Go Heat? Has it really come to this?
It’s no big surprise that the majority of this city isn’t really paying attention to the NBA playoffs this year. Why bother? If the only reason to watch is to root against a team, I really don’t see the point.
Now some explanation is required. This colleague is a diehard Cleveland sports fan; Browns, Indians, Cavs through and through. He’s such a diehard that he believes if he can generate enough support for the Heat from the city of Cleveland, they’ll actually lose. Let’s call it “cursed by association”. And recently he attempted to recruit me to this strange crusade.
But I know the Cleveland Sports Curse is far too advanced for this to work.
Straight off the top, the campaign is flawed. It’s done under the notion that you can actually fool the Curse into believing you really do want the Heat to win. But the Curse sees this coming from a mile away. You might eagerly tell friends, family and co-workers you’ve decided to cheer on the Heat (and then duck for cover), but it’s totally obvious to the Curse that it’s a lie.
If anything, my colleague has only succeeded in angering the Curse by attempting to deceive it. The path to an NBA Championship this season has opened up for the Heat like the yellow brick road for Dorothy and Toto.*
*Kind of off topic but that comparison got me thinking: which character from the Wizard of Oz best suits LeBron? The Scarecrow looking for a brain or the Tin Man trying to find a heart? Tough call. But it’s totally obvious Chris Bosh is the Cowardly Lion, desperately seeking some courage. Too bad he cut his hair; you could practically superimpose him into the movie if he had those dreads.
The Heat are poised to finish off an aging Celtics team. They’ll face a one-trick pony in the conference finals, Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. It’s a team that reminds me of the Cavaliers of 2007-2010. And in the West, the former powerhouse Lakers and Spurs have already been eliminated. It couldn’t be set up any better for the Heat.
Now the Curse is a cruel mistress. Not only does it impede Cleveland sports franchises from ever winning a title. It compounds the misery by allowing former players/coaches/owners to achieve what they couldn’t accomplish here (see: Art Modell, Ernest Byner, Bill Belichick, heck even Charlie Manuel).
And I can’t help but think that LeBron’s race to join this club has been accelerated by the Curse, now enraged that one of its subjects attempted to circumvent the rules. With the Lakers and Celtics getting older, it was pretty obvious to me and to most other semi-knowledgeable sports fans that he would win a ring someday. But less than 12 months after crushing the spirit of this city? That’s just cruel.
Maybe it’s best if we just get it over with, like ripping off a band-aid in one quick motion. James will get his ring and we can return to a sense of normalcy, if we haven’t already. But please, no more half-baked plans of reverse psychology or curses by association.
When it comes to Cleveland sports, maybe the best thing to do is accept that the worst thing that can happen probably will, shrug, and get on with our lives. Curses can be broken and it will probably take something akin to the Red Sox overcoming a 0-3 deficit in the ALCS to break Cleveland’s curse. Until that day arrives, I suggest not poking the bear.