Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Everything will be all right

Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’ sun,

Three little birds

Pitch by my doorstep

Singin’ sweet songs

Of melodies pure and true,

Sayin’, (“This is my message to you-ou-ou:”)

Singin’: “Don’t worry ’bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” – Bob Marley

I’m as disappointed and hurt as any Cleveland fan about LeBron James leaving for Miami. I don’t understand why these things seem to happen only in Cleveland. I just want to be a normal fan; I want to watch an important game involving a Cleveland team and not always be worrying about something horrible happening.

But I can’t, because I’m a Cleveland fan. For whatever reason, that’s the way it has always been, at least in my lifetime. When Mike Davis intercepted Brian Sipe in the end zone, I learned what it meant to be a Cleveland fan. That lesson has remained with me for 30 years. This is the path I have chosen.

Even though it can be painful and frustrating at times, luckily I can view Cleveland sports from the perspective of adulthood. I have a career, a beautiful wife and a wonderful daughter. I watch sports because I enjoy them tremendously and because I know, someday, when a Cleveland team finally brings a championship home, it will be exciting, unbelievable and something I will never forget.

And because I’m an adult, when one of our teams lose, I don’t need to stomp my feet, shake my fists or throw things like a hoople head. I know I may be down for a few hours after a loss, but the sun will come up the next day. The millionaires won’t ruin my day just because they happened to play poorly.

This doesn’t make me, or anyone, “less” of a fan, the same way that disagreeing with the President doesn’t make someone “less” of an American. There are so many real problems in this world that whether the local team wins or loses is insignificant in the grand scheme.

Being a Cleveland fan is what I am, but it’s not who I am. I have my opinions about what the GMs, coaches and players should do; but they are no more or less valid than anyone else’s. That’s the great thing about sports – there’s room for everyone and for everyone’s perspective.

If you are Dan Gilbert, Randy Lerner or Larry Dolan, then sports is a business. Same for the players. For the rest of us, it’s entertainment.

At the end of the day, win or lose, we’re all Cleveland fans and we all want the same thing – to cheer for a championship team. And that day will come.

Until then, “every little thing gonna be all right.” I promise.

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