The passionate and emotive discussion around the Socceroos in the past week has been fantastic to hear.
The fallout from two heavy defeats and national coach Holger Osieck losing his job has ignited some desperately needed and long-overdue passion inside and outside the camp. It also resulted in various post-mortems on Osieck's tenure and discussion about the future - including my own possible involvement - being front and centre in the sporting consciousness.
For too long our game has been a sideshow to all the other sporting endeavours that our lucky country has within its sphere.
It is heartening that the A-League kicked off in the best possible way, with big crowds and television audiences and plenty of analysis about who will rise and fall this season. But most of all this week has shown that Australians now care and are passionate about the game and its future.
This brings a responsibility and accountability of the likes we have not seen before. No longer can we use convenient truths and excuses to explain away any lack of progress. Now the issues and challenges that lie ahead will be tackled knowing that scrutiny and praise will be dealt in equal measure.
The Socceroos' situation this week has been a great test of how much the game means to Australia.
There have been numerous opinions expressed and as with any great pantomime, there comes the need to weed out the real villain in the piece. Was it the coach, the players, the media, the administrators - or maybe the man on the grassy knoll? The coach has lost his job and the captain came in for criticism.
But for me the reason we are in this position is that we have lost sight of what our national team represents and what its role in our game is. I have always believed that language is a very powerful tool and for a long time the language that we hear about the Socceroos has methodically stripped away any form of honour and prestige that a national team should represent.
First and foremost the team belongs to the country itself and its fans. It does not belong to any coach, player or administrator. Any representation within the team and management should be seen as privilege, not a right.
For a long time the Socceroos have stood for courage and a competitive nature in the face of adversity. Whether it was the part-timers who qualified for the World Cup back in 1974 or the golden generation that almost shocked the world in 2006, we have never been afraid of a challenge or being written off as no-hopers.
But sadly this is no longer the case. There needs to be a cultural shift so we understand once again the essence of our national shirt.
What has happened over the past six or seven years is that self-interest, self-preservation and survival mechanisms have ensured that we no longer see ourselves as true Australian sportsmen.
I have found it frustrating and infuriating to continually hear that we are not that good. That our expectations are too high. That we can't compete with the big countries.
The question I ask is why? Is it because we know we will fail and want some protection from the fallout of failure? Or do we hope we can cause an upset so we get greater credit? But the sporting public don't want to hear that we must accept our fate. The national team is there to sell hope, not to dampen dreams.
I have continually heard our team is not that good, our younger players are not that good, our league is not that good and our football philosophy is not that good. That we have no hope of being competitive in the World Cup.
Well, if that is the case, why do we even bother?
Sport is about upsetting the odds, it is about confounding the experts and above all in this country it is about producing the miraculous.
We have won the America's Cup, gold medals and World Cups in other codes by not accepting our fate, but by believing in what we can achieve.
It is time now that our Socceroos were restored to the foundations they were built on.