Cleveland: The factory of sadness
Indians’ third baseman Jason Donald and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera bobble a routine groundball against the White Sox this season.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Sports fans around Cleveland have been waiting for a championship since 1964, when the Browns won their last championship.
When the Browns last won the title, there was no Super Bowl. The championship game was simply named The Championship. That is how long it has been.
It gets worse. The Indians have not won a World Series since 1948, while the Cavaliers have never won the NBA Finals.
The city of Cleveland is one characterized by the heartache and turmoil the fans go through every year. Let’s relive the sadness, shall we?
The curse of Cleveland is believed to have started when the Indians traded star player Rocky Colavito to the Tigers more than 70 years ago. However, to modern fans, Colavito is not the first name to come to mind when fans think of Cleveland’s tears. The first person to pop into fans’ heads is Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and his Denver Broncos.
In 1987, the Browns found themselves in the game before the Super Bowl, the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship game, squaring off with Elway’s Broncos. As the Browns kicked off after scoring, they held a 20-13 lead with 5:32 left to play. When a Broncos’ return man muffed the kickoff, Elway was given horrible field position. The Broncos began their drive at their own two yard-line. At that moment, Elway decided to break the heart of every Clevelander. As the Broncos scored with 39 seconds left on a pass from Elway to Wide Receiver Mark Jackson, Browns fans everywhere let out a huge groan. The Broncos ended up winning in overtime, crushing the Browns’ Super Bowl aspirations. Elway’s infamous drive became known as “The Drive.” Still, the worse is yet to come.
The next year, the Browns and Broncos faced off for the second year in a row in the AFC Championship game. In a perfect world, the Browns would have gotten revenge on Denver and gone to the Super Bowl, right? Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. This is Cleveland.
When Browns fans hear the name Ernest Byner, they will probably throw their hands in the air and leave the room, forgetting all the positive accomplishments he brought to Cleveland. Byner is known as the Browns running back when “The Fumble” occurred. Trailing by three in the fourth quarter, Browns’ quarterback Bernie Kosar had a drive of his own. With 1:12 left to go, Kosar handed the ball off to Byner on the Broncos’ two yard-line. As a gaping hole opened on the left side, Byner darted toward the goal line to try and take the lead. But, he forgot to take the ball with him. The ball hit the ground and the Broncos recovered, crushing the Browns’ dreams once again.
Later, in 1995, Browns Owner Art Model moved the Browns to Baltimore and renamed the team to the Ravens. However, the team returned in 1999, but it has had two winning seasons since.
Of course, the Browns are not the only Cleveland team to put the fans in tears. The Indians were in the World Series in 1995 against the Atlanta Braves, but found themselves on the short end of the stick. They reappeared in the 1997 World Series against the Florida Marlins. With a 2-1 lead with two outs in the bottom half of the ninth inning of Game 7, Indians closing pitcher José Mesa gave up the tying run. Later, in the bottom of the 11th inning, Indians pitcher Charles Nagy chucked the ball toward home plate, and Marlins shortstop Edgar Rentería lined the pitch into centerfield, bringing home the winning run and bringing disappointment, yet again, to the city of Cleveland.
Then there are the disappointments from the Cavaliers. In 2006, LeBron James took the Cavs to the NBA Finals, but they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
On July 8, 2010, James decided to “take [his] talents to South Beach.” This monumental change caused the Cavs to finish last in the NBA the next season.
Cleveland is a city full of pride, hard work and heartache. As described in a video made by a Browns fan that went viral on YouTube, the city can be described as a “factory of sadness.”
The state of Ohio has to be wondering if the city will ever see a significant championship in professional sports ever again. As Katy Perry said, “After a hurricane comes a rainbow,” Cleveland fans are hoping to see a glimmer of light from that rainbow. But, they have seen nothing but multiple hurricanes.