What Am I Missing?

By Aaron Goldhammer

I moved to Cleveland on September 1st, 2006.

Since that date, the following six all-star caliber players have left the city via trade or free agency: LeBron James, CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Kellen Winslow, and Braylon Edwards.

While all three former Indians still maintain a good relationship with the city and the fan base, the other three continue to get into verbal tiffs with Cleveland on a fairly regular basis.

After listening to Braylon rip the Browns and the fans to the New York media this afternoon, I started to wonder…”Why all the hate?”

Braylon made a pro bowl and millions and dollars in Cleveland. When he played well, the fans cheered. When he started to drop passes and under-perform, they booed. In the end, he was traded to a situation that he thinks is much better for him and his career. Does he really have a right to be so bitter? Was Cleveland that unfair to him? Really?

Rizz and I said the same thing when Kellen Winslow did some ridiculous dance and waved a Buccaneers flag in front of the Browns bench earlier this year. Kellen must not realize it, but the Browns and the Cleveland fans stood by him after his motorcycle accident. Cleveland also took his side during the Phil Savage staph infection fiasco in 2008.

Don’t even get me started on LeBron…the fact that he thinks he has a right to harbor any negative feelings toward this city is a total outrage.

Are these guys really this immature? What am I missing?



  1. The main thing you’re failing to consider is their cultural background.

  2. The fact is that people like LeBron & Braylon have been spoonfed their entire lives how wonderful they are. Cleveland was the first place where they felt unloved. They have been worshipped and coddled by everyone they’ve ever known because of their ability. They are not used to feeling unwanted or unneeded. So there is this huge backlash because the mental capacity and experience to draw from similar situation simply does not exist within them. They just cannot comprehend why anyone would act this way toward them and Cleveland was the first place to ever show them that they weren’t all they thought they were.

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