Here we are, not quite at the end of January and for Blues' fans there are single digit days left for optimism about Super Rugby in 2020.
This is the golden stage of the season for those who remain bold enough to stick with the Blues. It's the last window of hope – the remaining days of the year when the mind has no conflicting evidence to stop it from believing that all the old problems have been fixed and a new future of clinical, ruthless rugby awaits.
And this year has offered hope like no other. The Blues have recruited the world's best attacking player in Beauden Barrett – the one man who really can transform their attack from frantic to brilliant.
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They have found a potential diamond in Finlay Christie – a live-wire halfback who looks like he could be special if he's given consistent game time.
Joe Marchant has come from England and while no one here had any idea who he was before he signed late last year, the fact he's won England caps under Eddie Jones is enough in itself to be sure he's got something worth being excited about.
There's the belief that a genuine leader has been unearthed in Patrick Tuipulotu. He's been a time finding himself but he's done it and while there are supposedly a legion of quiet men in rugby teams across the country who are worth listening to when they sporadically speak, Tuipulotu is different in that he really is worth listening to.
The Ioane brothers say they are coming into Super Rugby with the sort of motivation that evaded them last year and the depth of their desire and need to reshape their rspective career trajectories is strong enough to drag thousands of hopeful fans with them.
A coaching group that was shoved into the 2019 season only weeks before it started has guided the team through two successful pre-season games in 2020 to deepen the belief that, a year on, they are a year wiser.
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All these factors have combined to take optimism to peak levels ahead of the Blues' opening game against the Chiefs at Eden Park on Friday night.
But what the first game of the year does is offer a tangible basis to determine whether the optimism can remain or whether, like it has been since 2003, it is horribly misplaced.
The first game brings a dose and sadly for Blues' fans it seems more likely that Friday will burst the bubble somewhat – that the Chiefs will expose the same old failings.
Or rather, they will expose the particular failing that has crippled the Blues and been at the heart of all their problems for almost two decades now. And that problem is that there has been a psychological fault-line running through the Blues since they last won the title 17 years ago.
Across that timeline they have been afflicted with other issues at various stages. There have been seasons where their basic skills have been poor. They have been hurt most years by their lack of a punishing kicking game, while in 2015 they were a victim of their poor defence.
What's been consistent, though, is that under pressure, they have lacked the ability to make good decisions.
It's the story they can't re-write. Look back across the last few seasons and the Blues have been able to compete with the best for long periods.
Last year especially they were in the fight in almost every local derby they played. They had the Crusaders on the ropes at Eden Park. They were in control against the Highlanders in Dunedin and neck and neck with the Chiefs in Hamilton.
When they went to Brisbane they had the Reds all but broken and in Canberra, the Brumbies looked like they just needed the fork stuck in as they were done but five games that could and should have been won were lost.
And they were lost because the Blues couldn't collectively stay composed and execute the big moments.
Tight games of rugby always swing on little moments of indecision, stupidity or inaccuracy and sadly for the Blues, they are the team that is so often guilty of taking out the gun and blasting off their own foot.
Ahead of the season starting it's easy to forget all this and find hope in the arrival of Barrett and the maturity of Tuipulotu.
But come Friday there has to be some tangible evidence that the Blues can think their way to victory: that they can put the ball in the right places and come up with the right plays when things are tense.
Maybe this year the Blues will finally rid themselves of the mental fragility that has doomed the club to mediocrity.
Or maybe it would be better for Blues followers to enjoy the next few days in sweet, blissful denial about what awaits.