For a time this afternoon Stephen Hendry was the no.1 trending topic on Twitter.
I wonder what this meant to him? Knowing Stephen, probably nothing. Neither did all the handshakes and congratulations, well meant though they were. Neither, even, will the money, welcome though it is.
Why? Because for the authentic greats of sport, achievement is all. To have made a third Crucible 147, the 11th of his career, is what really matters. Everything around it – all the platitudes and comment – is an irrelevance.
Much of sport exists as a soap opera. Snooker is not immune. But amidst the tantrums and spats and hype, we must never forget that the true test of greatness in sport is achievement.
Hendry has achieved more than any other player of the television age and today underlined once again why he is, by any objective measure, the greatest.
The first few shots of the maximum were all missable but he quickly achieved prime position and never looked like missing, even potting a Thorburnesque yellow.
I read in the Daily Telegraph today that Judd Trump had suddenly made snooker more attacking.
Trump is a delight to watch but snooker has been attacking for more than 20 years.
Hendry is the modern era’s true game-changer. He pioneered a way of playing which all those who came after him copied. Some, such as Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins, have arguably improved on it.
But the reason they all play how they do is because they saw Hendry do it, to remarkable effect in his pomp.
Today’s overall performance was a reminder of what made him so great: all out attack, nerveless potting and clinical break-building.
This is the way snooker is now routinely played – witness Neil Robertson’s three successive centuries on the other table.
The question now is how far Hendry can go in this tournament. On this form a long way, but let’s not get carried away.
We live in an age of opinions – blogs, forums, Twitter and the rest. But when all the chatter is blown away and forgotten – which it will be – achievements will stand in time.
Stephen Hendry’s achievements will be looked back on by snooker historians of the future as landmark feats, defining the era in which snooker saw playing standards rise.
As for the present, the game can cherish a champion still capable of defying the years, the critics and the comment.
When all else is gone, his achievements speak for themselves.