Yeah, yeah, nobody south of the Bombays or north of Warkworth wants to read this but the America's Cup and its silicon smiles and champagne chatter gives downtown an undeniable lift.
In normal times those pictures of the Hauraki Gulf and the city's beachside suburbs beamed around the world would be priceless, but given that nobody is travelling it is moot.
The boats look pretty amazing too, apart from the Christmas Race when they looked utterly tragic, marooned on a course with not enough wind to get the required lift on to the foils.
Which is an appropriate time to introduce a caveat: as undeniable as the lift to the city has been, the racing has to get better. The ratio of one-sided non-events to decent yacht races is stacked firmly in the former's favour though it is early days.
When there are only four boats trying to win a competition, this cannot continue to be the case (see Losers section).
Goodwill, good weather and good canapes will carry the event only so far. The city needs the racing to sparkle and shine as well.
Just winning at life and cricket and batting and stuff.
As far back as 2014, an impeccably sourced German documentary claimed that as many as 99% of Russian athletes were guilty of doping. The World Anti-Doping Agency followed this up with an independent report that alleged corruption in the form of state-sponsored doping in track and field.
Former Moscow anti-doping laboratory boss cum whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov admitted dozens of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi had cheated.
Professor Richard McLaren released a report in two parts which says more than 1000 Russian athletes benefited from the doping programme.
Russia was banned from competing as a nation at the 2018 Winter Olympics, though more than 150 competed under a neutral flag. After a whole bunch of politicking by the International Olympic Committee and even anti-doping authorities themselves, Wada finally got tough in December last year, banning Russia for four years after the national anti-doping agency, Rusada, was found to be manipulating the data it handed over as part of the deal.
Right, so the sporting world is finally getting tough on Russia. To show them cheats don't prosper; to give comfort to clean athletes that they're being heard and protected.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport says "hold my beer..."
TEAM INEOS UK
When the British lose they tend to do so in a way that is almost uniquely artful.
Think of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the South Pole, where he not only lost the "race" by five weeks to Roald Amundsen, but haphazard planning meant he and his four companions died on the return journey.
It might be a simplistic view of his life and expeditions but for this haplessness he has been rewarded with more than 30 statues or memorials (including one in Christchurch), a place on the list of Greatest Britons and enough books to fill a library.
Plasterer cum ski "jumper" Michael "Eddie the Eagle" Edwards, famous for coming a distant last at the Calgary Olympics, had a movie made about his life.
Will songs be song, statues commissioned or movies optioned for the story of Team Ineos' America's Cup challenge?
It is important to note that there is time for Sir Ben Ainslie and his billionaire-backed team to turn around the shambles that sees them apparently many nautical miles behind the rest of the syndicates. As somebody who knows a lot more about sailing than I do said to me last night: "This class of boat looks fickle enough that a couple of big tweaks could see radically different results."
If that's the case and they somehow rescue theirs and Britain's maritime reputation, it really will be Hollywood worthy. Until then, their campaign needs to face some cold hard facts: they'd get around this course faster if they were on a sled pulled by dogs.
INDIA/ PINK BALL
For two days India was the better side in the first test against Australia in Adelaide. Midway through the third they had lost by eight wickets.
It is always stunning to see a team loaded with so much batting talent collapse in a screaming heap but the surprising thing about it was it never felt headless or particularly frenetic.
Australia's Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins just kept putting the ball in the right place and the Indians kept nicking them.
It has to make cricket authorities wonder if they've got it right with the pink ball. Every day-night test seems to be infected with match-altering collapses. You only have to think back to New Zealand v England at Eden Park for further evidence. On that occasion England was 27-9 before a last-wicket dash to 58.
New Zealand were 77-2 and 57-2 against Australia in Perth before collapsing to 166 and 171 all out and some players privately expressed concerns about not being able to pick up the ball in sharp focus.
It's a despicable situation when sport's highest court – based coincidentally in the same city as the International Olympic Committee – essentially finds Russia guilty of the state-sponsored doping and data manipulation for which it had been found, yet reduces its sanctions by a half.
Others have said it more eloquently than me but Russia has effectively been rebranded for two years, rather than banned.
We are witnessing in real time one country being allowed to cheat the system while sport looks on and shrugs its shoulders.
Looked like another disappointing crowd at Eden Park to open the T20 series. An empty Eden Park is one of the worst sights in NZ sport. Do you put this down to the opposition, the Black Caps leaving big names out of game one or something else? Gary, Pukekohe
It's a fascinating question with a bunch of answers that might not be satisfactory. To make my position on this clear, I'd rather never see cricket played on the main ground of Eden Park again. It's embarrassing for a city of this size not to have an appropriate arena for cricket and the blame for that ultimately lies at the door of the self-interested Auckland Cricket Association.
Having said that, it was actually a decent crowd. Close to 15,000 turning up for a cricket match in New Zealand this close to Christmas against opposition that have seldom drawn the masses is nothing to be sneezed at. You plonk that populace into Seddon Park, Bay Oval or the Basin Reserve and you have barbarians storming the gates trying to get in. It just looks putrid bouncing around cavernous Eden Park.
It's easy to say New Zealand Cricket just shouldn't schedule games for Eden Park. Deep down you suspect they'd rather not. But what can they do? They're not in the stadium-building business and they already feel that the biggest city on the country does not get enough international cricket.
Had the big names like Kane Williamson and Trent Boult played, I don't know, maybe at a giant stretch you could add another 3000 on to the walk-up crowd given what a beautiful night it was, but the difference between 15,000 and 20,000 in a stadium that big is just degrees of emptiness.
A really clever Ringer story and one perfect for our times. What happened to Tiger Tracker?
Houllier's achievements were overshadowed by the twin managerial giants of his time in England, compatriot Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and Sir Alex Ferguson at somewhere else, but what he did at Liverpool laid the broad foundations for what is happening now.
The Frenchman did his best to stamp out a big-drinking, big-personality culture at the club and instead invested heavily in trying to bring training ground standards up to scratch. He nurtured talented local youth – Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher most notably – and while the Premier league proved a bridge too far, he got Liverpool winning trophies again.
On top of it all, he seemed a thoroughly decent man.
The NBA tips off on Wednesday (NZT) and the first game has the long-awaited debut of Kevin Durant in a Brooklyn Nets uniform, up against his former Golden State Warriors team. That's lovely, but the game we really want to watch is Toronto Raptors v Steven Adams' New Orleans Pelicans and that can be found Thursday, 1.30pm on Spark Sport.
Enjoy smooth sailing to the Cup with Auckland Transport
• Avoid traffic congestion and parking niggles and download the AT Mobile app to plot your bus, train or ferry ride to race venues before you leave home.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride to the Cup
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup