The annual Last One Down's a Sissy race starts at familiar venue in London today as the Rugby Football Union and Premier Rugby do all they can to vacate the moral high ground, lugging their sport along every inch of their speedy descent before dumping it in the gutter.
As with the most important matches in rugby these days, this one will be played out in court, with a judge for a referee, lawyers for players and the country's media as spectators.
Even for a game with a charge sheet as long as one of Pinetree's arms this is not so much washing dirty linen in public as inviting the neighbours round to show them the stains.
Predictably the latest brouhaha concerns player release and more specifically the RFU's desire to play a fourth autumn international against New Zealand on November 5.
The intention, on the surface at least, is for the game to be a fitting way to mark the opening of the redeveloped south stand at Twickenham - and of course charge punters upwards of £40 a shot for the privilege.
Predictably the clubs don't want to lose their players for any longer than already agreed and will today argue that this fixture falls outside the window allotted by the International Rugby Board.
For their part the governing body will give assurances they will not play anybody in
all four matches, so basically - what's the difference? Fail-ure to agree on the matter has resulted in yet another payday for the legal-types.
The RFU claim they need the money to begin paying back the debt they incurred in spending £90 million to turn the stadium into a complete bowl.
You see they, unlike the rest of us, don't get any Government money to do up their house apparently.
Their solution? To arbitrarily come up with a scheme they knew would send their old chums at the Premiership clubs into an apoplectic rage. At what point during their brainstorming did they think the 12 chairmen would go for the idea?
They knew it would cause an almighty kafuffle and therefore on the principle that the peacemakers are blessed, their troublemaking counterparts should be condemned.
To hear the chairman of the RFU's management board, Martyn Thomas, express regret for PRL's litigious approach is similar to a child's protestations that he didn't realise the spider wouldn't be able to walk without legs.
The clubs have sought to fulfil the role of injured party. They don't want their players to be over-stretched with yet another Test match... we are told.
More accurately they don't want to lend their toys to the old adversary. The All Blacks visit is on a weekend with a full round of Premiership fixtures. Anyone fancy a bet that Messrs Corry, Hodgson and Lewsey will all be playing anyway? The player burnout card is not one the elite clubs can play with any authority, although they argue they wouldn't want to damage a valuable resource, neither do they pay him big money to sit on his gluteus maximus either.
So with smoke and mirrors obscuring the start to yet another season there is little of which we can be certain, except that the sport's two most powerful bodies will try and tell us black is white, that the good Union name is to be besmirched further and that the result in the Last One Down's a Sissy race will be a dead heat.