You hear the same talk after every grand final and it’s about as worthless as the expired tram ticket you bought to get to the MCG. People who should know better in the media trot out the same old bunkum out every year: that the new premier is surely on the verge of creating a new dynasty. Or starting a new era. Or (insert similar inanity here).

But if recent history is any guide (forget Brisbane for a minute, they were an injury-free aberration), then there will be no new dynasties, no dominions and no realms nor kingdoms. What there will probably be in 2008 is a premier from another AFL club, and quite possibly another state.

Carlton in 1995 lost two home and away matches and blitzed the grand final (against guess who?) by 10 goals. For the short-memoried sports media, they were the greatest team of if not “all time”, then certainly the “modern era”. A dynasty beckoned. An epoch at the very least. Yet in 1996, with their wonderful band of experienced players that one year older, the Blues lost both their finals and finished sixth.

Yet more superlatives were dragged out for the Essendon side of 2000 which lost just one match in the regular season. They, too, stormed to the premiership, demolishing a hapless Melbourne, also by 10 goals. Surely these Bombers were ready to dominate the competition for the next however many years, or so it was widely speculated.

Again, the dynasty talk proved absolute piffle. In 2001, little distractions began to have big implications. Dustin Fletcher missed matches with stress fractures, robbing the Bombers of their ultra-dependable full-back, and James Hird lurched from one injury to another. It took until the second half of the grand final for Brisbane to overcome Essendon but that it did, signaling the end of the Bombers’ dominance and heralding an extraordinary new era for themselves.

Those Lions are the only team to have defied the AFL’s socialist system of salary caps, player drafts and equalization policies to emerge winners in not just two successive years but three. (Adelaide prevailed in 1997-98, but can hardly be said to have dominated the competition, finishing the two home-and-away seasons in fourth and fifth place.)

Yes, Geelong won the grand final and did so in style, blowing away 44 years of pent-up frustration in one giant geyser of hot form and unshakeable resolve. And the rest of Victoria shared in its joy. But the unpalatable truth is it might be a long time before the club, and city, enjoys this feeling again.

Darren Milburn turns 31 next April. Captain Tom Harley has his 30th birthday next season, while Cameron Mooney, Matthew Scarlett and Steven King all turn 29. That group comprises the beating heart of this team. They are approaching an age when injuries arrive more often, and take longer to heal.

Then there is the salary cap. These players will want to be rewarded for their season. They are now household names and hot property. They will want their market rate. Some are out of contract. Other clubs will come calling. Who knows what small but significant effect on the club’s equilibrium the trading of two or three popular players will cause?

And then, of course, there is complacency. Will the hunger be there in 2008? Or will the players still be accepting free drink cards from the city’s pubs and clubs, and clinking glasses with the hangers-on well into the pre-season?

They are questions without answers, but worth pondering nonetheless. So, Cats’ fans, enjoy the celebrations while you can. You’ve earned them. But, with West Coast and Collingwood set to come snorting out of the gates next year, it’s probably best to forget talk of dynasties. It’ll only end in disappointment.