The Cavs play the most important game of the year tonight when the Boston Celtics visit The Q at 7:30 p.m. for the season opener.
Oh, not the most important game for the Cavs. Don’t be silly. This is the most important game of the year for Cleveland fans. You see, if the Cavs come out as representative of the league’s elite and turn in a typical Cleveland performance as the featured game on TNT there will be lots of heads imploding in Northeast Ohio.
The Indians and Browns seasons both essentially ended about a month in. At least when the Indians were splashing around in the shallow end of the pool for the first couple months of the season we had the Cavs to distract us. But they ended up floating face down in the deep end after the Orlando Magic deep-sixed the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. That left us living with the Indians until we could move in with the Browns in September. Those living arrangements proved awful as well, what with the Browns losing their first four games and beginning their march toward another high first-round draft pick.
Since May 11, the day the Cavs finished their second-round sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, we have suffered a losing skid that makes Big Chuck look like Little John. Since May 11 our three big-league sports teams have gone 46-86. That’s a .348 winning percentage. It breaks down to 2-4 for the Cavs (the playoff loss to Orlando), 43-76 for the Indians, and 1-6 for the Browns.
How much time have we wasted watching these losers? If you figure each game lasts about three hours, it comes out to 396 hours of sports watching. That’s 16½ days. Since our teams won only about 35% of those games, that means about 11 days of watching losing teams. Most vacations don’t even last that long.
So Cavs, we really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY need you to win tonight. Cover the spread while you’re at it. (It’s only five points.) Oh, and can you do something about all the vacant houses around here? And the jobs, we need some jobs, can you give us some of those?
You get the picture. We’ve been waiting a long time for tonight.
Here’s what they’re saying nationally:
Yahoo.com’s Kelly Dwyer predicts a 65-17 record: “If Mike Brown coaches properly and learns from his former assistant John Kuester, then the Cavaliers are on the right track. A championship track.”
Yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski says there’s no reason for LeBron to leave for the bright lights of the big city, even though Shaq did it: “The digital age has changed everything.”
Four out of 10 ESPN.com experts surveyed predict the Cavs to win the Eastern Conference: “The Cavs will roll through the regular season,” writes Jon Barry.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com predicts LeBron James will win the MVP (again) but not wear a ring (again): “Whether the Celtics face the Cavs or Magic in the Eastern Conference finals is immaterial.” And if he’s right, that means bust for the Cavs.