The most notorious drought in sports history was broken with a change in mindset, as much as talent, luck or courage.
"Why not us?" became the slogan for the Boston Red Sox as they won the 2004 baseball World Series and broke the 86-year-old Curse Of The Bambino.
After premierships for the Western Bulldogs and Richmond, every other AFL club are asking themselves the same question.
Okay, so the answer's pretty straightforward for Gold Coast, Brisbane, North Melbourne and Carlton.
Why not them? They're either rebuilding or just not ready.
But consider Collingwood. Like Richmond in 2016, the Magpies were 13th last season.
What if things fall into place for Collingwood? What if Nathan Buckley's contract extension is the show of faith the coach and his players needed?
Collingwood's biggest losing margin last year was only 37 points.
Nowhere is the question "why not us" louder than at Melbourne, home of the Curse of Norm Smith.
The Demons have not won a flag since they sacked Smith, their legendary coach, in 1965. It remains one of the most controversial episodes in AFL history.
While Melbourne narrowly - agonisingly - missed the finals last year, they are on the march.
True, only two teams have failed to make the finals in the last decade - Melbourne and Gold Coast. But as the Tigers and Bulldogs have shown with their improbable premierships, history is now bunk in the AFL.
Melbourne, whose last premiership was in 1964, and St Kilda, whose only flag was in 1966, can dare to dream.
The AFL marketing department inevitably sniffed the wind - the league's season promotion is "Don't Believe In Never" and features an interview with Tigers premiership coach Damien Hardwick.
A year ago, Hardwick's tenure at Punt Rd was on a knife edge. On March 6, he was re-signed until 2021.
Also a year ago, the AFLW launched and was an runaway success. There have been growing pains in the second season - and far too many anterior cruciate ligament ruptures - but the league has legs and it is driving an explosion in the number of women playing the game at lower levels.
AFL crowds for the regular season last year were up by seven per cent, to 6.73 million.
The league avoided cricket's angst on the way to a pay deal with its players.
WA football has entered a new era, with the opening of the Optus Stadium.
But football operations manager Simon Lethlean and commercial boss Richard Simkiss were forced to resign over workplace relationships, handing the AFL a bloody nose over its contentious respect and responsibility policy.
Lethlean's departure indirectly led to the arrival of former Geelong football manager Steve Hocking, who already has made a big impact in the AFL football department by overhauling the tribunal system.
If anything is certain about the tribunal, it's that any changes have unforeseen consequences and they are usually controversial.
Hocking and AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan are also keen to introduce some form of mid-season player movement, perhaps as early as later this year.
Again, the devil will be in the detail.
While the AFL is in robust shape, the game is struggling in Tasmania and the locals there feel forgotten.
McLachlan can expect a frosty reception when he visits in the coming days.
The two Queensland teams also continue to struggle.
Brisbane has one of the league's biggest debt problems and Gold Coast are yet to gain traction.
The Suns have sacked another coach, lost marquee player Gary Ablett, could lose co-captain Tom Lynch and have been forced out of their headquarters for a couple of months because of the Commonwealth Games.
South-east Queensland continues to be heaven for tourists and hell for sports teams.
Then there's expansion even further abroad, with the China experiment starting to look shaky and four clubs conducting a fact-finding trip to India.
The AFL's mantra is if you don't try something, you don't know if it works.
They point to the AFLW as proof of what's possible.
It's why a twilight grand final is inevitable.
Events of the last two years also have clubs in an adventurous mindset.
With a bit of dare and a little luck, who knows what's possible this season?