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Friday, February 05, 2010

Misery

(Hat tip: Benny)

Bill Simmons of ESPN ("The Sports Guy") has been writing pieces on Tortured Sports Cities. In last week's rankings of the teams, he placed the three Cleveland teams all in the top 10; personally, I think they should all be top 5. This week was follow up e-mails from people regarding all the teams (those that should have been included and about those that were), and the last 1/3 of it is dedicated to Cleveland. The final summaries are the best (/worst) -

1969: Cuyahoga River catches fire.
1974: Ten Cent Beer Night.
1977: Indians sign Wayne Garland to a then-enormous 10-year, $2.3 million contract. He goes 28-48 before his arm falls off.
1980: Red Right 88.
1981: Lowest point of Ted Stepien era.
1982: World B. Free era begins, 23 wins guaranteed. In hindsight, this is akin to building a team around Ricky Davis.
1982: Indians trade John Denny to the Phillies for Wil Culmer, Jerry Reed and Roy Smith.
1983: John Denny wins NL Cy Young Award.
1984: Indians trade Rick Sutcliffe to Cubs. Sutcliffe goes 16-1 and wins NL Cy Young Award.
1986: The Drive.
1987: The Fumble.
1989: The Shot.
1989: "Major League" premieres in theaters. Producers insult Cleveland by filming baseball scenes in Milwaukee as Cleveland's Municipal Stadium is "too drab."
1992: MJ ends Cavs season again. Cavs become possibly the best NBA team to never reach the NBA Finals.
1993: Hurricane Andrew destroys Indians' brand-new $18 million spring training complex in Homestead, Fla.
1993: Steve Olin, Tim Crews die in spring-training boat crash.
1993: Indians are no-hit by one-[handed] pitcher Jim Abbott.
1994: Baseball strike ends Indians' first contending season in three decades.
1995: Art Modell moves Browns to Baltimore.
1995: First World Series appearance in 40 years ends in loss.
1997: Jose Mesa.
1998: Cavs sign "superstar" Shawn Kemp. He fathers a litter of children.
1999: Up 2-0 in ALDS, Pedro kicks the corpse of Cleveland fandom.
1999: USFL returns disguised as Browns expansion team.
2007: Up 3-1 in ALCS, Red Sox spit on grave of Cleveland fandom.
2009: Magic shock Cavs in Eastern Conference finals.
2009: Indians' back-to-back AL Cy Young winners, Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia, face off in Game 1 of World Series, neither pitching for Cleveland.
2010: LeBron leaves Cleveland, goes on to win multiple championships.

My lifetime: Three major sports, zero titles, one river on fire.
--Brad, Cleveland

You should change your scale for losing to the following:

Cleveland losing.
Everybody else.
--Brian S., New Rochelle, N.Y.

Finally, this part almost makes you want to cry if you've lived like this:
Also, has any other city had as many tragic deaths as Cleveland fans have witnessed (Ray Chapman, Ernie Davis, Steve Olin, Tim Crews, Don Rogers)? Late in this past Browns season my dad called me during one of their more wretched performances and actually apologized to me for raising me to be a Cleveland fan. During that same game my son called me from college to berate me for raising him to be a Cleveland fan (I kid you not, this actually happened). It's like an abusive relationship that just travels from one generation to the next. We all need therapy. "Thanks" for reminding us. I better sign off now before I lay down on my couch in a fetal position.

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