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On the Mark, Episode 7: Cleveland Sports Curse Strikes Back

May 21, 2009

Hi everybody!

I had this week's email blog all planned out for today, but current events have caused me to save it for next week. Instead, I'm going to vent as irreverently as possible to work it out of my system, while still trying to entertain you. Sometimes writing things out will make you feel better.

We'll see.

For those in the same condition as I'm in, we can commiserate in our doom and gloom. For the rest, you can be amused by our folly. Hey, sometimes it's fun to watch other people's weeping and gnashing of teeth . . .

Last night, a bomb went off in Cleveland. And thousand of people's hopes and dreams just suddenly vanished. It was like Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars sitting there playing with his ball thingy with Luke, and sensing that the Death Star had just blown up Alderaan. This is what he said:

"I feel a great disturbance in the Force . . . . as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced."

Yeah, it's that bad.

So when the Cleveland Cavaliers lost by one point in the final seconds last night, we Cleveland sports fans knew that it's all over. Never mind that they still have to lose three more times before they are eliminated.

We just know. We've been here before. When that ball hit off the rim and we lost, we knew that Yes, another Cleveland team is going to let us down.

The Bible says something about gaining strength through suffering. Now I know why there are so many churches in the Cleveland area. We are a very religious bunch. It's because our sports teams have done a really nice job building up our faith and character for about 45 years or so. It's all part of God's divine plan.

Or maybe our teams just suck.

I'm not going to go over the trials and tribulations of being a Cleveland sports fan, because we've all been there. The Drive, the Fumble, Jose Mesa, Ohio State blowing the championship game (twice), yada yada yada . . . . Sorry, I said I wasn't going to list them, but I just did -- that's part of our condition -- we have the list ready to whip out to anybody who will listen. It's like old ladies stopping total strangers in the store and listing their various ailments.

We should all have a tatoo with the list on our arm. Actually, the tatoo would run down one arm, jump over to the other arm, contine down the left leg, then over to your right one. Then down at the toe level, you take your foot and slam a door against it over and over and over and over and over again.

That's what it means to be a Cleveland sports fan.

The funny thing is, I don't care as much about sports as I used to. I don't watch much sports at all, actually, but I read the sports news every day and I listen to sports talk radio a lot while I'm working. This year, while the Cavs coasted to an awesome 66-16 record, I stayed as emotionally detached as possible. I was happy to see them do well, but I really only watched a handful of games. Being a Cleveland fan, we know it will end up in heartbreak, so why invest the energy?

But then the playoffs started. And the Cavs were crushing the other teams. And I started to believe. And then I was looking at the calendar to see if I would have my kids when they have the victory parade down Euclid Ave. after the Cavs won the championship.

Yes, I was going to savor this one. It's our turn now. We deserve to win one finally. Actually, I deserve it. The last time Cleveland won a championship in 1964, my mom was in high school. Gas was 10 cents a gallon, and a new car was like a couple of hundred dollars. OK, maybe a little more, but you get the idea.

Then they lost last night. And like I said, even though they are not eliminated yet, we all knew.

It's over.

So I'm not going to watch them anymore, because I don't want to endure the agony. Sure, I'll tape the games just on the random chance that they win. I can always watch the games later, if by some weird twist of fate they manage to regroup and surprise us all.

But once the Death Star has destroyed a planet, what are the chances that it will get put back together?

So no more games for me. Cleveland sports teams (Ohio State, too), consider this a divorce. You've been unfaithful one too many times. It's over. I'm not going to be subjected to this roller coaster ride of emotions anymore. I've learned my lesson . . .

. . . . OK, if you win the next couple of games, I might at least listen. But you have to promise to not do it again.



Take care, and have a safe and fun holiday weekend.



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