All championship experiences in sports are not created equal. When a team is a pre-season favourite, or spends the most money, or is stacked with the best players in the game, its never quite as special. This is why the Kansas City Royals, who finally dropped a post-season game by losing 7-1 to San Francisco in the opening game of the World Series Tuesday night, have a chance to go down in baseball history as one of the more remarkable champions of this generation. Already the Royals have made winning look more fun than anyone else in sports. The Royals don’t just celebrate like millionaire athletes. They have that pinch-me-I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-and-it-reminds-me-of-what-it-felt-like-to-be-a-kid-again kind of fun. They buy rounds of drinks for their fans in bars after games, they have a player who gave out playoff tickets to a fan on Twitter and agreed to go to dinner with him. It’s become fashionable in sports for players to place winning championships above all else in sports. The standard answer as to where an athlete should want to play? Why wherever gives him the best chance to win a championship, of course. Teams such as the New York Yankees have used that selling point since the dawn of free agency in the 1970s, with baseball’s other big spenders such as the Angels, Boston, or the Dodgers also opening their wallets to do what some might call invest in talent, and what others might call buy a winner. Even in a salary cap league like the NBA, we saw The Big Three Found set things up, not just so that they would be able to play together, but so they could win a string of championships. That’s what it was all about and to a degree it worked. But the thrill of victory is never what it could be when one celebrates the accomplishments of a team that had the deck stacked in its favour before the season even began. The Heat winning two championships was maybe good for the NBA. But there was hardly anything magical about it, no sense of witnessing something that made you remember where you were when… It’s just a fact of life that the greatest celebrations in sports are always those that seem the least likely, the emotional energy inversely proportional to the likelihood of it occurring, for both participants and spectators. The greatest celebration I can recall ever seeing in sports? Probably the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team in what became known as the “miracle on ice,” a scene that appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine without a headline. The scene simply spoke for itself. The Royals aren’t quite that kind of story but their journey thus far does feel different. There’s a little more unbridled joy, a little more enjoy-it-while-it-lasts. Yes the Royals remind us that even in professional sports, there are different degrees of joy. Mark McGwire Jersey . 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Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell scored, Ray Emery stopped 32 shots and the Flyers beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory."This is not a team to win tomorrow, its a team of kids, this is a team where the best years are to come, the best stage is not this one or the next one. More than 50 per cent of the team are aged 23 or below, this is a team to be built, which is what I have been asked to do, build, with the fantastic talent I have, a Chelsea team for the next decade." - Jose Mourinho, summer 2013. Without a ball being kicked, Mourinho knew the size of the task at Stamford Bridge. When his team came up against Manchester United at the end of August at Old Trafford, he kept it tight, bringing a new resilience to the team to help them get a point. It was an examination of his players and one they had rarely been asked to do under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez last season. Almost five months later, in the return match against United at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho put his players through a different exam, one they passed again, thumping Manchester United 3-1. This was not a game won on the training pitch, or at the blackboard tactically in the buildup; instead a deflection and two poor defensive errors handed the game to Chelsea. Mourinho had hoped something like that might have happened at Old Trafford. This time hed hoped they might create a bit more, but he will certainly take the manner in which they won. In the minds of many, the game officially ended Uniteds title challenge but, realistically, this was secured two months earlier. Instead, this game showed us more of Chelsea - a win where they finally relied upon a striker to deliver the critical blows, as Samuel Etoo scored a hat-trick inside 50 minutes, and a win where they easily defeated an arch-rival without being at the top of their game. And it is that which will please the manager most. Strikers are paid a lot of money to score goals and often these become vital, isolated moments that have no reflection on the way the game was played. When Etoos shot deflected off Michael Carrick and into the net on 17 minutes, it put an end to a period that United were in control of the match. Etoo scored again and again, both times being left to easily poke home in the penalty box to secure a rare kind of victory for Chelsea. Dont get used to it. Mourinho acknowledged this recently, saying: “We cannot just let the players hide behind the fact that we are not scoring enough goals and wait for that to happen. We cannot play for that. People need to change their brains a little bit more." Sunday was the first time all season a Chelsea striker had scored more than once in a game. Last season? It happened just once in 38 games when Fernando Torres got a brace at Sunderland (and one of those was a penalty.) Etoo handed Chelsea the three points on Sunday, but with a settled back four and an average striker playing up top for Chelsea this season, their championship-calibre credentials will be determined by the five that connects them together. This is Mourinhos most important project. The Fundamental Five Mourinho knows that these five players dictate the way his team is playing. When they lose, like they did at Sunderland in the League Cup last month, it makes Mourinho question how these five play, as he said: "We may have to take a step back in order to be more consistent at the back. Its something I dont want to do, to play more counterattacking, but Im giving it serious thought. If I want to win 1-0, I think I can, as I think its one of the easiest things in football. Its not so difficult, as you dont give players the chance to express themselves." If Mourinho is giving counterattacking more thought, it requires a more solid double pivot in central midfield, but when you ask him about this area, Mourinho would admit he isnt fully sold on the style, saying, as he also did last month, this time after a win: "We are not a very solid team, at the same time compared with last season, when this team played a big part of the season with David Luiz and [John Obi] Mikel in front of the four defenders, so at the end of the day they had five defenders plus Mikel, Ramires playing on the right side closing one side down and the team was playing with one striker and Juan Mata behind him, defending well and trying to counterattack, thats not the direction we want to go." Mourinho will only tell you publicly what he wants you to know. In truth, if Chelsea are to become the powerhouse Mourinho wants, the team needs to be able to attack better annd counter and that was shown on Sunday against United.ddddddddddddUp 3-0, he brought on Mikel to play alongside Luiz and pushed Ramires on to the right to close down the threat of Adnan Januzaj, who had moved there when Javier Hernandez came on. However, it is one thing to do this, up 3-0, but it is quite another to do it at 0-0. Yet, at 0-0 Chelsea still countered. And at Arsenal last month, a game that ended 0-0, they countered from deep positions on regular occasions. However, in that match never, was it more evident that the playmakers didnt trust Torres, as they often would break from deep positions and not want to give the ball to the Spaniard. "It was like they were playing with 10 men," said Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville after the match and he was absolutely spot on. Ramires has been a permanent fixture in central midfield and, despite often saying Luiz wasnt a central midfielder, the Brazilian was selected there again for Sundays clash, just as he did last week at Hull and at home to Liverpool recently. Luiz is clumsy on the ball and gives away needless fouls, but, unlike Frank Lampard, he gets the best out of his midfield partner because, positionally, he is ideal. He allows Ramires to use his speed and energy, getting forward to connect with the playmakers further forward, but is also useful in counterattacks because he can often ignite them with the first pass as he thinks like a centre back when his team is not in possession of the ball. It is clear Mourinho wants to play a four-band system, which has been labeled 4-2-3-1, but is often really 4-3-2-1 with the central playmaker dropping deeper when not in possession, another reason why counterattacking can work for this team. When asked about the three behind the striker, earlier this season, Mourinho said: "We have six players for these three positions and they will give me chances as a manager to change, match to match, depending on the opponent, the game plan. It is based on these three players how we create our football." This has certainly been true. Five months after that comment, Kevin De Bruyne has been sold, Juan Mata and Andre Schurrle have sat on the bench a lot and Mourinho has found out who the three players he relies on most in those positions - Willian, Oscar and Eden Hazard - and, with whoever playing as a striker continuing to be inconsistent, these playmakers certainly dictate Chelseas creativity. Hazard is the fun inside the fundamental five and has had a wonderful season, already scoring nine league goals. Of the three, he sticks to his position, on the left, more than most, but has the football intelligence to come central, to occupy the centre backs, when the striker comes deep, and even go right and attack from deep through the middle, as he did when he scored his wonderful individual goal against Liverpool. Keeping the Belgian predominantly on the left appears to be the reason Mourinho prefers Cesar Azpilicueta over Ashley Cole at left back. Mourinho rarely encourages his full backs to get forward and having a more defensive-minded full back down the left negates Hazards defensive issues, which were far too evident under both managers last season. Finding these combinations all over the pitch is what is crucial in finding the perfect balance for Chelsea going forward. Oscar is much better at combining with Ramires than Juan Mata, for example, while Willians workrate on the right has made him a perfect partner for Branislav Ivanovic. It was fitting, after a win on January 1st, that Mourinho said: "We are right in it, we have a good team but we need a few important bodies for next season, and I will say in the summer we will get it, I would say the team evolves in this direction, I can predict in the next season we will be real important contenders." For many, Chelsea are real important contenders this season, but what Mourinho means is that, by then, his team will play the way he wants them to. Nemanja Matic has arrived and 4-3-3 may well be in the future, but for that Chelsea needs a legitimate star striker and they need to continually show their manager that they are getting better when they immediately lose the ball. Transitions are the theme for Chelsea to improve, but in this transitional time at the club, they might even be surprising the manager with just how well they are doing. The team not built for tomorrow is becoming the team to win today. 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