By: Jasmine Lewis/@all_thatJas
There are no fans quite like diehard Cleveland fans. Now that may be the Northeast Ohio heritage coming out of me, but nothing and no one can convince me otherwise.
Got a problem… fight me! Now that, that’s out of the way, THERE ARE NO FANS QUITE LIKE DIEHARD CLEVELAND FANS. It takes a special kind of commitment, tenacity and resilience to allow yourself to be heartbroken year after year after year after year.
For much of our existence in the sports world, heartbreak has been our reality. We had the Cavs, our super annoyingly long-term relationship; we loved them, but it seemed the longer we were together, the further away the idea of a ring got. We had the Browns and Indians, our age-old marriage; we had our honeymoon phase, even our glory years if you will, but had no hopes of seeing a rekindle anytime soon.
And we had the Lake Erie Monsters; our new fling. It seemed fun but unsure if it was genuine and if anything would come of it. In a nutshell, if Cleveland sports were relationships, we would need counseling and plenty of it. As if we weren’t already in a perpetual state of hopelessness, ESPN broadcasted it to the entire world in the “30 for 30: Believeland”. The laughing stock of Ohio became the laughing stock of the country.
And then something amazing happened. 2016! There was an avalanche of blessings in Cleveland. Euclid native, Stipe Miocic became the UFC heavyweight champion. The record season holding, championship defending, first ever unanimous MVP having, Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead against none other than the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After 46 years and the heartbreaking “Decision”, we finally got a chip. The Lake Erie Monsters won the Calder Cup. We were at an all-time high, basking in the glory of successful sports stories. And then NFL season started. The Browns were being even more Brown-esque than usual. Started the season winless. (Still winless, btw.) We were willing to sacrifice them for the Cavs championship we won a few months prior.
But the Cleveland Indians… boy oh boy, did the Indians shock us all. October 19, we had a 3-1 lead against the Toronto Blue Jays and we showed Golden State what you do with a 3-1 lead. We closed it out to go onto the World Series. The only thing better than a Cavs championship is a Cavs championship and an Indians championship in the same year. So we watched… and we watched, after four games, we were up 3-1.
No sweat, we already proved we knew what to do with the 3-1 lead. But something happened. Those blessings dried up. I don’t know if it was karma for all of the 3-1 jokes we had made since June 19 or maybe the sports gods knew Cleveland would spontaneously combust if we got another chip this year, but we blew it.
We. Blew. It. We blew a 3-1 lead. The Cavs came back from a 3-1 lead and the Indians blew a 3-1 lead, in the same year. The pain was painful.
That’s obvious. But at least this year we got to experience more than pain, we experienced joy and then pain. We are coming for 2017 with everything we have.
No matter the outcome, any game, any sport, we won’t stop believing. We are believers and Cleveland is The Land we love. Believeland: the Blessing and the Curse.