I have never been a fan as in the "fanatic" sense of the word of any team before as I am of the Cleveland cavaliers right now. oh sure, I've followed a couple teams now and then: THE Ohio state university bucks football teams (only since matt went to grad school there), a few of the Indians teams now and then. I've even been kind of a slightly vociferous (ahem) fan while watching some games. and then there was the fact that bill played baseball through college. he was even an all-American twice. I loved watching and, ahem, cheering at his games. I LOVED baseball. past tense. I subscribed to the George-carlin view of baseball as a cerebral game. not anymore. it's all about money and steroids, monkeys could play the game as it's played today. sorry. just the way I feel. so baseball bores the shit out of me. the racing ketchup and mustard bottles on the jumbotron don't hold my interest.
when lebron was in high school and the talking heads in the sports world were orgasmic over this kid, I would make gagging sounds to bill. I had 2 boys, one lebron's age; and I thought, "this kid is fucked. in a minute and a half, he's gonna be in big trouble with drugs. or gambling. or too many women. or..." so when the cavs got him, it was a big-whoop moment for me. big fucking whoop.
then we moved downtown. bill was excited because our cable company down here showed all the games. so when I noticed the something in the air thing, bill told me the cavs were playing, and plaintively whined, "pleeeeeease, come onnnnn!. let's watch the game!" I uncharacteristically agreed. got to give the poor guy something once in a while. I was mesmerized. the kid was unbelievable. and a team player!. holy crap -- didn't he know what the press were saying about him? after the game when he was interviewed by the big network announcer, he sure didn't sound like my 20 year old. he didn't sound like any 20-year old boy I ever knew. he spoke about team work and actually made sense. no sports double talk.
I was hooked. totally and absolutely hooked. we watched every game that we could after that. I bought a cavs hat. bill was in pig heaven. I was finally perfect in his eyes.
now, I'm a cavs season-ticket holder. we have 4 seats at center court. in the top row at the Q. I picked the seats. laugh if you want at the last-row thing; you cannot believe how great these seats are unless you've been with us. and when I say center court, I mean center court. bill sits on one side of the center court line, and I sit on the other. and we sit next to each other. we are at the top of the aisle, so no one sits in front of us. no one sits behind us. and this gimpy old lady loves it enough to not mind the trek up the steps to the seats. I hope to be making the long walk to the finals games in June. we purchased the same seats for next year.
you see, I have to believe. the cavs -- and lebron -- have become all mixed up in my love for this cool old town now. my poor Cleveland. the original rust-belt city. rusty and depressed and in a bad way. and now we are the most "miserable" city in the nation. John stossel (NEVER a favorite of mine) jumps immediately on the band wagon and does an entire series on how bad we suck. I'll admit that he may have made a good point in the obstreperousness and obstructiveness of our governmental entities here. look up "clusterfuck" in the dictionary. but. BUT. he also made no attempt to "get" Cleveland. Tony bourdain got Cleveland. if you haven't seen his piece on Cleveland and are interested enough to want to get Cleveland, you can see it online.
and I'm not just talking to out-of-towers -- I'm talking to you suburbanites. you are the biggest Cleveland haters of all. when - if ever - was the last time you went to the west-side market, a museum, or the orchestra? then shut the hell up.
by the way, the same government-supported "grocery" store John stossel derided as an example of Cleveland ridiculousness is the west side market, an amazing marketplace consisting of owner-operated and mini-shops. walk through the market on a crazy Saturday, and you'll get a big part of who we are. the market building was built in 1912, but the market operated on that site since 1840. many of the "shops" have been in the same family for generations.
we have world-class museums, major-league sports teams, the Cleveland clinic, world-class orchestra, museums, educational institutions, the second-largest theatrical district in the WORLD, and a rich and diverse population. yet, we have become the scapegoat of the nation and most of the media.
which brings us back to lebron. nobody outside of Cleveland gets how on earth CLEVELAND has the best basketball player on the planet. new yorkers can't imagine that he'll stay. "why would he WANT to," they say. of COURSE he will go to new York. or Miami. or Dallas. or Chicago. ANYWHERE but Cleveland.
my heart will break (ok, maybe not break, but it will be awfully sore) if he does leave. it will shatter all my notions of who he is. and -- he is the best thing that has happened to this city in YEARS. decades even. it will be like kicking an old gimpy lady in the face after she's fallen down the steps. I will be so, so sad for me and my city. we are trying so hard to pull ourselves up -- in spite of all the haters. this would be a terrible blow.
when we moved downtown, I said that I just want to see this city on top again before I die. for a while, I've felt like that could happen. if we lose bron, I don't know when -- and if -- that will happen.
I think even John stossel gets that.Posted by Stacey at May 5, 2010 01:11 PM