The Seattle Seahawks soon will learn a painful reality that comes with being newly crowned Super Bowl champions. All those good vibes that came with hoisting a Lombardi trophy don't mean it will be easier to deal with significant departures of key veterans.
The same holds true for the excitement of being such a young squad -- that benefit also breeds heavier expectations and more questions about how the inexperienced will handle success.
In other words, let's not start talking about "dynasty" with the Seahawks just yet. There are still plenty of things that have to happen before they can make that title stick.
There's been a lot of discussion in the media this offseason about how teams will manage to keep up with what Seattle did to win its first Super Bowl. There probably needs to be more conversation about how hard it could be for the Seahawks to repeat their dominant performance of 2013.
After all, the last time we saw a championship squad brimming with so much youth and talent, the Green Bay Packers had beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. The Packers have had their share of great moments since -- including three consecutive NFC North titles and a 19-game winning streak that spanned the 2010-11 seasons -- but no world championships have occurred in Titletown since that point.
What we learned from the Packers is the same thing that should be applied to the Seahawks: It's pretty damn hard to build a dynasty in today's NFL.
There have been only four franchises in the past 25 years to win consecutive Super Bowls (New England, Denver, Dallas and San Francisco), and the Patriots are the only team to accomplish that feat within the past decade.
The 2010 Packers seemed primed to take their place among those franchises until other NFC teams blossomed into legitimate contenders. At the time Green Bay claimed its title, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had logged only one season in his current job and the San Francisco 49ers had yet to hire head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The Seahawks already find themselves in a conference stocked with legitimate competition. The 49ers were one Colin Kaepernick interception from beating Seattle in the NFC title game this past season. The Carolina Panthers have used a blueprint similar to Seattle's -- tough defense combined with a ball-control offense -- to become the newest power in the NFC South. A slew of other teams have enough talent and potential (including Green Bay, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Atlanta and Arizona) to make some noise in next year's postseason.
Seattle stormed through the NFC last season because it had the right mix of attitude and depth. Now we get to see how the Seahawks respond when that impressive chemistry is disrupted by the predictable departures of valuable free agents.
As is the case with every team that wins a Super Bowl, key role players suddenly become far more coveted on the open market when their contracts end. As good as Carroll and general manager John Schneider have been at assembling talent for their franchise, it gets significantly harder to keep hitting home runs in the personnel department on an annual basis.