Since the Yankees' final dynastic title in 2000, nearly two decades have passed since a team won even two World Series in a row, let alone four out of five years.
With the salary tax acting as a de facto salary cap, don't expect another baseball empire any time soon.
Since the advent of the NHL salary cap, the Chicago Blackhawks' run of three Stanley Cups in six years is the modern version of a hockey dynasty, but you've seen what a hard cap has done to the Hawks' roster every summer.
Imagine the '80s Oilers having to give up Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri, Esa Tikkanen, Steve Smith, Charlie Huddy, Kevin Lowe and maybe even Paul Coffey is the middle of that ridiculous run.
It was Gary Bettman's dream to ensure that no team would win four out of five, or five out of seven, the way the Oilers did. A glance at the Hawks of this decade and you can see that it will never happen again.
In the NBA, there will never be another Michael Jordan, so there will never be another Chicago Bulls of the '90s. Two three-peats would have been an eight-peat had Jordan stuck with basketball in his prime.
It remains to be seen just what the Warriors will accomplish with all that talent.
And then there is the NFL, where a team's mismanagement must be superb to miss the postseason. The league is so bad that awful teams make the playoffs every season.
Yet, somehow, the Chicago Bears have managed one playoff appearance and a lonely playoff victory in the last 11 years. In the last 17 years, the Bears have played in seven postseason games and lost four.
In those same 17 years, the Patriots have played in 12 conference title games and participated in eight Super Bowls, including three of the last four. They've won five titles so far in seven tries.
And while the Bears celebrate 14 victories the last three seasons as an accomplishment, the Pats have won at least 14 games in a single season five times during this impossible run of greatness.
But the Bears are to be congratulated and the Patriots hated.
Since the John Elway repeat in 1998, only the Patriots have gone back-to-back, winning in 2003-04. If they win again in Minneapolis in a little less than two weeks, it will be a repeat and three titles in four years, the second time they've gone three out of four in this stretch.
The only constant, of course, has been the pairing of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. There can no longer be a question about their standing as the best ever at their respective jobs.
It's never been harder to do, what with decent talent so hard to find, and yet it's never been done better by any GM, coach or quarterback.
With one more Super Bowl victory, Belichick will pass George Halas and Vince Lombardi for most NFL titles, but neither had to work with free agency, the salary cap, a 16-game schedule and talent spread so very thin among so many teams.
Brady holds just about every postseason record there is, and with one more playoff victory Brady will have more wins than any other quarterback has started playoff games.
Consider that 13 years ago, Brady faced Donovan McNabb in the Super Bowl, in which the Pats defeated the Eagles. McNabb is 41 and retired seven years ago. Brady will be 41 in August.
So why all the hate for New England, Belichick and Brady?
Is it the arrogance? Is it that they give you nothing at a news conference? Do they not smile enough? Do they not make promises? Do they not give you the hard sell? Do they not know everyone's name when they speak to the press?
Or is it simply the winning?
There have been so many incarnations of this dynasty, so many different schemes, so many adjustments to whatever the need of the moment.
They have an owner who stays out of the way, and they are simply smarter than everyone else at finding what they need and getting it done on the field.
And at the same time, never the need to prove to everyone they are the smartest ones in the room.
Sports will almost certainly never see another dynasty like this one. No NFL coach will again have this kind of success; no quarterback will want to play this long, take this beating and still need so badly to win.
Victory or not this time around, this extraordinary and consistent level of greatness should be celebrated, not reviled.
If indeed the Patriots do win this time, it will be their sixth title in 17 years, during which the Bears have won three playoff games.
But it's the Patriots who are evil.
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