The first thing I will tell the very unfortunate psychiatrist, that has the displeasure of analyzing me when I undergo the massive psychotherapy that will accompany my inevitable mental breakdown in my thirties (and it’s coming. My friend have started to take bets about the age I’ll be when it occurs. The over/under is 32. Personally, I would take the under…), is the key to understanding my entire being starts with the fact that I grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio rooting for the multiple car crash catastrophe that is the Cleveland sports scene. Had I grown up in
If there is one defining personality trait that all people from Cleveland share is our joyless, fun crushing (plus) pessimism spurred on by a collective inferiority complex that penetrates deep within our tortured, weary souls. From a young age, we are indoctrinated with “Mistake On The Lake” jokes and tales of our polluted rivers burning from raw sewage and hapless local stupidity which begins to seep deep within your soul and whisper to you in the dark night that your city is simply not good enough. We are told that our city is dreary, miserable and the sun never shines (which is not true. It just usually doesn’t shine) which after awhile begins to cut deep. Worst of all is the impending sense of doom that seems to surround our beloved sports teams. The tales of our city’s sports failures are told in hushed, whispered tones as if you do not wish to anger the gods by speaking of these stories. We huddle around each other as if we are frightened girl scouts swapping scary stories around a campfire about events that we only need one name to describe: The Shot, The Drive, The Fumble and
It’s been 45 years since
To put it in the most grandiose terms possible,
Before his memorable Sports Illustrated cover at the age of 17 introduced to the rest of the country,
As we all know (I figure if you read this far, you know, Lebron James’ career arc), Lebron has become the world’s best basketball player (unless you are a delusional Kobe fan which means I just feel sorry for you…) and has lived up to the insane promise that he held when he first entered the league. Lebron’s game has miraculously managed to redefine what we consider the limits of a basketball player by simultaneously combining uncontrollable power, blinding speed, wunderkind basketball intellect and virtuoso skill making him not so much the second coming of Jordan, Bird or Magic but a completely new paradigm of how we judge basketball players. He’s done this while simultaneously resurrecting his hometown team from total sports irrelevancy into being one of the premier franchises in basketball simply by existing on the team. This coupled with the fact that he’s preternaturally charismatic and a gifted showman makes him a marketing force not seen since
The mainstream media has decided that it is destiny for Lebron James to play in New York City for the Knicks for reasons that can’t be explained logically but nevertheless has become such the prevailing wisdom that there seems to be very few sports fans that actually believe that he is going to stay in Cleveland when his contract expires in the summer of 2010.
Ultimately, what really ails
8 more to go….