The Dubbo CYMS saga during the 2017 pre-season was fun, wasn't it.
Big club from one competition threatens to pull the pin and jump ship to a neighbouring Group premiership ... sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Mudgee is doing the same in the lead-up to 2020.
There's one pretty big difference though.
Group 11 clubs voted down CYMS' initial desire to jump across to Group 10 during the competition's 2016 annual general meeting, but the Fishies' board continued its quest to join Western's eastern Group despite the lack of support.
Then at the Group 10 AGM just a week later, six of the nine voting clubs voted the Dubbo proposal down, thanks to a number of factors.
Travel was one of them, naturally. It's a long way from Lithgow to Dubbo. Expenses was another, paying players for two more regular season games is a costly exercise.
And there was one more reason: Group equality.
Take Dubbo CYMS out of Group 11 and that competition just isn't at the level it needs to be, despite what some of the smaller clubs say.
There's no doubting Forbes, Parkes and Nyngan, to name a few, are tough clubs, with proud footy teams and prouder fan bases.
But the reason those clubs have enjoyed successful seasons in the last decade is because they're all chasing the Fishies.
CYMS sets the tone in Group 11. Everyone loves to hate them, and Jarryn Powyer, and Tim Ryan before him, have let their teams feed off that animosity.
It makes for great footy. How many communities can lay claim to a Spaceman being totemic? Parkes can. Same deal with the Magpies at Forbes. The black and white runs in the family.
And we all know rugby league reaches a whole new level when tribalism takes hold.
So what happens when a team is taken away from a competition?
What happens if Mudgee leaves Group 10? It'd be devastating.
And, I believe, it's shortsighted.
The Dragons enjoyed a terrific 2019 campaign in Group 10, but narrowly missed out on a premiership to cap it all off after a heartbreaking 9-8 loss in the grand final to Bathurst Panthers.
The Mudgee club has made it pretty obvious since then they feel like they were hard done by.
Honestly, you'd be hard pressed to find a runners-up anywhere across the state that feels anything different.
But are they packing up and moving on? I doubt it.
The Dragons will tell you a move of this magnitude has been coming for a while. That their place in the Group 10 competition isn't valued by those running the title race.
Anyone recall then president Jared Robinson's 'black sheep' comments in the lead-up to the 2018 Bathurst Knockout?
The same phrase popped up in the grand final aftermath, too, a social media comment by one of the Dragons' committee members reading as follows: "We have always been the black sheep and it certainly showed on the weekend."
Yep, the Dragons' angst runs deep.
We have always been the black sheep and it certainly showed on the weekend.A social media comment from a Dragons committee member after the 2019 grand final.
And now they want out. Plenty of people are calling the Dragons dummy-spitters. How many teams make a grand final then switch competitions the year after? The answer is none.
But contemplating a change is their prerogative.
Any good committee is always looking at ways to better their club. It's essentially the main responsibility of any level of management.
But it's also the responsibility of Group 11 clubs, like it was those in Group 10 a little over two years ago, to emphatically send a message to the Dragons.
Not a 'we don't want you' message.
A 'no club is bigger than the game' directive, one that backs the stance made by a majority of clubs at the Group 10 AGM at the end of 2016.
The 2019 Group 10 AGM is this Sunday, no doubt it'll be an interesting one.
Oberon's already indicated it'll be battling to field the required four senior grades in 2020, and now Mudgee is staunch in its bid to make the jump across to Group 11.
Does anyone really think Group 10 will be better off as a seven-team competition, while Group 11 benefits from the addition of Mudgee and skips out to a nine-team premiership race next year (if ... and it still seems like a big if, Westside can get its act together and pick up enough players).
Does Western think that's the best way forward for both of its main competitions to play-out in 2020?
Like Dubbo CYMS' quest in the 2017 pre-season, I expect Mudgee's bold bid to switch Western competitions to be futile.
It's clear, though, clubs across the region have itchy feet.
Parkes and Wellington have both previously been unhappy with Group 11's steadfast approach to continue to keep the grand final at Dubbo's Apex Oval.
Both clubs have threatened moves to Group 10, but the move never eventuates.
CYMS' proposal two years ago was as meticulous as it gets, the planning and detail immense, and if anyone thinks the club isn't still contemplating a switch of sorts then they don't know the Dubbo club.
They're bold in their approach to everything. This is no exception.
READ MORE: Naden nominated in Dreamtime Awards
With Westside and perhaps Oberon on the ropes leading into 2020, 15 teams look set to line-up in Western Group competitions next season.
If Mudgee is looking for change, then surely Western steps in and proposes a merge of the two competitions. There's no way the Rams committee can let the Dragons jump ship, it'd be cutting off their nose to spite their face.
But a 15-team Western premiership could work. It'd be tough, but it could work.
Imagine three pools of five teams, separate geographically. You play every side in your pool twice and then each of the other teams in the premiership once. You flip the draw after each year so the teams on the longer trips only tackle them once a season.
Teams play 18 games, enjoy a bye and you could easily run a top eight finals system.
A simple Dragons switch isn't the answer to change, but it may well be the catalyst.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below: