Six reasons to be happy if you love sport and you're a New Zealander.
BJ Watling is the sort of self effacing Kiwi hero old school fans have always cherished.
From the moment Sir Edmund Hillary told his mates at base camp that, yeah, he and Tensing had "knocked the bastard off" by climbing Everest for the first time, humble understatement has been the choice du jour for many of our superstars.
Let American NBA basketball players and Muhammad Ali proclaim themselves as the greatest, we've always had a soft spot for the Steven Adams, "just doing my job mate" approach.
So cricket captain Glenn Turner in the 1970s, under pressure from journalists to reveal an emotional side, used to allow, that okay, making a century did make the gin and tonic at night taste better. All Black skipper in the '90s, Sean Fitzpatrick, usually offered full credit to opposing teams before his own team received any back pats from him. And when Sir Peter Blake talked about winning a round the world yacht race he didn't crow about the triumph, revealing instead why the stresses and strain were worthwhile. "You'll probably be frightened at times, scared, worried. You'll hate it, you'll absolutely despise the fact that you're involved and when you get to the finish, you'll know why. Because there's nothing like it. It gets in the blood and you can't get rid of it."
Watling's 205 at the Bay Oval against England, batting for more than 11 hours, and facing 476 balls, was one for the ages. As bowler after English bowler lost his will to live Watling maintained a level of concentration that made a laser beam look random. His wonderfully stoical reaction to what would prove to be basically a match winning innings? Watling told Bryan Waddle. "I didn't get a huge amount of rhythm, so I had to grind it out."
Karl Budge, the maestro of the Auckland tennis tournaments keeps producing diamonds on a coal buying budget.The line-up of super star women for the ASB Classic this summer staggers the mind.
Budge is living proof that nice guys can get the job done. He works on the theory, which he developed while travelling the world as director of sales and marketing for the Women's Tennis Association, that you find out what tennis players actually want, and give it to them.
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A few years ago he told me of one tournament in the United States that offered unlimited sight-seeing helicopter flights for players. Hardly anyone took up the offer. On the other hand, providing a limitless number of new tennis balls for practice sessions? It was like Santa Claus had come to town. Smoothing the way as Budge does seamlessly is obviously a major reason Auckland gets so many returning players.
Noeline Taurua might be sticking around. Taurua made an immediate, stunning impression when Netball New Zealand finally came to its senses and made her the coach of the Silver Ferns, taking them from being a laughing stock to world champions in 11 months. So the prospect of losing her from the role felt as if your favourite neighbours, the ones you could always rely on to brighten your day, announced they were selling up and moving to live in Manchester.
But during the week Taurua, so honest you feel she never plays mind games when talking about her plans, was musing about a vision she has for the Ferns over the next four years. The prospect of having someone with her charisma and demonstrable ability to produce a winning side staying was, as the great Otis Redding once sang, "like sunshine on a cloudy day."
Steve Tew doesn't have to apologise for anything the All Blacks did at the World Cup in Japan.
One of the more bizarre twists in the wake of the tournament is that Raelene Castle, the CEO of Rugby Australia, apparently wrote a letter of apology to World Rugby for how coach Michael Cheika, and members of his management team acted during the tournament. "Surly" was a word used in media reports out of Sydney.
So while Steve Hansen was being granted honorary police chief status in Beppu early in the Cup, it appears Cheika was finding his inner David Warner, and using the tired old "the world's against us" trope to try to whip up his flagging side. While it's true the All Blacks didn't get to win the Cup either, I'd take third place with dignity over a grumpy quarter-final exit anytime.
(In passing, the strange video of Warriors' CEO Cameron George berating the squad with the suggestion the public bad mouth them, saying " everyone is against us, everyone", goes against everything every great coach I've ever encountered, starting in the 1960s with Arthur Lydiard, who took Peter Snell and Murray Halberg to Olympic golds, has used as a way to inspire better performances. Negative energy, fuelled by anger, usually has a short shelf life. Hopefully for the Warriors the message from here on in will be "yes we can" rather than "let's prove the jerks wrong.")
5) Nobody in New Zealand rugby has to deal with Israel Folau.
As the craziness escalates in the case Folau is taking against Rugby Australia, it's easy to forget Folau has been, and, in different circumstances, would still be, a terrific footballer.
But he and his legal team are truly living in a parallel universe if they believe Folau might have been made captain of the Wallabies. In 12 years as a professional player in three codes he had never, that's never, been made captain of any team he's played in.
The only question raised by the latest shot in what's now a $14 million claim is why Folau's lawyers limited the extra demands to how much more money he would have made if he was the Wallaby captain. Why limit themselves to captaincy? Player-coach? Motivational guru? Media relations consultant? On Planet Israel in the galaxy of the absurd, so tone deaf you use the horror of the Australian bushfires to bolster your arguments, you'd suspect no theory is too outrageous to be laughed out of consideration.
6) We'll obviously never know how many people were like me, and didn't have any real problems with Spark streaming the Rugby World Cup, and how many were like Hilary Barry and needed a Spark "care team" to help watch the games.
But while I don't want to pile in on an old issue I have to admit that for the sporting tragic it's good news that the Olympics next year in Tokyo will be covered here on Sky and TVNZ, not streamed by Spark. So the mainstream events will be free to air, and Sky, with more channels to play with than New Zealand First has whistleblowers, should be able to accommodate those whose life would not be complete without a dose of Greco-Roman wrestling, handball, or fencing.