Editor’s Note: This piece was written before the events of Sunday, but I believe it is more relevant now than ever. As someone who didn’t grow up in northeast Ohio, but adopted it as my home and chose to raise a family here, this piece resonates with me. I believe a Cleveland championship is still within this team’s grasp. I believe that, at their best, sports have the ability to elevate and unify us as citizens of this great country and this great state. That is something worth hoping for. We all could use a dose of hope today. Hope and anticipation always trump despair and worry when rolling over the potholes on the road to a goal. Thanks for writing this, Cory. -Nate
We all have to come from somewhere and have little choice in the matter. A long time ago, ambitious men drew lines on paper to divvy up soil to segregate ourselves from one another, and our minds are so powerful, or so weak, that today we believe that those boundaries are natural. As time passed those lines defined where we were from and who we are. Different sets of customs, speech and mores arose. Where you’re from is probably something simple like where your grandfather found work or where your mother forgot to take a pill. For Northeast Ohioans, that work was breaking their bodies in the mile long mills that built America. Coke ovens spitting out heat so hot that it would make the devil himself blush forged the ivory tower of the American Empire. Our lines are often described as flyover country, a place to ignore in between the flight between the coasts. It’s a time and place to be forgotten. Every passing year, the powerful marriage of iron and carbon is forgotten a little more, and the red headed bastard child slowly percolates. The rust is swallowed by the rich glacial soil that once feed our grandfathers. The rust is in our rivers and lakes. The rust is in our corn and apples. The rust is in the breast milk we feed our young.