By virtue of living in the Raiders heartland of Queanbeyan, Tony Wood aka Victor the Viking is not allowed into Queensland for Friday's preliminary final in Brisbane between the Green Machine and Melbourne Storm.
COVID-19 border restrictions let ACT residents but not NSW residents into the Sunshine State so anyone from the Raiders birthplace of Queanbeyan can't get in.
Added to that, Wood also attended last week's semi-final against the Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground as a spectator, so he, along with any other fan who attended the game in NSW, is also banned from attending Friday's preliminary final at Suncorp Stadium.
"I was bracing myself. I was hoping we were going to win. And I had it in my mind we wouldn't be able to go [to Brisbane]. Hopefully, we'll get over this weekend and we'll be able to go to Sydney [to the grand final]," he said, on Wednesday.
Victor the Viking will also be leading the Viking Clap for Raiders fans at the Roos Club in Queanbeyan, just before kick-off on Friday at 7.50pm. He'll be there from 6pm, ready to cheer on the team - from 1200km away.
"I'll never lose that fire and the passion," he said.
"I think this team has their own fire in their belly, which is good. I think we're going to get our just desserts and have back-to-back appearances in a grand final, which is great.
"Because of the year, we've had, with not many people allowed at the games, they've done it with the help of the faithful, but they've also pretty much done it by themselves."
Wood, 55, has been Victor the Viking mascot for the Raiders for 38 years. He says the 2020 season was extremely difficult due to COVID-19 social distancing.
"Out of my 38 years, this year has probably been one of my hardest I've had to be Victor," he said.
"You're out there to do a job and to interact with the crowd but the rules and regulations stopped me from doing that this year. It was very hard when kids walked up to you and you couldn't high five them and if there was a photo, they had to be a certain distance."
He feels emotional thinking about how Friday's game might play out.
"I'm starting to tear up now, " he said.
"I'm very close to the club and I know how hard the coach, the players, the staff work towards this pinnacle of a grand final. And if it does come off, the hard work has paid off.
"In this crap year, it'll be great."
Mr Wood has continued to be the larrikin mascot despite suffering a stroke, heart attack and quadruple bypass over the years. His health is good now.
"Oh God yeah. I've got the COVID belly but the suit helps with that because it's like a girdle, put it on and it brings everything together," he said, with a laugh.
Mr Wood is a client liaison officer for Baptist Care aged residential homes, looking after six residences in the ACT and NSW.
He wears a mask to work and feels a deep sympathy with the older residents who have been restricted by COVID-19.
Mr Wood has dressed up as Victor for the residents, who loved it.
"It's creating that smile. I'm there to get a smile on people's faces," he said.
And as for Friday, it's no dream preliminary final like last year at a packed Canberra Stadium. But Mr Wood - and Victor - reckon it's all in hand.
"This year, we're going to be all spread over. But we're going to be fine. I think the players will do Canberra proud. Let's paint this town green again!"