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COLUMN: Bury your resentment Cleveland

Energy spent hating LeBron better served supporting teams

June 22, 2012
B.J. LISKO - Salem News Sports Editor (bjlisko@salemnews.net) , Salem News

At some point Cleveland, you're gonna have to let this go.

What did you think was going to happen? Did you believe Dan Gilbert last year when he said the Cavaliers would win a title before LeBron James and the Heat would? The team promptly followed up that promise by finishing dead last while King James finally lived up to his name and led Miami to its second NBA championship.

It's patented Cleveland. You can see the legacy of misery unfold before your very eyes with each passing season in any sport. For every fan that's moved on, there's three more on social media sites spreading poorly Photoshopped LeBron hate messages.

So much time is spent bickering in Cleveland, it's a wonder what the city would do if one of its pro franchises ever actually won. Cleveland Indians reliever Chris Perez was furious with the town as the team shot into first place in the division yet had some of the most feeble home attendance numbers in baseball.

Cleveland spent more time rooting for the Dallas Mavericks last season and the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder this season than it did rooting for the Indians during the same time span - and in each of the last two years, the Indians have been a contender at the same time as the NBA playoffs.

It makes you think Cleveland sports fans are actually happier being miserable. They're constantly waiting for the floor to fall out from under them. Unfortunately, I can't really blame them because it usually does.

As a fan of the Browns, Cavs and to a point the Indians, I get Cleveland's pain. But at the same time, all the energy spent into being anti-LeBron could've been better served to actually back the Wahoos as they climbed back into first place in the same week as LeBron won his first ring.

It's like the city just expects the Indians to melt under the summer heat. Last time I checked, the American League Central wasn't exactly a powerhouse. A handful of games above .500 will get Cleveland back into the postseason. Maybe then they can sell out a home game.

No one wants to see Cleveland succeed more than me. The first time I saw the movie Major League I actually cried when Willie Mays Hayes crossed home plate on a bunt and run and Harry Doyle screamed "The Indians win it! The Indians win it! Oh my God the Indians win it!"

In my very first column as sports editor for this paper, I said I'd openly weep if the Browns ever won the Super Bowl.

Being negative is the easy way because in recent years there hasn't been a whole lot to cheer for.

It's far more likely LeBron gets a second or even third ring before any team in Cleveland wins a title in their respective sport. But to constantly root against LeBron is always going to be a losing proposition. You're rooting against arguably the best player on the planet with an insanely good supporting cast and another superstar at the helm.

Let it go, Cleveland. LeBron left in the worst way possible, but he took his talents to South Beach to win it all and he's done that.

How much more can you really blame him?

E-mail B.J. Lisko at bjlisko@salemnews.net

 
 

 

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