Who would have thought that when the 2020 fixture was released that this was how the year would have ended up?
You would have been laughed across the Murray River if you were to suggest to the fervent footballing public of Victoria that many of them would not see a single game live this season.
A straight jacket would have been tailored to your measurements should you have suggested that the Grand Final would be played under lights at the Gabba in October.
However, due to arrival of an unforeseen and, as of yet, untameable virus, the game, like the rest of the world, was forced to make compromises.
With these changes came a fresh batch of terms to enter the footy lexicon, as well as the array of previously unthought of headlines that appeared on mastheads everywhere.
So despite a season that provided challenges for everyone involved in the game, it has also supplied many moments (both good and bad) that will live long in our memories.
Here are the top 10 headlines from a season unlike any before it.
9. The returns of Majak Daw and Jack Higgins
Following a pair of life threatening situations and with a combined time of over 1000 days spent out of the game, the twinned returns of Majak Daw and Jack Higgins were enough to warm the cockles of even the coldest soul.
Higgins, having recovered from a pair of non-invasive surgeries on the brain, was the first to return to the field in Round 2. The larger than life little man kicked a trademark snap goal in the Tigers 36 all draw with the Pies. However, due to the stands laying dormant, the livewire was unable to receive the roars he deserved.
Jack Higgins slots a snag!
— AFL (@AFL) June 11, 2020
For Majak Daw, just returning to football was achievement enough.
Following his fall from the heights of the Bolte Bridge and the subsequent injuries to his hips and pelvis, Daw spent a total of 706 days on the sideline recovering, rehabbing, and ultimately returning.
Daw capped his emotional comeback with a strong grab and set shot goal late in North’s dominant 69-point win over Adelaide.
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) August 1, 2020
Although the 29 year old was able to walk off Metricon Stadium a winner in more ways than one that day, it proved to be his swansong in a Kangaroo’s jumper, with the club delisting him at the completion of the season.