Friday, November 30, 2007

The Feeling of Winning It All...We wouldn't know Anything About That

What does it feel like to have your team win it all". If you are from Cleveland (and not on Medicare) obviously you do not know the answer. And please don't bring up the now defunct Cleveland Crunch who won 3 championships in the 90's. That team did not have the heartbeat of the city. They were NOT like the Cleveland Force that captivated 20,000 fans nightly at the Richfield Coliseum in the 80's with the likes of Kai Haaskivi and Bernie James. But even that team could not bring home the ring (or whatever it is they bring home in MISL).

Yes many of you Ohio State contingents can proudly boast that you know the feeling. Being a somewhat casual OSU fan I was excited during the 2002 Championship but not overwhelmed. There were no tears running down my face nor a feeling of great pride. Whenever I run into a true Boston fan the question gets asked about their title back in 2004- the answer almost everytime- "the best feeling in the world". But what about the second? Do these fans still have the same feeling after winning it this year? Do Patriots fans still get the same chill in the back of their neck every time Kraft hoists Lombardi over his head? It's a question many of us Clevelanders would love to be able to answer.

But the fact remains once we get something we long for we take it for granted. The Spurs could not even sell out the home opener this year. They did not sell out the first round of last years playoffs. Why? Simple- the fans have had the privilege to be part of 4 championships in the past 7 years. They have been there and done that. Look at the Atlanta Braves fans- 14 division titles in a row (that consecutive title streak should have had more press). Those fans got fat and lazy and just expected their team to win year after year. The stadium would sit half empty during the regular season which meant for the rest of us only 20,000 annoying tomahawk chops instead of 53,000. On a side note- that chop should be officially outlawed everywhere and immediately.

Lets talk to Spurs fans in 15 years- when they will reminisce about the glory days of Robinson and Duncan. They will long for the chance of being able to watch a quality team. And then there is the lowly dreadful Florida Marlin fan. These fans are not worthy of 2 rings in their 15 year existence. Can you imagine a Marlin fan sporting a Renteria jersey to a Browns game. Talk about a death sentence. But the fact remains since 1949: Florida Marlins 2 rings- Cleveland Indians NONE. Even the Arizona Diamondbacks in the league since 1998 have 1 ring. Maybe it's the old adage "Ignorance is Bliss". These newer teams do not have the weight of their city on their shoulders.

Look at Carolina and Jacksonville. They each reached the Conference Championship in their second year. How did the Browns finish their second year back in 2000: 3-13. Right now is a great time for Cleveland sports. If the Browns can take care of business the next 5 games then Cleveland will have for the first time in history all 3 teams in the playoffs during the same year. Did you hear me correctly- ALL 3 TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFFS. In a city that is financially at the bottom of the barrel- this means lots of cash infused into the downtown area. And for the fans it means pride. And to mathematicians 3 teams in the playoffs means a higher probability that one day someone like a Buffalo Bills fan will ask us What does it feel like to win???

Posted by: Randy Rash

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