IT'S a throwaway line most of us have uttered to our mates at some point while enjoying the footy.
"Can you imagine a world without sport?" we'd muse, before chuckling at the prospect of what we thought was a far fetched notion.
Well, it's not so funny now. Thanks, coronavirus.
We're now getting a firsthand account of what it's like without the pleasure of barracking for our favourite teams.
It's a struggle. As a Raiders fan reality only hit on Thursday when you realised the Green Machine wouldn't be setting foot on Canberra Stadium to take on St George Illawarra that night.
The social aspect of a lack of sport not only on TV, but also on local fields everywhere cannot be underestimated.
After a long week at work, rocking up to the local football to have a couple of beers with mates is the stress release many of us need to blow off some steam.
Likewise if you prefer to sit in front of the idiot box as you cheer on and/or hurl abuse at your teams.
It won't fully hit home until this weekend. When parents are supposed to be loading kids into cars, urging them to find their footy boots or netball bibs, only to realise there's no point.
I don't envy teachers right now who have to deal with children who are unable to blow off some steam chasing a ball around.
Usually in difficult times we all go to the pub to drown our sorrows and tell a few stories. Social distancing has put a line through that.
Barracking for the Raiders and Collingwood (sorry) is simply what I do over winter. Sport dominates my life, professionally and personally, and it's simply incomprehensible it won't be there for a few months.
The leaders at local clubs I've spoken to, to a person, have spoken about how crucial it is for players, supporters and officials to keep in contact with each other. To be a support network to prevent everybody from going stir crazy.
Local players will be out of pocket the longer our social lockdown continues, as most football clubs pay their players on a game by game basis.
But it's the social aspect of belonging to a club, of being part of something greater than yourself and joining others in a common goal, that will be felt the most.
So how do we get through this period where sport, for many our escape from reality, is just an absent friend we miss dearly?
Having worked from home for the past two weeks it's a conundrum I've mulled over many times.
It's about finding another way to satisfy their competitive streak. Find another hobby, get stuck into that online study you've been putting off, learn an instrument, whatever it may be.
We have to find ways to keep our mind occupied as it's going to be the longest winter the sports-loving public has ever encountered.
If we all support each other we can make it through to the other side.
One thing is for sure - when we do, we won't take our favourite sports for granted ever again.
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