It seems like only yesterday the Matildas had Australia marinating in dopamine.
Morale was surging, petrol was an affordable $1.85 and none of our coaches were flirting with Japan, and it was all thanks to the Tillies’ magical World Cup.
But in the space of a few months, their hard-earned euphoria has been frivolously flushed away in a tsunami of collapses and culture reviews.
And it’s all self-inflicted.
Whether it’s our national cricket team, the Wallabies or anything else that isn’t netball or online fighting, Australia is officially a flyblown sporting nation.
We’re encased inside tournament group stages like some invitational minnow, our swimming program is allegedly toxic, and nobody wants to play for the Kangaroos anymore.
Golden era daddies like John Eales and Steve Waugh must be turning in their graves.
What the hell happened to this proud nation?
Some say the crisis is a manifestation of neglecting hard work and grassroots in the undying pursuit of filthy commercial lucre, while others just blame the Wallabies.
Since the debacle in France, Australia has struggled to accept our national rugby side becoming a second-tier nation, mainly because the ranking’s too high.
It was a World Cup packed with self-inflicted disgraces — including the Eddie Jones saga, still simmering at time of print — but it was the geopolitical nappy fire of relying on Fiji that jarred the national conscience most.
Nothing against the mighty Fijians — we’d give anything to see the tryline as often as they do, but as the custodial alpha of the Pacific, Australia leaning on a plucky island nation for aid — i.e. bonus points — was a diplomatic air-ball from which we may never recover.
No wonder Japan swooped in the middle of the night to seduce our coach.
But if the Wallabies were responsible for setting fire to the soft power earned by the Matildas, our cricketers have since fanned it with lusty air-swings.
Despite a patchy-yet-professional win over Sri Lanka, our uninspiring performances in India have raised a sobering question:
How can half these blokes play IPL 15 months a year then don the national colours in the same conditions and bat like they’d struggle to hit a cow in the arse with a banjo?
At least the rest of the country now understands what it’s like supporting Penrith players representing the NSW Blues.
Yep, Australia is on the fritz and it’s so bleak that we can’t even lean on our Commonwealth Games prowess anymore.
We used to dominate ‘em, now we just cancel ‘em.
And adding further salt?
The supposedly-fading All Blacks are back in the World Cup semi-finals while the Black Caps outshine us with a squad worth a quarter of Steve Smith’s bat stickers.
Even Shane Van Gisbergen dominated our premier motorsport event last week at Bathurst, and worse, he was driving a fake Holden.
Everywhere we turn, this nation is punking itself- except our world champion Diamonds and masterful women’s cricket side.
In light of this, let’s get behind the girls.
Time to place undue pressure on them to reassemble the nation’s brittle ego, at least until the next women’s FIFA World Cup on home soil.