Last week, the BBC NI cameras captured excitement in primary schools around the Derry senior football team as they prepared for their first Ulster semi-final since 2015.
Chances are, none of those children were even vaguely aware of that game seven years ago, which finished in a two-point win for Donegal in Clones.
Furthermore, we could say with almost total certainty that none of them were born the last time Derry were in an Ulster final, the 2011 event that they lost to Donegal, which was also in Clones.
After Tyrone won the All-Ireland last year, most of the players were able to recount the warm, fuzzy memories of going along to their last All-Ireland success in 2008.
Being able to draw a line back to the great days is a valuable commodity when it comes to inspiring a new generation.
Going back to Derry’s last Ulster success in 1998, it feels like another world altogether.
That day, just as they will in this year’s decider on May 29, they met Donegal in Clones.
Prior to that game, Jim McGuinness was in line, waiting to shake the hand of some dignitary or other when he noticed his footing was odd.
He looked down and realised he was missing a stud in his football boot. He briefly considered that here he was, getting ready to play in an Ulster final against Anthony Tohill and Brian McGilligan, and he couldn’t even prepare properly.
As soon as McGuinness took over Donegal, he changed the culture to one of complete professionalism.
He did that with one Rory Gallagher alongside him as his assistant. And now Gallagher, the Derry boss, is aiming to take Donegal down in the Ulster final. It’s a small, small world.
That’s one moment that shows how much has changed in the world of GAA since Derry were last kings of Ulster.
The game itself was won by a late, late goal from Joe Brolly, who caught a sumptuous Geoffrey McGonigle handpass inside before rounding Tony Blake and kicking to an unguarded goal.
That play says even more about how the game has changed.
Would someone like McGonigle still feature in today’s game, with the identikit player looking like an underwear model, all abs and measured body fat percentages?
It came in injury time with the score 0-7 each. Brolly had slipped his marker, but the very notion of a sweeper or a packed defence was still more than a decade away.
After he scored, Brolly turned to the Derry fans on the O’Duffy Terrace and blew kisses. That kind of Vaudeville act would prompt most managers into an instant substitution, late goal or not.
Nobody would doubt that teams at that time trained hard and put in a big effort to play for their county. The difference now is that sports science has entered the equation and nutrition, rest and conditioning have made the game a different sport.
You can pine for the old days all you want, but it would seem inconceivable back then that a midfielder such as Emmett Bradley could have picked up a short kickout and held off his marker for 60m of a run before having the energy to kick a point over the bar. A superhuman feat.
Back in the 1990s, the cameras would arrive to a training session before a game and capture the team going through their drills.
The players wore an assortment of jerseys from other counties, swapped spoils of war. There might even be the odd ‘Guinness’ or ‘Trip To Tipp’ t-shirt in the mix.
There isn’t a self-respecting junior club team now that aren’t wearing their own training kit to training. Everything matches, everything is uniform in an outward display of unity.
Since 1998, the rules of the game have received several tweaks.
You have midfield marks, defensive marks and forward marks now. Short kickouts and huge presses. Low blocks and full-court presses. The game split into quarters and coaches with tactical boards.
Every manager wears a tracksuit that for the most part is exceedingly unkind. That is one area where we really should go back to the Eamonn Coleman polo top and chinos slacks.
You had sin bins, then they went away before coming back for the black card.
But above all for Derry fans, they haven’t had a team to cheer to the rafters like this for a long time.
As a Tyrone man — a Tyrone man, indeed — said to me on Monday: “Derry are a breath of fresh air.”