I never thought my 200th post would be this.
In hindsight, I guess I should have. But in my defense, I am relatively knew to this. There are grown men and women across Northeast Ohio who are familiar with this. They know that complete and abject human misery can be summed up into one word.
The Catch - I wasn't there for that.
The Drive - Wasn't there for that.
The Fumble - Nope.
Red Right 88 - Swimming around somewhere in my father's scrotum.
The Move - I didn't know the Browns existed.
The Blown Save - I was living it up in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey and waiting for Curt Schilling to get healthy for the Phillies.
The Sweep - San Antonio is a good team and we have LeBron so we'll be back.
The 2007 ALCS - It hurts but this is a young team.
The Decision - so this is what it feels like.
Forgive my lack of eloquence, but "this", whatever it is that brings sorrow to the North Coast, plain sucks.
It doesn't suck that LeBron is leaving. We were prepared for that. I stared at the TV for several hours, completely motionless, after the Cavs lost to the Celtics. That is when LeBron left for me.
It doesn't suck because it was expected. Talented 25-year-olds leaving Ohio for brighter lights and bigger cities all the time. I may do it myself one day and I wouldn't want my community to shun me.
It doesn't suck because of the way it was handled. This can be called nothing else than one of the biggest sports-related PR debacles of all time. How someone lets an athlete string a fan base along for two years before breaking up with them on live TV is beyond me. Well...I guess you could say that that technically sucked but it's not why this truly sucked for me.
It sucked because LeBron James is not who I thought he was. It is unrealistic to expect sports to be simple but we expect them to be at least a little less complicated than our day to day lives. LeBron looked like a champion, he sounded like a champion and everyone agreed that one day he would BE a champion. Detractors liked to say that while he was a fine basketball player, he would never be an all-time great. Cleveland disagreed. We looked into the soul of a man the best we could through our LCD TV screens and magazine articles and found a spark of greatness. We didn't believe it was there...we KNEW it was there. It had to be. He was our native son. Our King.
The hardest part of last night was watching a King tip himself over onto the chessboard and declare that he, himself, was not good enough. The man we watched for the past seven years was never a king...only a rook, at best.
And that's what sucked the most.
It hurt last night. It hurt a lot. All I could do was get out my LeBron jersey, lay it out on a table and just wonder what I should do with it. It was still lying there when I woke up this morning.
This is a new chapter and the pain has already begun to subside. Cleveland will bounce back and I will have to bounce back with them. The Indians are not as bad as we think. The Browns finally have competent management. The Cavs will suck for a year and then Byron Scott will be able to recreate the team to his liking.
Life will go on. But I will forever know exactly what "this" feels like. I'm so sorry you had to shoulder so many years of misery, Cleveland. I've been a part of the Northeast Ohio community for a decade. It is now, in our shared misery, that I humbly submit my application for full-time Clevelander status.
As for LeBron, I forgive you. I really do. You are a 25-year-old big kid, insulated by a life in a small city. You don't quite understand what you've done to the city of Cleveland yet but you will someday.
And when they day comes, regardless of how many championship rings you have, you will still have exactly one less than Dwyane Wade.
Enjoy being the Queen.