Cleveland sports fans can’t stand prosperity, mostly because we’ve seen it about as often as Halley’s Comet.
Which is why we’re getting caught up in the drama of the Cavaliers’ first-round series with the Chicago Bulls rather than the games themselves.
We all know the Cavs are going to beat the Bulls. The real challenge awaits in the form of the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then hopefully after that in the NBA Finals. So it gets a little boring beating the eighth-place team in the conference. Will the Cavs win in a sweep, or will they lose a game in Chicago? It might not be edge-of-our-seats drama, but being Cleveland fans every time we look ahead we get whapped upside the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Considering our past, it’s no surprise we are loathe to look to the future.
That’s why we get caught up in manufactured drama. Joakim Noah says our city sucks and there’s nothing to do. Well, grab those pitchforks and torches. We’re going to burn the man down. We’ll boo him while he puts up career-high playoff numbers in the second game of the series. We’ll write mocking articles about him. We’ll make him Public Enemy No. 1, or at least No. 6 after Art Modell, John Elway, Michael Jordan, Albert Belle, and Jose Mesa.
In reality, there’s only one thing we need to do — point at the scoreboard.
It’s a foreign concept in Cleveland. It couldn’t be harder to get from here to there if a layer of volcanic ash hovered over the city. Usually when we point at the scoreboard it shows another Cleveland loss. Top that with the fact that we worry LeBron James will be leaving us in a couple months and, well, scoreboard’s just another word for something more to lose.
This time, sports fans, you can say it with confidence.
Scoreboard. Score. Board.
Point at it. Puff out your chest. Don’t get caught up in the drama.
Joakim Noah provided both the drama and his best effort in Game 2. All it got him was another 10-point loss for the Bulls and a 2-0 series deficit. No way Chicago wins four of the next five against Cleveland.
But we’ve got LeBron James. And scoreboard.