Sports have a unique way of bringing people together. Common barriers fall by the wayside when you are sharing a moment of joyous celebration hugging and high-fiving total strangers who now feel like family. I feel this phenomenon is especially true here in Cleveland. (Yes, I know that I’m not an unbiased source, but that’s ok.) Players who join our teams say that there are no fans quite like Cleveland fans.
While wins and losses play a significant part in fostering unity in The Land, I believe the display of player support of other hometown sports teams inspires the sense that we are all in this together.
The images of LeBron James and other Cavaliers at Progressive Field intensely cheering on the Indians during their playoff run last season are now ingrained in our memories. As are other similar shows of city solidarity. Terry Francona, Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Francisco Lindor and other Tribe players have all been spotted at Quicken Loans Arena cheering on the Cavaliers.
Not to be outdone Jim Brown, Bernie Kosar and Joe Haden represented the Browns at Cavaliers games. Even the new guys in town, Browns draft picks DeShone Kizer, Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku ajoined in on the excitement of Cavaliers basketball. The Cleveland Browns also have a tradition of sending their first round draft picks to Progressive Field so they can be welcomed to Cleveland and collectively toss out the first pitch.
This show of support is not limited to Browns, Tribe, or Cavs players. UFC Champion Stipe Miocic was on hand for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Championship. The Champ helped local rapper, Machine Gun Kelly, to cheer on the Cavaliers. Also, WWE Superstars Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Nick Nemeth (better known as Dolph Ziggler ) are Northeast Ohio natives who have been vocal and visible supporters of Cleveland sports.
While detractors call these appearances staged publicity stunts, I am inclined to disagree. While it is true that you can prop up anyone in the corner of an arena or stadium to watch a game, you can’t fake the enthusiasm displayed by these athletes who are also fans of Cleveland sports. I don’t know about you, but this solidarity impresses me.
So, Cleveland, the NBA Finals are just days away; who do you think we can expect to see representing The Land and cheering for our Cleveland Cavaliers?
Follow the author: @Shelley0514
Image Credits Cavsnation.com, Indians Facebook, Cavaliers Twitter, DolphZiggler Twitter