Get out my soapbox!

I'm used to it. Disappointment. Heartache. Anger.

Of course, I'm talking about the LeBron James spectacle.

I grew up as an avid fan of three of the worst teams in their respective leagues. The Cavaliers were always average or below, even when they had good seasons. The little things always meant big things to Cleveland. Mike Mitchell making the All-Star Team when the game was in Cleveland. The Cavs run in the playoffs which ended well before the Championship being termed "The Miracle of Richfield." The disappointment and heartbreak of "The Shot," where Michael Jordan sank a last-second shot to beat the Cavs. No championships in the forty years of the franchise.

Now this.

I'm not mad or angry or homicidal. I don't begrudge Mr. James anything. If he wants to play with D-Wade and Bosh in Miami, more power to him. I hope he does well, just not TOO well!

I am very disillusioned with the media. Everyone seems to be blaming James for the whole circus that culminated with that silly show last night. But apart from that show, James said nothing and did nothing until then to bring attention to himself. He had his meetings in private in a hotel in Cleveland, did not invite attention or ask a film crew to follow him around (a la Bosh and Wade), and conducted his business as just that: business. The media, especially ESPN, played this up to unprecedented levels and hyped it all the way to the bank. They followed every move, took every picture, reported every rumor no matter how far-fetched, and beat that horse until it was dead five times over. In this case, shoot the messenger. Please!

The entity that I am most sympathetic to and sorry for is the City of Cleveland, my hometown. It has endured so much, given so much, laid bare its soul and emotions with so little in return, that now it has fallen so far so fast by just one decision with nothing to show for it. In fact, this is being termed "The Decision," another single-named disappointment for the good people of Cleveland. "The Shot," "The Fumble," "The Drive," "The Catch," etc. To go along with "Red Right 88" and the oh-so-close, one out from winning the 1997 World Series.

I have had a lifetime of disappointment in my hometown's sports. Literally. The last championship for any Cleveland team was 1964. The year I was born! Not one! Three championship series (two for the Indians, one for the Cavaliers, none for the Browns) in 45 years!

That's sad. And disappointing. But I'm used to it, unfortunately.

1 comment:

Mark's Ephemera said...

But apart from that show, James said nothing and did nothing until then to bring attention to himself.

He did go on Larry King Live for an interview in early June (transcript).

But, I do agree that the media has hyped this up more than it should have. Reminds me of a certain pitcher for Washington.