we've learned it is that watching your favourite team get taught a lesson by the team you hate most in the world is not actually the worst thing that can happen.
Watching your favourite team or player getting mugged by refereeing or umpiring malfeasance is not the end of the world.
(There was a time when I thought that the collusion between assistant referee Jerome Garces and Romain Poite to deny the All Blacks a clear and obvious penalty at the end of the 2017 Lions series was a crime; now it's the sort of talking point all sports fans would savour.)
Things will be different, though. That much is clear. The goodwill and excitement met by sport's return will be ephemeral.
The relationship between Big Sport and its consumers is balanced on a knife edge. For a generation that simply hasn't mattered. The ménage à trois between rights-holding broadcasters, the corporate world and Big Sport has given them everything they needed: the rest, including non-rights holding media, have been cast into the role of voyeur.
The bonds that have tied those relationships together are increasingly fragile – possibly broken.
Speaking to Jim Kayes on the now-discontinued Radio Sport recently (it saddens me to write that sentence), Sky CEO Martin Stewart acknowledged that subscriptions were struggling.
"We are obviously seeing some people who no longer wish to subscribe to the sports channels," he said.
When sport comes back, they're not all going to come back with it. People who have got used to doing without will continue to do so, while the devastating impact coronavirus is having on the economy and employment numbers will force more households to make decisions around discretionary income.
It's this simple: when it comes to a choice between putting a tank of gas in your car and watching the Hurricanes v Highlanders of a Friday night, it's a pretty simple decision for most.
The downstream effects of fewer subscribers are profound for Big Sport but all point in the same direction: less revenue. You don't need me to tell you what less revenue means for sporting organisations.
Likewise, the corporate dollar is going to be more keenly sought by all sectors of society in the aftermath of the pandemic. The traditional big spenders in sport – your banks and automotive giants for example – are acutely aware that managing their image will play a big part in their rebuild.
Expect their sponsorship spend to be increasingly community focused. It will be difficult for many to justify pouring money into Big Sport when so many other sectors – health and education to name two – will be seen as having more immediate needs.
Again, to join the dots, smaller sponsorship spends equal less revenue for sporting bodies.
This all means the voyeurs are suddenly important again.
Big Sport is going to have to reconnect with those it has taken for granted for two decades and it is going to have to do it at the sort of granular level they have forgotten about.
It will take more than sending an All Black, a Black Cap, a Silver Fern et cetera into a school for a cheesy photo op (the Bulldogs might have ruined that for everyone, anyway), for the gap between professional sport and the community to close.
When the time is right, professional sport has to reconnect.
It will be harder, too. You will read elsewhere today that mainstream media's commitment to sport has been compromised further. Radio Sport has gone and the ability of the country's major codes to earworm into the conscious of its fans has just become so much harder.
Big Sport has to become more accessible. It has to become an experience. For too long now the stadium experience has offered fans – the ones not inside a box eating soft cheeses and quaffing pinot noir – a crap night out.
Daytime sport has to be back on the agenda. Picnic baskets at grounds have to make a comeback. Things that sound trivial in the grand scheme of things now mean something. The connection between sport and community is tenuous and administrators can't be seduced by the initial rush of fan euphoria when it comes back into thinking it can carry on as before.
I recently read a piece by a poet I believe – you'll have to forgive me for forgetting where and by whom; it feels like I've done nothing but read for a week now – who pointed to the inherent difficulty faced by Big Sport in the post-pandemic world.
The writer said, to loosely and possibly inaccurately paraphrase, that sport had relied for years on monetising the "obsession" of its followers. If this global catastrophe has taught the human race one thing, it is perspective.
Wringing cold, hard cash out of perspective will be one of Big Sport's defining challenges. Wringing it out of the community it has paid lip-service to, another.
I've had a couple of interesting responses to last week's column calling on rugby and league bosses to start considering the idea of a merger.
One reader, who asked not to be named because of his ongoing connection to one of the sports, wrote.
"Good read. I Suspect it may be forced on them in Australia. The ARU is looking at a $60m loss, NRL staring at oblivion, broadcasters reeling... the best chance for both is to come back as a united code and the Aussies are brash enough to make it happen.
"I think NZ needs to get out of Sanzaar and align with Japan and potentially with whatever comes out of Australia, even if it means they have to play a merged code. Australia will be gone as a pure rugby code and South Africa will be off to Europe. NZ-Japan may have to consider joining forces with the new Aussie code to get Aussie interest in the product.
"Europe (World Rugby and the clubs) will be greedy post-corona, so I think the more likely scenario is that rugby swallows league and the south falls meekly into line to ensure financial survival."
Another reader, Willie, wrote: "Cricket is the model. [The sport has been] built on class and race differences but now one global organisation with various formats being played 12 months a year. More importantly, it does not split the funding base.
"[A single rugby code] could have 15s 13s, 10s, 7s, club, regional and international leagues all with women (the fastest growing sector of both codes).
"From a business sense it is a no-brainer. No brains are exactly what we have when we wear our tribal hats."