You dig deep with the Blues. Start the game staunch, reaching for all your reserves of tough, drawing on those weeks of training, months now, letting muscle memory of what to do and how to do it better fill every fibre of your being, calling on those visualisation exercises you learned in school sport, making yourself a promise.
I will cope with every challenge, I will get back up after every body check, I will overcome every dubious murky obstruction in the bottom of every ruck, I will rise above it all. We all will. You get yourself, above all, in the right head space. We can do this. I can do this. We will win.
Sheesh, it's hard being a fan. Do the players go through this too?
The Blues ran out on the ground at Canberra on Saturday night with a string of three losses, four wins and then two more losses behind them. No wins away from home all year. Time to put a stop to the nonsense: it was only the Brumbies, who are, frankly, a team of deadbeats.
The Blues ran out on the ground at Canberra and put 15 points on the deadbeats before most of us were onto the second beer.
Fullback Melani Nanai, his legs twice as long and five times springier than any other player's, was bursting the line like a gazelle running through a field of warthogs.
Skinny as first-five Otere Black looks like a hepatitis patient on day release from hospital, but he dragged down every warthog who ran at him.
Midfielder T.J. Faiane ran away from them all to score and then winger Caleb Clarke did the same, intercepting a Brumbies pass that looked like it belonged in a game of schoolyard throw-around. This was fun.
Monday Blues: Another win and the sound of 'happiness moaning'
The Blues: Finally, that win we needed! Now, can we please cut the cheating?
But then it turned out that was it. By halftime the deadbeats were back in the game, the score 15-12.
It's tough enough being a Blues fan without having to deal with existential doubt about rugby itself.
The Blues did have a few more moments. Loose forward Tom Robinson stopped a certain try by holding the ball up under a pile of all the warthogs on the park. Ma'a Nonu never stopped running, passing, tackling, being his amazing self. But it was all to no good.
The Blues scrum kept getting monstered. Check that: all the Blues props, including that pair of cuddly granite monuments, All Blacks Karl Tu'inukuafe and Ofa Tu'ungafasi, were clobbered out of the game.
As for the game itself, it just turned awful. The Brumbies attacked the Blues tryline and the Blues gave away a penalty. The Brumbies called for a scrum and monstered the Blues props some more, and there was another penalty, or the Blues attacked the side of the ruck and there was another penalty. This went on literally forever, if you will excuse a hint of hyperbole.
The back got out their phones and wrote Insta messages to their mums, or whatever backs do when forwards are spoiling the party for everyone.
"Some silly penalties," said co-captain Blake Gibson, a forward, after the game. What? When half the game is one long stretch of penalties against your team, it's not "silly penalties". It's a game plan and you should not be playing it.
It's tough enough being a Blues fan without having to deal with existential doubt about rugby itself. What is the point of this? Who wants to pay to go out and watch that? Who's going to sit in and watch it? They had "The Empire Strikes Back" on the other channel: Han Solo and Princess Leia kissing! Yoda being wise! Appealing his wisdom is.
Even if you've seen it a hundred times already, hearing Darth Vader say "I am your father" is vastly more entertaining than watching a bunch of grown men keep doing the same pointless, boring, illegal things and expecting a different result.
I'm not complaining about the effort. You can see how much it hurts, mentally as well as physically, to do what they do. I'm complaining about the plan. Playing ugly rugby and losing - really?
It's not just the Blues. The same thing happened in the Crusaders game the night before: the force was not with the champions of the universe as they gave away eight kickable penalties and then their opponents, the Sharks, gave away a million more, defending on their line, and it all ended up in a draw. Served them both right.
The Sunwolves in their game had three players sent off at the same time, for the same kind of defensive cheating. And on it went, all round the comp.
Some refs ignore it, some keep blowing the whistle, some send players off, some give penalty tries. None of it is working well enough, and all the while the stadiums are empty. Not many people went to the Blues game in Canberra. Not many go to most of the games. Even in Christchurch, the Crusaders don't have a big fanbase that actually bothers to turn up.
Do the rugby gods care? Or have they stopped watching, too?
Meanwhile, there's the hair. In among all those lovely long streaming locks, devilishly handsome moustaches, fancy razor cuts and brutal buzz cuts, one long lingering question has finally been resolved. Yes, there is such a thing as a good mullet, and no, it's not the dead rabbit on top of Crusader Jack Goodhue's head.
Check out Brumbies loose forward Pete Samu.
Blues 21, Brumbies 26. Give them all a cuddle and put them to work. Sparkling rugby, please. You know you can do it.