Once a Cleveland Fan, Always a Cleveland Fan

By: Andrea Cole

I grew up with the Cleveland teams. I had the Cavs pennants, Indians hat and was dressed in Browns gear. My favorite players were Omar, Nagy, Price, Kosar, Daugherty. Although I think my dad tried to disown me because I loved Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, but he knew my favorite teams were in Cleveland. I felt lucky that I didn’t live in Toledo, Akron or Columbus – cities with no professional sports teams.

I don’t remember the drive or the fumble, but I remember the shot and the decision. My worst sports memories have come in recent years. Although I’m old enough to understand that sports don’t matter quite as much as they do when you’re a kid, I still cried when the Indians lost in ’07, the Cavs in ’09. I felt betrayed when LeBron quit in Game Five against the Celtics and then six weeks later when he quit for Miami. I came close to giving up on the Indians in ’09 when they traded Victor Martinez–who wanted to retire an Indian AND came up with a different handshake for every teammate.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times - Only in Cleveland sports

But my favorite memories have also come in recent years…remember the shot against the Magic in Game Three in ’09? One of the most unbelievable sports moments I’ve seen in person. And yeah, maybe it didn’t matter in the end, but for that night it did. I remember standing there in disbelief, high-fiving half of my section and my dad gushing about how now we had our own Jordan. Last year I went to the Browns-Steelers game (again with my dad) and loved it. For once, the Browns came out on top, winning 13-6.

I’ve loved rooting for all three teams, despite the disappointment. And somehow those disappointments made me appreciate the little victories so much more. I grew up with these teams and have cheered for them through the good times and bad. And while I’ve had flirtations with other teams (the Vikings, Twins and Suns to name a few), they never amounted to anything. And when I leave for Florida this weekend, I’ll continue to root for the Cleveland teams.

I’ve jokingly told people I’ll be rooting for the Heat, because I want a championship. (Although now it’s clear that championship run may take longer than just one year.) I want to see a team win it all; I want to go to the parade and cheer on my team. I want to buy the champion hat, shirt and see my team all over ESPN. But while I want to know what it’s like to watch my team win it all, I want it to come from one of my Cleveland teams. I’m not going to just become a Heat, Dolphins or Marlins fan because of relocation. I’ll always be true to the Cavs, Browns and Indians (for better or worse).

And who knows – maybe one day I’ll be coming back for a championship parade in Cleveland.


1 Comment

  1. http://m.deadspin.com/5703651/the-official-cavs-fan-guide-to-taunting-lebron

    that link is to the official cavs fan chants sheet for thursday’s game against the heat, pass it along to every cavs fan you know.

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