The fizzy pop league so far for Newcastle United
When Newcastle United were relegated to the Coca-Cola Championship there were many who thought that the Magpies could quite easily go on and do another Leeds.
Depressingly, talking to Leeds fans who had suffered the drop from the big time to what many of us will always call the Third Division resulted in a warning of "get ready, because you are in for more pain".
But so far, the Championship experience has been much less painful than expected.
Without doubt a club the size of Newcastle United should not be in the second tier.
But that's where they are and while the political side of life at Newcastle still requires major repair - you can't take anything the way from the players who have worked hard to keep Newcastle top of the table.
At times, I have felt sorry for the players this season who did stay to fight on, simply because whatever they achieved on the field was overshadowed by events off it - all of it beyond their control.
A look down the list of Toon stars does not display a team that started the 2008/09 season on the first team stage.
It is not entirely the team that went down, with exits for Owen, Viduka, Martins, Beye, Duff and Edgar.
At the start of last season Andy Carroll, Steve Harper and Nile Ranger were all regarded as reserve team or back-up players, Alan Smith was injured, while the likes of Ryan Taylor, Peter Lovenkrands and Kevin Nolan weren't even at the club - a big chunk of the team.
Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas were also still getting their feet under the table in a new country never mind a new league or club and all hell broke out (Keegan-gate) with Danny Guthrie also a new face who could not have predicted what has unfolded in the last 15 months.
Yes, you do have players like Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique and Nicky Butt but they have already proved their worth at times this season and will go on to do so in my opinion.
This is not painting a picture that presents life in Newcastle as blissful at the moment, far from it.
Just simply giving the players credit where it's due, so far this season.
True, there are still 30 games to go.
There is also major work required to improve the squad for the second part of the season and more worryingly for potential promotion back to the top flight.
The politics at Newcastle are still a million miles away from being sorted out but while 44,000 fans keep turning up, they job of the players must surely be to keep on winning.
Yes, we've had our share of upsets on the field this season, Blackpool, Scunthorpe and Forest - all three of which were well documented - not to mention the Carling Cup exit at Peterborough.
But with fans backing the team to the hilt and the players responding to that incredible support, the nightmare that many outsiders predicted for Newcastle in this league and the fears that United would sink like a stone are yet to be a reality.
So then 16 down, 30 to go and all's well on the pitch at least.