Being a fan, a real fan of your club is largely an exercise in disappointment and hurt, with the occasional exhilarating high thrown in by the Football Gods to balance out the scars.
As Perth Glory super fan and host of the Glory Guerrillas podcast, Dennis Gedling tells FTBL Sunday’s A-League Grand Final was a crushing blow for the Purple True Believers.
But like a real fan, Gedling isn’t giving up on his team, his club, and his state.
Why? Because there’s always next year, and in Perth Glory’s case, an Asian Champions League and an A-League. And an FFA Cup.
As fans, there's always hope for a brighter future.
He shares his thoughts with us five excruciating days after the crushing penalty shootout loss to Sydney FC at Optus Stadium where over 56,000 fans witnessed the A-League finale for Season 2018/19.
“Last weekend for Glory supporters was a celebration and a chance to further reconnect with the history that rusted us on to the club; joined us at the hip.
“Among the ‘true believers’ were many of the old tops sporting old sponsors, players or brands like Kappa.
“Many shirts had looked like they had been given their first dose of fabric softener in some years.
“All were on the same side though coming from tributaries around the area and flowing in a mass across the Matagarup bridge and from the Casino side and Merrywell complex.
“We told each other 'This was it'.
The atmosphere was electric with the active end in fine voice.
“Excited kids and adults alike finding their seats around the ground as the shining new capital of Perth sport filled to capacity.
“The pocket of Sky Blue at the other end reminded me of the many who went over for Glory’s Grand Final in 2012 against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp.
“It was finally sinking in this was happening after being like a beaten dog for so many years.
“The buzz of the place!
"Again, 'This was it'.
“The following 120 minutes saw the excitement fade into a tense malaise. The stadium seemed to breathe in and out at times as the game went end to end.
“VAR reared its ugly head and for once was on the side of the Perth.
“Glory couldn’t find a way through, Sydney was stoic at the back dodging deserved bookings with Graham Arnold's fingerprints still all over this squad.
“Rhyan Grant played the pantomime villain with a mullet similar to the recently and dearly departed Adrian Cervinski, who had played the same bad guy role at Subiaco in 2000 for Wollongong Wolves.
“Both coaches made the subs searching for an advantage. We as fans tried to take it all in but it all seemed to be flashing before our eyes.
Re-assuring ourselves, 'This was it'.
“To penalties, it came and hubris got the better of the Glory this time.
“The panenka from Brendon Santalab would have been seen as brilliant and game-changing if it came off.
“Instead it’ll be ridiculed and questioned for an age. Most of us cleared out once it was apparent we wouldn’t get losers medals after the game.
"It was too painful. No one booed which was nice.
"That was it.
“A lot of us went back to bars nearby trying to force some mirth down our throats.
“Non-Smoking promises were broken.
“Sickie plans were devised through the brain fog.
“Kenny Lowe held court in one section of the Luxembourg-sized Camfield Bar.
“Scott Sainsbury (father of Trent) offered advice to those grieving over the resulting reminding them that to just enjoy life.
“Some fans lasted a pint as the night went on, some three.
"The fall out from Sunday for fans was something like that 80s nuclear war disaster film 'The Day After'.
“This is now the nuclear fall out of a gutting loss.
“Eventually some of us this week who have survived are emerging from the rubble maybe missing some skin.
“Some of us will recover and some will have scar tissue. Some will not be back again for some time.
“I’d say 99% of this season has been positive and that cannot be taken away from us.
“We finished top of the league by a big margin. We were a penalty shoot-out away from taking the championship to add to the premiers plate.
“We are in Asia. We will strengthen our squad more than anything.
“Even beyond that, the bigger picture is one of forgiveness. Club owner Tony Sage has admitted deficiencies and put in place the ’Tonys' to implement the changes that have brought a new purpose and culture that has saved the club.
“This was started by Peter Filopoulos the former CEO who came when the club was at its lowest ebb.
“The future will be purple again and we will hopefully drag the sport in this country kicking and screaming with us to a new level.
“Much like we have done before.”