It is with zero sadness and even less regret that the Tuesday Morning Quarterback announces the discontinuation of this column.
We’re off. We’ve seen the light. There’s a road to unparalleled wealth and prosperity, and it’s sign-posted: “Sporting review panels”.
That’s the name of the Tuesday Morning QB’s new business venture, as it happens. Review Panels Inc. Or maybe Review Panels R Us? No, A Room With A Review, Ltd. That’s the one. Particularly if we want to branch out from failed sporting ventures to failed literary ventures.
No one does reviews into shit that has gone wrong quite like New Zealand. We reviewed our 2007 World Cup failure, in the process discovering simultaneously that Sir Graham Henry had botched things horribly, but was still the best man for the job.
We reviewed the dismal state of rugby league, unearthing the previously unknowable fact that widespread pokie fraud was not a best practice governance model.
We reviewed David Bain’s compensation case. And when we didn’t like the results we reviewed the review.
New Zealand is to reviews what Australian cricketers are to the sand paper industry: an enthusiastic consumer.
Next up, the review into our failed netball campaign at the Commonwealth Games.
Toot toot. The gravy train is leaving the station. And TMQB wants in.
Netball New Zealand has announced a two-stage review.
The first stage – fireside chats with anyone who feels like a natter – will be conducted under urgency. As such, it will be concluded in … a month.
“The list of people we wish to talk to is long and comprehensive, and it’s going to make for a very busy month,” says the man this column wants to be when it grows up, review chair Don Mackinnon.
The second phase of the review is … honestly who cares? By then the review will already be a month in, and its exhaustive chats with stakeholders will have revealed that the coach was rubbish.
It won’t be put like that, of course. But Janine Southby will be reviewed out of her job in time to salvage some hope ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
It doesn’t take a lawyer, a former Silver Fern and a Team New Zealand sailor to deduce that the coach wasn’t overly successful in her role. Southby has a 20-19 win-loss record as coach of the Silver Ferns. Under her guidance, the team went from being capable of beating Australia, to capable of losing to Malawi in very short order.
When it came to the Commonwealth Games, the campaign upon which the review will focus, it could be argued that the Silver Ferns in fact lived up to expectations. They were clearly the fourth-best team going into the competition, and duly finished fourth.
Mackinnon told Newsroom the review of the campaign, from the start of 2016 to now, must be carried out in a “very measured, calm and planned way”.
Or he could look at the results, the catastrophic third quarter meddling by the coach against Malawi, and the fact that the players threw Southby under the bus at the first opportunity to say: “Yep, time for a change there”.
This column isn’t one to bash coaches. As a rule, they work damn hard, give their hearts and souls to the job, and only ever want the best for the players and teams they coach. But some succeed and some fail. Most do both, as Southby, in fact, has done.
There were reasons beyond Southby’s control that led to the Silver Ferns’ struggles. England’s irrepressible rise ultimately proved too much even for Australia. Jamaica has lots of tall people. More foreign players are getting a crack in the Southern Hemisphere’s professional leagues, levelling out the playing field.
Presumably these issues will be addressed in phase two of the review, when the panel go full Jacques Cousteau and undertake “a far deeper dive into the broader issues, carried out over a period of time”.
But if you thought that subterranean adventure was the final stop on the gravy train, well, think again.
As Newsroom reported: Once the panel’s findings are presented, another review will take place to ensure the appropriate questions were asked. Former Silver Ferns captain Tracey Fear, and High Performance Sport New Zealand senior performance consultant Eddie Kohlhase, will lead the peer review.
Tu meke. No, literally. Tu meke.
Or, as the principal and founding partner of A Room With A Review might say: “You don’t want to leave any stone unturned. We here at ARWAR specialise in spending months uncovering facts you already know in order to deliver findings you’re well aware of. You know you don’t need our services, but you’ll use them anyway. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tinder.
“Oh. And sack the coach.”