Waiting For Next Year: What's in a Name?

Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers have lifted the Championship fog, what does it mean for the website name, "Waiting For Next Year?"

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

 - Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Just to put this to rest once and for all, we're keeping the name Waiting For Next Year and our four-letter NYC radio sounding monniker "WFNY." We've spent a long time working on this website, to the point that the "we" has been defined and re-defined what feels like 100 times. We've had wonderful contributors since the very beginning when Andrew, Rick, and Scott decided to call this place Waiting For Next Year and started allowing others — present company included — to contribute. We've had lots and lots of memories, including numerous coaches getting fired, players leaving, and some of the most death-defying losses that any fan base could imagine. It's the kind of history any fans would be loathe to try and survive if they somehow knew it was going to occur. Through it all, the name "Waiting For Next Year" has meant something, untested by the good fortunes of winning the whole damn thing.

Well, it was untested anyway.

The first thing I thought of when I started thinking about the name and the many twitter comments we got about changing it. I thought of Soundgarden. That may seem crazy, because what the heck does a Cleveland sports website have to do with one of the greatest American rock bands of all time (Ed. Note: They're OK). In my mind it goes to show just how meaningless a name can be because Soundgarden might be one of the dumbest rock band names I can think of. I love Soundgarden, but if you've ever stopped to think about just how silly it is, you'll laugh or cringe.

Soundgarden was named in 1984 while the world was deep in the weeds of spandex-laden glam rock. The album Badmotorfinger, with the iconic songs "Jesus Christ Pose," and "Outshined" wasn't even a hint of what this band was going to produce back then. Nobody ever could have seen "Black Hole Sun" defining an entire year's worth of MTV when MTV mattered almost solely for music videos. By that point in time nobody really thought about the name Soundgarden as much as they obsessed over Chris Cornell's vocals and Kim Thayil's riffs. While WFNY isn't creating anything nearly as cool or iconic as Soundgarden, we're defined in a large part by the history of the teams we cover.

Waiting For Next Year was a reaction to the sports reality of being born a Cleveland fan in the 70s and 80s. Regardless of its original purpose, it is a name that got redefined in 2016 by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The name that once meant one thing now means something wholly different. We've all been hoping to someday have this opportunity for the name to grow, change, and mold into something completely different.

Instead of thinking about WFNY as some celebration of misery, it's now living in a space where the Cleveland Cavaliers gave us our own Cleveland sports Superunknown. Whatever song you think Game 7 was, I can tell you it wasn't "Fell on Black Days." And regardless of the Soundgarden geekery, the Cavaliers just wrote an album that forever redefines the band, so to speak. It's quite easily the greatest sports thing that has ever happened to me or this website. We aren't even slightly disappointed at what it does to our name and our little corner of the sports universe.

So keep asking if we're going to change the name. That's an easy question for me to answer. We will not. If you want to ask me an impossibly hard question, ask me what our name is going to mean after the parade, and when the Cavaliers raise that banner in The Q, and the years following that. That's a question that I just can't possibly respond to at this point. I have no clue. I'm so happy to not know though, because for too long I knew exactly what Waiting For Next Year meant. Not anymore.


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