Sunday League football is a beautiful spectacle. Tens of thousands of us dedicate every Saturday, Sunday or all weekend to the game and we wouldn't change it for the world.
There are plenty of reasons, all completely viable, why so many of us turn up every weekend, but what are the undeniable truths about playing on a cold, damp, overcast, winters morning?
Here's a list containing some of the things that never fail to happen.
1. The opposition linesman is always a cheat
Those pesky linesmen. There is without a doubt at least two occasions during the game when the opposition lino will stick his flag up for offside when your striker was 10 yards inside his own half.
It's inevitable. A last-minute corner that could win you the game is a given as a goal kick as the ref can't see because he's on the halfway line (obviously) and needs his trusty linesman to help.
On the upside, they are a fantastic scapegoat when you don't win.
2. Actual, 100%, real-life goalkeepers are the stuff of dreams
Goalkeepers are a dying breed and when your team has a fully committed lad consistently between the sticks, the hopes of a win and a clean sheet every week are increased dramatically.
Otherwise, if you're the 3rd choice left back, it might be time to bulk up and get used to sticking the gloves on every week.
3. Warm-ups aren't really warm-ups
Are you a proper Sunday League team if you don't spend 50% of the time smashing balls at your keeper, then spend the other 50% of the time watching the other team doing the exact same thing to see if they're any good?
Most of the time, they're just as bad as you are, so there's nothing to worry about.
4. Your kit is still caked in last weeks mud
Either no one has taken responsibility to clean the kit, whoever is responsible has never used a washing machine before or your team simply loves a good slide tackle when it's muddy... (who doesn't?)
5. Not having to put the nets down is a beautiful feeling
It doesn't matter if you've won, drawn or lost 8-0, the feeling of not having to put the nets down after the game is almost as good as the winning feeling itself.
When you do, especially when you've lost, it's an absolute chore. The excuses about having to leave early to have Sunday dinner at your grandparents suddenly appear at the end of the game...
6. It's rarely the team's fault when you lose
To keep morale and the belief that you are the best team in the league, there's always something else to blame for your heavy defeat.
The pitch, the ref, the linesman or the ever popular "we were just unlucky guys" are normally the go-to excuses.
7. Most of the team are hungover
There is very rarely a time where at half the team isn't hanging from a wild Friday or Saturday night in town.
Those last three Jager bombs, followed by a tequila shot that you necked at 2:38 am aren't feeling like such a good idea now.
8. The referee rarely leaves the centre circle
This isn't the Premier League, so most Sunday league refs aren't actually that fit. Why bust a gut to get near the action when you can just chill in the centre circle for £40?
9. Two footed tackles are standard
You know full well the likelihood of you being on the receiving end of a late, high, two-footed tackle during the game is high.
Match of the Day would have to extend their programme by three and a half hours to cover some of the woeful challenges that are thrown in.
10. The socks always have holes in
It's a race to get the socks without the huge rips in, there's probably one guy on your team who always gets into the changing room first to grab the nicest pair...
If you have any more fantastic truths about Sunday League, we'd love to hear them. Leave your comments below.
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