Blues in Euro drama. We've seen that headline before. And it was wheeled out again last week after Linfield made it through to the next round of the Champions League without the wearisome imposition of having to play an actual game of football.
With two of their Kosovan opponents' team testing positive for coronavirus, there was no option for Uefa mandarins - just down the road at their Nyon HQ - other than award Linfield a walkover.
So the Irish League champions, having enjoyed a short break in the crisp, clean Swiss air while at the same time trousering a hefty six-figure fee, are back in (proper) European action tonight against Legia Warsaw in the Polish capital, and hoping to progress in this season's tournament even before the previous one has concluded. Cheers, Covid-19.
As dramatic events involving the Blues go, however, this pales in comparison to the madness I witnessed while accompanying a previous generation Linfield team on what turned out to be an unforgettable six-week European odyssey 27 years ago.
Then managed by Trevor Anderson, they had been paired with Dinamo Tbilisi of newly independent ex-Soviet republic Georgia in what had just been re-christened the 'Uefa Champions League', although the 'league' bit wouldn't kick in until after the second round proper.
And there was plenty of squeaky-bum drama before a ball was even kicked, with our charter plane forced into a terrifying middle-of-the-night emergency landing in Ukraine after cockpit warning lights suggested (wrongly, but we didn't know it at the time) that the landing gear hadn't properly locked down. Several players were treated by the club doctor for trauma; the rest of us self-medicated.
When we finally got to Tbilisi, the civil war that had paralysed Georgia after it declared independence from Moscow in 1991 was still raging, and we spent most of the time under armed guard at the hotel, which had a helpful "please leave your firearms at reception" sign in the lobby.
Linfield were actually the first foreigners to visit the 'new' Georgia, and August 18, 1993 would see the first night-time event there for two years; a draconian curfew was lifted for 24 hours just to accommodate this game.
We'd been expecting "a few thousand" to attend; on the night, over 50,000 turned up, including politicians, army generals, diplomats and even local celebrities. This was an 'event'.
'Severnaya Irlaniya Linfield' (as it said on the big screen), supposedly lambs to the slaughter, were anything but, ultimately deprived of a terrific 1-1 outcome by the cruellest of deflected goals. (I was later informed that the Blues passed up an opportunity to sign Dinamo's highly rated young midfielder Georgi Kinkladze for what would have been a club record £100,000. Wonder what became of him?)
A subsequent 1-1 draw in Belfast led to the etching of yet another Euro hard luck story.
Two days later: "Linfield are about to be sensationally reinstated to the European Cup - because opponents Dinamo Tbilisi allegedly bribed match officials during the first leg in Georgia. Uefa are investigating and have immediately suspended Georgian champions Dinamo, who defeated the Blues 3-2 on aggregate after Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Windsor Park."
I know what you're thinking: why in God's name would one of the finest teams in the old Soviet Union feel it was necessary to bung a ref?
I can only think it was to ensure this 'event' went the smooth way the politburo wanted it to, with an emphatic victory for the beloved champions of proud new Georgia.
The Turkish referee, however, handed the damning envelope, containing 5,000 US dollars, to Uefa officials and a delighted, newly reinstated Linfield were en route to playing FC Copenhagen in the next round.
The first leg of that tie at Windsor couldn't have gone any better, goals from Garry Haylock, Ritchie Johnston and John McConnell propelling the Blues to dreamland against a quality side managed by Richard Moller Neilsen - yep, the same bloke who had led Denmark to that astonishing Euro '92 win a year earlier.
It was arguably the finest-ever display by an Irish League team in European football. Surely they wouldn't blow this chance of a lifetime...
Copenhagen a fortnight later, however, was far from wonderful.
As the second leg reached 'injury time', the Blues were 2-0 down on the night but leading 3-2 on aggregate and looking relatively comfortable after a torrid, jittery first half.
There had been no substitutions, no injury stoppages, no bookings for time wasting and no goals scored after the break, hence no added minutes required to account for celebrations.
Unbelievably, however, the Austrian referee kept his whistle peepless until Copenhagen were awarded a free kick just outside the box in the 95th minute. You can guess the rest.
The demoralised, deflated visitors conceded another goal in 'real' extra time, Uefa found nothing sinister in the referee's five minutes of 'ghost injury time', Linfield assistant manager Lindsay McKeown was banned for his vociferous protests - and Copenhagen landed a multi-million pound glamour tie with mighty AC Milan, Gullit, Van Basten, Baresi et al.
In last week's column, I mentioned some of the European horror stories inflicted on Leeds United, but what happened in Denmark that night was the worst football injustice I've personally witnessed.
Having got through all that, some older Bluemen may well be thinking a disease-influenced bye into the next round is merely par for the course.
There's no getting round it... that was a shockingly bad, costly miss by Raheem Sterling.
So bad, it's in danger of defining the young footballer's entire career.
If you think I'm being hyperbolic about that, you should try talking to Gordon Smith.
Although he was no Lionel Messi, the Ayrshire-born Gordon had a more than decent innings with, among others, Kilmarnock, Rangers - where he won a domestic treble and scored 27 goals, including a League Cup final winner against Celtic - Brighton, Manchester City and Oldham.
He made nearly 500 appearances in professional football, scoring 117 times - not bad for someone who was used more as a midfielder than an out-and-out striker. He also bagged a fine goal for Brighton against Manchester United in the 1983 FA Cup final at Wembley - but who remembers that?
It's a lot easier to recall the late glaring opportunity he somehow missed, when the score was 2-2, to bring immortality to the unfancied Seagulls.
They lost the replay 4-0... and the purgatory began for poor Gordon.
I met him once and asked if, over three decades later, it still comes up. His reply: "Only about 30 times a day..."
Sterling's miss for Manchester City against Lyon in the Champions League won't be forgotten in a hurry and, for me, neither will 'pundit' Rio Ferdinand's subsequent comment: "If you'd wanted anyone to have that opportunity, it was probably him."
Really? Ferdinand has played alongside, and against, some of the best strikers ever to grace a football pitch, including Sterling's own Man City team-mate Sergio Aguero.
I can't help being reminded of the legendary John Lennon retort when he was asked if bandmate Ringo Starr was the best drummer in the world.
"He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles," said Lennon.