So the Blues are gone for the season. Some people might think what I'm about to propose is preposterous. But you know what's preposterous? Keeping on with what we've got.
The Blues R Us and that ain't good. I don't mean they're the Auckland team, because they've got competition for that title. The Warriors have a strong and deep fan base; the Blues perhaps enjoy wider but thinner support. Until either of them manages to become a genuine year-on-year contender, I'm not going to call it.
When one of them does, though, wow. Wouldn't it be great to have a good stadium sports team to call our own?
But still, the Blues R Us. Full of promise and also of squandered talent. Brashly confident one moment, overwhelmed with shyness the next. Yadda yadda. You can go on like that indefinitely.
The Blues R Us, not because they carry our hopes, but because they share our weaknesses.
The Blues R Us because something's gone wrong when how on earth could it? Who let the worm into paradise?
The Blues R Us because in this city, a magnet for entrepreneurialism, we have hardly any world-beating entrepreneurial achievements to be proud of. Auckland business, like the Auckland Blues, should be able to dream and achieve bigger and better than it does.
The Blues R Us because in the biggest Polynesian city in the world, filled with so many people who work so hard and so well to celebrate that, to interrogate it, to honour it and constantly reinvent it, we don't have a breathtakingly good showcase of a Pasifika and Māori rugby team.
That one bears a little investigation. If you follow rugby at school level, you'll know the so-called "best school competition in the world" is utterly dominated by Pasifika and Māori players. Many of the best have been siphoned away from south Auckland and the islands with scholarships, to play for private schools and the "elite" state schools, where the overwhelming remainder of the student populations are Pākehā, Chinese and other non-brown ethnicities.
The Monday Blues: The Blues and their damnable defining moments
The rest of the best play for the other 1A schools, mostly low-decile, which every year struggle just that little bit more to stay competitive with the enormous, professionally run rugby resources the well-funded schools can afford. Good coaches get pinched, too.
Many of those elite players graduate into the Super Rugby teams of this country and, in some cases, Australia, and they feed the professional clubs of Japan and Europe, too. One or two of them even remain in Auckland and make it into the Blues.
But most of them don't stay. One of the oddest things about watching the Blues is that every game, there will be a few players in the other team who came from Auckland, who therefore, in theory, came up through the Blues talent identification and training system.
It's like they're playing against the old country, and often they star. That happened this weekend, when the Queensland Reds fielded first-five Matt McGahan and prop Taniela Tupou.
Tupou was once "the Tongan Thor", famous on Facebook as the rampaging pride of Sacred Heart College, and he did his bit to smash the Blues to bits on Friday night. Looking very pumped and pleased with himself, and good on him.
There's no simple fix for the Blues. Each of the Taniela Tupous of this city has his own reasons for leaving, which might not have much to do with the Blues. Tupou himself had family ties in Queensland.
Looked at collectively, though, it adds up to a crisis. At the Crusaders, the talented players line up three and four deep, prepared to warm the bench for as long as it takes, waiting for their chance to play. In Auckland, many of them have their eye out for other chances and as soon as they think they spot one, off they go.
Don't blame the players. Blame the club. Blame the people in charge of the culture those clever kids don't want to be part of.
Not all the clever kids, let it be said. Stars like the Ioane brothers and Patrick Tuipulotu could have walked into almost any other team and, in those stronger environments, possibly become even better footballers. But they've stayed, loyal to something. The club? The city that raised them? The guys. They deserve massive applause.
The Blues R Us because, like I said earlier, they're just like Auckland business. Good but not good enough. GDP in this city clicks along at the national average, but we've got a third of the population, nearly all the head offices, the centres of manufacturing, IT and most other sectors.
With all that, Auckland GDP should be several points higher.
And we stand around the barbecue and pat ourselves on the back about the good job we're doing.
The Blues R Us because there they are, on display every week, the less-than-edifying embodiment of how we're not as good as we think we are.
I don't know how to fix the Blues. But I'd start with everyone responsible. I know the board and management had their own upheavals not so long ago. Didn't work. Didn't go far enough.
Anyone going to fall on their sword now, or will they have to be put to it?
How about this. Give the job to women. Currently, only one of the seven board members and none of the senior management or coaching staff are women. But come on, the job is obviously beyond the men.
For both the board and the management, find the best and brightest women you can. Look for people who know how to run a busy, complex, people-focused endeavour. One that's full of nervous, talented but often insecure people. Where a bicultural approach is well bedded in and the dimensions of multiculturalism are supported and celebrated at every level.
Where high achievement is considered the appropriate outcome of those things, not something you think you should do instead.
Who are the best school leaders? Who makes the ED at Middlemore Hospital tick? Which youth workers and counsellors are making a difference, embedded in the city's culturally rich and economically precarious communities? I'd look everywhere you find leaders who know how to bind people together with great achievements against all odds.
I don't know how to fix the Blues. But I'd start with everyone responsible.
Seriously, you think such leaders couldn't do a better job than the one being done now? You think they wouldn't know how to create a strong, nurturing, high-achieving culture that the region's best rugby players will desperately want to be part of? That the best players everywhere else will want to join?
Something else: quite a lot of those leaders are going to be way less white than the current Blues bosses. That will help beyond measure. Because it's not about the coaching, or not only. It's about the whole culture.
Meanwhile, there was Friday night. The Blues played quite well but not well enough. Same old.
Now it's one game to go and there's still time for that one totally sparkling performance. The one they owe to each other and to the fans. The Blues R Us because we've all got a little bit of magnificence in us.
And they could dedicate that performance, by way of a fond farewell, to all the Blues bosses who must surely have realised: it's time to go, chaps.