Here's a sentence I never thought I'd type.
A Tasmanian team joined a national sporting league this week.
And it came just a week after the sentence "Tasmania is set to play a part in a soccer World Cup".
It's surely only a matter of time before I get to type: "Tasmania has been handed dream Test and AFL schedules for the year."
What's that Mr Kerrigan? Tell me what? I'm dreamin'? Yes, I suppose I am, sorry. How is Bonnie Doon by the way?
It has certainly been interesting to observe the contrast between how different sporting bodies have viewed the impact of COVID-19.
While the NBL responded by announcing Tasmania's inclusion, the AFL's reaction was epitomised by Collingwood president and unofficial code spokesman Eddie McGuire instantly announcing that the virus had set back the state's case by at least a decade.
Precise quantifiable evidence to support this new time frame was in scarce supply, but doubtless it was warmly welcomed at AFL House.
The chance to get the jump on Australia's most reported sport was not lost on the NBL. The announcement press release tactfully began by observing that "the people of Tasmania now have a team all of Tasmania can get behind".
League owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman praised the state's "amazing passion to help bring this to life" and fired this opening shot across the bows of HMS AFL.
"Our commitment and our intent was always to make basketball the number one sport in Tasmania and with them now having a national team that they can all support I am confident over the coming years that is exactly what we can do.''
Obviously, granting Tasmania a place in a national competition that isn't the AFL is the sporting equivalent of poking the bear, and the it wasn't long before the grizzly was growling.
Within a day, Tasmania's AFL Taskforce was warning of the dangers such a development would have on footy.
"Tasmanian boys and girls like all kids in Australia want sporting heroes and need role models to emulate," chairman Brett Godfrey said. "If the AFL doesn't fulfil that role somebody else will and the taskforce has made that case abundantly clear to AFL House."
There will NEVER AGAIN be a better time for a Tasmanian AFL Team than the 2021 AFL season:— Tasmanian AFL Team (@TasAFLteam) July 2, 2020
• Surplus players due to list cuts.
• Halved club operating costs.
• Last year without competition from NBL (early bird gets the worm!).
• Pressing need to help tourism sector recover. pic.twitter.com/bVz8SVQqGu
What the development did show is quite what can be achieved when dealing with a national league operator that genuinely wants Tasmanian involvement.
While the big cheese of the NBL offers a mature and downright tasty platter, his AFL equivalent is just full of holes.
As is so often the case, the social media platform of reason was Twitter.
David Bartlett is a man with a unique perspective having been intimately involved in Tasmania's AFL push while Premier and more recently helped the NBL cause as the figurehead of the Hobart Huskies.
"The old "treat em mean, keep em keen" @AFLTasmania strategy won't work for much longer methinks. #Hoops," Bartlett Tweeted.
The old "treat em mean, keep em keen" @AFLTasmania strategy won't work for much longer methinks. #HoopsDavid Bartlett on Twitter
Hugh Greenwood and Mitch Robinson, two AFL players who went ok on the basketball court, added their approval while the Tasmanian AFL Team feed predicted the footy hierarchy would continue to "treat us like second class citizens the moment this passes".
Others pointed out that with Tasmania's under-18 boys' team securing top-four finishes at Basketball Australia championships for the last two years "basketball will only become more popular and AFL only have themselves to blame".
Evidence of the growing popularity of basketball in Tasmania is not hard to find.
Look no further than the car parking around Elphin Sports Centre whenever there is a state school championship being staged there.
So while Tasmania's newly-confirmed NBL franchise starts looking for a name, chief executive and upgrades to the Silverdome to fulfil its statewide pledge, the AFL media pack reverts to giving oxygen to stories like Sam Newman's blinkered views on Nicky Winmar's pioneering attempts to confront the sport's inherent racism.
Like footy, basketball has no shortage of Tasmanian performers to hang its coat on with the likes of Anthony Stewart, Adam Gibson and Sejr Deans representing the healthy past, present and future of the sport here.
If football doesn't like the prospect of not being Tasmania's preferred sport of choice, it has another reality check to confront.
According to statistics released in March, involvement in Tasmanian soccer competitions grew by 45 per cent in 2019. "As the state's most-played sport, The World Game is already Tasmania's game and it's only getting bigger," trumpeted Football Tasmania chief executive Matt Bulkeley.
Anyone up for an A-League licence?