Sydney has arguably been the greatest "team" in the AFL over the past decade.
Under the guidance of Paul Roos and now John Longmire, the Swans have shown a collective willingness to work for each other like few others.
Their never-say-die attitude led them to flags in 2005 and 2012, but last week they were beaten at their own game.
Watching Sydney and Hawthorn go at it was easily the best match of the season and throughout it all I couldn't help but wonder if the players had swapped jumpers.
The Sydney team that won in 2012 didn't rely on one individual. When it entered that grand final against Hawthorn, it may have had some brilliant players, but they were even across the board.
In contrast, the Hawks were a team of rock stars. Franklin, Roughead, Rioli, Hodge, Mitchell and Burgoyne ensured Hawthorn entered that match as favourite and if any one of those stars had had a standout game, the history books may very well be different.
Yet Sydney found a way.
The statistics will tell you that Hawthorn had more scoring shots, but the numbers don't account for the Swans' pressure, work-rate and willingness to grind away no matter what the score.
Their "team-first" mentality ended up being the difference and that's how the Hawks were able to exact a small amount of revenge last week.
The sides have almost morphed into one another.
Like the Hawks of 2012, Sydney now relies heavily on its stars to win games, whereas the Hawks' even spread has made them one of the competition's most unpredictable and consistent sides.
When you crunch the Swans' midfield numbers over the past three years, little has changed - except the way they're going to goal.
They now have these two monsters up forward in Franklin and Tippett and when both are firing, the Swans truly are tough to beat. But has it made them too predictable? Can a team's greatest strength also be its greatest weakness?
If Sydney wants to taste the ultimate glory again this season, it wouldn't hurt it to revisit 2012 and its outstanding 2005 and '06 campaigns.
Just like the Hawks of two years ago, West Coast easily had the better midfield in 2005 and '06. The Eagles had five onballers who averaged more than 20 disposals a game, whereas Sydney had just one. How could they possibly compete?
But Sydney didn't just halve the flag count, it was agonisingly close to going back-to-back through hard work, guts and determination. It did not possess a single passenger. It proved that the best team really does win games.
This year has been an amazing reversal of fortunes for both clubs. Where Hawthorn has been forced into a new life without Buddy, the presence of the superstar north of the border has had just as profound an effect on the Swans.
If you looked at the Hawks right now, Luke Bruest is arguably the only player in the side who will be named an All-Australian. The Swans, meanwhile will likely boast at least three, in Franklin, Kennedy and Malceski.
As reported on Talking Footy this week, statistics show that 15 of the Hawks' playing group are rated as above average this year, which is more than any other team. None, however, are rated as elite. Sydney, meanwhile, has six in the elite category, with at least another three verging on elite.
It reinforces the fact that Sydney now has one of the most talented lists in the competition, but that alone doesn't make it the best team.
That being the case, the Swans' loss to the Hawks couldn't have come at a better time. It was a real reality check and starting from Friday night against Essendon, they have five weeks to get it right.
The most pressure is arguably on the Swans' ball-carriers. It's the guys running through the centre of the ground who have to choose who to kick it to and it would almost be impossible to ignore Franklin and Tippett.
They're like beacons up forward, but they're not always the right options. I'm sure their coach always tells them to take the "right option", but getting them to follow the letter of the law would be difficult when you have such immense figures in front of you.
After Essendon, Sydney plays Port Adelaide, St Kilda, the Western Bulldogs and Richmond. Most pundits would pencil it in for wins in each of those matches, and if that is the case, it will finish the home and away season on top of the ladder.
Getting its hands on the premiership cup four weeks later presents an entirely new challenge.
I'm not suggesting that the Swans won't get there, but the Hawks are setting the new benchmark when it comes to "team" performance and if they were to win it from here, after the year they've endured, it would rate as the greatest accomplishment I've ever seen in footy.