It has taken a solid six days for my heart and mind to settle after the gladiatorial battle against the Bulldogs.
Somehow losing last saturday night's match doesn't seem so bad. For as I left ANZ Stadium with my red and white brethren, there were no feelings of sadness or of melancholy, no shaking heads or droopy expressions, for the Dragons had not lost in the eyes of many supporters. They had won legions of respect, unlike some blue and white supporters.
I never bought into the reasons why sections of the Bulldogs' fan base are much maligned, until last Saturday night.
Picture this: five blue and white healers lined up in the corporate kennel behind me and my mum, who was seated beside me in a wheelchair.
From kickoff to the sound of the final whistle, this pack of mongrels sprayed abuse over our shoulders at each and every Dragons' player who carried the ball. Laughing Hyenas they were, down right ugly and frothing at the mouth.
As for the game, it wasn't pretty either but by gee it was gutsy with a capital G for greatness. The Dragons lost with more class and dignity that they earned in winning the 2010 GF.
I wished we had progressed to Week 2 but the entire team went out as winners: Friz with a gammy arm, Aitken lying flat behind the dead ball line, Benji with a busted leg, Thommo's hamstrung hamstring, Widdop dragging his pillow-sized left leg around, and still kicking goals.... they almost died wondering.
Josh Dugan winning the Brad Fittler award has capped off a stellar year for the Dragons and gives supporters even more reasons to smile.
On the downside, the non suspension of Pritchard does nothing but entrench cynicism in all things relating to the judiciary. How leading with both knees into the back of our playmaker did not result in a one-week suspension is indefensible. Hello, it's finals time and rules are relaxed. Ridiculous.
Tonight I'll continue to bask in the red and white glow and my happiness levels will be sky high at the end of 80 minutes. By 10pm the Dogs will be knocked out and the Rorters will follow them next week, with any luck. That's what I call a WIN WIN stadium situation for Dragons' fans. What about you?