THE SUBTLE ART OF GIVING A ****
It's Monday morning as I write this, some nine days from one of the more insipid All Black performances, and my headline feed tells me that debate has now shifted to whether captain Sam Cane really meant what he said when he said what he said about some fans saying what they were saying.
Part of me wants to stand up and cheer. Seriously. This is one of New Zealand Rugby's greatest accidental triumphs.
For years rugby as a sport here has singularly failed to generate anything like a robust conversation that carries the week. This failure is due mostly to the national body's communications department being terrified by negative publicity and the rage that would provoke in their seniors.
From laughably inane post-match press conferences to pointlessly bland pre-match press "opportunities", no sports body has done it worse anywhere in the world, leaving it up to media to try to drive fan engagement through paint-by-numbers panel shows and opinion columns that inevitably circle back to well-worn themes.
If you want rugby's attitude to large chunks of its stakeholders crystallised in a single quote, take Steve Hansen's following the World Cup exit and his standing down: "One thing I'll promise – you guys need to hear this so you don't come bothering – is I won't be talking about what they should be doing or how they should be doing it. If you ring me and ask me that, it won't be a very good conversation."
This faux loyalty to the "brand" is actually contempt for the sport and those who watch it with far less discerning eyes than the guy who was in charge of the greatest World Cup campaign in history and who has forgotten more rugby knowledge than a roomful of critics will ever accrue.
Hansen knows a lot about rugby and clearly, as Cane so artfully pointed out, they're the sort of people real rugby folk prefer. So why stay quiet? Who are you actually helping, Steve?
My initial thought upon hearing Cane dismiss the rugby acumen of the most virulent All Blacks critics was to question his wisdom for articulating out loud what the players and coaches all think.
Couldn't have been more wrong. It's late November, the cricket is about to start and all we're talking about is the All Black skipper.
Give the man the Kel Tremain already.
Have to confess to being unaware of the Magnus Olsson Prize but our resident sailing genius has won it.
The thing that stood out for me, however, when I read the puff that comes with the award, is that Burling is still just 29.
It's easy to forget how young he is when he's already got a sailing CV matched only by Russell Coutts and Vasco da Gama.
It feels a bit churlish to label them losers after drawing with a team that beat the All Blacks, but the Wallabies had that in the bag but loosened the knot.
Again, it feels a bit presumptuous to say this with every team on six points, but they've probably thrown away the Rugby Championship by conceding those late penalties.
Most expect a) an All Black response and b) the lack of conditioning to catch up with Argentina and, if that happens, a bonus-point win would effectively secure the championship for New Zealand.
This doesn't bode well: four New Zealand A wickets across 125 overs in Queenstown. No bowler took more than a single wicket in the high-scoring draw.
Better batsmen await them in the two-test series starting in Hamilton in the first week of December. Their best hope? The curators prepare typical pre-Christmas green-tops and they win two tosses.
Crying in sport has received a lot of attention in the last few weeks. As someone who sits between Keith Quinn's stoic boomers and emotional millennials, have you ever cried as a fan or player? Marc C, Dunedin
I'm almost scared to lay my cards on the table here but the truth is the weirdest things set me off and the things you'd expect to move me as a New Zealander… usually don't.
I've watched the documentary "Hillsborough" a few times and each time must have been right in the heart of hay-fever season because I've had extremely sensitive eyes. As a result I tend to get quite emotional about Liverpool results, even though I wouldn't consider myself a fanatic by any stretch.
I've never cried after an All Blacks or Black Caps loss or victory, as far as I can recall. I might have felt wretched if I hadn't fallen asleep during the closing stages of the 2019 Cricket World Cup final but I woke to my phone going crazy so knew the result by the time I rewound and watched the devastating finale. I felt gutted for the team, but not tearful.
Probably the closest I've come to tears in a New Zealand sports sense is the women's individual pursuit at the Athens Olympics. When Sarah Ulmer stopped her bike having shattered the world record and won gold, she was directly in front of the press tribune.
Watching her try to gulp in enough air to pay off all oxygen she'd spent on the track was one of those "you'll-never-forget-how-lucky-you-are-to-be-where-you-are-now" moments.
In closing though Marc, if you feel like having a good bawl over a sports result, you go for it. It can be good for the soul.
A nice little US Masters montage to make all weekend hackers feel better about themselves. My personal favourite: Phil Mickelsen's putt that ends up four times further from the hole than when it started.
The selectors could pull a dick move and not pick him, but all eyes should be on Eden Park this week as Devon Conway scores the first runs in what many good judges believe will be a prolific career for New Zealand. If he doesn't play or, worse, gets a duck… my bad. New Zealand v West Indies, 7pm Friday, Spark Sport and TV One.