April 20, 2024

ESPN- CLEVELAND DESERVES AN APOLOGY

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ESPN:

Lebron James is coming home to Cleveland, Ohio! Please, I beg of you- read that line again. Read it again and again. Let it sink in. I want you to hate it. Since the day Lebron was drafted into the NBA, your company, “The Four Letter Network,” has done everything in its power to trash the city of Cleveland. How many times have you referenced Cleveland, Ohio to be the “Mistake on the Lake?” A term coined some 40 years ago is somehow still relevant during your newscasts. I watch with disgust as you go out of your way to demoralize the great people of this city. Your over the top sarcastic comments, and over exaggerated laughing amongst cast members is absolutely embarrassing, and unprofessional. We work hard. We play hard. We love our sports teams. We stick with them no matter what, win or lose. We are loyal. Where was your bashing of Miami Heat fans when they left game four of the NBA Finals early? Don’t fans give one last standing ovation, as a thank you, for a team’s accomplishments anymore? Were four NBA Finals appearances and two NBA championships not enough for the city of Miami that you so love?

Here is what ESPN needs to understand. Not everyone is Hollywood. Not everyone wants the New York City, Manhattan lifestyle. Not everyone wants to party on South Beach. Believe it or not, most people are regular people. They like to come home at night and watch TV with their family. They like to sit around camp fires and talk about normal life. They like to take their children fishing. Have you entirely lost touch with reality? The United States has been going through an economical downturn for years now. People are like me, ESPN. Sports are our entertainment, and sometimes yes, even an escape from our everyday stresses.

One thing you always failed to realize, is that Lebron James is more one of us than you think. He is a family man. Like the rest of us, he isn’t Hollywood. As a person, he isn’t Manhattan. He is no Carmelo Anthony. He did not end up with an already famous woman like LaLa Vasquez. Lebron James married his high school sweetheart. He is forced into the spotlight due to his mega talent as a basketball player. Lebron’s business team is comprised of the kids he grew up with in Akron, Ohio. He has AKRON tattooed across his right shoulder. Not Miami. Not New York. Not Los Angeles. He travels the world during his off seasons, yet still spends a majority of his time back in Akron! For the record, if you live here in Northeast Ohio everyone knows there is basically no difference between Akron and Cleveland. We support each other. He did the South Beach thing for four years, and yes, he is probably sick of it. You can try in every way possible to drag him away from his hometown of Northeast Ohio, but I today promise you, that you cannot. He is just a kid from Akron, Ohio and he loves his hometown- the very one that you ridicule, and hate!

Finally, ESPN I leave you with this. Look, I get it. Some cities in the U.S. are bigger media markets than others. That is fine. Push them down our throats if you must. Remember this though: there are about 25 teams in the NBA where the cities and fan bases are without a shadow of a doubt more “Cleveland, Ohio” than “Miami, Florida.” I respect the work you do. I have gone back and read articles written by your staff far back before I was even born. I aspire to someday have a part of what you have, but even if I had that and more, I will never lose touch with the reality of what actually makes up the United States of America, which are its regular, everyday, hard working people. All I ask of you going forward is that you respect my city and cities like it. Remember, wherever you go, there you are. Let that sink in for a minute.

-Cory Jarrous

Follow me on Twitter @cst_coryj

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