I was so excited to rub it in his face. I couldn’t wait to tell him that God may “Hate Cleveland,” but the Sports God hates haters more. God hates Cleveland, but God knows it’s the owners that are really terrible. The fans’ hearts are in the right place. Unlike Philly fans.
I wanted to thank him for his karmaic blessing right before the lottery, trashing the Cavs and their hopes for winning. And whether or not they actually deserved the top pick. I wanted to say yeah, the owner of the team is a dolt, and the previous regime was terrible at their jobs. They don’t deserve any second, or third, or fourth chances to get their team right. But the fans deserve it.
I would have referenced that old 2007 Sports Illustrated special magazine dedicated to Cleveland, and told him that if he wanted to bring us down again in as easy a fashion as possible, just throw the cover of that edition at us. I understood where I was coming from, and what this hope I had about all our teams really meant.
But, as you can tell already, this e-mail was going to take too long. And it was far too serious for sports. So I didn’t send it to him.
And he wouldn’t have read it anyway.
But these are the things that pass as hope in Cleveland sports. I know I have written before about what a fan cheers for, but it had very little to do with what we define as hope. Hope to a Cleveland fan is drafting a football player who is popular, who is my size, and who “wants to be here.” Hope to a Cleveland fan is getting the top pick in an NBA draft lottery that is supposed to be one of the better drafts of the last fifteen years, when we only had a 1.7% chance of getting the pick.
Hope to a Cleveland fan is sweeping a first place Detroit Tigers team to put us only 7.5 games behind them. In May.
Hope is relative. As you can see.
And hope comes in small slivers for Cleveland sports fans. Did I feel like I won the Super Bowl when we drafted Johnny Manziel? No. I didn’t feel that the next morning either. We didn’t win any games at all because of the draft.
But you all saw it. Well, those of you who watched the NFL draft. You saw the elation in Berea, where the Cleveland Browns draft party for the fans was happening. Those people erupted like, I assume, New York Giants fans did when they won one of their two Super Bowls. Or New England fans. Or Pittsburgh fans. None of these fan bases erupted during the draft. They are beyond that, because they haven’t had to face fifty years of futility.
We handle hope in small doses because we have those 2007 Sports Illustrateds checkered all over the past fifty years. 50 years. Hope is dashed so quickly and harshly. So this week has been a generous week to us. Will Joel Embiid be the savior of the Cavs fans, or Andrew Wiggins? Will we make a trade with the top pick so the already embarrassed, shamed fans can grovel in front of LeBron James and kiss his ass just so we can win? Yikes.
The Indians swept the Detroit Tigers to get some much needed momentum going forward. If the series ended up the other way? If we were swept? I would be as close as I ever had been to closing up shop on an Indians season this early.
Johnny Manziel. I don’t know about him, whether or not he will be the answer, but I know it looks like the team as a whole is moving in the right direction, and that is encouraging. If Jimmy Haslam wasn’t the owner of the Cleveland Browns, we would all want his head. It’s funny how little cheating millions of honest hardworking americans out of money matters when you want your sports team to win.
But if he was convicted of whatever fraud he committed. I don’t want to think about starting from scratch for the third time in five years.
Yes, sports are trivial, and it was a hope filled week in Cleveland. I don’t want to go any more in-depth on this because I not only am afraid of what would happen, but I am afraid I am taking this too seriously.