Not a day I've just randomly plucked from the Gregorian calender, but the day that Steve Kean left Blackburn Rovers. This Saturday just gone marked the one year anniversary of his much celebrated departure from Ewood Park, which if anything acts a suitable period of reflection over what has passed since.
At the time when the news gloriously broke, it was viewed by many as the day the problems that have choked the life out of a once efficient and well oiled footballing machine were supposed to start to disappear. After all, Steve Kean, was/is one of the most disliked manager in footballing history, who virtually an entire fandom insisted had a negative effect on everything he touched - surely things could only get better, as a cheesy five piece pop band from the 90's tried to impart?
The big question is... Has it got better?
As we look at the present day, the answer isn't an easy, straight down the middle, definitive one word answer. Perhaps the shortest one I could give would be to say that it has, but certainly not immediately and with a catalogue of failures and unwise experiments along the way.
To say it hasn't been a roller-coaster of epic proportions to get to the present day would be an unworldly stretch of the truth that even the most avid Kean detractor would struggle to suggest.
No his departure didn't bring about the drastic turnaround in fortunes that we would have hoped, simply because all the other important aspects of running a football club outside of the umbrella Kean was in charge of weren't nearly good enough to support such a revival.
As one wiser member of our fanbase accurately described it, Kean was but a stem of the horrific mismanagement that plagued the club in his tenure, the owners of Venky's have always been the roots of the plant in the soil of Blackburn Rovers transgressions.
That is of course not to suggest that jolly old, lip licking Steve was doing a good job or even coping well under a difficult set of circumstances he had no control over. Quite the opposite, he was an odious schemer who self-served himself from beginning to bitter end.
Who had almost total control over direct reporting to Venky's during his time at the club? Who had a massive say in informing a distant and naive Venky's how things were going operationally day by day? I'll give you a clue... short, stocky guy... Scottish.... not Sam "Crook" Allardyce's best mate as far as we are aware.
To pretend Bullshit Boy didn't play a massive part in what was going wrong is incredibly naive and even to this day there are a fair percentage of onlookers who still attribute what went wrong from later 2010 through to 2012 solely to horrendous ownership and a dissenting crowd. Kean was apparently a victim. Which is inexplicable.
I've often heard the argument "yes but you were 3rd in the Championship when he left the club", so much so that if I had a quid for every time I heard it I'd have saved up enough to buy an Arsenal season ticket. My retort to this lazy comment would be that Rovers were 23rd in the Premier League, which is the division we were in when his glorious managerial stint started. And anyone who had bothered to watch those opening games when we were near the top of the table last season would tell you that we were far from convincing - in fact we were hugely fortunate to be where we were based on performance alone. Happy with the points of course, but with a dim view of our prospects for the future.
One accepted view of the situation was that Kean was actually doing well in a bad situation, sacking him was a mistake as our fall down the division enforced. What hasn't been factored in that train of thought is that we were so gravely out of sorts in both squad and management that we've been on the biggest repair mission in recent memory ever since Kean's position became "untenable" to him.
Rovers WERE getting worse in the aftermath of Kean's depature for a fair while last season, but more as a continuation of the farce the former Coventry and Fulham helped manufacture with the help of the poorly advised souls sat in Pune. Venky's continued to create problems post-Kean, even if one of their biggest ones had been forced out.
Opposing fans rejoiced that Rovers were falling even further under the stewardship of Henning Berg and Michael Appleton, but the individual failings of two managers who (with the benefit of hindsight) should have never been hired certainly doesn't validate the credentials of a former manager who was so woefully out of his depth that chucking him some armbands had long become a lost cause.
And of course, the less said about the firefighting efforts of oxygen thief buffoon Shebby Singh the better. For a man who once told stakeholders they couldn't run a bar, he sure did an excellent job of calling into question his own ability to manage a small rota of pint pulling jobsworths and shake a cocktail successfully. All for £400,000 a year no less.
Of course Kean was going to at least retain parity when held up as comparative stock against the majority of the underqualified individuals who came with and after him - it's like attending a line up of convicted criminals and asking me to pick out which one has the highest moral compass.
The proof that things have started to turn for the better comes in the unlikely form of Gary Bowyer. An examination of the work he has done in recent times will tell you all you need to know. He took the Kean (and in the latter stages Shebby Singh) built, bloated, overpaid squad - granted with some minor surgery carried out - on twice last season in a caretaker role and performed minor miracles.
Observers of the side were finally allowed to use long abandoned words such as "spirit" and "cohesion" when describing our performances under Gary's supervision. Slowly but surely, the general level of performance got and continues to get better and since the summer the team morale on display is vastly improved.
Off the field things are still far from what you would call "good". On the field however we stand to gain more pride and stable progress from a Bowyer side than we ever did under Kean, the situation has likely improved by sheer accident and trial/error on the part of Venky's by arriving at the appointment of Bowyer but to have someone in charge who all and sundry can confidently say has the club's best interests at heart is only a good thing. Regardless of the continued bungling going on around him.
A comparison of the then/now league table positions simply doesn't tell you everything you need to know when trying to defend Kean's reign and the plight that followed. There's a bigger picture to cast your eyes on when making that due assessment, one a lot of finger pointers have so failed far to focus their scrutiny on.
Yes others have failed since the walking sympathy magnet tucked tail and ran, Steve Kean wasn't the be all and end all but if you live in a world where you thought he was the eventual answer or even remotely helping then you're doing a stellar job making consistent shelter under that massive rock you're hiding under.
Steve Kean helped contribute to one of the biggest sporting messes outside of Portsmouth and Rangers.
I'd take where Rovers sit as a team right now every day of the week and twice on Sundays compared to where we were a year ago.
I dare you to find me a demoralised Blackburn Rovers fan who wouldn't...