We’ve heard it all before – winning isn’t everything.
It’s the taking part that counts. The memories. The moments.
There’s no doubt, though, that Fulham failing to win promotion at the end of this glorious season would be the bitterest of blows.
Because half a campaign unbeaten tells only part of the tale – this is a team that plays the most elegant brand of flowing football.
A team with a steely undercoat and a healthy habit of winning, even when the tide is against them.
A team with both trickery and tenacity, brains and brawn.
With all of this working in our favour, then, remaining in the second tier would almost feel unjust. But it’s an entirely plausible outcome.
All Cardiff City need to do on Sunday is beat Reading – a team who, at best, have proved inconsistent and porous at the back and, at worst, have been downright disastrous throughout 2017/18.
Their last outing, at home to a rudderless Ipswich Town, ended 4-0 in the Tractor Boys’ favour. It’s hardly a good omen.
And so the playoffs may well be our best bet. Yet, Fulham don’t fare well in playoffs.
Aside from our recent heartache in last year’s Championship semi-final, we’ve had a Division Three semis defeat to Bristol Rovers in 1989 and a Division Two loss to Grimsby Town in 1998. Hardly a broad data set, but enough to worry that history might work against us.
Regardless of where the Whites find themselves come the end of May, though, it’s worth noting the magnitude of their success and the joy it’s given us, the fans.
Ryan Sessegnon has brought homegrown spark and panache to the Championship. Tom Cairney has brought his typical mastery of the ball. Kevin McDonald has brought determination, Aleksandar Mitrović that lethal touch, Tim Ream that fabled consistency.
Player by player, Fulham have been exceptional.
And it hasn’t gone unnoticed. We’re a club much loved throughout England, with a revered and adored manager. Cardiff, meanwhile, have stumbled towards promotion with a manager who, to say the least, has his enemies.
To that end, it’s unfortunate that history is always written by the winners. If Cardiff do indeed do the business on Sunday afternoon, we could end up a footnote of the 2017/18 campaign.
But, around the club itself, throughout the grand Craven Cottage with its ever-swelling numbers in attendance, this is a team that will be remembered for years to come.
For that, Slaviša Jokanović, we thank you.
Promotion is still very much in our hands and, given just how good we have been in 2018, we’re clear favourites to go up through the playoffs. We will go into Sunday with confidence and, no doubt, do what we do best – win.
If it doesn’t prove enough, though, and for one reason or another, we come unstuck in the playoffs, just know one thing: this Fulham team have made history in their own right.