Lovely though it is to observe so many pundits talking about how planets seem to be aligning in favour of a Tasmanian AFL team, it still ain't going to happen without the support of the ruler of the footy universe.
It may be a tad unfair to present Gillon McLachlan as some sort of Darth Vader figure, but in truth he does wield ultimate power over an all-encompassing force that rules an empire.
And he has been showing some Sith-like qualities of late.
Fresh air was pumped into Tasmania's favourite political football when Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon became the latest of many high-profile footy figures to call for the state to have its own team in what is inaccurately referred to as a national competition.
It was like Obi-Wan Kenobi warning that should Vader strike him down, he would become "more powerful than you can possibly imagine".
McLachlan said a Tasmanian AFL team needed to have "a will from the top down". Coming from the man who is the top, it did not bode well.
Appropriately, McLachlan responded by striking him down with all the impact of a light saber.
He said a Tasmanian AFL team needed to have "a will from the top down".
Coming from the man who is the top, it did not bode well.
Tasmanian team would need support of AFL top dog, says AFL top dog.
He also regurgitated trusty lines about "building blocks" and a "pathway" being in place to create a "runway" which could not be ignored, suggesting the Tasmanian construction industry is looking far healthier than the statewide football competition.
The AFL says a Tasmanian team will need at least 50,000 members, while seven existing AFL clubs still have less than 50,000. Do they think we can’t see this for what it is? An extra hoop to jump through, but only for Tasmania #politaspic.twitter.com/b5VNNOEHtH— Ben Lohberger (@BenGlenHuon) March 23, 2019
While sounding vaguely positive, it had more than a few echoes of McLachlan's predecessor Andrew Demetriou's non-committal "next cab off the rank" pledge which was generally accompanied by the admission that the rank had already reached its maximum capacity.
And just for good measure, McLachlan threw in the old "if a unified Tasmanian board ..." chestnut, thereby reincarnating the convenient North-South division argument dished up by AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick upon his 2017 retirement which resoundingly ignored the fact that the lack of an AFL team had become the most unifying factor in the Tasmanian football landscape.
Gordon's initial comments came at a time when the Tasmanian AFL team juggernaut appeared to be moving up through the gears.
Both Hawthorn and North Melbourne deals will expire in 2021 which is also the scheduled return date of the Tasmanian Devils to the VFL and could offer a two-year window ahead of a Tasmanian team's introduction in 2023 when the existing AFL broadcast rights deal expires.
The Age's Caroline Wilson took up the fight on Friday, identifying the juggernaut driver as Tasmanian treasurer Peter Gutwein who she quoted as saying: "The time is right. It's no longer a matter of if but when."
Suggesting 2026 as the possible entry date, Wilson said McLachlan was a "cautious advocate" for the push but that a Tasmanian team would require at least 50,000 members and an initial commitment of $40 million to enter the league.
It did not take long for the Twitterati to point out that seven of the existing AFL clubs would fail to make the 50,000 members criteria while Tasmania already boasts 91,000 across the existing 18 AFL clubs.
Furthermore, a sizeable chunk of that $40 million could come from the $7 million Tasmania currently pays for its two resident AFL clubs plus the $14 million average annual AFL contribution to clubs ($45 million combined total for Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney).
Politicians know a vote-winner when they see one, and this has got "re-election guarantee" written all over it so plenty appear to be lining up to lend their support.
In addition to Gutwein's rumbling juggernaut, Labor has promised to pump $25 million into a Tassie team if elected while the National Party launched its "T23" website calling for Tasmanian AFL involvement by 2023.
In contrast to this jungle of sizeable sums, words are cheap, especially on a social medium named Twitter.
Only the gullible would read too much into non-committal soundbites from an organisation that can dangle reliable carrots like a Tasmanian team or a night grand final knowing the masses will gobble them up before being hit by the traditional opening night staples of a Carlton loss, season-ending knee injury and punch-up in the stands.
Nothing fires the AFL into life quite like the possibility of a rival muscling in on its territory so it was with uncanny timing that Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop should visit Hobart on Thursday to discuss Tasmania's hopes of having its own A-League team.
The star wars have begun. Expect the empire to strike back.