For the Love Of…!

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It’s impossible to say something that hasn’t already been said about the this off-season.  We’re all aware of the impact on the league and the region, and we’re also aware of the potential consequences that come with trading Wiggins and Bennett.  I’m not here to put the last three months into an NBA context because I wont be able to contribute anything fresh (and, lets be honest, no one really knows what will happen this season or any future season). More, I think the largest unspoken impact this summer has had, and the impact that has been largely overlooked, is on a fanbase dying for something to be positive about.

New York is a big sports city – that’s a fact any sports fan could tell you in the blink of an eye.  New Yorkers, like any other strong fan base, are obsessive about their teams.  But unlike most other sports towns, it’s also incredibly easy to find pockets of other fan bases.  Within my office alone I have (and it hurts to say it) two Miami fans, two Chicago fans, an SF fan, a Houston fan, a Buffalo fan, and a Philly fan.  If any of those people wanted to commiserate with the fellow-minded, my guess is it wouldn’t take them long to find someone – it might even be as easy as crossing the street and walking into a bar.  While many sports teams typically fall on these expat’s radars, Cleveland is rarely in the conversation.  Until now.

As I’m sure any listener of the podcast can guess, I’m a pretty lively guy; I’m outgoing, loud, and fearless around people.  When it comes to sports, this often means I end up deep in a conversation defending the Cavaliers, Cleveland, and Ohio in general.  “But Hoyer won three games last year!”  “Michael Brantley is a decent player!”  “Dion is incredibly explosive – have you seen his highlight reel?!”  “J.T. Barrett is the perfect mix of Braxton and Kenny Guiton – the Buckeyes will be fiiiiiiiiine.”  Trust me – my friends, my colleagues, and most total strangers are really, really tired of hearing this stuff.  But, for the first time in a REALLY long time, the Cavaliers are suddenly a desired part of the conversation.

The last month has been a sports blur – people coming up to me to congratulate me, telling me how excited they are to watch the Cavaliers this season, and wanting to engage in a discussion of how high this team can fly.  These are happenings that even during Lebron’s first Cavs stint were not common place… Appreciation is high for the Cavaliers right, a revelation to anyone who follows NE Ohio sports, whose fandom is generally met with a mix between, “ouch, you root for them?” And “hahahahaha.”  This isn’t to pile it on Cleveland, because I love the city and the sports, but in recent days, then support swell is nothing short of incredible, especially considering the imagine people hold of the city.

Still, what’s most amazing about Lebron, Kevin, Kyrie, Dion, Tristan, Andy, Mike, Shawn, Matt, and Jared James (as in Jones) teaming up isn’t what it means in other people’s eyes, it’s what it means to us.  Ohioans are proud by nature, a fact I learned first hand when I moved from NYC to Cleveland and was constantly inundated with CLE love.  And while Cleveland has, in recent years, rarely returned the favor, this is a moment where we can all hold our heads high, take a deep breath, and smile.  At this moment and time, it’s great to be a Cavs fan.

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Cavs_All_Day
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Cavs_All_Day
4 years 4 months ago

Great piece. We can all agree, great time to be a Cavs fan, but there is a certain “happy for you guys, you deserve it” national vibe that makes this off season even more warm and fuzzy.

Pihc
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Pihc
4 years 4 months ago

This is rare heights for any Cleveland team. Close by the Tribe in 95, 96. This is the most pumped a Cleveland fan has been since the mid 90s when they had that line-up and other FA players wanted to play in Cleveland. To me that’s an issue that’s astonishing atm. I realize the FA want to come to Cleveland simply b/c of LBJ, but they are and willing to do so for the league minimum. Outfreakingstanding.

As started before me, Grant did set this up with the picks, cap space, but it was Griff that had the shear luck of the #1 pick, was able to talk Irving into believing James would come home and bring Love along. I bet that presentation to Irving would’ve made any southern Baptist blush.

JJJJ
Guest
JJJJ
4 years 4 months ago

“Still, what’s most amazing about Lebron, Kevin, Kyrie, Dion, Tristan, Andy, Mike, Shawn, Matt, and Jared teaming up isn’t what it means in other people’s eyes, it’s what it means to us.”

Jared?

DaveR
Guest
DaveR
4 years 4 months ago

Good timing because the Browns are going to be awful. The Indians are doing the usual not quite in or out of it. The Cavs are by far the brightest star.

Gregg
Guest
Gregg
4 years 4 months ago

Being the focus of so many sports jokes over the years, the example of failures (the drive, the shot,etc) to the point that they even make movies with the Cleveland teams as the joke has been a long road for all of us. My road has been 45 years and I am reveling in this summers turn of events. Here’s a toast to all of us dedicated, loyal and proud ohio sports fans, we’ve earned it. My beer of choice right now is deschutes brewing “fresh squeezed IPA” Fortunate to live in oregon but so proud to be born and raised in Massillon.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
4 years 4 months ago

Yeppers. Grant bought us time, draft picks and salaryc cap space. James has made us relevant again. Griffin put the rest of the pieces together.

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