Living Vicariously Through LeBron James

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IJune 25, 2010

If you've ever participated in a little league game, coached a little league game, or even watched a little league game then I'm sure you've seen the over exuberant parents that take the game a little too seriously.  

Every team has them and no matter the rules or regulations that are set in place to try and deter the constant pressure these parents put on their kids, the fact of the matter is that it's part of the little league game and it isn't going to change anytime soon.

Most of the parents that act in this immature manner are viewed as living vicariously through their kids.  Each swing of the bat, each throw of the football, or each soccer kick that comes off of their child's foot is in essence actually coming off the parent's foot in their own mind.  

If the kid fails, then the parents fail, and usually that's a recipe for emotional distress amongst both parties.

There are a whole lot of other parents that have the same emotion and the same desire for their kids to excel except these adults actually act like adults. They may also feel like every single play that their child is a part of that they are also there, but they respect the game and don't let their emotions go awry.  

These are the types of parents that go to every game and enjoy every single moment, while still feeling disappointed when things don't go as they wished.  They just understand it's part of the game and they know how to handle it.

Cleveland Cavalier fans are these type of parents and LeBron James is their child they are vicariously living through.

Cav fans wear their emotions on their sleeve when it comes to LeBron James.  When he has a great game their spirits are up and they feel the same invigorated feeling that LeBron does during these times.  When he plays poorly and the team falters like they did in this year’s playoffs then the spirit of Cleveland is gone in an instant.

Many fans feel the same way about their city, but not too many cities feel this way about a single player.  It's really a special situation that could change if LeBron decides to leave.

We've seen the, "Please Stay LeBron" video, the automobiles with The Witness poster plastered across the body, the LeBron James day in Akron, the baseball team willing to rename the stadium to LeBron James field, and many other spectacles to try and convince Ohio's homegrown child to stay in the state he was born.  While others city neglect to provide their star players the same star treatment, Cleveland continues to keep trying as hard as they can in hopes that they can continue to live their lives through LeBron James.

You don't see people in Toronto going crazy trying to keep Chris Bosh above the border or Miami Heat fans doing much to try and convince Dwyane Wade to stay other then wearing t-shirts with his name on them.  Instead you see fans in every single city that has a viable chance to get LeBron James' services make pushes to capture LeBron.

I want to see Mavs fans have a Dallas Dirk Day or Suns fan make an accelerated effort to try and keep Amare around.  Unfortunately, we just don't see.  

Maybe it's because LeBron James is the king of the class of free agents, that he grew up in nearby Akron, or the fact that Cleveland has been without a championship in nearly half a decade, but these fans absolutely adore LeBron and not only want him to stay, but need him to stay.

The best part about Cavalier fans living vicariously through LeBron is that they understand the situation.  They know they aren't the big market that could attract hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing money or their not a team that has that second supporting perennial all star that may guarantee LeBron a trip to the finals year in and year out.  

This understanding by the fans is what makes this off season such a difficult situation to deal with.

Should LeBron stay?  I don't know.  Will LeBron stay?  I don't know that either.  

All I know is that these fans look at LeBron James as the son they always wanted and the player they always dreamed to be. These are fans that are the parents who show up to every game and yearn for greatness from their child, but don't go crazy and lash out at him or the refs when it doesn't.

If LeBron leaves it’s going to be a tough time for all, but just like understanding parents, the fans won't be mad, they're just going to be very disappointed.

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