If winning fixes everything, why are the stands still empty when the ACT Brumbies run on to Canberra Stadium?
Sure, there was a roar when they romped to their 10th consecutive win at home on Friday night. But it was the roar of 7000, not 15,000 or 20,000.
Maybe the earliest start to a season in Super Rugby history has caught everyone off guard. Or maybe low crowds is the new reality for a code struggling to gain traction on and off the field.
The Brumbies averaged 12,000 or more to home games in the first 20 years of Super Rugby, but numbers have slipped to record lows since 2017.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar launched an impassioned plea this week, asking fans to let old wounds heal to be a part of a new era.
Readers of The Canberra Times are yet to be convinced, flooding social media with reasons why they've stopped attending matches.
AUSTRALIAN RUGBY WOES
Israel Folau and the Western Force are gone, but they are certainly not forgotten.
Australian rugby has been plagued by off-field woes for the past four years, highlighted by Folau's homophobic posts on social media and the ensuing legal battle.
The latest distraction is broadcast deal uncertainty, with Rugby Australia set to test the market for the first time in 25 years.
"[The Brumbies] are suffering from the fact that rugby is suffering in Australia," reader Justin Watson said.
"No free-to-air games has definitely hurt the code overall ... sure the Brumbies are the best Australian rugby side, but that's in a comp that is losing relevance."
MORE BRUMBIES NEWS
The introduction of new teams in expanded and confusing conference systems have led to crowds dropping across all Super Rugby franchises.
More than 27,000 fans went to a South African derby in Cape Town last weekend, but just 4800 watched the Lions beat the Reds in Johannesburg.
The NSW Waratahs also stooped to a record low, with 7500 watching their loss in Newcastle.
The fans aren't talking about the disastrous results of 2011. They're talking about the boardroom angst, which has divided Canberra rugby union circles for a decade.
Some still resent the way coach Andy Friend was sacked, others refuse to watch after the club was plunged into civil war when chief executive Michael Jones took the board to the ACT Supreme Court in 2016.
"The civil war in the Brumbies a few years ago killed the golden goose," Frank Walmsley said.
"I doubt they will ever get back to the vaulted position as the most popular team in Canberra."
Current coach Dan McKellar says it's time to forgive and forget, because his players are the ones suffering despite their winning start to the year.
"It's time to move on," McKellar said. "There's so much positivity, and even though there's 7000 there you can feel the buzz.
"You can feel a stronger connection. Right now it's just about moving forward, we need the region's support."
'I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS ON'
Most people were scratching their heads when Super Rugby started on January 31, and not just because the game started in 39.5 degree heat.
Casual supporters say they didn't know the competition had started. Part of the problem is SANZAAR, Super Rugby's governing body, give little or no funding to marketing the competition and advertising games.
It's left to the clubs, who are already running on a shoestring budget.
Then take a minute to think about this: The official Super Rugby Twitter account posted just five times between November 8 and January 16. The competition's Instagram account posted four times in the same period.
"Maybe advertise that the games are on," Eddie Ruiz said.
The Brumbies have increased their social media presence, but circumstances outside of their control hurt round-one figures.
The ACT government declared a state of emergency on the afternoon of the round-one game and many opted to stay home as the threat of bushfire became very real.
Kick-off times this season have been moved from 7.45pm to 7.15pm and the Brumbies will host two Sunday afternoon fixtures.
"[How] about the Brumbies and Foxsports sort out a schedule where the game times are actually family friendly," Dale Wynn said.
Fox Sports sets the broadcast times and is reluctant to shift away from night-time rugby, despite repeated requests from clubs.
The Brumbies have three Friday night games, three Saturday night games and two Sunday afternoon games this year.
The Brumbies have tried to revamp their game-day experience this season to give fans something more than rugby to enjoy.
Canberra Stadium will allow fans on the field after six of eight home games this year, membership packages have been cut to 2009 prices (about a 30 per cent drop) and several "extras" have been added to the precinct.
The government has cut early-bird parking fees to $5 if you arrive in the 45 minutes after gates open.
But live sport isn't cheap, especially if you're trying to take a family.
Jamie Mcgahey said: "Drop the price at the gate can go to the club feed family and still watch it for nearly 2/3 of the gate fee."
CONNECTING WITH CANBERRA
One of the biggest criticisms of the Brumbies is they lost their Canberra connection. Fans have felt as though the players weren't invested in the city, and they therefore didn't invest in the team.
McKellar has tried to change that perception this year, building community service into the training schedule every week.
About 20 Brumbies were at the Braidwood sevens on the weekend and McKellar and assistants Peter Hewat and Laurie Fisher are planning to visit every amateur club this season to help coaches and players.
"Brumbies USED to be the hottest ticket in town ... they became a victim of their own success, and in doing so, lost touch with community," said Graham Wilson.
"The players have got to get out to the local junior clubs and engage with the juniors at their club ... the kids and the fans have become disillusioned."
The Brumbies also boast 12 players who are either Canberra juniors, or moved to Canberra as teenagers to play club rugby before earning Super Rugby contracts.
Crowd trajectories have been completely opposite for the Brumbies and cross-town rivals the Canberra Raiders in recent years.
NRL grand finalists the Raiders have managed to capture new fans since introducing the Viking clap at the end of 2016.
In 2014 and 2015 the Raiders averaged 9600 people per home game. In the same years, the Brumbies averaged 12,500.
Fast forward to 2019: The Raiders averaged 16,237 (which includes a home preliminary final) and the Brumbies 8798 (including a home quarter-final).
"Go the Raiders," several readers wrote on Facebook.
The reality is both need decent crowd numbers if they want the ACT government to build a new stadium in Civic.