Cleveland: Home Of The Cursed?
I don't believe in curses. I don't think it's possible for a sports team, much less an entire city, to be cursed. Every year I'm forced to reconsider this, when all three of the Cleveland professional sports teams go without a championship, again.
Everyone knows about The Drive, The Fumble, Red Right 88, The Shot.
Many people will remember Game Seven of the 1997 World Series, which the Indians lost after blowing a ninth-inning lead.
Clevelanders will remember the 2003 NFL Wild Card game, where the Browns fumbled away a 17-point lead to the rival Steelers, marking the first and last time that the Browns have made the playoffs since Art Modell shipped them to Baltimore.
Not recent enough?
How about the 2007 ALCS, when the Indians couldn't hold a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 series lead against the Red Sox. Boston outscored Cleveland 30-5 in the final three games, and went on to sweep an overrated Colorado Rockies team for their second championship in four seasons.
The "formerly" cursed Boston Red Sox.
It's been 45 years since Cleveland was home to a championship team. Out of all the other three team cities, only Seattle comes close for losing streaks.
The Seattle Supersonics won a title in 1979. That's about 30 years of losing. Not too shabby, but not Cleveland.
The next longest?
Oakland has waited 20 years since the Athletics won the 1989 World Series.
The three sport aspect is important, because it means three disappointments per year. 77 disappointments in my short lifetime, counting the time period when the Browns were winning games (and eventually a Super Bowl) in Baltimore. No other city's fans have been disappointed for as many consecutive seasons as Cleveland.
Even cities with less than three teams can boast more recent championships than Cleveland: St. Louis (Cardinals, 2006), Toronto (Blue Jays, 1993) and Tampa Bay (Buccaneers, 2002) all remember the joy of victory.
San Antonio only has one pro team yet they have four championships, talk about efficiency.
Many teams are consistent losers. The Lions, Pirates, Clippers and Cubs come to mind. But those cities also have winners in the Pistons, Steelers, Lakers, and Bulls.
The point is that plenty of teams can claim to be cursed, but only one CITY can make that case. And in the instance that LeBron James takes a pay cut to leave Cleveland next summer, he takes with him all our hope of breaking any curses.
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