Consumer warning: If you're a Blues player who hates extra pressure stop reading now.
Sunday afternoon's Super Rugby Aotearoa game against the Hurricanes at Eden Park is the most important match the Blues have faced since the final against the Crusaders 17 years ago.
There couldn't be a better chance for the heartbreak kids to win hearts and minds and dollars than right now, so it's vital they don't blow it.
A few weeks ago when Nick Sautner, the CEO of Eden Park, was on Newstalk ZB with Simon Barnett and I, the reaction to his imaginative plan to deal with level 2 Covid-19 regulations to allow up to 5000 people to see the game was cynical, and sometimes scathing. One text summed the general feeling up: "He's joking if he thinks 5000 people are stupid enough to want to watch the Blues."
Now it's likely that more than 35,000 will turn up, and if the Blues win the match could mark the return of decent-sized crowds to Eden Park.
So what's actually happened here? Why is there a rush of enthusiasm for the Blues? Why is Martin Devlin calling them cool? Let's count the way the stars are aligning for a team that after breaking hearts for a decade is finally letting the sunshine in.
1) The city's been starved of live sport. The last time the Blues played at Eden Park was 13 long weeks ago, when they whipped the Lions, 43-10.
2) There's literally no competition for the sports/entertainment dollar. The Warriors are in Australia. Mind you, even if they'd been in town, and played at Mt Smart last Friday night, a display like the one in their 26-0 loss to the Panthers at Campbelltown Stadium would have meant only a masochist could be yearning to see them this weekend.
3) Dan Carter. The reaction to Carter's arrival has bordered on hysteria, but there's some genuine substance to the Carter signing. This is not Benji Marshall, coming to Auckland in 2014, after playing nothing but league for 12 years.
Carter, at 38, may be nine years older than Marshall was in 2014, but Carter's the best first-five the world has seen in the last 50 years, and all he's played is rugby. Inside the squad Carter, never an arrogant person, is potentially a massive gift for a young player who wants to learn how to prepare for a game, and stay in icy control during it.
4) Beauden Barrett. Otere Black was in excellent form before Covid-19 arrived. But if Barrett starts at fullback on Sunday, Blues coach Leon MacDonald has the massive luxury of being able, at any time in the game, to switch him into first-five. Let's not forget that in 2016 and 2017 Barrett was voted world player of the year as a No 10.
The man who controls a game more than any other is the first-five. Without a top-level first-five an otherwise hugely gifted team can be a new Ferrari with a 1968 Skoda steering rack.
Carlos Spencer at his best was a magician at first-five for the Blues when they won their only titles, in 1996, 1997 and 2003. But as good as he could be the expression "runs hot and cold" could sadly have been invented for him. Barrett is, to borrow a phrase from Trump, "a very stable genius", and, the figures at Blues' training show, a super fit one too.
5) Management at the Blues and at Eden Park has stepped up. The special deal where an adult paying $20 can take a kid for free is exactly what the occasion demands. Add in the fact that fans will be allowed onto the field at the end of the game, and it's starting to look a bit like the good old days.
(In passing, contrary to the belief of several censorious people I spoke to during the week, the Andrew Hore who is the innovative CEO at the Blues is not Andrew Hore the former All Black hooker who became notorious outside rugby when he and two friends were fined $2500 each in 2005 after pleading guilty to shooting a fur seal on the Otago coast. Andrew Hore of the Blues is a former Christchurch club player, who's made his real mark in rugby off the field, as a conditioning expert with the Crusaders and Wales, and as an administrator with the Ospreys in Wales and the Waratahs in Sydney. And while they may be namesakes, the Andrews are not related.)
6) The stars were already aligning for the Blues before Covid-19 arrived. Coach MacDonald as a player was not only physically fearless (his first XV coach in Blenheim, Kieran Keane, once told me, "He was so brave that sometimes I used to cringe") but he was also mentally tough. There's a chance now for the Blues to show that the MacDonald-like composure they were showing in March is a permanent fixture.
There are two more crucial elements to Sunday being the start of a brave new world at Eden Park. One is how the referee, Mike Fraser, polices the breakdown.
There have been very clear instructions to all referees that the contest for the ball after a tackle must change from a bar-room brawl in footy boots to something much closer to the original intent of the rules, a fair contest that doesn't involve players off their feet scrambling for the ball, or an excuse to not even try to get the ball, but instead smash an opponent.
Fraser, we know, isn't afraid to make tough decisions. He was the referee who in front of a home crowd in March in Wellington, when the Canes were trailing the Blues 17-15 with seven minutes to go, binned Jordie Barrett for a deliberate knockdown and awarded a penalty try to the Blues, who then won 24-15.
Hopefully, Fraser is just the man to let both teams know very quickly he's there to make damn sure the game is the spectacle the fans and the sport are craving.
The second critical factor is that there's a chance, according to the weather forecasters, that the glowing thing in the sky when the game kicks off will be the sun. Praise be to the fact the match is starting at 3.35pm, which means that, even allowing for the traditional traffic jam after the final whistle, getting up for school and work the next day will be no more tiring than on a normal Monday morning.
And if the TAB is right, that the Blues are $1.51 favourites, and the Canes $2.45 outsiders, there may even be a smile on the lips of Auckland rugby fans as they sit in the Monday morning gridlock on their way to work.