Sometimes in sport, a club builds the most impossibly compelling back story that wins the hearts of neutrals.
Sometimes a club can be so deeply affected by adversity outside of their control that it can persuade fans of even their most fierce rivals to grudgingly drop arms and just for 80 minutes, wish them well.
After the Munich air disaster in 1958, who in England - even in Liverpool - didn't want Manchester United to somehow honour those eight players who lost their lives by winning something?
Or what about when Liverpool were in the 1989 FA Cup final, only five weeks after 96 of their fans had died in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster?
Victory didn't bring closure or anything close, but it would have taken the coldest soul among neutrals to have actively supported their Merseyside rival Everton in the final.
Some tragedies over ride everything - are bigger than petty rivalries, and historic prejudice. And maybe it's not fully appreciated in New Zealand, but the Crusaders have a back story that fits into the same tragic category as those suffered by England's two major football clubs.
In 2011 185 people died in the Christchurch earthquake. The city was physically destroyed and with the CBD still littered with rubble and homes still awaiting repair work, the emotional scars of February 22, 2011 are a long way from being healed.
The Crusaders, a symbol of the region's devotion to hard work and a team that were considered to reflect their community's core values of cohesion, integrity, honesty and fraternity, were made homeless, forced into a nomadic life which saw them play 'home' games in Nelson, Timaru, Napier and London.
Against all the odds, they came within 10 minutes of being crowned champions that year, falling short in the stifling heat of Brisbane where it looked as if all the travel and all the emotional stress of the previous four months hit them harder than either the Reds or the humidity.
Had they managed to win in 2011, it would have been one of the greatest journeys in sport: the sort of campaign Hollywood wouldn't have been able to resist.
But they didn't and the story felt unfinished and then dramatised further by the fact that the Crusaders were back in Australia three years later, only to be denied in the last minute of the 2014 final against the Waratahs due to a refereeing decision that was entirely wrong and openly admitted to be so.
And now, this weekend, the Crusaders have another chance to finish what they started in 2011 and complete one of the more memorable chapters in their already memorable history.
Can New Zealanders, regardless of Super Rugby affiliation, really get up in the middle of the night and cheer on the Lions?
Can so-called Kiwi neutrals really find the desire to revel in Crusaders failure should it happen, knowing what the region has endured - knowing how many lives have been affected and in some cases ruined by the earthquake?
Victory for the Crusaders won't bring closure in a practical sense: it won't mend houses, build roads or fix schools. But emotionally, symbolically, it will provide some kind of sense that normality has returned.
It will, if nothing else, bring a short-term lift in spirits and those New Zealanders ready to cheer on the Lions this weekend should think ask whether they are being driven towards that by spite, pettiness and long-standing prejudice rather than any deep and enduring love of the South African franchise.
Tribal rivalry is what makes sport tick. It is, perhaps, what a modern construct such as Super Rugby lacks, but for one weekend, it is time for a truce.