The highest compliment that could be paid to the dullest AFL Grand Final in living memory is how much it made sports fans appreciate recent cricketing contests.
Observing the customary week-long pre-grand final rituals, it appeared that entrenched AFL fans do not merely have a disinterest in the competition's "expansion" clubs but a genuine resentment - especially here in Tasmania.
This only increased as one had the temerity to claim a grand final berth in the same week that the other was granted yet another assistance package of priority picks, academy access and virtually anything else it needed to avoid the league admitting it shouldn't have put a team there in the first place.
Faced with the prospect of barracking for a team that has finally made a grand final after nine long, hard years of trying, most neutrals opted instead to back the Tigers, grumble about the Giants taking their team's spot and reminisce about the Northern Hemisphere summer of cricket.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT:
And maybe it took those few weeks since it ended to acknowledge how good it was.
A World Cup that still struggled to pinpoint a winner after 45 days, 48 matches plus two extra overs, followed by an Ashes series in which both sides won two Tests and were pushing for victory in the other.
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew summed it up nicely on Auntie's website.
"I've been involved in professional cricket for 44 seasons, and I have never, as a player or commentator, experienced a summer like this," he wrote.
"I have got a bigger kick out of cricket this summer than I ever have done before. It has been absolutely incredible."
Aggers also found a canny way of explaining how the summer's action - which will be forever defined by two nail-biters featuring Ben Stokes - had succeeded in converting new admirers to the sport.
"People can be a bit frightened of [cricket], because it's a very technical game, but really, when you boil it down, it's just who can score more runs. When people experience it, they get it very quickly."
And there was so much to get.
The brilliant batting of Stokes and Steve Smith; the majestic bowling of Pat Cummins and Stuart Broad; those unforgettable climaxes at Lord's and Headingley; the many battles within the battles, not least between Hobart Hurricanes teammates Matthew Wade and Jofra Archer; and the welcome comedy subplots, such as Jack Leach and his spectacle-cleaning rituals.
On reflection, there were only really two regrets.
Firstly, that rain delays ruined the second Ashes Test, forcing a draw when both sides had hopes of the victory that would have ultimately won them the series.
Secondly, two flawed arguments presented by members of Channel Nine's commentary team.
Exceptional Test cricketers with a bit too much padding around the midriff they may have been, but behind the microphone both Mark Taylor and Shane Warne have a tendency to reveal deficiencies when they go on the attack.
During the Fourth Test at Old Trafford, Taylor thought it unfair that Marcus Harris had been adjudged lbw to Broad despite ball tracker showing that the delivery would have hit his stumps.
Taylor argued that, on the first morning of a Test match, it could be reasonably expected that a ball would bounce over the stumps.
Fair point. Except that this one didn't, it hit them. So Harris was correctly adjudged out.
A particularly explosive area of the laws of cricket minefield, the lbw rule states that if a batsman is struck on the leg by a delivery that would have gone on to hit the stumps, he should be given out by virtue of the delivery hitting his "leg before wicket".
However, as a former opening batsman himself, Taylor said the delivery was only going to clip the wicket, so Harris should have been afforded some benefit of the doubt.
Like any batsman, he could always get out of the way altogether which removes any doubt when the ball is seen to hit the stumps.
Warne was equally wide of the mark on another controversial subject.
Fresh from suggesting field placements based on having 18 fielders at his disposal and calling for Travis Head to bowl when he wasn't playing, Warne's widest delivery was on the use of the decision review system.
He argued that in both the Third and Fourth Tests, the umpires had failed to take into account teams' remaining reviews when making tight lbw judgements (lbw stands for leg before wicket, see above).
On both occasions, Australia had no reviews remaining when English batsmen were adjudged not out after being struck on the pads.
Warne reckoned that because England still had reviews available the umpires should have given the batsmen out thus requiring their team to appeal the judgement.
Garbage. Why should one side be penalised because the other has squandered its reviews?
Alternatively, umpires could always resort to the old-fashioned practice of umpiring.
Rant over. And despite those examples, the cricket commentary was still better than the AFL.
"What's Toby Greene going to do in the first few minutes?" pondered Bruce McAveney before Saturday's opening bounce.
"He's going to do something Bruce," replied Wayne Carey.
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