It's a nice idea that the Rugby Championship this year can be rescoped as a festival, an opportunity to celebrate the game and for the competition to serve as a symbol of triumph for human resilience.
The big sales pitch is that we will witness, against almost unbeatable odds, the best players in the Southern Hemisphere gathering in Australia to play in a tournament that won't be defined by winners and losers, but instead be remarkable for the enduring spirit everyone has shown just to make it there.
The Rugby Championship 2020 is going to be sold as a rugby adventure, a chance to get an early and prolonged look at the next generation of stars who, by dint of cramming six tests into five weeks, are going to be heavily involved.
It won't really be a tournament as we know it. Who wins and by how much won't be the whole story this year because there is a bigger picture – which is that by going ahead with the Rugby Championship, everyone, rugby followers or not, can convince themselves normality is returning.
Maybe World Rugby will endorse this vision by taking heed of All Blacks coach Ian Foster's request to ditch ranking points this year so the giant inequities inflicted by Covid-19 don't see those most afflicted plummet to positions which don't reflect anything other than their status as victims of the pandemic.
And if we buy this version of the Rugby Championship then for five blessed weeks old rivalries can be put to one side and a sense of gratitude can prevail that will be more powerful and enduring than seeing it solely as a tournament to win.
But that's a romanticisation of a much less palatable truth.
The Rugby Championship this year carries a foreboding sense of disaster and increasingly it looks like a smarter idea to call it off now and buy time to build a more engaging and realistic alternative test programme.
Hope is wonderful but it can't exist in the current circumstances. There's nothing to keep it alive and what awaits is a procession of one-sided fixtures, catastrophic injury tolls and probable significant reputational damage for the world champion Springboks.
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These are extraordinary times and while that has invoked a spirit of defiance to persevere and endure in the face of adversity, it's frankly mad that each team is going to play six tests in five weeks.
That would be dangerously ambitious even in an ideal world where all the players were appropriately conditioned and ready.
In this far from ideal world where two of the teams – South Africa and Argentina – are not so much undercooked as raw, it's simply a really bad idea.
It's one thing to hit an iceberg mid-journey, but this is different. There is already a hole in the hull of the Rugby Championship, it's taking in water, the engines are flooded and yet it still intends to set sail.
The whole exercise seems destined to break under-prepared players, produce the sort of not quite-up-to-standard contests that came to define and kill Super Rugby and underwhelm a captive audience.
Everyone loves spotting the next generation, but when they are wearing provincial or Super Rugby jerseys.
When they are already running around in a half-empty test arena it's no longer a case of looking for their strengths, because by then it's too hard to see past all the flaws that are being exposed as a consequence of being pushed into action too soon.
All the spin in the world isn't going to prevent this tournament from being seen for what it really is – an act of desperation to tip something, anything, into the lockdown-induced financial black holes that exist in the respective balance sheets of the national unions of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.
That desperation for cash is understandable, but maybe playing a Rugby Championship in such compromised and inequitable circumstances isn't the right means to fulfil that financial need.
South Africa's domestic players haven't played since March and aren't likely to be in authentic, provincial combat until October 10 and are scheduled to leave for Australia on October 18.
Their European-based players have seen a month or so of action, which has been enough time for Handre Pollard, RG Snyman and Lood de Jager to pick up season-ending injuries.
Reports on the weekend suggested captain Siya Kolisi is not going to be available either and there are doubts about whether Pieter-Steph du Toit will have recovered from major surgery.
As for the Pumas, it's best to not even think about them. Covid is running through their ranks, their players are scattered all over the world and when their top 23 players find it hard enough to compete in the Rugby Championship, goodness only knows how their next tier will cope when they are thrown into action.
The Rugby Championship can sell itself as a festival all it likes, but no one is going to be celebrating.
It's not too late, though, to change course and bring us test football in a patched-up, sea-worthy vessel that is not destined to sink.