As a little boy, growing up in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, being a fan of Cleveland sports wasn't an option. From a preschooler napping on my dad's lap the afternoon of Red Right 88 to my wife's and my first date when Manny Ramirez went yard off Dennis Eckersley in extra innings, there is no doubt that Cleveland sports are at the center of some of my most significant memories.
The scores and moments--both good and bad--genuinely make a difference in the lives of Cleveland sports fans. While other cities might not be able to fully relate, in The CLE, what happens on the field/court impacts our entire community.
In addition to being a fan and a Dad to two daughters, I lead the community outreach efforts at Christ Church on Cleveland's westside. Together our outreach team sees first hand the struggles that face our community.
Clearly, economic struggles and concerns that Cleveland families face aren't solved with a Cavs playoff run or Ohio State being a preseason favorite for the CFP, but through The C-L-E 4 Me, I'd like to highlight some real differences our teams are making.
In our community, some of biggest difference makers and best leaders aren't politicians, but are actually athletes, coaches, and staff:
More than X's and O's or draft speculation, I'd like to look at stories of philanthropy, fan experiences, community engagement, and civic leadership that our sports teams and their players provide that go beyond the field/court. How family and community connections are formed around sports in the CLE and the human interest stories that make us proud to be Clevelanders and cheer for our teams.
Unlike other places, Cleveland is unified by our teams. While it might seem like their work is done when the game is over, in the CLE, our sports teams don't just play a game, they make a difference.