June 21, 2015
51 Years and Still Waiting
When it comes to sports in Cleveland, it's a long sad sad tale. The city that has heard its fair share of jokes, ridicule and its pro sports teams having a habit of come up short time and time again. The last time the city won a championship was the Browns way back in 1964 and yes folks that half a century. The shortfalls have been long documented and most of them have a title. There's the Drive, the Fumble, Red Right 88, the Sweep and the Decision. So whenever a Cleveland team makes it into the playoffs you'll hear the comments
"We'll make it to game 7 and blow it"
"They'll find a way to screw it up"
That's how bad some Cleveland fans are as they've been conditioned to all of the failures of past teams. The Cavs once again are the latest team to fall short. Some people have already dubbed it "The Injuries". The King - LeBron James returned after a four exile in Miami where he won two titles. Many Cleveland sports fans felt he could be the one to break the drought. He was welcomed back with open arms from the same people who vilified him. That's what a 51 year drought will do to people - forgiveness.
To make the Cavs even stronger and appease LeBron, they made a blockbuster trade by acquiring Kevin Love. Wiggins was a potential superstar in the making, but the Cavs management when all in to make the team a contender. Early on the team struggled to click and at one point they had a losing record. LeBron who at the age of 30 started breaking down and took a couple of weeks off. Fans tired of losing started questioning whether the team would even make it to the playoffs. The Cavs made some more trades and hit pay dirt by getting Timofey Mosgov, J.R Smith and Iman Shumpert. LeBron found his second wind and the Cavs started steam rolling their way through the remainder of the season and finished with the 2nd best record in the Eastern conference.
But every Cleveland sports fan is fully aware of the "curse". Whenever a Cleveland team makes it deep in the playoffs something terrible happens. The Cavs ended up losing both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to injuries. The banged up Cavs made it the finals, but they severely under manned against the team with the best record in the NBA - the Golden State Warriors. When the Cavs lost Irving after the 1st game, many thought the Warriors would sweep the Cavs in four. The Warriors were just too deep and unlike the Cavs went through the entire season without any significant injuries. LeBron showed why he's considered the best player in the world by putting the rest of the team on his back. The Cavs countered with stifling defense and it caught the Warriors off guard as they won games 2 and 3. The Warriors adjusted and the Cavs couldn't hang with them. They were beyond exhausted and ended up losing the series in 6 games and many in Cleveland heard the comment that they hate hearing "There's always next year"
Many in Cleveland weren't terribly upset because they felt the Cavs were returned to the finals and the day after Vegas had the Cavs as the favorites to win. But nothing is guaranteed in sports as we've seen teams that were suppose to repeat year in and year out fade because of injuries or some other team got better. Now Cleveland fans have to watch the Indians stink up the joint until the Browns further stink it up in the fall before basketball season starts in late October.