For teams that are picked to be a sleeper when the season starts, there are a number of pros and cons. Obviously, the most blantent con being not getting acknowledged as a top tier team.

But having the ability to sneak up on an unsuspecting opponent that may be taking the game lightly gives a pretty strong pro that many teams will be glad to take.

While preseason voting, picking, and overall rankings by the peanut gallery can be looked at as onlookers giving their opinions, there is still some stake in being able to rise about the naysayers and garner the respect of many that believed something could happen, but probably wouldn’t.

Even after the win streaks and the positive record, the respect outside of the locker room might not be still might not be there — for whatever reason.

But the beautiful thing about sports is a team can just say ‘who cares.’

As long as the locker room believes it can happen, the rest of the world can go take a long walk off a short cliff.

Although everyone may love an underdog story, not everyone is a believer until it happens. That is what makes the stories great, it is the fight against those that doubt what can truly be.

It matters that the teammates and coaches to whisper the naysayers and continue on the path. Not just for the wins and losses.

But for the respect that they have earned. If others don’t give respect, then it becomes time to just reach out and take it.

ajohnson@hearstmedia

ct.com; Twitter: @aronJohnson_