Hope and Despair: Being a Cleveland Sports Fan

Christopher RaderContributor IMay 19, 2010

CLEVELAND - JANUARY 03:  Cleveland Browns fans brave the cold weather during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Being a Cleveland sports fan is hard, there is no denying it.

We have had our share of ups and downs (mostly downs) but through all our history our emotions boil down to just two words.


The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, The Catch (Mays), Red Right 88, 1997 World Series, 2010 NBA Playoffs, draft pick busts like Tim Couch and Paul Shuey, and free agent busts like Larry Hughes  and Dante’ Stallworth; all these come to mind when you ask a Cleveland fan about our sporting past.

No city with three sports teams has gone longer without a title.

Only San Diego has a similar drought but they only have two teams and their last title was in 1963. I'm sure everyone reading this article knows that the last title won in Cleveland was in 1964. Let’s put that number into perspective; Muhammad Ali was still named Cassius Clay, gas was only 30 cents a gallon, and the Rolling Stones were still young.

Nineteen sixty four. The worst part is there should have been a few titles won since then.

The Indians in the 90's should have won a few titles, those teams were stacked. The Browns in the 80's had a dominant offense and an elite defense that just couldn’t take the next step. The Cavs in the late 80's and early 90's would have won a few titles if it wasn't for a certain person with the initials MJ.

There have been so many almosts, times when our hearts just knew we would win and then the crushing defeat comes that we just expect it every time now. This leads to the next word, and the more important of the two.



There is nothing more important for a Cleveland fan than hope. Without it we would have let the Browns leave and not fought so hard to keep our history and colors.

We get excited when ownership finally brings in a true football mind instead of giving everyone their first shot at running a team. The Browns are on their way up, we have some young talent but more importantly we have experienced people making decisions.

Mike Holmgren will lead us to the Promised Land... We hope .

Without hope we wouldn't still root for the Indians—even though the ownership could care less about winning. The Indians have traded away every talented player just as they hit their prime and they seem to keep the talented players that have underperformed.

But there is still hope—we have a great farm system with quality coaches and some quality talent. They have come out of nowhere to compete for a World Series before and it can easily come together again.... We hope.

Without hope we wouldn't fight to keep LeBron in town even though Ferry hasn't proved he can surround him with championship talent.

The Cavs have no draft picks in 2010 and no real cap room to sign free agents but we have LBJ (for now). If LeBron leaves then we have an opportunity to start over, for the last seven years teams have proven you can win a championship without LeBron and Cleveland can too.

Saying that, I truly believe that he will sign another 3 year deal to stay in Cleveland and a coaching change will be made (please no John Calipari). Regardless of decisions made this off-season, Dan Gilbert has proven he will do everything in his power (and wallet) to bring a championship. Eventually the chips will fall and we will win... We hope.

We need hope, we live off of it and you know what, that's ok ay. We are a resilient brotherhood, we are not front runners, and a lot of us have never even seen a championship in our lives. But we hold onto our teams and cheer them on and eventually we will receive our reward: a Championship… We hope.