Both parents and all but one of my four siblings were born in Cleveland.
So were countless cousins, aunts and uncles who have chosen to remain there for the remainder of their days.
I’m confident they cheered loudly late Sunday night.
Cleveland winning an NBA championship is feel-good content on so many levels for a city that was a party punchline long before many of us were born.
It’s good for the rest of the country, as well.
LeBron James powering the Cavaliers to a title shows hope has no geographical preference and isn’t about to be influenced by television ratings.
Maybe the Detroit Lions can make it to a Super Bowl. Finally!
Perhaps the Chicago Cubs will make it back to a World Series and win it. Finally!
Same goes for the St. Louis Blues, who have never won the Stanley Cup since the franchise’s debut in 1967.
All together now. Finally!
Every city and fan base should be able to experience the kind of celebration that took place in downtown Cleveland on Wednesday – even if just once.
As a kid I found myself brainwashed as a one-state-to-the-left supporter of the Cleveland’s three professional sports franchises.
Green Bay remains my favorite NFL team, with the Colts a close second. However, prior to Bob Irsay electing to Mayflower the Colts west across three state lines in the middle of the night, the Browns were my second option.
Now they’re a distant third, with the disastrous Johnny Manziel experiment nearly dropping them into double-figures.
I’ve supported the Indiana Pacers back to their ABA days, but the Cavs, no matter how dreadful they were in the 1970s, always have had at least one native Hoosier pulling for them.
In baseball, it was all about the Tribe. Credit geography and family connections because the Cleveland Indians of the 1970s were 10 shades of awful.
Come to think of it, Cleveland sports in general were awful.
From the Cavaliers’ debut season in 1970-71 until 1979 they finished a total of 130 games below .500. Over these same nine years the Indians were 119 games under .500.
By comparison, the Browns (65-63) were almost lauded as saviors.
Now the pressure falls on San Diego and Buffalo as the major cities experiencing the longest championship drought with its professional sports franchises.
Cleveland, you’re off the hook.