Sport is as important to Australians as wine is to the French, the sea is to the British and mentally ill people having access to guns is to the Americans.
Australia may not have had the Hundred Years' War but it did have the Essendon supplements saga, which went on just as long and certainly resulted in more tweets and Facebook posts.
By the end of the '90s, the major sporting codes were all national, if you pretend Tasmania and the Northern Territory don't exist, which most Australians do.
As these three wonderful examples attest, when it comes to Australia's unquantifiable infatuation with sport, Titus O'Reily just gets it.
Here's some more proof.
"Sport has helped shape our national culture, both the one we like to think we have and the one we actually have. For every tale of mateship, there is one of gross administrative incompetence, salary cap cheating and supplements programs. For every inspiring story of resilience, there are several hundred tales of public urination.
"Resting in the heart of every underdog-loving Australian is Rod Laver's grace, Cathy Freeman's poise, Don Bradman's focus and Greg Norman's ability to choke at the worst moment."
And check out the adjectives in this overview.
"The current sporting landscape is a heady mixture of the arrogance of Victoria, the narcissism of New South Wales, the isolation of Western Australia, the madness of the Northern Territory, the nothingness of Canberra, the shadiness of Queensland, the tedium of South Australia and the irrelevance of Tasmania."
He doesn't just land near the pin, he nails every hole off the tee.
Having loved O'Reily's recent chronicles of cheating and gambling, I couldn't resist delving into his back catalogue and it proved a worthwhile expedition.
A Thoroughly Unhelpful History of Australian Sport was published in 2017 but remains as relevant now as it will be for generations to come.
Described on the cover as "Australia's least insightful sports writer", O'Reily poses the question: can you not like sport and be Australian?
He elaborates: "Sport is the closest thing we have to a culture. From Don Bradman's singular focus to Steven Bradbury's heroic not falling over, sport has shaped our sense of self.
"Sporting achievements have come to define this sunburnt country as a nation of athletes or, more accurately, a nation of people who watch athletes.
"While other countries assign social standing based on family ties, wealth or intelligence, in Australia, being able to do something in the sporting arena places you higher than the Prime Minister or any captain of industry. Middle-aged business people will cross rooms to get their photo taken with 20-year-old footballers and not even think that's weird."
O'Reily uses wit, humour and excellent research to tell the story of a nation which had little to do in its downtime other than play sport or drink so "combined the two with gusto".
Only someone from Melbourne could refer to their home state as "the People's Republic of Victoria" (complete with capitals) and only O'Reily could provide the bio: "As a writer, Titus has carved out a reputation for inaccuracy and being difficult to work with. His unique take on sport has been hailed by some of the most respected figures in sport as 'awful', 'childish' and 'barely comprehensible'."
All of which is very amusing, but it is the accuracy of his anecdotes which make his writing so addictive.
Here's his history of Tasmanian footy following the creation of the regional TFL, NTFA and NWFU competitions.
"These leagues disliked each other with an intensity usually reserved for extended family, which, being Tasmania, they probably were. The parochialism in the different parts of the state made a statewide competition harder to organise than a trip to the moon. In fact, in the time it took to organise one, we actually did organise a few trips to the moon and also sent a probe to Pluto."
His writing exposes truths on complex subjects that sporting administrations would rather leave hidden, often about sporting administrations.
"Various sporting codes have responded (to corruption) by putting in place the wonderfully-named 'Integrity Units', pretending the root cause of the trouble is something other than the massive amounts of gambling money flooding into sport - money in which they have a vested interest. Surprising only those who haven't engaged their brain past first gear, the more gambling there is in sport, the more corruption follows."
On cheating: "As money and media coverage have turned sport into a life and death matter, people have tried to find ways to cheat. I know, I know - I'm as shocked as you are.
There's still plenty of copies of https://t.co/8AKGz5AuXa available ($29.95) and just look how happy it made Hadspen sporting legends @Corey_Martin91 and @richie_porte.— Rob Shaw (@TheShawThing) September 8, 2020
You too could be that happy. Order at email@example.com or Facebook.
Happy to post ($42.20) or deliver. pic.twitter.com/ay6YrZpkPQ
On gambling: "Now governments are in a position where they want to be seen to be doing something about the situation while also keeping the tax dollars they've become reliant on."
And on sexuality: "The issue of sexuality is still a difficult one for sports administrators, fans and players because it requires a high level of empathy and emotional intelligence, qualities that are in short supply in the industry."
And if further proof were needed of O'Riley's Scotty Cam-like ability to hit a nail on its head, the case is closed with this summary of some of "Australian" sport's finest.
"The timing of Bradman and Phar Lap's feats ensured sport became even more important to the Australian people, giving them a sense of pride, just as Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic do for us now."