Where did the Auckland football codes go so wrong?
And will their fans ever catch a decent break?
That's all you could ask, once again, as the Blues and Warriors floundered with insipid displays in the latest round of Super Rugby and NRL games.
In one of the worst New Zealand derby games I've seen for a long time, the Crusaders went through the motions and demolished the Blues by far more than the 19–11 scoreline suggested in Christchurch.
The points margin was small, but the quality margin was so great that you could have enacted a mercy rule at halftime.
Wracked by controversies and drained after travelling back from Cape Town, the Crusaders swarmed all over the Blues from the outset. The Blues scrum was a mess.
Yet the Crusaders were hardly sharp, their vaunted inside back combination of Richie Mo'unga, Ryan Crotty and Jack Goodhue lame on attack despite being on the front foot.
Even their lineout faltered in the hands of a new hooker.
Yet at no point, even when the scores were close, did it cross anybody's mind that the Blues could win.
For a province that was once the powerhouse of world rugby, it was humiliating.
And the Warriors looked like tired, over-trained circus animals against the Broncos, once they were robbed of the unique skills that Jazz Tevaga brings.
Tevaga represents what football in Auckland should be all about.
Tevaga plays with a joy and unique inventiveness. Defences are confused the moment he joins the fray from his specialist interchange position.
He seems unaffected by the scoreboard, the situation of the game. His 35th minute ankle injury extinguished what was a barely discernible Warriors flame.
The scant hope generated by wins over the Dragons and Panthers evaporated. Blake Green made a few dabs, but Kodi Nikorima - the great new attacking hope - appeared daunted.
Like the Blues, every step forward is followed by a few slightly backwards.
You could only laugh when Warriors coach Steve Kearney claimed "we created enough opportunities". The Warriors created virtually nothing in front of their home crowd after two good wins in Australia.
Go figure that out and good luck to you.
I've given up trying to come up with answers.
Except to say that in the latest NRL players' poll, three of the highest rated forwards are Jason Taumalolo, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Jesse Bromwich.
All were brought up playing league in Auckland (Taukeiaho was even on the Warriors books) yet all were snared and honed by Aussie clubs.
Call it the Sonny Bill Williams syndrome.
There is the highest quality raw league talent in Auckland, and for 25 years it has been going astray or away.