The Evil Empire has struck back.
That would be the New York Yankees, to those of you unfamiliar with the term used by some to describe baseball's most successful organization.
With their win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, the Yankees claimed their 27th World Series championship.
They may be considered evil to some (cue the foreboding John Williams' Imperial March theme music), but I can see why a lot of people are fans of the Yankees. What other baseball team boasts tradition like the Yankees, with legends like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle who have played in pinstripes?
They're arguably the greatest franchise in the history of sports. And who doesn't like to enjoy a little greatness? Would you rather listen to the Beatles or Kenny G on your iPod? Would you rather view a work or art from Michelangelo or a crayon drawing I did in the third grade? (If you answered the latter to either question you can quit reading now).
But for the better part of this decade, the Yankees haven't really been that great. Sure they've been a playoff perennial, but they hadn't won a World Series since 2000.
The Yankees haven't been the Beatles or Michelangelo - more like McDonald's or Wal-Mart - a success of convenience.
Unlike the championship Yankees teams of the late 1990s, this edition of Yankees hasn't really bothered to develop great players - they've just purchased them - outbid other teams for their services.
The Yankees spent a combined $455 million on the contracts of their top two hitters - Mark Texeira and Alex Rodriguez. They ponied up another $243.5 million for their top two pitchers - CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
Do other teams spend millions on players? Of course they do, but it's chump change compared to the Yankees, who outspend the next closest team (the New York Mets) by almost 50 percent.
And while a dozen teams spent over $90 million this year on payroll, only the Yankees are able to spend upwards of $200 million and still have a viable franchise.
The Yankees' payroll is more than three times as much as their first-round opponent in this year's playoffs, the Minnesota Twins. To stick with earlier analogies, the Twins are more like a comfy mom and pop store to the Yankees' sterile super store or a hand-crafted sandwich to the Yankees' mass-produced burger.
And while being a Yankee fan may give you winning feeling, it doesn't compare to building a winner from the ground up.
Something built is always more rewarding than something bought.
(Chris Bieri is a sports writer for the Minot Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com)