Think of Ulster Rugby journeying their way down to Dublin and it's impossible to avoid images of 1999 coming to the mind.
The pictures painted that day by supporters - far more memorable than the on field action as the province overcame Colomiers to be crowned European champs - proved such an indelible part of not just that season's unforgettable story, but what we think of as Ulster Rugby in the modern era.
So many wanted to be in attendance at the old Lansdowne Road that stories of how the team bus was buoyed by signs stuck along the motorway declaring their support, as well as instructing the last one out of Ulster to turn out the lights, became a part of team lore.
Now, in actual fact the team had taken the train and been holed up in the Berkley Court since midweek, but we've never been a people to let the facts get in the way of a good yarn.
Still, the scenes in the city centre that Saturday morning had hardy, grown men in tears, the sheer number of well-wishers who had convoyed their way to D4 bringing home just what that match, and that team, had come to mean to people.
The seeds planted that day are now fully grown trees, Ulster are regularly among the attendance leaders in the league, some percentage of their fanbase is present wherever and whenever the team take the field.
As least until yesterday when all the players could do would be keep their absentee followers in mind as voices echoed around an empty Aviva Stadium during the warm-up.
For all the good work undertaken in order to see a pair of Irish derbies take place amid the sobering realities of a global pandemic, there is no substitute for the bustle of a matchday.
Streets that usually vibrate with energy ahead of a big game were dormant, a sleepy Sunday afternoon in every sense of the word along Lansdowne Road.
No rival fans enjoying a last bite or drink together before making their way through the turnstiles, the usual unmistakeable matchday smells of spilled Guinness and fried onions replaced with the ever-present whiff of hand sanitiser.
Given the size of the task, confirmation had only arrived on Friday that there would even be a media presence in place to witness the games, the lucky few members of the fourth estate there to witness rugby's return likely glad that the temperature checks needed for entry came before and not after the stairs that have replaced the out-of-bounds lifts as the preferred path to the press-box at the very top of the West Stand.
That the much discussed protocols were in reality surprisingly straightforward will only serve to heighten the hopes of all involved that fans too can soon make their safe return but, as the teams knew they would have to long ago, for now they plough in near isolation.
Dan McFarland, Ulster's thoughtful head-coach with an interest in psychology, had mitigated against the circumstances as best he could, having his team train more often in their own Kingspan Stadium to increase their comfort in front of empty terraces with even a referee brought in to bring a legitimacy to proceedings.
Nothing though could quite prepare for the surreal reality that lay ahead, Ulster emerging onto the field in near silence with a sole ironic clap coming from somewhere unclear the only thing to fill the void. As the notional home team at the neutral venue, Connacht at least had some music as they emerged separately from the tunnel.
Leinster's win over Munster the night before had certainly laid out a roadmap for making light of the changed circumstances - if the rugby is of a sufficient standard and intensity then the background can briefly become just that, background.
It was in the intensity department, though, that Ulster seemed to be lacking. While there were moments to remind you of all you've missed, a meaty carry here, a thumping tackle there, too much seemed to have been lost having built the game into a "must-win" all week only to arrive at kick-off and find their work had already been done for them by Edinburgh.
Under the circumstances, with every whoop, cheer and holler audible all the way to the rafters of the Aviva, it was most certainly those in the green jerseys who sounded like they were having more fun, attempts from Ulster to gee themselves up to secure a result that had ceased to matter in the end had the feel of shouts into a vacuum.
On any other day, it would have been a performance to forget but, under the circumstances, it remained a day to remember.
Despite what we're constantly told, there's nothing normal about what's new here.
And yet, tentative as it was, set against a backdrop of such uncertainty for so many, this tiny slice of normality was something to savour. Finally.