When the AFL had their "Rivalry Round", it generally fixtured Sydney to play Brisbane. It seemed a curious choice, one borne more out of pragmatism than in keeping with the theme of the round.
The traditional foes had already been paired up, leaving the Swans with a diluted version of the NRL's State of Origin epics.
But Lance Franklin's shock defection from Hawthorn to Sydney has added oomph to what looms as the AFL's next big rivalry.
Hawthorn and their fans had spent much of last year preparing for him to leave, though most thought he was bound for Greater Western Sydney rather than a premiership rival.
Worse still, the side that many who don the brown and gold feel had "pinched" their 2012 flag had an extra 9.8 per cent in the salary cap in the guise of a cost of living allowance (COLA).
That former Hawks Ben McGlynn and Josh Kennedy, who should have been the third generation of Hawthorn royalty, had already kicked on in leaps and bounds only rubbed it in more.
Franklin has already played the Hawks so he knows what to expect from his ex-teammates but he is yet to face the music from the Hawthorn faithful, many of whom had donned his iconic No.23 to the football for much of the past decade.
Fans can be unforgiving. Just ask Dale Thomas, the former Collingwood premiership star who was jeered mercilessly by the black and white army after crossing to arch-rival Carlton.
Hawthorn's supporters have traditionally hailed from the leafy middle-class suburbs in Melbourne's east but will they be as rabid as their Magpies counterparts?
The more fervent types, often seen on fan forums, will not be tipping their lids for a man who won two flags, two Coleman Medals and four All Australian jumpers. One described Franklin's departure as a "betrayal". Another called him "Fr$nklin", a dig at the big dollars he chased.
The animosity towards the Swans, or $wans, could be best summed up by the post which described the club as the "least popular premier in my lifetime" should they go all the way this year.
"No one has a shred of respect for them whatsoever."
A touch over the top perhaps, and certainly not a view shared by former Hawks president Jeff Kennett.
"I think you'll find most Hawthorn supporters appreciate Buddy gave us nine years. We certainly trained him and turned him into a brilliant footballer. He won us two premierships," Kennett said.
"I don't think it matters he went to GWS or Sydney.
"There is still without a doubt an emotional attachment between Hawthorn supporters and Buddy Franklin and I think if you ask Buddy he would return that affection and attachment,
"You can't live the majority of your football life with one club and lose all relationship and passion for it when you leave. He did leave, he went with our blessing and we wish him good luck in Sydney."
Kennett has seldom seen Franklin play with such enthusiasm, saying the move to Sydney reinvigorated him.
"When we watch Buddy playing for Sydney he is clearly enjoying his game in a way that he hasn't enjoyed it for some time," Kennett said.
"That's not just his ability now to mark and kick but just the sheer pleasure you see coming from him as he goes about plying his trade.
"A change of scenery, a change of receiving a different message from the coach, a group of different players can actually give you a sense of freshness that you don't get when you stay at one organisation for all your working life."
Then there are Kennedy and McGlynn, both traded out by the Hawks in 2009 only to become key cogs in the Swans machine.
The McGlynn deal can be termed a win-win as the Hawks landed premiership-winning defender Ben Stratton and Matthew Suckling, who missed last year's success through injury.
The Kennedy trade, however, still hurts and it has little to do with the fact his replacement Sam Grimley has not yet made his mark.
According to one man in the know, it still rankles many old-school Hawks that the Kennedy name has left the club and that Josh will not become a Hawthorn champion like his grandfather, the legendary John Kennedy snr, and his father, who won four flags in the 1980s.
The rivalry is also strong between the two club's boards. Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold was a strident critic of COLA and is now calling for a review of the bidding process regarding access to talent from club academies.
But on the field there is clearly mutual respect from the players. Since 2011, the ledger is 6-3 to Hawthorn, which includes two finals victories though the Swans claimed the one that counts in 2012.
"It takes a lot of close games to build a rivalry and the media can build it up. They've beaten us quite a lot recently, we've only beaten them in a grand final and at the start of this year over the last six or seven games," said Swans captain Jarrad McVeigh.
"We respect the way they go about it and they're the best team of the last few years.
"We want to come up against that and beat that. We believe if we play at our best we can do that. Playing on the big stage is what we all want. We can't wait to get out there."