Many of us who give the British and Irish Lions little thought during the four years between series celebrated Saturday’s victory chiefly due to the humbling of Australia, which to scarred fans of a certain age will never get old.
For others, the success of the tour gave continued validation to the Lions concept being part of their very sporting fabric.
Take my lifelong family friend, Vince Aleman, who this year was among the thousands who followed the tour for the first time.
“Following the Lions was never considered a realistic possibility for the vast majority of Welsh rugby fans growing up in the 1950s,” Vince said.
“The only way you would go on a Lions tour was as a player or if you won the pools - in reality you probably had a better chance making it as a player.”
There is always a temptation to yearn for the old days in sport and bemoan the lack of purity in modern contests, due to the stifling cloak of professionalism, media overkill and increasing corporatism - especially the poisonous use of the term ‘brand’ to cheapen passion to a fiscal commodity.
But modernism has given rugby fans the opportunity to feel a part of recent Lions tours in a way they never could have done during the legendary 1971 and 1974 trips and, as Vince explains, bonding away from home is very much a rugby tradition.
“Touring is an integral part of the rugby union culture especially among the junior clubs travelling to a different country - be it Ireland, France or daft places like Benidorm,” Vince says.
“A lot of rugby players are great talkers of deeds and, on and off the pitch, the most heroic usually take place on tour.
“The Lions tour is the big daddy of all them all, with the best players and locations. It is the ultimate tour for a player or, for us mere mortals, as fans.
“A supporter can liken it to a trip to Mecca - you should always make one in your lifetime.”
The unity of rugby lovers cheering the northern hemisphere side on, vividly expressed by the collective singing of Bread of Heaven and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, totally transcended class and nation.
Though Vince revels in Wales’ recent success against England, he takes no extra pleasure in the Welsh domination of the squad, from their national coach leading the side to the captain(s) and 10 men in the starting XV in the third Test.
“It makes no difference to me as a Lions supporter,” Vince says. “If people have any other thoughts they have missed the whole point of the Lions tour.”
On a dream weekend for the sports fan from middle England, it is also worth noting their contribution to this tour.
Roy Keane’s “prawn sandwich” comment is repeated ad nauseam to signify the tame, less passionate atmosphere at football grounds due to the pricing out of poorer fans - and often with good reason.
Wembley matches continue to be cheapened as a spectacle after half-time when the arch overshadows empty mid-level seats vacated by those enjoying corporate hospitality.
But to belittle the genuine passion for the Lions of those from higher socio-economic backgrounds and suggest it means less to them than a fan from Welsh mining stock is as asinine as the oft-heard quote from musicians de jour that the only important or ‘real’ music comes from the streets. Which is fine if you’re happy to wipe Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Nick Drake from your collection.
The passion of the whole rugby community for this contest, devotion to its history and pure love of the game gives the series continued meaning. On that firm base, sponsorships and everything else follows.
The continuation of a tour every four years is an anachronism that makes no sense either commercially (in which case tours should at least be bi-annually) or in terms of trying to maintain a stable rugby calendar of club and international competition.
But many important sporting institutions do not make logistical sense. Their survival depends on players and fans on both sides continuing to buy into the concept, which is undoubtedly still the case.
“The Lions tour is a throwback to the true amateur days, when you would just turn up and play for the love of the game, batter your opponents for 80 mins and become best of friends over the next six hours,” Vince adds.
“This is what the Lions tradition is all about - making new friends in distant places joined by the love of rugby.”
And just as Vince’s love for rugby was passed on to his son James, who accompanied him to matches this year, and is clearly seen in his rugby-mad grandson, so the legend of the Lions will go on and on.