Focus on The Good and Not the Past

Growing like I did with Cleveland sports, you learn to be passionate.

The first time I stepped inside old Cleveland Municipal Stadium for a Browns game, I didn’t see the passion there, I felt it. The roar of the crowd, the heart the players showed that day, and the feeling of excitement helped me feel the passion.

I recall stepping into the Coliseum the first time to watch the Cavaliers. They were the old blue jerseys with the orange Cavs logo at the time and the passion was felt for those in blue.

Years later, I stepped into Progressive (then Jacobs) Field and felt that same passion when cheering on the Indians. A dynasty was about to begin as the Indians of the 90s would capture the American League Central Division title several times and make two trips to the World Series.

Across the street, I felt the passion hockey fans had with the old Cleveland Lumberjacks. The fire that burned inside me the first time I saw a game lives with me today and that passion is felt each time I watch the current team, the Lake Erie Monsters.

The passion also comes from family members who grew up watching the great Cleveland Barons teams of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. It comes from grandparents old enough to remember watching the Indians take the World Series in 1948 and the Browns winning championships in the 50s and 60s.

With this passion also came unfriendly reminders of the past. Even if you got out of Cleveland, you couldn’t escape hearing about The Shot, The Drive, The Fumble, The Move, The Decision, and Jose Mesa losing the 1997 World Series on a blown save.

As fans and citizens of this city, we are also reminded of the Cuyahoga River catching on fire, the city going bankrupt, Jimmy Dimora, and Ariel Castro. These along with the city’s sports woes were dark points in history. Like any moment in history, these remain in the past and cannot be changed.

Within the past two weeks, less focus has been put on these bad moments when the Lake Erie Monsters and the Cleveland Cavaliers won championships in their respective leagues. The Monsters won the Calder Cup for the American Hockey League and the Cavs won the first ever NBA title in franchise history.

Both championships brought tears and joy to sports fans in Cleveland. In a city where not many believed a championship could be won, two teams came home with league championship trophies in two weeks.

As Monsters captain Ryan Craig lifted the Calder Cup in the air inside Quicken Loans Arena, part of the boulder on the shoulder of Cleveland sports had been lifted.

When Lebron James celebrated with his teammates after winning an NBA title, the boulder was completely gone.

Also gone were the jokes and the belief the city would never see a title. After so much focus on a negative past, the focus was now on two positive feats.

Both championships proved critics wrong about Cleveland not being able to win a championship. Both also proved it was time to tell the story how Cleveland fans finally rejoiced in championships they deserved. It is also the story of how a city that was down and out rebounded for the best.

 

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~ by jeffrsabo on June 22, 2016.

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