ANY GIVEN TUESDAY
A SPECIAL SPORT-IS-BACK POWER RANKINGS
9. MATTHEW JOHNS
Three things experienced broadcasters should never joke about: sexual violence, genocide, Adolf Hitler.
It's. Not. That. Hard.
To Super Rugby they brought a great team name, a vibrant logo and an opportunity for a lot of non-Japanese rugby players to live in Tokyo.
But there'll be no more howling at the moon for these wolves. After (ca)nine wins over five seasons their teeth have been bared for a final time as the dingoes across the ditch have conceded defeat in including them in a return to rugby.
That last paragraph was awful and you have every right to fear what might follow, so let's wrap up this dreadful segment with a simple: "Fangs for the memories."
7. MORPHETTVILLE RACES
Comment: NZ Rugby's 'new rules' ripe for exploitation
What level one change could mean for Super Rugby fans
Predictions of Sanzaar rugby break-up gather pace
As the roar of approval echoed through the bar I looked up, squinted in a futile attempt to find some focus in the expectation of seeing one of the Warriors crossing the line for their first official post-lockdown try, cursing myself that I'd missed it.
The score remained at 0-0. The excitement, it seemed, was generated by horse number four's late run to victory at Morphettville, which is in Adelaide if you're wondering.
The big-screen TVs at this Whangamata sports bar were dedicated to one Australian race meeting after another yet the Warriors were relegated to a lonely small screen high above the bar.
Nobody protested. I quietly exited stage left.
6. KEN BURNS v THE LAST DANCE
The Godfather of the documentary takes on the Godfather of basketball… and both win.
About three or four episodes into the astonishingly successful ESPN and Netflix collaboration, The Last Dance , something started bugging it me but I couldn't quite articulate it among all the "Have you seen The Last Dance ?" wow-dom.
It was the fact that the director at one point hands Michael Jordan an iPad and show him a segment of an interview with former rival Isiah Thomas. Jordan watches it and smirks before dismissing whatever point Thomas was trying to make.
That moment there was when you realised this was no history of the Bulls' last dance, but Michael Jordan's version of the history of the Bulls' last dance. That's quite a difference. The last word would always be his.
There are plenty of people out there that love Jordan so much they don't care that he was the filter. That's fine, but as Burns, whose CV includes epics like The Civil War and Baseball , points out, it doesn't make it a documentary.
"If you are there influencing the very fact of it getting made it means that certain aspects that you don't necessarily want in aren't going to be in, period," he said. "And that's not the way you do good journalism… and it's certainly not the way you do good history."
He's right but in this case bad history was extremely popular.
5. THE BUNDESLIGA
Thirty-one goals over nine games this weekend. That seems quite a lot.
If you want to win new fans, coming back a month before any other league and having players banging them in from everywhere isn't a bad formula.
4. RANKINGS & LISTICLES
Have you ever seen so many sporting things ranked as you have in the past couple of months?
It's just (clears phlegm from throat) ridiculous, but this remains the gold standard for wasting everybody's time.
3. BILLY GRAHAM
Sport's relationship with the country's highest individual honours has always been a little too cosy for my liking but when they made Graham a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit last weekend they got it right.
The boxer, trainer and mentor is a tough man taking kids from tough places and giving them the two things sport should provide above all else: personal pride, and hope.
2. COLIN KAEPERNICK
Athlete protest didn't start with Kaepernick but it achieved liftoff when he first sat then took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African-American communities.
Now athletes from across the world are taking a knee, in Liverpool FC's case literally, to protest racial injustice. The shut-up-and-dribble brigade – those who believe athletes should be entirely apolitical - are looking more out of touch by the day.
This weekend the NFL released a statement expressing the organisation's pain at events leading to the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.
Predictably it was met with resounding cynicism. The quarterback who highlighted those exact same feelings in 2016 remains sidelined from the league.
1. THE WARRIORS
There's a chance that May 30 might be the high point of the Warriors season. There's also a good chance that strength of opposition might have had something to do with the comprehensive 18-0 victory over the Dragons.
To throw one more wrinkle into an otherwise beaming face, you could argue that the near-perfect efficiency the Warriors played with should really have result in more than three tries.
Yeah, yeah… but all that stuff can wait a week or two. The sports world needs a feel-good story and the Penrose via Tamworth Warriors deserve to be the ones to provide it.