It’s midnight. I’m sitting out on a picnic bench in the middle of the New Mexico desert. It’s a clear night, I’m listening to Kid Cudi (Shaker Heights Represent) and staring up at the stars. The moon is full and bright, almost covering the entire area in a luminescent glow, yet there is not a single thing in the world brighter than my beaming face right now following Cleveland’s first major professional sports title in 52 years.
This win means something special to just about every person in Cleveland. Each meaning is unique, just as each story behind those reasonings. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Westley Lowry, describes his in a thirty-seven long string of tweets describing his friends from back in Cleveland talking about Basketball. Cardale Jones keeps it simpler, if you’re not from Cleveland you simply just don’t understand the importance of this win.
Jones is right, this win is transcendent in Cleveland. Whether you’re a gigantic sports fan or could care less, this win affects every single member of our community. This win is about more than just ending a drought, it embodies the spirit of Cleveland. The Cavs came back. Everyone wrote us off, just like America wrote off Cleveland. When everyone was ready to simply move on, Cleveland stayed determined. Fifteen years ago Cleveland was falling apart, the remnants of a rust-belt metropolis. Fifteen years later, downtown is vibrant, the flats are going, East 4th is wild, I don’t actually know much about the west side, but I’m pretty sure it’s also amazing, and best of all we have the perfect ring to complement this beautiful transformation, a championship ring. Cleveland isn’t an underdog story, it’s a dark horse. This time, it just so happened that the horse paid out.
Cleveland is special to me. I’ve moved on, university life drew me across the ocean, yet every game day you can be assured I’ll stay away until 2AM to watch my boys in wine and gold through good and bad. This win was something special for me; this was a team I’d followed since 2003. I watched a childish LeBron James transform into a mature one. I watched countless series against the Detroit Pistons in their prime. I saw a Kings game on the floor. I skipped class in 6th grade to discuss the Delonte West trade. I said a few bad words over “The Decision.” I watched Kyrie and Tristan Thompson play 2v5 for almost four years. And now I can say I’ve watched a championship.
Just like everyone else from Cleveland, I had my special moment when Cleveland won. With six seconds left, my mom called. I was at work, crowded around a cell phone stream instead of closing up. Answering the call my mom said, “I think we did it” and next thing I knew I was on the ground, crying tears of joy. I was literally giggling like a schoolgirl. By the time I was able to pull myself together I was running laps around the store, screaming “The Cleveland Cavaliers are your 2016 NBA Champions” with my arms raised. I wanted every single person even in the vicinity of the store to know. Love them or hate them, I wanted to see emotional reactions to a roller coaster I had seemingly been riding on for thirteen years now.
So Cleveland. I ask you this, have your moment. Let the freakout, the super fan. Scream shout, express emotion however you choose. I currently am choosing to express my emotion by wearing my “Believe-land” T-Shirt while doing laundry and writing this letter. Bust out your Wine and Gold Tie for work, rock those Cleveland themed socks, blast Kid Cudi, Bone Thugs n’ Harmony, MGK, The Black Keys, The Modern Electric, any Cleveland-based band. Show your pride now, at the parade, in the streets, the bars, the museums. Don’t show any shame, because this is The Land, and we’re damn proud of it.
I said after game two of the Atlanta Hawks series that there was going to be a parade in my city this year. I was right.
William Ross Goodall
Senior Writer for Cavs Nation