June 6, 2007

Missed It By That Much

The occasion of a Cleveland team competing in the final series or game of any major sport is the cue for the national media to document once again for everyone the myriad ways and times that Cleveland fans have earned the descriptor "long-suffering." And so it is this week.

The intro to an article by John Romano (no, not that John Romano) of the St. Petersburg Times is typical of the genre:

They are desperate, not poetic. They are hardened, not lovable.

They have none of the romance once claimed by fans of the Red Sox, and only a smidgen of the status bestowed on followers of the Cubs.

They are the devotees of sports in Cleveland, and all they have is heartache. At least those fans born in the last half-century, or so.

What usually follows is a recitation of the near-misses in the last few decades by Cleveland sports franchises, mixed in with stories about a couple of our more embarrassing mayors and the almost obligatory "Mistake-on-the-Lake" reference.

John Saraceno's column in USA Today follows the formula to a tedious "T".

Michael Wilbon's piece in the Washington Post contains all of the above ingredients, but he's such a talented writer that his version seems less canned. He documents the decline of the city that has paralleled the long sports drought, and you get the feeling he'd really like to see us win one for Uncle Cecil. Read it all.

Here's another take on the theme by John McGrath of the (Tacoma) News Tribune , (via the Hornless Rhino) who says the Cavs are carrying the weight of decades of disappointment on their shoulders as they head into the series. And he really knows where the sore spots are:

We can only hope they cope with the stress better than Jose Mesa did.

That's below the belt, man.

Posted by dan at June 6, 2007 11:29 PM