On Monday night I sat down with a glass of wine to watch the Warriors. I'm not one of the passionate fans who has every team jersey framed and hanging on the wall since 2001.

But watching the great Anzac Day massacre of 2016, I wonder how they'll ever be well again.

What do you do with a club with so many talented players and passionate people committed to the Warriors brand that so consistently fails to deliver on its promise, year after year after year?

Within 20 minutes, the game was over. I sat there stunned and then a little angry.
After a while, I became fascinated. Just how badly could this team play?


I know it must be horrible for them. I have a friend who has played international sport and when I mentioned how incredible it must be to have a stadium of 100,000 cheering for you when you run on to the field, he smiled wryly. "It's not that flash when they're booing you off it."

It's a horrible feeling, public failure. I've had it on a very minor level. I was one of the speakers at the David Lange Celebrity Roast organised by Paul Holmes many years ago.

I was alongside some of the best speakers in New Zealand and I was honoured to be chosen.

Not just honoured, but overwhelmed. So overwhelmed that I put the whole event to the back of my mind and pretended it wasn't happening.

Until the night came when all of Auckland's most fabulous lovelies handed over their $600 tickets and took their seats to honour one of New Zealand's most extraordinary politicians and most brilliant speakers.

I strode to the centre stage, felt the heat of the spotlight, looked out on the sea of faces - potential employers, influential Aucklanders, sharp-faced critics - and I died.
I had nothing. I had hoped that when the time came the muse would come and would save me in the nick of time, but no.

I have always made a living from words spoken and written. I have always relied on the right words to come.

But this time, my hubris and my laziness let me down. And it let down my fellow speakers and the public.

To this day, 25 years later, the horror of my professional humiliation can wake me from sleep - the shame grips my throat and I find it hard to breathe.

So I know, on a very small scale, what it's like to fail spectacularly.

I know what's it's like to try to rationalise the horror away. After all, a brain surgeon having a bad day is so much more important than a sportsperson or a public speaker having a bad day. But I know what it's like when people give you amazing opportunities and tell you you're talented and clever and good at what you do.

And I have learned the hard way what it's like when you take all that for granted and don't do the work or the preparation.

When you fail spectacularly, it's hard to recover.

But for your sake and the sake of the people who believe in you, you have to.

So for the rest of the season, could the talented young men who wear the Warriors jersey please dig deep and show us they are better than the hapless individuals who showed up last Monday?