It's hard to know which is the more embarrassing - America's presidential debate or rugby's attempts to run rugby.
They both involve chaos with people talking at each other from different planets.
It's impossible to see any signs of constructive progress with either.
The standard of leadership from NZR has been unconvincing at best, inept at worst. It's spreading - now the All Blacks are devoid of good sense in a crisis.
A major reason for that - I would argue - is that after years of being dominated by iron man chief executive Steve Tew, NZR looked within when he left. It still has the same chairman, their chief executive had been on the board for seven years, old attitudes remain throughout.
Chairman Brent Impey and chief executive Mark Robinson may claim they have a plan, but from the outside they are floundering. They look out of their depth in a very difficult year.
New Zealand rugby needed a charismatic visionary at the helm. But after years of domineering control from HQ, that sort of person was unlikely to have been found from within the rugby ranks.
The current crisis emphasises not only that there is too much travel involved in southern hemisphere rugby competitions, but that the people in charge carry too much baggage.
From the outset of this current Sanzaar crisis, NZR allowed the wrong message to dominate.
At a pivotal moment in rugby history, with the game quite clearly heading towards serious difficulties, the tone was set by the former All Black coach Steve Hansen, who pulled the scab off a very old trans-Tasman rugby wound, and basically urged NZR to strong-arm the Aussies.
My understanding is that Robinson was - quite rightly - unhappy with former employee Hansen appearing to represent New Zealand's position so poorly, but the point here is that if so then Robinson didn't make his position clear publicly.
And New Zealand's attempt to reshape rugby by inviting Australia to join a New Zealand competition, with up to three of Australia's teams not invited, was an arrogant act which actually mirrored Hansen's words.
Australia got its back up, and who could blame them? Even a famous ex-All Black Andrew Mehrtens urged NZR not to be so combative.
I believe NZR has been fooled by the success of the All Blacks, which meant they never properly addressed their continual lack of success around the negotiating table.
Tew's attempts to get more money from tests in the Northern Hemisphere and develop some kind of international fixtures window got nowhere.
NZR has no idea how to win friends and influence people abroad, because it holds so much power internally where it roams unchallenged as the dominant sport.
New Zealand rugby needed an injection of charisma, sophistication and perhaps, hold your breath, humility. Its job was to spot a crisis, and help bring a troubled game together. Instead it did what rugby around the world seems to do and acted with short-sighted parochialism.
The players aren't much better.
It's hard to know what that public consensus is on the All Blacks' refusal to be in quarantine on Christmas Day.
But I'm with Sir John Kirwan on this one: have Christmas two days later.
At a time of such fear and uncertainty for many people, the Christmas stance feels like a PR disaster particularly - as Kirwan noted - the rugby league Warriors were marooned in Australia for five months.
And again, if there is more to the issue than missing a bit of ho-ho-ho, the players have - in classic New Zealand rugby fashion - done an awful job of getting their concerns across.
(I believe the public's love of the All Blacks is probably muting the criticism people may feel like hurling at their Christmas stance.)
And yet, there is no guarantee this current mess could have been avoided with more skilled leaders, better intentions and decent PR.
The really big problem for Southern Hemisphere rugby is that there are no fabulous solutions to the underlying problems, which existed long before Covid-19.
Sanzaar has fallen apart for really basic reasons which are incredibly hard to overcome, including that the countries are a long way apart and in different time zones. Rugby also faces a massive culture problem, because it deliberately bucks the world's obsession with stardom and personalities.
At a time when NBA legend LeBron James and sports superstars are leading a fight against racism - James will even make long speeches about it straight after massive games - the All Blacks don't want to miss their Christmas dinner. Rugby doesn't even make this sort of connection.
In New Zealand, the root problem is this: our economy is not big enough to sustain a competition worthy of our brilliant players and ground-breaking coaching.
NZR's alleged Sanzaar partners face their own very different issues which may be even worse.
Which means the Southern Hemisphere rugby countries can't live with each other, and they can't live without each other. For now, they can't even appear to talk intelligently with each other.