I would be remiss if I didn’t close this loop of my I Would Hardly Know Anything About Sports If It Weren’t For BFam-Charles Barkley-And Stuart Scott-posts about my poor city and it’s notorious, infamous sports history. I close the loop because, in case you missed it, the Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA Finals last night against The Miami Heat, and no one understands why Cleveland is so excited. People also think a myriad of other things. Things I’m going to tackle now as 1) I am from Cleveland, and defend my city, wrong or right; and 2) this will be the last time I’ll discuss it.
“Cleveland needs to get over it.”
And by “it”, I’m sure everyone means “LeBron”. What about LeBron? Well, take your pick. We need to get over the fact that LeBron left. Get over that he chose Miami over us. Get over the broadcast of “The Decision”. Get over that we may or may not have provided him with a support system for which he felt or did not feel he could win a championship. Get over that Dan Gilbert, the CAVS General Manager and insane cheerleader from (of all places) Detroit, sent an e-mail to every major sports outlet touting predictions of a CAVS win before King James ever had the opportunity to touch a championship trophy or wear a ring. In Comic Sans. At this point, we’re all ex-lovers. Ex-lovers want revenge. We want tires slashed, your finances in ruins, and your new lover to give you herpes. Until then? We have nothing to talk about. And we will never, ever, EVER apologize. Now YOU get over it.
Yes. Yes, we do. We own it. We don’t deny it. It’s obvious like a cold sore. We are the ugly step-sister of the Midwest. We don’t get asked to prom. We wear braces and head gear AND corrective shoes. Our lake burned up, our Downtown is laughable, our economy is in the toilet inside the septic tank inside the sewage plant. WE GET IT. We live here. Don’t you think WE know? But only we can say that, and you can’t blame us for trying or caring. I could give you a million cheesy metaphors to visualize what I’m saying, but why? We suck. But now? So does Miami. Doesn’t take much to make us happy.
“Cleveland rides on the coat tails of Dallas, even though that’s not our team.”
This is an obvious statement to be sure. But let’s look at the bigger picture, shall we? Throughout all this rigmarole, a common bond was forged in every city of this nation – BEAT. MIAMI. It didn’t have to be us. Hell, if it WERE us, we’d be more shocked than all of you could ever be. Let me repeat: IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE US. If Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy decided to team up and become the next Big Three just to beat Miami, God bless. We would be having this conversation in Never Never Land. WHO CARES. Even better? Dallas bought Cleveland tickets to ride their coat tails just so we wouldn’t have to pay. Gave us one-time passes. Invited us to the after party and the ticker tape parade. It may be hard to believe but, given how it all went down with us, any city would have done the same.
“CAVS4MAVS? Mavaliers? Really? Pathetic.”
I believe the word you’re really looking for is GENIUS! You’re welcome.
“Cleveland is just a bunch of haters.”
Yep. But if you take off the blinders long enough, you’ll see what took The Decision to make us finally wake up. Look now because he’s showing it in Technicolor.
Cleveland may never get its due. Never fully realize an all-out coup d’état. Don’t misunderstand. We’re not alright with that. We’re not laying down. We want blood. For now, we’ll settle for the wounds we didn’t inflict. They’re wounds all the same. Take it a step further, and we know the scars aren’t terminal. He won’t die. No matter how many voodoo dolls we make. No matter how much we may will it. No matter how much we pray to “the Greater Man upstairs” that it never be his time with a side of snapped achilles tendons and broken knee caps thrown in for good measure ’cause I said never, like, never ever… we know that’s probably asking a bit much.
What we want is for people to stop telling us to get over it. This isn’t the break-up with the girl or guy you can’t get over; the one where your friends come over to the house, tired of seeing soiled pizza boxes and trash litter your apartment, with you in your drawers, looking all sad and forlorn, listening to Luther Vandross’ A House Is Not A Home over and over again, and they tell you to get over it because they’re sick of seeing you in this wretched state.
Unlike a jilted lover, we don’t want King LeBomb here (and I’m being nice with that nickname – my kid reads this site, I have to tone it down). We don’t want him back. We will never drunk dial him. Never be Friends With Benefits. As my grandmother would say, “He showed his behind.” He never supported this city, choked when it counted, and cheered for our opponents in both baseball and football. Even then, people told us to get over it. Why? Because we suck? We’re losers? We don’t get to wear the glass slipper? Fine. We’d rather take the beat up, worn out construction boot, anyway.
People who don’t empathize with us – not necessarily people who aren’t from here, just those that don’t get it – are no friends of ours. They can’t tell us to get over it. We will. Eventually. Okay, maybe never. But that’s our prerogative.
It’s the way that we wanna live.
We can do just what we feel.
No one can tell us what to do.
You know the rest.
We’ve heard it all before. Now close the door on your way out.
Hey. At least I’m consistent.