Time for a Different Story To Tell

Growing up a Cleveland sports fan, jokes and stories were abundant on how the city was “cursed” and couldn’t win a championship. The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, Jose Mesa, and The Decision all created heartache for Cleveland sports fans. No matter how much time had passed, the same sad stories would often get repeated throughout the media.

Time has passed since some of the worst moments in Cleveland history. Time often can heal and Cleveland fans never gave up hope a championship would come home. Time and time again, Cleveland fans remained dedicated and hopeful the so called “curse” would end. The burden of no championship often felt like a boulder on the shoulder of the fans that couldn’t be lifted.

In a two week span, two teams who call Quicken Loans Arena home, the Lake Erie Monsters and the Cleveland Cavaliers, would remove that boulder.

The Lake Erie Monsters, who were formed nine seasons ago after the previous version of the Cleveland Barons failed to capture a fan base, won the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League finals. Some of the fans had been waiting since 1964, when the original Cleveland Barons last won the Calder Cup, for a championship; some wanted to simply see a championship. Others who had been hockey fans since the days of the Cleveland Lumberjacks in the mid-90s were starving for a title as well.

The Monsters had built a following and it showed when the largest crowd to watch a professional hockey game in Cleveland watched Monsters forward Oliver Bjorkstrand score a game winning goal in overtime to claim the Calder Cup. The six-ounce puck crossing the line brought joy to so many who had waited for a championship.

With that goal, part of the boulder had been removed.

On June 19th, the other part of the boulder would go with it.

Having been down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers took a Game 7 victory against the heavily favored Golden State Warriors. Like many times before, Cleveland was “cursed”, not supposed to win, or be thought of as a championship city.

Lebron James, who had ripped the hearts out of Cleveland fans with the Decision, came back and was determined to end the championship drought. With a blocked shot by James late in the fourth quarter and a three-point shot by Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers became champions.

The boulder was now gone.

The Cavaliers celebrated and the city rejoiced with the team. It had been 52 years and the city was more than ready to celebrate. There was no more reasons to believe the city was “cursed” and couldn’t win. There was now reason to believe good things happen to those who wait and continue to give hope.

Instead of telling the story of how Cleveland is “cursed”, it is now time to tell the story how the “curse” was lifted in two weeks.


~ by jeffrsabo on June 20, 2016.

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