Friday, July 11, 2014

The GREATEST day in Cleveland sports history?

As a self-appointed spokesman for the city of Cleveland, I must tell LeBron James this:

In my life, there's been heartache and pain.
I don't know if I can face it again.

LeBron, one more thing:

I wanna know what love is.
I want you to show me.
I wanna feel what love is.
I know you can show me.

Just like my brethren in Northeast Ohio, I had a giddy day of goodness as King James announced his return to our underrated and much-maligned city. I strangely got chills writing that sentence. Talk about drama! Talk about excitement!

There's excitement in the air come and watch them play — Cavs! Taking on the best in the NBA. Cavs! Cavs! Cavs!

(That was a jingle from back in the '80s when Mark Price dished many a pretty pass to Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, Ron Harper or even John "Hot Rod" Williams.)

For four grueling years of hopelessness, I have loathed LeBron James more than any living human being. Come to think of it, he was the only human I've loathed. For my own emotional health, I have tried to forgive him for his stupid-a$$ "Decision," but I could not. I was stuck in the anger mode of healing for four years and just couldn't get out that mode.

As a news alert from the New York Times came on my iPhone, my whole emotionality turned upside down in an instant. This was the opposite of a trauma. This was shocking, amazing, smiley face time, bona fide glee. I somehow even broke the news to my brother and mother. Throughout the day, I put my fingers in the air and rubbed them like Johnny Manziel. My daughters and I repeatedly did the finger rub in Souplantation.

A flurry of emotion hit when the news struck, and I simply surmise this is what Andre 3000 means when he sings:

I think I'm in love again.
Baby, you are the prototype.
Do sumn' outta the ordinary. 

Today could have possibly been "THE GREATEST DAY IN CLEVELAND SPORTS HISTORY" (since 1964). Hyperbole? Maybe. But even if the Cavs never win a championship, or even if they do, the scales of justice balanced out today. That could better than a championship.

Of course, analyzing today as potentially THE GREATEST DAY IN CLEVELAND SPORTS HISTORY also underscores how horrible our city's sports history has been in my lifetime. Yes, we nearly won the World Series in 1997 with one of the glorious Tribe teams of the '90s, but they coughed up the lead in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 and then lost in extra innings. Ouch!

I've always said that you learn more in making mistakes and in losing than you do with winning, and that is why Northeast Ohio has the most self-knowlegeable people on the planet. Seriously, through years of being a gamer and a fierce competitor, I know that competition is not about the end result. It's about the ride.

LeBron's return is going to put my beloved Cleveland on an internationally envied ride. Yeah, it would be nice if he and the Cavs sealed the deal with a championship. I do yearn to have just one Cleveland championship in my lifetime, and if that happens before I'm 50, it will be 28 years earlier than I thought it might happen (I used an abacus for that calculation).

But, really, goodness is in the air. I feel great. I feel alive. My trip to Cleveland last week helped, reading the book "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" by Dr. Seuss to my daughters also helped.

Yes, LeBron was an Outkast for the past four years. We viewed him as a Foreigner. 

LeBron, as Andre 3000 also sings in "Prototype," I must say:

Girl, right now I wanna say, I wanna say
I wanna say stank you very much
For picking me up
And bringing me back to this world...
I wanna say stank you, stank you.



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