Cleveland sports fans wear the accumulated disappointment of 144 straight championship-less years right on their sleeves. 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 called 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 aimlessly plug along, 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 one way to judge a city’s sports identity. Consider some of ours: Waiting for Next Year. Wait ’Til Next Year. Cursed Cleveland. Curse of Cleveland. Cry Me a Cuyahoga River. Scene’s own sports blog is ’64 and Counting. Notice a theme?
Here’s where we can talk about LeBron’s relationship with the media and how easy he made their job 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 above-mentioned blogs don’t have to change their names or 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 the issue either). Not that anyone would mind having to come up with a new name, but for now, the city’s self-identity is the same as it was last year. And the year before. And the year before that.
The town will have to wait until … well, you know how the rest of that line goes. Which is depressing. Not even heckling Yankees fans on Sunday made 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. Boudreau’s Budoir. 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 seriously, 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. — Vince Grzegorek