Why We Should All Be Cheering for Golden State
The city of Cleveland must continue to suffer.
There’s no joy in watching people suffer—unless those people are sports fans. When adults shed tears because grown men lost a game, their pain is always entertaining. That might sound cruel, and maybe it is. But sports are meaninglessness and anyone who can’t have some perspective after a loss deserves healthy mockery. That’s why I, an obsessive sports fan myself, never hesitate to laugh at those who cry.
Just picture it: A grown man in an oversized jersey and faded jorts is wearing a foam finger on his right hand, holding a $15 beer in his left, and sobbing because his favorite team just lost. How can you not be amused? Now picture that grown man as an entire city—a barren, post-industrial wasteland rusting away in a dark corner of northeast Ohio. And picture that city going through an annual routine of hopeful anticipation followed by woeful mourning every year for half a century. As long as you’re not from Cleveland, that should sound fun to watch. Which is why, as long as you’re not from Cleveland, you should be pulling for the Warriors to win the NBA Finals. The city’s suffering must continue.
Nothing against Drew Carey’s hometown, but Cleveland’s sporting misery is too enjoyable to throw away on one Larry O’Brien trophy. It’s the Charlie Brown of cities, always trying to kick that football and always falling on its ass in the process. The city’s gone 51 years since tasting a championship and even that one, the 1964 NFL Championship, isn’t relevant any more. The last time a Cleveland team won a championship that matters was in 1948, when the Indians captured the World Series in six games. The city’s drought covers 156 combined seasons played by three professional teams. At least suffering Cubs fans have the Bulls. What’s Cleveland got? The Rock and Roll Hall of Grandpas?
I just can’t imagine how anyone outside of the city could want that streak to end. What would we do without that geyser of schadenfreude periodically erupting from the Midwest? Turn our attention to San Diego? Nah. I even think some people in Cleveland secretly hope the losing continues. Losing is part of the city’s identity. They wear it as a badge of honor and consider themselves stronger for enduring it. They put bags on their heads at Browns games, emulate Randy Quaid at Indians games and read about the Cavs on a blog called Factory of Sadness. This is a city that knows how to lose. Why give that up?
The ephemeral joy of a championship fades; the constant disappointment of losing lasts forever. As it stands, Cleveland’s cursed and recognized nationally for it. Isn’t that better than becoming another Midwestern city with the occasional champion? You don’t want to be another Cincinnati, do you Cleveland?
I know all of this sounds heartless and Cleveland now hates me. That’s ok. Sports are irrational. They inspire us to hate people for talking bad about our teams and to love people just because they play in the city where we live. None of this makes sense. Which is why it’s easy to revel in your pain. And it doesn’t hurt that you experience that pain while wearing an idiot’s jersey, welcoming a turncoat with open arms or dressed as racist caricatures.
Photos by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images