As the old saying goes, nostalgia ain't what it used to be.
No, in the current climate, nostalgia is now bigger than it ever was.
The havoc wreaked by Covid-19 hasn't just infected pubs, restaurants and hair salons. It has also left every TV station with gaping holes in their schedules, which is why the likes of TG4 spent every Friday night in May replaying old Ireland matches.
The games they showed, such as our nerve-shredding joust with Romania and the subsequent penalty shoot-out, or the defiance of the display in Rome against the hosts, weren't so much a trip down memory lane as a full on psychedelic lunge into the past - a past that felt both very recent and yet, simultaneously, like watching something on the History channel.
Jack Charlton's death last week, at the age of 85, has taken many of us back to those days and, equally, many of us have been surprised by the depth of our emotional response to the news of his passing.
Whenever someone of consequence dies, there is always a huge amount of blather spoken about them.
People who were previously unpopular or controversial become anointed as saints and former critics line up to sing their praises.
But when it comes to Jack Charlton, the tough-knuckled son of miners who dragged himself out of the Northumbrian pits and up to the highest summits of world football, the clichés are true - he did change the way we looked at ourselves. He did help transform the nation. He was singularly responsible for us taking part in the biggest tournaments in the world and rather than just turning up, we were there to beat the big boys.
Anyone under 40 must find it hard to comprehend just how important this gruff English northerner was to the development of our national team and national self-esteem.
When I was growing up, football was the unloved step-child of Irish society.
Ignored by many and openly despised by some, it was seen as a game for hooligans and gurriers. Of course, that was mere shorthand for the fact that the game was primarily rooted in the working-class enclaves of Dublin and Cork, with a few rural hotbeds adding support.
To put it in context, the night before Gary Mackay scored for Scotland against Bulgaria in November 1987 and saw us qualify for our maiden tournament, I went to Dalymount Park to watch Ireland thump Israel 5-0.
I was 15, there were about 5,000 people there and we all assumed that this was as good as it was going to get.
Long-suffering football fans had adopted a form of gallows humour which was understandable - we were used to being on the wrong end of bizarre refereeing decisions and it looked like the Gods of football had decided that they just didn't like us.
There was a reason, after all, why Irish fans tended to wait for a few seconds before celebrating when we had scored -we had all become so used to seeing goals disallowed for baffling reasons that there was no point in cheering until the ref finally walked back to the centre circle.
Under Charlton, all that changed and we owe him a debt that can never be repaid but should never be forgotten.
Euro '88 was the moment when, for me and my teenage friends, Ireland went from being a black and white country and became full colour.
That moment when Ray Houghton put the ball in the English net remains quite simply - and with apologies to my wife - the greatest moment of my life. And I'm not alone.
Yes, we would go on to have even greater victories and even more adventures in foreign fields. But that moment of pure euphoria was different because it was the first time any of us had experienced such pure, unbridled and totally unexpected joy and, to paraphrase Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, we all remember the first time.
I even had what would now probably be called a panic attack.
I ran out to the back garden to get some air, and after rocking back and forth for a few minutes, I returned to the sitting room to witness my father crying his eyes out. I had never seen him cry before that goal. I never saw him cry after it, either.
But on that day, every detention he had ever received in school for playing 'soccer' rather than GAA seemed vindicated.
This was a victory for the Irish team but also for those long-suffering football supporters who had endured scorn and ridicule - and detention - from the time they were kids.
Maybe we needed someone from outside these shores to drag us by the scruff of our neck and relieve us of our underdog mentality.
Maybe we needed someone who wasn't weighed down by all the years of failure, injustice and abject disappointment.
Charlton never had any truck with such defeatism and that was exactly what we needed. Yes, there were quibbles and qualms about the way he treated some of the players. Yes, he was lucky to inherit perhaps the greatest Irish midfield of all time and he failed to get the best out of them.
But ultimately, these are mere details. He did more to change this country than any politician ever could.
Sleep well, Jack.
It may have occasionally been a tricky relationship, but we loved you.