A delirious Thursday to all you Waiting For This Weekers. No, we’re not changing the name. After all, we’re still waiting for next year, and always will be. But, we’ve also been waiting for this week … waiting for this week for a long, long time. The Cleveland Indians are 11 games over .500 (which is awesome), the Browns haven’t lost a game in over five months (which is awesome), and the Cavaliers are celebrating a championship (which is a thousand awesomes). To all of you at the celebration parade on Wednesday, I hope it was as special as it looked from my office desktop. It looked a tad crowded (congratulations to Ohioans on filling “the outside”), but epic nonetheless. It pained me greatly not to be there, but the 3000 mile commute seemed unrealistic. We all make sacrifices.
It’s all love in Cleveland right now. During WKYC’s live stream of the parade, one of the broadcasters said as the motorcade crawled along, "Everything is all love. But, it's almost too much love. ... [But] nobody's complaining."
Which I think is kind of how a lot of us feel. I’ve spent my entire lucid existence wondering whether a Cleveland sports team would ever win a championship, and if I would ever be able to share this moment with my family and my community. When the Cavs went down 3-1, I was despondent. Is it possible this could never happen in my lifetime? If not now, when? My father is 52 years old, and has never seen a championship. Given all that has happened in his life and mine, I have no empirical evidence to suggest this will happen in my lifetime.
But then they won. And it somehow meant even more than I expected. The Cavaliers have somehow given me a kind of blissful serenity. My tormented soul is at rest. It’s all gravy now. Another championship would be gravy. Life is gravy. Everything is gravy (mostly actual gravy).
It’s all gratuitous beyond now for at least, what, 25 years? Not that I don’t want another 10 championships (let’s get greedy!), but it has to be about another quarter century before my hometown community can be called “tortured” again. We are absolved of The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble, The Decision, The Blown Save. I can cross “witness a Cleveland championship” off my bucket list. Wins and losses are now just wins and losses — not ponderous moments of existential reckoning.
The Cavaliers’ quirks are no longer counterproductive, they’re just quirky. The Indians are no longer offensively stingy, they're charmingly stingy. The Browns are no longer comically tragic, they’re just comical.
People of all ages, creeds, colors, and socioeconomic status showed up on Sunday night and Wednesday to celebrate the Cavs — no one was unworthy of a high-five. If Cleveland can win a championship, what can’t be done? Maybe the Cavs, Indians, and Browns can all win a championship … this year! Maybe I can maintain a successful, stable relationship, or … learn to cook beyond microwaving a leftover burrito, or speak Italian or something. Maybe we can achieve world peace. Everything is possible. Everything is all love.
I don’t know what all this says about me, other than I have an astounding lack of perspective on life. Sports shouldn’t matter this much. But it does. It’s stupid that it does, yet it makes just as much sense as anything else.
How much fun was LeBron James' speech after the parade? I love casual f-bombing, calling the '04 Olympic team a "shit show" James. Granted, I'm a heathen, but as I pointed out on Wednesday, casually cursing at the most inappropriate time is the most Cleveland things he's ever done. After all, no one starts "ass-hole!" chants with as much panache as Cleveland fans.
Your daily Calvin and Hobbes strip.
Monday morning: “Let’s see … throbbing headache. Miscellaneous scrapes and bruises. Sore throat from methols and cigars. I can’t hear out of my left ear because I thought it would be a good idea to go swimming after Game 7 and now my ear canal is waterlogged.”
“I say consider this season seized!”
“Next year, we’ll seize the season and throttle it!”
Now for the random 90s song of the day. Ween’s “Freedom of ‘76” seems appropriate. But instead of summoning 1776 from the perspective of Philadelphia’s seedier citizens, it’s funny to think of Wednesday’s parade as a reimagining of 1964 from the perspective of J.R. Smith. Seriously, can someone find J.R.’s shirt soon? Come December, he’s going to be mighty cold, and I don’t want to lose J.R. to a bout of hypothermia. Bonus points for Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese having the type of album cover that would get a young boy grounded for having it in his room (ohh, those humble times before the internet). Cleveland fans, forever remember the Freedom of ‘16!
Freedom of the body
Freedom of the mind ...
Liberty Bell cracked in half
A bacon steak
A perfect match
Free-dom of '76