FanPost

Clevelanders’ Devotion to Sports Teams Mirrors Mindset of City

                

                                         We're almost there, Cavaliers fans.  Keep the Faith!

 

By Steven Schoenwald

A few weeks ago I took RTA’s Healthline Transit service over from the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic towards public square.  I was planning to meet up with a friend of mine over at Progressive Field to watch the Indians face the White Sox.  After purchasing some bagels from a local convenience store, I headed over to the stadium and sat down at one of the picnic benches set up near the right field dugout.  The view was nice here, certainly preferable over the upper deck ticket I had purchased.  As I began eating my makeshift lunch, I noticed Ozzie Guillen getting into an argument with fan favorite (lol) umpire Joe West.  As Guillen’s over the top arm movements clashed with West’s superiority complex, I couldn’t help but smile.  Here, watching chaos from two below average teams, I felt relaxed.

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There is a reason true fans of baseball and other sports come to watch their teams play even if they are likely to perform poorly.  For some it may be the ‘underdog factor’ and the willingness to provide support to the scrappy team that just manages to get the job done.  For others, it may be to see the prospects of today develop into the stars of tomorrow.  Others still are driven to games with an unwavering devotion to their hometown team as if it were their wife or husband.  These fans are willing to sink with the ship if necessary, pushing onward with the hope and vision of a championship one day arriving in their city.  This is the plight of the Cleveland fan, as well as a defining characteristic of the people who live in it.

As a whole, Clevelanders are cut from the same cloth, a fiber of which is contributed by my own and each of your lifestyles.  Clevelanders are hard working, gritty people.  They understand that nothing will ever be given to them, and they must fight to get ahead and succeed.  The national media will forever look down upon them, and celebrities will oftentimes write jokes at their expense.  Still, the Clevelander doesn’t mind (too much, anyways).  Predispositioned as members of a ‘second class city’, the Clevelander is willing to take risks and use innovation to his/her advantage.  This comes in many forms: the innovation to switch professions when times are tough, the innovation to start a business or invent with nothing more than a dream or idea, the innovation to research to find something never before discovered, among others.  The short story of my life follows similar lines; realizing the competitive nature of life at a young age, I studied hard and independently.  I used sports as a way to take a break from my studies, both by playing and listening while I worked or read.  I was able to get into the college of my choice and am working long hours in order to pay off my tuition.  The little spare time I have I enjoy spending with friends and checking up on world news.  I try to look at life practically, not through the rose tinted glass of LA or the steely better-than-thou eyes of New York, but as you and I do: as a Clevelander.

This is why I feel Clevelanders support their sports teams with such devotion.  The city’s sports teams mirror its residents.  This is not to say they always fail to achieve their ultimate goal, as Cleveland’s 50 years of championless sports would suggest.  Rather the teams, like the city’s residents, never give up, always willing to push on through.  Jason Donald swung away to get a hit (OK, not really) against Armando Galarraga in the face of a 27th out of a perfect game.  Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown used innovative lineups, leading to a Cleveland (dis)advantage in the 2010 playoff series verses the Boston Celtics.  Just a short time ago, the creative Browns front office traded the rights to their 2008 first round draft pick for Brady Quinn, star quarterback of the future…

Hmm…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the people mentioned above tried, even in the face of pitiable odds.  I mean, who really expected the Browns to make an enviable selection with their first round draft pick, right?
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After I finished my lunch, I headed over to work.  The Indians had lost, but I really enjoyed my early afternoon.  By watching that game, I felt like I was watching my city moving along with me.  We both have a goal to reach, and will experience hardships and failures along the way, together.  But, as history has proven, we shall survive and persevere. One day, we will achieve our goals, together.  I guarantee you, it’ll be sweet!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on FearTheSword.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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