As I was driving through Canton last weekend after a night of Laser Quest, I turned down a road. On the road was a hotel. The hotel board read:
“LeBron is Back”
That’s when it hit me.
Ohio has always meant a lot to me. I have never had the desire to leave like so many do. I have lived in Northeast Ohio and the Ohio valley, and am returning to Akron for college.
To get back to my point that board really stuck to me. It shows how much LeBron means to us. They are just a medium sized hotel and instead of advertising their business, they are showing their love for LeBron. This happens all over. I’m just giving one little example.
LeBron doesn’t have that connection to Miami, and frankly, Miami doesn’t have that connection to him. They don’t know what its like living in Akron, or a winter for that matter. I said when he left that LeBron will never be the King anywhere else like he was here in Cleveland. And I was right. We as fans supported, loved, and admired the man. Yes, because he was the best player any of us had ever seen, but also because he was one of us that made it. He shows the youth that its possible. He gives elderly sports fans hope. Its amazing what one man can mean to not just the city of Akron, but to the whole state of Ohio.
Ohio has the most passionate fans in the whole world. The jersey burnings, the Dawg Pound throwing the bleachers over, the pelting the refs with beer bottles and batteries at the Browns game, are dark spots of that passion, yes. They are embarrassing moments. But listen to me for a minute. Its passion. Most of us are NOT white collar people around here. Most of us are hard working, blue collar people. A place where nothing is given, and everything is earned. Most of us don’t have a vacation home, or a yacht. We watch sports. Either we sit at home with the guys, or head out to the bar to catch the game. We watch sports. And we love them. Its what we have. Its what we cherish. So while the moments mentioned above may seem embarrassing, it shows the passion this area has. We are ready to explode. You will never see a city rock more than Cleveland when LeBron wins a championship here, than when Johnny Manziel wins the Super Bowl here, or when the Indians win the World Series. It will be electric.
Our passion can be used as good as well. If you don’t believe me watch the home opener of the Cavs this season. Watch the introductions. It will be magic. I guarantee win or loss that game, the fans will give them the best standing ovation anyone has ever seen.
You will not see the Cavalier fans leaving early no matter what.
I admire the area. And the fans. Its hard to be a Cleveland sports fan sometimes. Not that hard to be a Steelers fan, or a Yankee fan. But when your football team consistently wins 6 games or less, season after season, and you have fans in the middle of December when its -8 degrees outside and you got a full stadium of fans, you know your in the right place. Those fans are freezing, watching garbage. And they stand there cheering. Give them something to watch, be competitive, and it will be the greatest thing anyone has ever seen.
If you are a fan, be proud. Everything is on the rise. We have seen the lows, and now we are about to experience the highs in the coming years. President Obama said once “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” That time is over. Congratulations fans. This is our time. And no other group of fans will be able to experience what we are about to. We deserve it. We are real fans.
Photo is not mine and is credited to its respected owner.