In the early hours of Monday morning, one of the biggest club matches on the football calendar was called off for what might euphemistically be described as fan unrest. The postponement of Manchester United's home match against Liverpool came hard on the heels of the 48-hour Super League farce where the craven greed of the world's wealthiest clubs – including the aforementioned – was laid bare.
Meanwhile, here in Little Old New Zealand, the national body of the national sport still hasn't managed to convince its most important contractors, the players, that selling off part of its legacy is worth it.
At first glance, these two stories are not analogous or even closely related, but scratch the surface and there's something bigger at play here; something that could be loosely described as the first swells of an uprising against the avarice that characterises modern professional sport and has worked to disenfranchise the modern fan.
That feeling of worthlessness exploded outside Old Trafford on Monday morning as fans demanded the ousting of owners the Glazer family, American billionaires accused of gouging the brand of Manchester United to service debt. While some of the "fans" were no doubt lagered up and looking for s***s and giggles, there was something very visceral and real happening; a take-the-game-back moment.
As protests go it was spectacular but it will only matter if it effects change. That will only come with sustained pressure.
The fans of English football clubs could be in for a long haul, but there's one thing you can say with near certainty: their protest will never last as long as that of the New Zealand rugby fan, nor be carried out with the same sort of soundless dignity.
The casual rugby fan has had to endure a lot since the game went professional. A far from exhaustive list would include: late kickoff times and awful night-time stadium experiences, a costly television subscription service, a Frankenstein's Monster of a franchise competition, the increasing absence of the game's biggest stars in that competition, the degradation of the once-beloved national provincial championship and a 1st XV school rugby landscape that has completely lost the plot.
We won't even mention the rules or safety aspects.
All these travesties were incorporated into the rugby landscape without consultation with the public so the fans fittingly chose to protest by stealth too. It doesn't make it any less epic on scale; just far less breathlessly reported.
Each week you can tune into the dissent though, as it's represented by the thousands upon thousands of empty seats across the country's ramshackle stadia, the value of Sky TV's shares, the reduced column inches on sports pages, dwindling engagement at community level and the increasing number of schools that have essentially given up on the sport.
About the only team that has remained impervious to this movement has been the All Blacks. The connection between the public and the legacy remains strong but you'd be ignorant to continue to think it cannot be broken.
There is a manufactured irony here: New Zealanders' walk-away protest at the state of modern rugby has "forced" cash-strapped New Zealand Rugby into the arms of American private investment, the exact thing fans in Manchester are railing so loudly against now.
That uprising, which has seen police injured and property damaged, has been labelled "reckless and dangerous".
While true in part, it is long past time to admit that the greed of Big Sport – from Manchester to New Zealand, New York to Zurich, Lausanne, Sydney and all points in between – has been reckless and dangerous too.
The fans up north are just realising what we've known for a long time down here.
Definitely not those who hoon around the streets of Boganville, New Zealand, but certainly those tearing up the tracks of Australia and the US. While the pay-for-a-drive nature of modern Formula One means it is unlikely we'll see another Brendon Hartley any time soon, there is an argument that this country is producing more top drivers per capita than any country outside of Finland. The achievement of Scott Dixon and rookie Scott McLaughlin finishing one-two on the podium at the Texas round of the IndyCar season deserves to be celebrated.
It was a good fight against a difficult opponent in a country where he has struggled to win. Parker was knocked down early and showed some apple to brush that aside and come out on top. While it wouldn't have been a massive surprise if Derek Chisora had been awarded the fight, on my unofficial and extremely unreliable scorecard, Parker shaded seven of 12 rounds. It wasn't a statement victory but there were signs that good things might come out of the partnership with trainer Andy Lee.
Wait a minute, didn't you just read about him in the "Winners" section? Yes, you did, he won after all, but if there were any doubts that the South Aucklander has lost his killer instinct it would have been magnified during that fight. At least twice he had Chisora hopelessly vulnerable and at least twice he followed up his advantage by… stopping. Exhaustion can do funny things to your decision-making but we should be clear about this: when the quickest route to victory is knocking your opponent to the canvas, stopping and waiting for them to recover when you have the chance to do that is not a sound long-term strategy.
David Warner/Kane Williamson
In a stunning development the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have styled themselves as an Australian enclave in the IPL, have dumped one of the greatest IPL batsmen in history not just from the captaincy but the playing XI. While it is not easy to feel sympathy with Warner, it is easy to see why he was "shocked and disappointed".
While there is no argument to be made that he is a better captain than Williamson, the fact is he has done the job successfully in the past and was named to lead the side again. To dump him after six games speaks to an unhappy camp, which is hardly surprising given how poorly the side is constructed. The team's owner and management made the dumb call to go with Warner over Williamson a month ago – they should live with that mistake now rather than mess both of them up.
Why is Williamson a loser in all this? Because he will now be under immense pressure to turn around the SRH fortunes and they don't appear equipped to achieve this, especially if last night is anything to go by when a hopeless bowling attack was abused for 220 runs. As if it couldn't get worse, Williamson looked as muddled with the bat as he has in more than a year in scoring an unhelpful 20 off 21 balls in reply.
The last thing New Zealand needs is a burnt-out and frustrated Williamson flying to England in late May.
Super Rugby Aotearoa
Two final-round dead rubbers is the phrase damp squib distilled into 160 irrelevant minutes. Moving on.
A seemingly conventional athlete profile with some skilful twists that almost force you to like recent NFL first-round draftee DeVonta Smith, although he couldn't give a rat's whether you do or not. From GQ.