Sunday, June 26, 2016

Championship Night Through The Eyes Of A Clevelander #Cavs

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

There is comfort in familiarity…

And for a Cleveland sports fan, there is familiarity in pain.  

This isn’t a recap of the Cavaliers championship.  It’s a look at that night through the eyes of a Cleveland fan.  But more importantly than being a Cleveland fan, I’m a Clevelander.  

As I sat on my couch getting ready for game 7 of the NBA Finals at the end of my first Father’s Day, my son asleep in his crib, and my wife on the adjacent couch, I felt comfortable.  I wasn’t worried about the pain of losing a Game 7 and a championship.  I knew that pain.  I was familiar with that pain.  And so, I was comfortable with it.  Honestly, I was a little too comfortable.  

I knew how I would feel if we lost.  I knew what I would do.  I was at peace.  

I would watch the clock dwindle to zero, take a deep breath and stare at the ground.  I wouldn’t be mad, but I would be upset.  I would wonder if we ran into a dynasty with the Warriors.  Off-season trades were already going through my head and what type of move we could make with Kevin Love to beat the Warriors next year.  I would finish my drink, shut down Twitter and the TV, and take myself to bed.  

As painful as that sounds, I was comfortable with it.  Again, it was familiar, and there is comfort in familiarity.  

But as the fourth quarter began I moved the edge of my seat.  Most of the rest of the game was watched there or standing.  I sipped bourbon and refreshed Twitter in between plays, and as the Cavs battled back and forth it became apparent that we might actually pull this out.  

And then it happened; The Block, The Shot, and The Lock.  

As the clock struck zero, I stood up with my hands in the air.  I looked at my wife, and I didn’t know what to do.  

This was a new feeling.  This was winning. 

Am I supposed to yell?  Should I run around the block screaming?  Do I drive around the neighborhood honking my horn blasting the 1980’s Cavs song?  

I walked over to my wife and hugged and kissed her.  With a tear streaming down my cheek I told her “congratulations, you’re a champion.”  We are all champions.

That night I shed tears of joy for this city.  The city that I call home.  The city that I vehemently defend against hack sports writers that have never been here and don't know a damn thing about this city and its people.  The city that deserves this championship more than any other city.  The city that found comfort in pain.  I love this city. 

This was a new feeling.  That night we became champions. We handled that responsibility with excitement, respectability and class.  We high-fived, hugged, and clanked glasses with total strangers in celebration.  But we were never really total strangers.  We’re Clevelanders.  And now I can find comfort in knowing that so much of the world was watching us become the champions that we were always ready to be.

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