I'm going to shamelessly cheat here. It's my last Clubrooms for the year so I'm going to bin most of the categories to concentrate on those judged by a panel of one to be the year's biggest winners and losers.
Hope you enjoy and we'll see you back here same time (Monday anywhere between 10am and 5pm), same place (nzherald.co.nz) in 2021 and if you'll excuse my insobriety, as a year it cannot surely be as big a clusterf*** as 2020.
Recency bias! Black Caps is a stupid name! They got hammered in Australia, idiot!
I hear you Reg from Morrinsville, but I'm not listening. Yes, the Australia tour was a low point but only a third of it happened in 2020. Since then, the leadership team has clarified their selection philosophy, built enviable depth and played a brand of cricket across the formats that is dynamic and yet utterly pragmatic.
They're also led by a man whose understated brilliance is as much the manifestation of ideal Kiwi bloke as Richie McCaw was in his pomp.
A learned man in a commentary box not far from where I have been flapping away these past three days is of the opinion that we might not truly appreciate how good this team is until many of the stars drift into retirement and we finally understand that what they've been doing is not normal.
Another good way of thinking about this side is that if you were compiling a Best All-Time New Zealand Test XI, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner would all make the shortlist. They wouldn't all make the XI, obviously, but they'd be in the conversation.
That is not normal.
The Frenchman drove into a barrier at 220kp/h with impact force of 53g's. His Haas car was destroyed. What was left of it turned into a fireball. He was engulfed in that fireball for 28 seconds.
Everyone who watched the accident felt that horrible desolate feeling. It was like a scene from motor racing in the 70s. Nobody got out alive from wrecks like this.
But Grosjean did walk out of that fireball.
The sum total of damage to him was burns to the back of his hands.
Technology saved him, whether it was the fire retardant race suits that have to give drivers at least 17 seconds before temperatures rise 24 degrees, the HANS system of harnesses that prevented the whiplash from breaking his neck, or the halo and carbon-fibre safety cell that effectively cocoons drivers.
Formula One will never be "safe", but these days it is very rarely deadly – Grosjean will forever be a walking reminder of that.
In many respects Cane had a dreadful year. His Chiefs found new and amazing ways to lose Super Rugby Aotearoa games and the All Blacks under his captaincy had their least convincing year since 1998 (OK, maybe 2009).
He also started his tenure with serious doubts as to whether he was even the best player in the country in his openside flank position.
Despite all that, by the end of the year Cane had emerged as genuine leader of men.
He was the All Blacks best player – which was acknowledged when he won the Kel Tremain – and an eloquent and at times pleasingly unvarnished spokesman for the team's highs and lows.
I'm not convinced we are on the cusp of another great All Black era, but Cane will provide a bulwark against them falling any further.
It feels like a time of reckoning for the sport, and it feels like those in charge are failing every step of the way.
(Except, it must be noted, with Super Rugby Aotearoa, which was excellent and, ironically, unsustainable.)
Test rugby this year was poor. There was the occasional moment of high drama, like the last few minutes of Bledisloe I, but that followed 78 minutes of truly ordinary fare.
The year ended with a funny little spat between former and current England coach arguing over how boring rugby actually had become.
Clive Woodward, in a column, said inventive coaches had an obligation to "bust rugby out of its complete yawn rut". Eddie Jones labelled the comment disrespectful and said "I don't think that rugby is ever boring".
If 2020 is your barometer, it's Woodward 1, Jones 0.
Part of the problem is that rugby has become a collision sport, not a contact sport. Which is a neat segue to the next point: dementia.
The issue is not going away. In fact, it is barrelling towards rugby's shores like a tidal wave after a group of high-profile ex-players, including 2003 World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson, started legal proceedings against the sport's governing bodies.
There is no winning position for World Rugby on this one, even if they choose to fight and eventually "win" the case.
Covid-19 hit rugby hard. Southern Hemisphere alliances fractured, big money clubs in the north haemorrhaged cash.
The year cannot end quickly enough for the sport.
HIGH PERFORMANCE SPORT NZ
I'm still no closer to working out what HPSNZ actually does, but I know what they don't do: clean up after themselves.
High-performance programme after high-performance programme in this country over the past few years have proved to be either broken or seriously deficient in key areas – usually around athlete welfare – while HPSNZ burghers sit on their thrones on watch.
"They are not culture setters and nor should they be," a high-ranking Sport NZ official said to me in recently in defence of the subsidiary organisation. Nor are they programme delivery agents.
So they're a funding agency. They employ an awful lot of high-paid staff to dish out dollars and take a position of all care and no responsibility.
Only war has stopped the Olympics, until a bat bit a chicken – or something like that – near a market in Wuhan.
The costs to Tokyo are almost incalculable, though thankfully someone has calculated it to be about US$2.8 billion.
About two-thirds of the added costs are being picked up between them by the Japanese central government and Tokyo city, with the other one-third by the privately funded organising committee.
Few of Tokyo's added costs — or the overall costs — are covered by the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee, which relies largely on public coffers to hold its events. Its revenue is generated largely by selling broadcast rights and sponsorships.
But the IOC's costs are still massive and this time genuinely incalculable. The cost is this: how many people actually missed the Games. Yes, the athletes did, yes, reporters whose dream it is to cover an Olympics did and, yes, a good portion of the people of Tokyo probably did, but can anyone else say their 2020 was made considerably worse by the absence of two weeks of sports, most of which they don't follow in the intervening four years anyway.
The games are now set to open on July 23, 2021.
This was a rubbish year for the IOC, which was also proved to be completely useless on the whole Russia and doping issue, too.