There's nothing quite like a sporting humiliation. You're out in the middle with nowhere to hide. You have tried your best and been found wanting. Worst of all you've let down your friends, family, team and country.
This week I committed one of New Zealand's most embarrassing sporting humiliations.
There's competition for the title. Stephen Donald and his last-minute touch finder that didn't find touch in that infamous 2010 Hong Kong Bledisloe Cup match.
Obviously he redeemed himself a thousand fold in 2011. What a great New Zealander. But at the time it hurt him bad.
The deciding fifth game in the 1984 MLB National League Championship series, San Diego Padres pinch-hitter Tim Flannery's grounder trickles through Cubs first baseman Leon Durham's legs giving up the lead. The Cubs lose and don't win the World Series until 2016.
Durham is a great player, with a distinguished career, forever remembered for an unfortunate Gatorade-related blunder.
At Rio 2016, walker Yohann Diniz of France decides to compete in the 50km event despite stomach pains. Things start well. He mostly leads for the first 45 minutes.
Then it all goes horribly wrong. His walking becomes newborn giraffe-like, then he falls over and poops his pants.
When he gets up there's no hiding what has happened. It is dribbling down his leg. In front of the entire world, Diniz has soiled himself.
My sporting humiliation was much worse. Mainly because it was at the hands of a bunch of primary school children.
The 2017 end-of-season parents-v-kids one-off cricket game at school. We batted first and posted an imposing 76/1 (8 ov). Dads Mike and Geoff really took to the kids in the final over punishing their variations in length, clearing the hip and opening up both off and leg sides.
Mike handed me the new ball and I repaid his trust with a devastatingly slow spell which tempted the 9- and 10-year-old openers into some rash shots. We had the children reeling at 3/0 at the end of the first over. The parents were on fire.
Geoff and Mike bowled a tight line and length through the middle overs and with one to go I was handed the ball again. The kids had 1 wicket left and 15 runs to get. It should have been a lesson for the young fellows.
But what followed can only be described as a low level version of Daryl Tuffey's epic 14 ball over at Eden Park against Australia in 2005.
My first delivery was a shocking 4 wide down leg side. I followed that with a no ball. The kids' equation down to 9 and still 6 balls to come. It was time to regain some respect. Something short and quick.
Arghhh. My 10-year-old son gave himself some room smashing me backward of square for a comfortable 2. I countered that with another shocking wide.
It was at this point I realised I had forgotten how to bowl. I've never been any good but I can normally get it in or around 6th, 7th or 10th stump. Not today. Thousands of deliveries in my life and no muscle memory to speak of.
A dad on the boundary yelled "stop bowling down the legside". "No shit" I shouted angrily in front of a bunch of shocked kids.
Now I have thrown a humiliating tizzy to add to the shame.
"Got to get control," I told myself. "Rhythm. Swing. Lillee" is my mantra. I steamed in with intent. Unco, slow, lolly also wide. Now the pressure's really on.
Next, finally, a legal delivery which my son clipped off his pads for a single. I'll take that, but it brings a star batsman to strike.
This guy's good. He's confident. But he's only 10. Surely I can pull this home for the parents.
I headed back to my mark, full concentration, sweat pouring down my brow, turning and bowling a shocking slower ball that sits up and gets smacked to the boundary for four. It's over. I fall to my knees. The humiliation is palpable. The kids are laughing. They tackle me to the ground.
Mike and Geoff shake their heads in disgust. "Thanks Matt we're never going to hear the end of this." "I'm sorry guys, I'm so sorry." I am nothing. I am a loser. Earth please swallow me up.
Then finally some relief. My 7-year-old son, who has been umpiring, plonks himself down beside me and grabs my hand. "Love you Dad," he smiles. "I love you too son." "Can I play on my iPad now Dad?" he asks. "Yes son, yes you can." We hug. Everything is going to be okay.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.