Those who follow this blog know that I’m a Cleveland, Ohio boy, born and raised – and a LeBron James fan. Just as I was a Jim Brown fan in my boyhood days. What else can you possibly be when the greatest player in a particular pro sport plays for YOUR hometown team?
But unlike many in Northeast Ohio, I continued to be a LeBron fan even after he left town to pursue championship rings in Miami.
Then, like everyone in Cleveland, I rejoiced in King James’ homecoming – and the fact that he took the Cavaliers to four NBA finals appearances in a row. And, oh yeah, the glorious moment when he brought Cleveland it’s first pro sports championship since Jim Brown led the Browns to the NFL title in 1964.
So, when LeBron decided to take his talents to Los Angeles this summer, I did not waiver in my fandom.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 1990 – but that’s not the reason I’m still a loyal fan of The King.
In fact, the reasons that I approve of LeBron’s move to Los Angeles have been best expressed by the passionate words of a native of L.A., the son of a great friend of mine – and a wise young man who plays varsity basketball for my alma mater, Northwestern University.
Charlie Hall says it better than I could myself. (In bold italics below)…
I am a LeBron James fan. I am a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. Despite being from Los Angeles, I have NEVER been a Los Angeles Lakers fan. That being said, this is bigger than me. There is a larger mission here. That mission is simple: restore good in the universe.
In other words: Beat the Golden State Warriors. The 73-9, adding Kevin Durant, dancing, gaslighting, EVIL Golden State Warriors.
Perhaps shooting threes is more efficient than a hard drive into a contact layup. It’s worth more points and it takes less energy. I get it.
However, jacking up a three point shot from damn near half court and shimmying your way to your bench to high five Kevin Durant? That lacks heart. That lacks integrity. That lacks ANY of the qualities that are consistent with why we love basketball. The grit. The strength in the face of adversity. It’s all gone.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, the Warriors are going to win. Again and again. Forever. Or until a core member leaves or gets injured.
Now, there is ONE other factor that can derail the Warriors. His name is Lebron James. The philanthropist, family man, forceful inside presence. The man that brought a championship to the city of Cleveland. The GOOD GUY.
He needs guys around him and didn’t have that in Cleveland. Let’s get one thing straight, he doesn’t have it in Los Angeles either. However, he CAN attract the talent. The talent needed to dethrone evil. Horrible, horrible evil.
A part of me wishes LeBron stayed. The little kid from Akron, bringing championships to his hometown, with little to no help? It’s picturesque. It’s gorgeous.
But he’s 33 years old. His time is running out. The chances of him bringing more rings to Cleveland were zero. ZERO.
I’m not sure how much time we have left with this legend, the greatest ambassador the league has ever had — this role model for so many. But I do know one thing: His work isn’t done. We need him to give us one more unforgettable moment. One more.
That moment could’ve happened in Philly, Houston, Boston, San Antonio, anywhere. But now it has to happen in Los Angeles.
So please Mr. James. Whatever you have left. Use it to dunk on Stephen Curry. Use it to defend Kevin Durant. Get Draymond a tech. Do what you have to do. But let’s be clear: You HAVE to do it. There is no other option.
Forever a Cavs fan.
Forever a LeBron fan.
And for the sake of all things good: A newfound Los Angeles Lakers fan.
10 Rays of Sunshine…
Election Day 2010 was a dark day for many of us on the side of truth, justice, and the Progressive American Way — but it does no good to retreat into the shadows of negativity. We must continue to move toward the light. In my case, that means warming myself in every ray of sunlight that pokes through the storm clouds. No matter how slender that shaft of heavenly illumination is.
So, in no particular order, here are 10 Rays of Sunshine that are providing me with some light amid the gloom.
1. The Browns Beat New England
It’s one thing for my underdog Cleveland Browns to upset the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints – but for them to lay a 34-14 beat-down on coach Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots is even better.
Belichick was the Browns head coach from 1991-95: the guy who unceremoniously dumped hometown hero, Bernie Kosar, saying the star quarterback was suffering from “diminishing skills.” Belichik’s record with the Browns was a lackluster 36–44, and in his last season the Browns finished 5–11. That same year owner Art Modell announced he was moving the team to Baltimore. Belichick resigned soon after that. Cleveland was without an NFL team – and without room in our collective heart for the coach that presided over the Browns’ darkest days.
So, it was sweet, indeed, when Bill’s celebrated Patriots took a knee on their last play to end the slaughter at the hands of the resurgent Browns. It was heartwarming to see Bill Belichick literally brought to his knees. Ah! Redemption and revenge on the same Sunday afternoon.
2. The Giants Defeat Texas in the World Series
I’ll admit that I’ve never been a San Francisco Giants fan. Something about that catch Willie Mays made in the ’54 Series that crushed my Tribe’s hopes.
Okay, the Giants were still in New York then, but it’s still the same franchise, right?
I’ll also admit that I don’t really care that the Giants have just won the World Series for the first time since moving to San Francisco.
So what is it about the Giants’ MLB Championship that brings me joy? I have two good reasons to be happy about San Francisco whipping Texas this year.
A. I love the idea of San Francisco, home of the demonized Nancy Pelosi, gay marriage, and all things liberal kicking butt on the team from a right-leaning, Neanderthal state led by a secessionist governor
B. The Texas Rangers are George Bush’s team. Poppy Bush was on hand to watch his wretched son throw out the first pitch before Game 4: a game the Giants won 4-0. I’m delighted that the Bush crime family was denied a reason to celebrate – and Dubya got less publicity for his whitewashed, self-serving memoir.
3. Sharron Angle Loses in Nevada
Senator Harry Reid’s 50% to 44% reelection over Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle proves that there just aren’t enough Limbaugh lemmings, numbskulls and racists in Nevada to win statewide office.
Thus, our great nation was spared the danger and embarrassment of six years of Sharron Angle’s lunacy in the upper chamber of Congress.
4. Christine O’Donnell Loses in Delaware
She may not be a witch, but thanks to the sanity of voters in the first state to ratify the US Constitution, she’s not the junior Senator from Delaware, either.
5. Meg and Carly Lose in California
Meg Whitman spent over $140 million of her own money to buy the California Governor’s seat. Carly Fiorina spent a relatively paltry $5.5 million of her own cash in a losing effort to unseat our liberal California Senator Barbara Boxer. It was great to know that my adopted home state could not be bought. (Not this election cycle, at least.)
6. 151,000 Jobs Added in October
The U.S. Labor Department has just reported that 159,000 private sector jobs were added in October, 2010. Factoring in government job cuts — which totaled 8,000 last month — the economy added 151,000 jobs in October. It was the first increase in total payroll since April, and private companies have now added jobs for 10 straight months. We’re not out of the dark by any means, but there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Unless incoming Speaker Boehner and the wrong-way economic drivers in the GOP House caucus find a way to wrestle the car keys from President Obama and run us back into the ditch.
7. Stock Market Above 11,000
Have you checked your 401K or pension accounts lately? Remember how they looked when Bush’s economic chickens came home to roost? Or when Bush’s economic goose was cooked?
Whatever the poultry metaphor, the stock market bulls have sprouted wings again.
8. McRib is Back
I can’t remember when the McRib went away – but now it’s back. I plan to have one soon, although I don’t know why. The last one I ate several years ago didn’t taste much like ribs, but the barbecue sauce was passable. (Let’s face it. I’ll eat an old shoe if it’s slathered with the right barbecue sauce.)
McRib debuted in ‘81 and went away in ’85. Then, in ’94, the McRib returned as a tie-in with the film, “The Flintstones”. McDonald’s announced in ‘05 that the McRib would be mothballed again following a “McRib Farewell Tour.” At the same time, McDonald’s promoted a “Save the McRib” campaign sponsored by the “Boneless Pig Farmers Association of America.” Very funny. Just not very tasty.
And now the McRib is back again! Somehow, for no earthly reason at all other than it confirms the basic, good-natured naiveté and eager enthusiasm of Americans, I’m glad to see this oddball sandwich back on the menu.
9. Marty Still Alive on “Survivor”
Forty-eight year old, Marty Piombo of Mill Valley, California is my favorite contestant on the current season of “Survivor” – my favorite TV show. This season the series was shot in Nicaragua featuring younger players against older players. So far, the youngsters have the upper hand – but craft, cunning, Machiavellian Marty is still alive – and thus, vicariously, so am I.
UPDATE: Alas, Marty’s flame was snuffed out on Wednesday 11/10 through the treachery of the lovely yet diabolical Brenda. Gotta root for Fabio now.
10. Cleveland Cavaliers Still Winning
Despite the much-ballyhooed loss of LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers have not collapsed. Led by coach Byron Scott, the 3-3 Cavs currently have a share of first place in the NBA’s Central Division.
If the Cavaliers reach the playoffs without LeBron, ex-Laker star Byron Scott should be NBA Coach of the Year.
So, those are the items in the news that are making me smile. What are YOUR rays of sunshine?
Share this post:
Filed under Politics, Random Commentary, Sports
Tagged as Barbara Boxer, Bill Belichik, Byron Scott, Carly Fiorina, Cavaliers, Christine O'Donnell, Cleveland, Cleveland Browns, Giants, jobs, McRib, Meg Whitman, Patriots, Sharron Angle, stock market, Survivor, Tea Party, Texas Rangers, World Series