Cleveland sports fans wear the accumulated disappointment of 144 straight championship-less years right on the sleeve. Outsiders just know it's been a long friggin' time since Cleveland won anything, but we rattle off the years without thinking — '64, '48, Never — like some depressing play call at the line of scrimmage.
It's our identity. One that we would like to change, obviously, but one we can do little about. While our teams fruitlessly and aimlessly plug along for the most part, occasionally throwing in unmentionable acts of last-minute failure just to keep us on our toes, we pin the badge on our chests proudly.
Blog names are a good way to judge a city's sports identity. So, it's not the most accurate or scientific barometer, but the general positive or negative leanings do give some clue as to how fans feel.
Here? There's Waiting For Next Year, Wait 'Til Next Year, Cursed Cleveland, Curse of Cleveland, and Cry Me a Cuyahoga River, to name a few. Also, Scene's own sports blog, '64 and Counting.
Notice a theme? There's plenty of others that have nothing to do with the Forest City's title drought (too many to mention by name, actually), but the category described above has more than a handful of occupants.
Here's where we can talk about LeBron's relationship with the media and how easy he made their jobs after the loss to the Magic. No, this has nothing to do with his avoidance of the media immediately after the game nor his refusal to shake hands with the Magic after the final whistle blew. Those topics have already been dissected ad nauseam by columnists and sports radio blowhards.
No, this is about how the Cavs' loss means that the blogs mentioned above do not have to change their names nor explain why they don't have to change their name for another year (I don't think the Browns or Indians are in any danger of forcing that timetable to change). Not that anyone would mind having to come up with a new name, but for now, the city's identity — the one ascribed to it by the rest of the world, and the one we self-identify with, is the same as it was last year. And the year before. And the year before that. Etc.
The town will have to wait until.... well, you know how the rest of that line goes. Which is depressing. Heckling Yankees fans Sunday didn't even make me feel better. But I could use the time to come up with a new name for Scene's sports blog for that golden, long-awaited day when the title comes to Cleveland.
The leaders in the clubhouse, in no particular order, so far:
Sons of Shawn Kemp
Mike Brown's Spit Cup
Bernie Kosar's Liver
Phil Dawson's Creek
Through Rick Vaughn's Glasses
Damon Stringer's Bling
Really, That Logo Isn't Racist at All
But really, all puns and alcoholism and ungodly ability to procreate aside, I desperately need it to be representative of a new sports identity for the city. Here's to hoping 2010 gives us the chance.