The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

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February 23, 2024

Losing mentality sours perception of home fans

Without a doubt, I love that I’m a Clevelander. I wouldn’t want anywhere else as my hometown.

With that said, there is at least one issue I would change if I could about the denizens of Cleveland: loser mentality.

Now, I’ve only been on this earth for 21 brief years, but the Clevelander in me always feels the weight of “the curse.” And I mean the curse on Cleveland’s professional sports teams.

That’s right. We Clevelanders believe the athletic divines have so poignantly ignored our cries for championship glory, and we can point to several instances where seemingly nothing but divine intervention kept us from bringing home the trophy. In fact, Cleveland hasn’t won a professional championship since 1964.

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The Indians lost in the World Series twice (1995 and 1997) and missed a Series berth after enjoying a 3-1 ALCS lead in 2007. The ‘80s Cavaliers never got past Michael Jordan (see “The Shot” from 1989), and LeBron James left for Miami before delivering his promised championship. The Browns have never reached the Super Bowl; John Elway’s Broncos have denied the Browns a Super Bowl berth three times (note: “The Drive” in 1986 and “The Fumble” in 1987).

So, naturally, Clevelanders are a bit pessimistic about their sports. What little positive energy the fans exhibit at the start of a season quickly shifts to a “woe is us” mentality, along with a dreamy gaze toward the prospect next season brings.

But lately, I’ve been a bit bothered by the loser mentality. Sure, all three Cleveland teams are at a different stage of rebuilding, but the gripes from fans about a key player’s “trade value” and the idea of “throwing games for better draft picks” really disgusts me as a fan.

Take the Cavs for example. Some blogging fans – if they had their way – would see the front office trade center Anderson Varejao to a “contender.” Varejao is arguably having his best season as a Cavalier, averaging 10.6 points and 11.9 rebounds a game. In the past three games, Varejao has collected 15 or more rebounds in each, including a 20-rebound effort Jan. 31 against Boston. The native of Brazil – endearingly nicknamed “The Wild Thing” – is making a serious case for consideration on this year’s All-Star bench.

And yet, some Cavs “fans” grow impatient that Varejao has yet to be traded.

Is this what sports pessimism generates, a numbers game that seeks to solve the system? These tarnished fans should really relax and enjoy the team on the court, no matter who fills out the wine and gold jerseys. Sure, I’d love to see the Cavs continue to build, but intentionally losing and trading away seasoned stars at the risk of drafting unproven rookies is not the path to the Promised Land.

Call me a hippie, but I’m living in the moment with this year’s Cavs. They’re fun to watch. And better yet, they make it a bit easier to forget the Cleveland Curse, at least for the time being.

DAN KUBACKI

[email protected]

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