I can’t tell you what its like to win a championship. Personally, I have come close but never won one. I see myself in this city that longs for a title.
I have always hated fans referring to the team as “We”. We didn’t practice, we didn’t play, we didn’t coach. Most of the time there is no we. However, in Cleveland it’s different this time. This team and this city are connected.
Tonight, June 19, 2016, could be the greatest night in Cleveland history. No other city has been waiting for this day quite like Cleveland has.We have waited and waited. Sat through heart-break after heart break. For years Cleveland has been the mistake by the lake. The city no one wants to visit. Our nightlife sucks, our teams suck, our city sucks. Our players leave, our people move out and our best players bail on us because you can’t win in Cleveland. This is the narrative everyone wants you to think. Yet, the narrative has slowly been changing. Travel magazines and blogs say we are the place to visit, people rave about our homegrown chefs and dining scene and even the republicans think Cleveland is important politically. Our teams returned, our people moved back and even our players come back like a prodigal son. Maybe, the old narrative isn’t true.
We know Golden State is the best team in regular season history. Curry and Klay are the best shooters ever. Everyone knew we didn’t stand a chance epitomized by the 3-1 series start. The season was going up in flames like our river once did. Lebron couldn’t handle pressure, Kyrie was not fit to be a superstar and Cleveland sports once again will come up short. But we don’t believe that narrative about Cleveland. We never did.
Slowly, the impossible seems to be occurring. It’s cool to be from Cleveland. The flats are back, old neighborhoods are rising and young people are flocking to Cleveland in waves this town has never seen. This is the new Cleveland narrative.
Outside this city there was little hope. The Warriors were about to complete the greatest season. Then the Cavs stole game 5 on the road. Lebron showed why he is the true MVP in game 6 and suddenly the Cavs forced game 7 against the best team ever. The Cavs are writing a new chapter..
My earliest sports memory was the 97 world series. It’s just one of many famed Cleveland sports failures. And like any young kid I didn’t realize I would have to wait 10 years to see the city have another chance. Only to see any hope come crumbling down with “The Decision”. Yet, Lebron came back. The city came back. The Cavs came back. WE came back. .
And come tonight the Warriors could find their jumper. Lebron could lose his and Kyrie could disappear and all would return to normal in the eyes of the outside world. Cleveland would again let one slip and the city would remain without a title. Yet, the narrative seems different. The city is different. This team is different. We are different. We know it won’t be easy. It won’t be given to us. Like everything we have in this city, it will be earned. This title will need to be earned. In North East Ohio, we know nothing is given, everything is earned. #AllIn216 #Believeland