There is a natural inclination among sports fans to dislike teams that win very often or "all the time", they say.
The Duke men's basketball team and the Yankees are despised for their propensity to win as much as anything. Really, how many other really good reasons are there to hate them that aren't based purely on personal feelings?
It's becoming safer to say the Miami Heat now win "all the time." The defending NBA champions have ripped off 26 in a row heading into Monday night's game against the Orlando Magic. Only the 1971-72 Lakers have won more games consecutively at 33 in a row. Yet the Heat aren't drawing the same kind of vitriol sports fans reserve for the Dukes and Yankees of the world. Even LeBron James isn't the despised figure he was just a few years ago.
Why is that? Part of it, undoubtedly, has to do with the simple fact the Heat are chasing history. There is a natural fascination that comes along with seeing if they can break the record. Part of it also has to do with the notion that hating the Miami Heat is not nearly as ingrained in the national sporting culture as despising teams like Duke or the Yankees. Other than LeBron James making a television special out of his free-agent decision and then taking part, shortly thereafter, in a championship-style celebration with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, what exactly have the Miami Heat ever done to make anybody hate them?
Here's another important reason: The Miami Heat are a great team and what's so wrong with being great? Winning should never be held against you. Some sports fan say they'd like to see someone else get a chance. But how exactly is greatness born when a different individual or team is winning every year?
There is something to be applauded about winning "all of the time." It's what separates the good teams from the bad and makes games more compelling to watch. How long can the greatness last? For every team like Duke and the Yankees, there are dozens of faceless champions who may have been nothing more than one-hit wonders.
Like winning "all of the time", that's not necessarily a bad thing. But it's not really a good thing either.