In the bygone days of cricket journalism in New Zealand, hyperbole was saved for geometry class. DJ Cameron in the NZ Herald and Dick Brittenden in the Christchurch Press gave us thoughtful, measured and occasionally gruff analysis of the swings and roundabouts of NZ Cricket.
On the radio their contemporary Iain Galloway's voice only quivered with emotion when someone dropped off a box of cherries to the commentary caravan at Molyneux Park in Alexandra.
There were exceptions of course - Brent Edwards, the long time Sports Editor of the Otago Daily Times, could make a dour draw between "an under-strength Otago" (always under-strength for some reason) and the touring Malawi B side in Antarctic conditions in Invercargill sound like edge-of-the-seat stuff. But Brent was a rarity.
Fast forward to 2007, and Wellington readers are treated to the thoughts of former Wellington and, er, New Zealand bowler Jonathan Millmow. Some readers will struggle to remember the gangly Millmow pulling on the national strip, but like the legendary Robert Kennedy, Brian Barrett and Kerry Walmsley he played his walk-on role in our search for pace bowlers.
Millmow, it appears, has finally made it to the Caribbean for the Super Eight stage, after Fairfax hedged their bets on the Black Caps making it this far. JM's first contribution on tour in the Dom today continues his well trodden path of talking about himself (apparently about to expire from dehydration).Before long there will be a perceived slight from the management directed at him, and recollection of his heady days playing in Sharjah.
No chance of conflict between Richard Boock from the NZ Herald and the Black Caps on this tour. Boock does have some form with the current team hierarchy, but the apparent poverty at APN in Auckland means that Boocky is in the Caribbean courtesy of NZ Cricket. Our very own 'embedded reporter'.
However odd this might seem, The Herald as found a way of sinking even lower. Chris Rattue's column on 'the sham of the World Cup' is a bizarre piece. In summary, all world sporting tournaments are flawed, the Cricket World Cup is especially buggered, and Chris has not watched a game since Bob Woolmer's untimely passing. Eh?
Rattue has decided, with absolutely no proof or evidence, to go all Safraz Nazwaz on us and claim the whole tournament is a jack-up. Apparently, the Cricket World Cup can not claim that the best team won. Chris might not have been following closely but neither India nor Pakistan (the major teams out of the competition) figured in anyone outside of Mumbai or Karachi's picks for the semis.
By not watching any games since Woolmer's passing, Chris may not know that Matt Hayden has played a couple of the finest one day innings that you are ever likely to see, or that the Black Caps are actually looking half organised, or that Murali and Malinga all but pulled off the impossible against South Africa this morning.
Of course the World Cup is not beyond reproach. It is undoubtedly too drawn out, the quality of the pitches is having an impact on some of the games, and of course there is corruption in the global game. We all mourn Bob Woolmer.
But Chris, there is also tension, drama and quality. It is a spectacle, on an international scale, where New Zealand is right up there. On the bright side, I guess we won't have to hear from Ratatouille again since he is not watching any more games. Stick to the league mate.