November 30, 2021

A Cleveland Championship

We as a city all know the news.

Lebron James has returned.

The King has taken his throne once again.

And so on and so on.

But we are finally in a world where Cleveland actually has a chance to win a title in any of it’s three Sports teams. So what does a championship mean to this city?

Cleveland does not have the prestige and championships of major sports cities like Boston or New York. We may not have the weather of a Miami, and we may not have the entertainment value of a LA. But we do have one thing that trumps all of them.

Passion.

We live and breathe in the Dawg Pound. Even through the misery, we still keep barking for our Browns. We all went through the Decision and regardless of his return, had to undergo more misery in the Cavaliers than ever before. We still stand and cheer for our Wine and Gold-ers. And regardless of low attendance, the fans that show remain true.

We love our teams. More than life itself.

Cleveland has been the butt of jokes, the pain of the sports world, and deemed by many an embarrassment. But what does this mean? Why do we all keep cheering, rooting, and barking for our teams that have experienced widely known failure? There is one reason.

Hope. 

We stand by our teams not because of their success, or their management, or their entertainment value but because of the hope that they bring this city. We desire for the drought to finally be over with all of our being, And more often than not, we witness failure. We look for one team to finally break the curse. One team to finally end the misery. And one team to not create tears of sadness but tears of joy.

Can you, as a fan, imagine us winning a championship?

Imagine the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series in 7, against let us say the Dodgers. The dugout is evacuated and the team dog-piles following a dominant one-two-three inning by Cody Allen. He just struck-out Yasiel Puig on a deadly curve ball, and Progressive Field and the city of Cleveland erupt with joy. One by one the team hops on each other, and overall we witness tears by Micheal Brantley, the World Series MVP, as he points to the fans and says, “This is for the city of Cleveland, we are one team, and we did it for you.” Terry Francona holds up the Commissioner’s Trophy for the city and the fans to see and we all break down. This team did it. We did it.

The parade following in a month is the most attended event in the history of Cleveland. Everyone has come to cheer for the team that finally brought peace to this city and happiness to end the sadness and misery. The Unfinished Business became Finished Business, and a team like that, a blue-collar team that perfectly represents the city, finally did it for us. The drought is over, and the truest fire of the city of Cleveland’s passion is brought out.

Imagine the Cleveland Cavaliers finally winning it all. The misery we suffered through Byron Scott and Mike Brown is finally behind us, and the Decision long forgotten. Lebron James has returned and brought us a title. Following the victory, confetti flies, and Kyrie Irving first looks to Lebron, and hugs him, telling him, “We did it, Bron. For this city, and for this team. Thank you.” He then looks to Dion, and tells him, “Throughout the season we may have fought at times, but we’re brothers nonetheless, and nothing in this world feels better than winning a title by your side”. And finally he looks to David Blatt, the now second year coach, and tells him, “Coach, you’ve been a blessing to the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers and I could not stress enough that its been an absolute honor to be coached under you during this run.”

Lebron then holds up the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Trophy, and Kyrie holds up the Larry O’Brien NBA Finals Championship Trophy. The city of Cleveland once again would be in a group of people that not only would be in tears of joy, but also beyond elated that the drought is over.

A banner depicting “NBA Champions” is then raised a month later for the whole city to see as Cleveland packs into Quicken Loans Arena to witness the wondrous event.

Imagine the Cleveland Browns pulling it off and winning the Super Bowl. We recall “Red Right 88”, “The Drive”, and “The Fumble”, as Johnny Manziel is finally driving down the field in a defensively dominated game against the Seattle Seahawks. Its 4th and 20 with 28 seconds to go on our own 20, following a crucial holding call on 4th and 10. We trail 14-10. Manziel takes the snap. Its a play action play, and Manziel scrambles right, and back left, and then miraculously finds a hole for a 28 yard run. 12 seconds to go, and we need a deep play to win it. Manziel takes the snap again. Then sees Josh Gordon, being covered by Sherman, and throws a strike. Gordon escapes, and scrambles down to the 2 yard line before being knocked out of bounds by Earl Thomas with a second to play.

Following a crucial timeout, Manziel takes the snap, our offensive line collapsing around him, and his options none. He scrambles, and finds his way to the end zone. He flashes the “Money Manziel” and then, standing by the Browns fans, hops into the stands.

The Cleveland Browns had just won the Super Bowl. The city is in beyond excitement. Tears of joy flash all around Cleveland, and the city of heartbreak had its goal achieved and finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Manziel holds up the MVP Trophy and Mike Pettine holds up the Super Bowl Trophy. Joe Haden flashes nothing but elation as he has his arm around Manziel. Back in Cleveland, the streets are filled with joy, and the city once torn apart by the NFL now stood atop it as the best team.

The parade again would be a month or so later, and the fans would all join with one cause as confetti flew through the streets of downtown Cleveland; to celebrate a Cleveland Championship.

 

This city deserves a championship more than anything. People mock the city, but they mock it because they have never been here. They do not live here. They have never been down to enjoy the West Side Market, or walked through beautiful Tremont, or been downtown which is slowly again rising in popularity.

No one understands this passion but us. No one understands this city but us.

And most of all no one dreams like us.

I’m a Clevelander who like all of you, simply want this more than my heart desires. I want a championship. I want to be downtown while the Browns, Indians, or Cavaliers are celebrating their long sought after victory and championship. Perhaps I want too much, and perhaps I am too foolish and hopeful. But most of all, that is the city of Cleveland. At our core we are passionate, hard working people, who crave success and a championship overall.

This hope will never run out and our passion will never be extinguished. I love this city and I love our sports teams.

One day, my fellow Clevelanders, we will get our championship, and as a whole I will be there by your sides. Cheering, screaming, and crying tears of joy.

But until that time, we may continue to suffer, but when we finally achieve it, the spoils will be ever so sweet.

I love you Cleveland.

 

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