Friday, July 9, 2010

Time to Tap Out, Cleveland

By Mark Chalifoux

First, Brady Quinn. Now? LeBron James. It's official: Cleveland has no more stars. And their fans got exactly what they always get: a heart-wrenching defeat.

It didn't take long for the Cavs fans to turn on their savior. They were burning his jersey in the streets before his "Decision" special even finished airing. While that was unquestionably staged before, the backlash on Facebook and Twitter was intense the second he said South Beach. Every Cleveland fan had their sports heart ripped from their chest. And I loved every second of it.

That may seem harsh, but as a Cincinnatian, we've always had our differences with the beleaguered city to the north. But everyone has a choice in who they root for and Cleveland fans need to stop letting fate walk all over them. As ESPN's Bill Simmons said in a tweet after the decision, this was the ultimate "Eff You" to fans to make this decision on a one-hour live special. That is just cruel. But if you had to pick one team for this to happen to, anyone could've guessed it would be Cleveland.

It reminds me of a Sports Gospel I wrote in 2004.

The ancient Greek tragedy, "Oedipus the King," was the greatest of all plays written by the famed playwright Sophocles. In the story, Oedipus is a great king who did great things for his city. Fate, however, is against the great king. To make a long story short, Oedipus discovers that he murdered his father and his wife, who had borne him two daughters and was also his mother. Upon realizing that he was a mother-f'n murderer, he gouged his eyes out and fled the city.

This play was extremely popular back in the day, and it is still a classic book. It was wildly entertaining, and I couldn't help but laugh at the image of an eye-less Oedipus running from the city he made great. It just wasn't in the cards for him. And while the only Greek tragedies we have these days are restricted to book form, I can still enjoy the closest thing we to it have today: the Boston Red Sox.

I wrote that when Boston was down 3-0 to the Yankees in 2004. Obviously, we know how that turned out. However, we have a new Oedipus today and that is Joe Cleveland Sports Fan. Oedipus did everything right, he was a good enough guy, but fate made it so he murdered his father and enjoyed presumably steamy sexual relations with his mother. How damn cruel is that?

That's what this special was for Cleveland. If the sucktitude of the Browns and Indians was the accidental murdering of their own father, this LeBron special was the realization that they accidentally banged their mom.

I don't know how this could be worse for Cleveland fans. His move will cost that city millions of dollars and good people will lose income and some will lose their jobs. The only thing that could've been worse is if there was a TV special where the leaders of the world picked one city to annihilate with nuclear weapons and the choices were Paris, New York, Rome, and Cleveland.

How great would it be if the Browns made the Super Bowl? They could be up six points with one second left and the opposing team would somehow score a touchdown while simultaneously murdering all the puppies in Cleveland.

I don't know how anyone would still support a Cleveland franchise after this? Just tap out. Support a new team. Move to a new city. Haven't you had enough, Cleveland fans?

Get out while you still can and jump on board with a winner. We won't judge you. It's not your fault. It's fate. Just pick a new team.

That's the only way you'll be happy. The only other option is to stay loyal, which will one day result in fleeing the city while gouging your eyes out.

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