I was going to write a post about the Cavs no matter what happened last night. But, boy, is it more fun to write this one!
It still doesn’t quite feel real. At the buzzer last night, there was this half-second pause as my over-stressed mind tried to mentally calculate “The Diff.” Leading up to last night’s game, all I could see in my mind’s eye was my high school self sitting on my bed watching game 7 of the ’97 World Series, Jose Mesa on the mound. While watching last night’s game, I just kept thinking, “It can’t always end that way, right?”
Which leads me to one of the greatest things about last night’s win: it changes the narrative. Cleveland has been rewriting the narrative for some time now. We are no longer the city of the burning river and abandoned steel mills. And most of us know that, most of the time.
But to the broader populace, we were the downtrodden city with the championship drought. Every nationally-televised game, we’d hear it. We’d see the infographics. And we’d be that high school kid watching World Series hopes slip away all over again.
This championship is a huge shot in the arm for a city whose people are wonderfully humble, sometimes to a fault. This is our reminder that all of the work that has been quietly happening in Cleveland in so many ways for years can earn us some very public recognition.
But it’s also a way to silence the voices that like to remind us (and everyone else) of our shortcomings. It can be hard to keep believing your city is vibrant and thriving, when national voices prefer words like “desperate” and “sad.” This championship can mute the voices and can hopefully give us the sustained confidence to show the world how amazing Cleveland is (and has been for some time).
The other thing that struck me, though, was how the man who already had two championship rings wept with joy for this championship.
For me, this championship is a reminder that you can come home and do amazing things right from your backyard. Coming back home can be painted as a weakness or the less appealing option. But where better to share your talents and to impact your community?
Most of you know I’m a two-time boomerang and there’s no place in the world I’d rather be. I genuinely believe my life makes a positive impact (in very small ripples) and in believing that, there can be no question why I came home (twice). Life’s victories, big and small, are so much more meaningful when shared in the place that formed you.
So, thank you, Cavs for an amazing ride and for everything this win will do for Cleveland! Thank you, Cavs fans for making this championship run so much fun! Seriously, Cleveland Twitter was my favorite place to be during and after the games. Let’s hang on to good vibes, the camaraderie, and just a little bit of King James’ “hell yeah, I’m the best” attitude. We’ve all earned it!