In the golden days of 1964, the last Cleveland team was crowned champion. The years after that marked “the drought” that would plague many Cleveland sports fans and teams for years to come which felt like an eternity. During this drought, people thought the city of Cleveland was worthless and the future seemed dark and gloomy. The Browns were (and still are) a complete disgrace; the lackadaisical football team has yet to win a football game this season. The Indians had not been able to reach the peak set by the 1999 Indians team however this year is different; although the ’99 baseball franchise had not been able to bring the ‘ship back to the land, it had one of the best lineups to ever be assembled which brought back some buzz that left Cleveland fans hopeful. As for the Cavaliers, it seemed that all the pieces to the puzzle would be arranged perfectly when the Cavs got LeBron James. But then he left. This catastrophic event was pretty common for the city of Cleveland. However, the Cavs then received Kyrie Irving through the lottery and then, eventually, James found his way back home with the intentions of bringing his city the ultimate reward that it had been longing for for damn near half a century.
Going back to Sunday, June 19, 2016, I have never seen nor been in such an intense and anxious environment. It was one minute and nine seconds left on the clock and the Cavs had the ball. I remember glancing over at my dad and he looked so intense, his bald head glistening from the sweat that seemed to be everlasting, and his eyes zeroed in at the TV screen. I was clutching my little sister tight praying to God that the Cavs had something up their sleeve; to be honest, it felt like this game would go into overtime the way both teams were struggling to shoot efficiently. Irving got the ball then ran a pick-n-roll with JR Smith to get Stephen Curry to guard him and then “the shot heard around the world” took place when Kyrie hit a step-back three-pointer in the face of Curry to put the Cavs up three. When that shot fell and James hit the free throw to put the Cavs up for good, the emotions flooded the whole room and the state of Ohio. I remember my dad and his cousin shedding tears of joy. I was ecstatic and started jumping up and down with my sister secure in my arms. The 52-year drought had been over! Years of anguish and frustration had been released.
Fast forward to Tuesday, October 25, 2016, the Cavs begin their season against the Knicks and they are celebrating their championship win over the Warriors through the ring ceremony. And not only are the Cavs getting their championship rings, but on the same night, the Indians are competing against the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. If anyone told me or any Cleveland fan that the Indians would be playing in the World Series at the same time the Cavs were receiving their championship rings, I would tell that person that they were addicted to an hallucinogen and that day would most likely never come. But here it is. I am glad to be alive to witness this historic night. And, one thing sweeter than one Cleveland team being crowned champions of the world is two! Let’s go Tribe, bring another one to the Land!