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The heartbreak kid

October 25th, 2007

It was inevitable. The Cleveland Indians run was going to end sooner or later.

Unlike the thousands of Indians faithful that could see a World Series championship, I knew that Clevelanders should not get overexcited about their team’s success.

If the pain of four Super Bowl losses, a Stanley Cup finals series that ended on a garbage goal by a guy’s foot that was clearly in the crease, and two more subsequent Eastern Conference finals losses have taught me anything, it is to never have too much faith in your team.

Especially if you are from cities like Cleveland or Buffalo.

The Tribe tied for the best record in the baseball this season. Rightfully so, the Cleveland faithful started buzzing about a possible World Series title.

While hockey isn’t a chic sport in Cleveland, it does provide a good benchmark for why Cleveland should not have gotten excited about their finish atop the MLB.

It has been five years since the NHL regular season champ won the Stanley Cup. Just ask Buffalo how that worked out last season.

I find it hard to believe that some people in Cleveland didn’t see this coming.

This is a city of a lost NFL franchise, dropped a ninth inning lead to the Marlins and not to mention an NBA finals sweep that followed an Eastern Conference finals exit the year before.

I do apologize to the Cleveland fans I upset during the ALCS, but if they won I would not have had any material for this column.

Cleveland has endured sixty years without a championship. But at least you can say you have one, actually two, World Series titles. For you Buckeyes fans, 2003 doesn’t count, they are from Columbus.

I hail from a city that really enjoys losing.

I am lucky enough to have lived through Wide Right, the three additional Super Bowl losses, No Goal, the homerun
throwback (forward pass) and most recently two straight losses in the Eastern Conference finals.

To put the icing on the cake, our übersuccessful hockey team let two of our leading scorers go to other teams. I guess scoring isn’t that important after all.

It is fitting that I would leave one famously losing sports city to attend college in another. Who doesn’t love a little heartbreak?

I do have faith that one of these cities will win a championship before I die. Odds are that the bounces will go our way eventually.

Until the day comes when I can watch my hometown team(s) hoist a championship trophy I will continue to doubt. Because that is the best way to root for your team — not at all.

Rather than getting overexcited about a run, a touchdown or a 3-1 series lead, you should wonder if your defense can hold or if you can get that last win at home or in the two following games on the road.

Until the day comes when Cleveland or Buffalo wins a championship, we can always say at least we got there.