During the first LeBron James era in Cleveland, I would always marvel at how amazingly the nationally televised games captured the best of the city on film. There would always be shots of Lake Erie from long distance that made Cleveland seem different from the city I traveled on foot everyday.
I was a high school student at the time and I used the Rapid Transit System to get almost everywhere. On the longer trips into Downtown Cleveland, I would always be amazed at how nice the city was because of some of the media depictions of this city. Things seemed great, as the area was doing better and the Cavaliers had a lot to do with that upswing.
But, shortly after I started school, LeBron left Cleveland. Before he left he offered this nugget of information during an interview after the Cavs lost to the Boston Celtics in the 2010 Playoffs: "A friend of mine told me today after the game that I guess you have to go through a lot of nightmares before you finally accomplish your dream."
Those four years sucked. But, now here the Cavs are, ready to start off the playoffs and pick up where they left off in 2010.
The city and the Cavs seem much closer to accomplishing their dreams than ever before this season. Even though the team has not racked up the gaudy win numbers of past seasons where the Cavs were the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference. The roster, the court, and the city have all had a new coat of paint in the last year.
There have been crazy renovations like the 3D hardwood projections and the Humongotron that now towers over the court along with subtle ones to the larger city like the LED lighting that now accompanies the Terminal Tower. The building can do crazy stuff like this now:
I spoke to the a person from the Tower Lights Crew to see how they were planning to celebrate the Cavs first playoff appearance since 2010:
Editor's Note: The person interviewed is not identified by name because it is not Tower City policy to reveal the name of the persons directly responsible for the lights. The interview was conducted over email and has not been edited.
Me: How long have the lights been around atop the Terminal Tower?
Tower Lights Crew Member: There have been lights on the Tower since it opened in 1930. In the ‘90s we started adding colored gels to the lights for events etc. It took about 3 days to set up a different color. As part of the façade restoration (2005 to 2010) we added the fancy color changing LED lights. There are 508 fixtures from floors 30 to 52.
Me: How much power does it take to light the Tower?
Tower Lights Crew Member: Each fixture uses about 40 watts.
Me: Who's your favorite Cavs player?
Tower Lights Crew Member: It's really hard to pick one player. After a little bit of a rocky start the team has truly become a team. I think that is one of the things that makes this team so fun. You can always figure that LeBron and Kyrie are going to do their part but when you factor in how the other starters contribute and how guys like Tristan and Delly come off the bench and make such an impact it's truly exciting to watch.
Me: True, It was sketchy there in the early going but you can see from moments like the final victory of the season that the team really has come together. What have you enjoyed the most during this season?
Tower Lights Crew Member: It's been great to watch the team gel.
Me: Totally, I mean look at them, do they look like guys that don't particularly care for each other?
Tower Lights Crew Member: LOL
Me: Do you have anything special planned for the playoffs? (Its okay if its just a tease if it needs to be a secret)
Tower Lights Crew Member: At a minimum I will be lighting up wine and gold! We are working with the team on some other displays but too soon to tell where that might end up.
Me: Well, I think that sort of anticipation is how Cavs fans feel about the team too. The entire city is thinking about a possible championship run here which is exciting. Thanks for taking the time to chat.
Tower Lights Crew Member: No problem, Go Cavs!