I have come to praise Cleveland, not to mourn for it, and why should I mourn the home of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers? On Father's Day, 2016, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith and Company knocked Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors off their high horse at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA with a brilliant 93-89 upset victory and lifted the Forest City's 32-year curse .(The Cleveland Browns won their last NFL Championship in 1964.) This is not just a victory for any one sports team, no, no. This is a victory for the good people of Cleveland, the 48th largest city in the United States, which, as the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rock Capital of the World, has always deserved equal recognition with such musical powerhouse cities such as my beloved Big Apple, (Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, CBGB's,Storyville) New Orleans, (Dixieland) Philadelphia (Gamble & Huff), Memphis (the Blues), Detroit (Motown)San Francisco (Huey Lewis and the News, Jefferson Airplane) and Los Angeles (too many to list).
It is also a victory for anyone who has ever been left on hold, stuck with a "non-winning" lottery ticket, and had sand kicked in their face. This is proof positive that with practice, devotion, and belief in yourself, anything is possible. Remember when the Mets beat Baltimore in 1969? Remember when Broadway Joe's bold guarantee came true? Remember when the New York Daily News was ready to go to press with a back page that screamed 1940 and the object of that headline, the New York Rangers, won their first Stanley Cup in 54 years and forced the "Hometown Paper" to replate the back page and eat its words? Remember when the 1970 Knicks provided a lift for a city in need with its first World Championship? It's that kind of feeling, that kind of victory.
Too long has Cleveland been the butt of jokes from shaggy dog stories to Howard The Duck. Too long has Cleveland been called the Mistake by the Lake. Too long has Cleveland been overlooked and ignored. This ended with the buzzer that Sunday night. Cleveland may not be Paris, but then, why should it be? It has its own industries, its own team, and now, its own champions. This is not only a day for Cleveland, but for underdogs everywhere. Move over, Rover! It's time for US to eat!
(FULL DISCLOSURE: I have no immediate plans to visit Cleveland, actually, I'll visit Philly during 4th of July, but Cleveland is DEFINITELY on my bucket list.)
WE ARE CLEVELAND!