Where there's life, there's hope. Which means there's plenty of life in Canberra going into the next decade.
And it's the Canberra Raiders providing that life after a stunning 2019.
It's safe to say the expectation on the Green Machine at the end of the decade far outweighs what it was at the start.
Making an NRL grand final kind of does that.
Especially the way that GF unfolded. Drama. Drama. Drama.
Six to go became the catchphrase for the entire season. Further fuelling the wither-on-a-vine-anti-Canberra-conspiracy talk. Especially when stories started coming out of the NRL about how the poor old Sydney Roosters were also robbed by the ref. P-Lease.
Excuse me while I feel exactly zero sympathy for the Bondi billionaires. Sitting on the beach in their budgy smugglers. Protecting themselves from the summer sun in their salary cap sombreros. (Which allegedly don't exist now because of some selective statistics released by the NRL.)
But there wasn't that hope going into 2010, when the Raiders were coming off a season where they were fourth last.
Now, there's only hope. Thanks to a fairly young side that plays an aggressive brand of football. With a rock-solid defence.
Players like Nick Cotric, John Bateman, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Joe Tapine and Jack Wighton are not only stars of the future, but the now as well.
They've got the best prop in the game - Josh Papalii - and one of the best hookers in the world - Josh Hodgson. Plus one of the most underrated - Jarrod Croker.
So what would be a pass mark for next season? Finals? Top four? The grand final? A premiership?
They've certainly got the team to be playing finals footy. And at the pointy end too.
It will depend on how recruits George Williams and Curtis Scott settle in. Especially Williams, in the No.7 jersey. Plus how the cover the departure of Jordan Rapana. And, of course, injuries.
Please don't go
Imagine a parallel universe. One where Papalii wasn't a Raider. One where he'd gone over to the dark side. One where he'd joined Parramatta.
Horrifying isn't it. Especially after 2019. He was good before that, but not 2019 good.
February 22, 2013. That's when he put pen to paper for the Eels. Luckily, he backflipped during the cooling off period. Opted to stay with the Green Machine.
Back then he was just an emerging, young second rower. Debuting for Australia and Queensland.
He wasn't yet the best prop in the world. Having become one of the best second rowers in the world.
That's what he is now. And he's doing it in lime green.
Scoring match-winning tries. In finals. Busting out close to 80 minutes. Backing up from State of Origin. Inspiring his teammates with his actions.
His backflip all those years ago is the biggest sliding doors moment of the past decade. And could play a massive role in shaping the next one.
From a high to a low. But another what if. Terry Campese's knee.
What if it never happened? Would the Raiders premiership drought only be eight or nine years long?
Of course we'll never know, but the feeling was they would've beaten the Wests Tigers in that 2010 semi-final and headed to the prelim.
They would've only trailed the Tigers by six with more than 20 minutes remaining. They only lost by two.
The following season could've also been a lot different. In the form of another finals appearance.
Return of the Jedi
The current era of hope has been overseen by the return of one of Canberra's favourite sons. Ricky Stuart back in the capital in 2014. This time as coach.
The return of the halfback who guided them to all three of their premierships. Played for Australia. NSW as well.
Now in charge of the clipboard. Won a premiership with that too. For those poor, downtrodden Roosters no less. Coached Australia? Tick. NSW? Tick that baby as well.
It was like Luke Skywalker bringing the force back to lead a revolution against the evil Empire.
There was a coupla years of pain. Then came 2016. The Raiders bringing their own brand of chaos football to the NRL.
"Leipana" became a thing. So did the craziness that was the combination between centre Joey Leilua and his wingman Jordan Rapana.
Anything could happen. And it usually did. What a time to be alive.
Making a preliminary final had the 2017 hope levels in overdrive. But a couple more years in the wilderness ensued. Defence was a problem. Not to mention losing close games.
So Stuart went about building the Great Lime Green Wall of Canberra. And it took them to the decider. Where it took two refereeing howlers to breach it.
Now he'll be working to ensure there's no repeat of 2017-18. Keep that Green Wall rock solid. And maybe tinker with the attack. A new halves pairing will be part of that.
Ricky's return only came about following the Raiders' unwanted breaking of a long held record. The first time they'd ever sacked a coach.
David Furner. Another one of the club's favourite sons. Plus the son of Canberra's inaugural coach Don Furner snr.
To make matters a bit more sticky, he was sacked by his brother Don Furner jnr. The Raiders' chief executive.
The board weren't happy with how the team was travelling. They'd just lost to Canterbury. And were sitting just outside the top eight.
The dreaded "loss of the dressing room" had also reared its ugly head.
Furner's time in charge lasted five seasons for 55 wins and 70 losses from 125 NRL games.
They made the finals twice - their magical 2010 run that was struck down by Campese's knee, and another semi-final appearance in 2012.
Catching the Clap
Sounds nasty doesn't it. But it's actually one of the best things that's ever happened to the NRL, let alone the Raiders.
And all thanks to their Viking roots. Oh, and the unlikely emergence of the Iceland soccer team at the 2016 European Championships.
The minnows from the tiny island of Iceland weren't expected to get out of the group stages. But not only did they do that, they made it to the quarter-finals. Knocking out England along the way.
It led to a heroes welcome when they returned home. Thousands gathering in the streets to perform one last Viking Thunder Clap, as they call it, for the team.
The images travelled around the world. Even making it to the vine of Canberra. Where an idea was born.
As the Green Machine made a similarly unexpected charge to the 2016 finals. Seven games into a winning streak that would extend to 10, the Raiders gave the Viking Clap its first airing at Canberra Stadium.
Almost 38,000 hands clapped together as the Raiders faced Parramatta on August 21, 2016.
The Clap has since spread to finals in Sydney and Melbourne, with the NRL allowing it to be part of the official pre-game ceremonies at Sydney Olympic Park.
That's been accompanied by the Viking horn. Blown to signal the start of the Clap. It was an easy choice to ask Mal Meninga to put lips to horn ahead of the grand final. Given he's the greatest Raider of all.
The Viking Clap has also played a role in the Raiders' crowds returning - obviously the return of hope has as well. Average regular season home crowds have climbed from 9608 in 2014 to 14,864 this year - a 55 per cent increase.
It's certainly something to be clapped at.
Controversies, there's been a few
But, unlike the Frank Sinatra classic My Way, unfortunately there haven't been too few to mention.
You couldn't look back at the past decade and overlook them. The Booze Brothers. Jack Wighton's boozy night out. Josh Papalii self reporting for drink driving. Joel Monaghan and the dog.
Who could forget the day Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson took to the rooftop to sink a few Bacardi Breezers. The only problem was they were meant to be at training.
And just in case coach Furner didn't realise why they weren't there. They posted a photo to social media of themselves. Breezers accompanied by matching middle fingers.
Neither lasted the season in Canberra. Unfortunately for the Raiders though, their careers flourished at other clubs. The pair both went on to play for Australia and added to their NSW appearances having made their State of Origin debuts while with Canberra.
Wighton found himself in trouble with the law after a night out in 2018. He was found guilty of assaulting five men and public urination on a 20-minute rampage through Civic while celebrating his birthday.
He was given a suspended jail sentence, was fined and the NRL gave him a 10-week ban.
Papalii was dropped from the Kangaroos after he was found guilty of drink driving. Having dobbed himself in to the police after Jarrod Croker's engagement party.
Then there was Monaghan's Mad Monday prank that went horribly wrong. The Raiders outside back quit after a photo emerged of him simulating a sex act with a dog.
Not destination of choice
It wasn't just the NRL that didn't like Canberra. But star players as well.
Anthony Milford didn't want to stay. And buggered off to the Brisbane Broncos. Where his career's stagnated.
There was also a series of backflippers that would've made five-time Olympic gold medallist Greg Louganis proud.
Back before James Tedesco was wearing the Roosters' salary sombrero, he was with the Wests Tigers.
But he signed with the Raiders on May 27, 2014. Before changing his mind eight days later.
The same day Tedesco signed-not-signed, the Melbourne forward Kevin Proctor knocked back a rich Raiders deal to stay with the Storm.
Michael Ennis also turned down the Raiders' advances in 2014 and decided instead to shift from the Bulldogs to Cronulla. Where he'd play a role in helping the Sharks end their premiership drought.
The Raiders eventually got their man with Ennis joining the Green Machine this year as a coaching consultant. Working with Canberra's hookers and on their attack inside the opposition's 20.
You could even argue the Raiders got the best of both worlds in regards to Ennis. They've now got both Josh Hodgson and him on the books. Something that might not have happened if Ennis had picked lime green.
So in comes Hodgson for the 2015 season. Turning a negative into a positive.
It also opened a fertile recruiting ground the Raiders have continued to harvest.
They added Elliott Whitehead the next season, and brought in John Bateman and Ryan Sutton for the 2019 campaign.
Next comes George Williams. He's taking Aidan Sezer's place in the halves alongside Wighton.
How he settles in will play a big role in what happens to all the hope surrounding the Green Machine for next season.
There's more on the way, with The Canberra Times revealing the Raiders are looking to bring a Huddersfield under-20s player to Canberra to essentially do a gap year before returning. They also talked to Wigan about a similar arrangement.
It's meant they'll been able to tap into some of the best players in the world - which Hodgson, Whitehead and Bateman clearly are - and put the backflips behind them.
Just like 2019 is now behind us. Bring on 2020!
Year by Year At A Glance
2010: Won 13, lost 11. Finished 7th, lost semi-final.
2011: Won 6, lost 18. Finished 15th.
2012: Won 13, lost 11. Finished 6th, lost semi-final.
2013: Won 10, lost 14. Finished 13th.
2014: Won 8, lost 16. Finished 15th.
2015: Won 10, lost 14. Finished 10th.
2016: Won 17, drew 1, lost 6. Finished 2nd, lost preliminary final.
2017: Won 11, lost 13. Finished 10th.
2018: Won 10, lost 14. Finished 10th.
2019: Won 15, lost 9. Finished 4th, lost grand final.