The positive aspect of negativity

To the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers, it is time for me to issue a long overdue message: “Thanks, guys. I never could have made it this far without you.”

Not that I’ve actually “made” it all that far, to be honest. Then again, I do have a terrific wife, 3 great kids and 7 fantastic grandchildren. Oh, and I’m still vertical, which counts for something, no? And to what do I attribute all of this to? In truth (and don’t tell any of them – especially my wife – that I said this) I’m (to paraphrase Lou Gehrig) the “luckiest man on earth.”

What, you ask, have Cleveland sports done to warrant this outpouring of emotion? Let’s look a little further …

It’s pretty simple. For a good part of my life – from the early 1960s into the mid-1990s, the Indians were horrible, and I could always look at negative events in my own life and think, “Yeah, right now my circumstances stink, but at least I’m not the Tribe.”

And from 1999 through 2017, I had the Browns. Their record-setting two decades of futility is recent enough that I don’t even need to go there, do I? My reader(s) know all too well about the Browns and their “successes” of the last 20 years.

And finally, to round out the comic relief, I had the Cavs to fill in the gaps with their own brand of ineptitude when I needed a beacon of hope (a.k.a. "bad basketball") to make me feel oh so good about my own bumps in the road.

So, yeah, taking that a step further, Cleveland sports have become the equivalent of a poor man’s “therapy” for guys like me. And this kind of therapy costs a lot less than a shrink, baby! Who’s laughing now?

Ergo, the question becomes, “Since you’re living the good life as a direct result of the pathetic performance of Cleveland sports teams, what happens if they all get good at the same time?”

Slow down there, pardner. Let’s back up the padded psycho truck and think about that just a momento.

First, we have Jimmy Haslam running the Browns. Quite possibly the worst owner in all of sports, he finally did the even-a-blind-squirrel-finds-an-acorn thing and hired John Dorsey. Unfortunately, Haslam has an Art Modell-esque ego and will become outraged when Dorsey is credited with the Browns success. Haslam will find a reason to fire Dorsey, and it won’t be long before the Browns once again become “Hue Jackson material.” Bank on it. (Sorry).

Next, we have Dan Gilbert. This guy made a fortune in mortgages, not running NBA teams. Dan’s problem is that he apparently doesn’t recognize the difference between the two. Frankly, I have a better chance of becoming President of the US of A (if it happens, address me as “Mr. President,” please) than Dan has a chance of getting to be an intelligent NBA owner. Trust me.

And the Dolans. Ah, yes, the Dolans. The guys who insist on running a major league franchise on a K-Mart budget. Some like to say that the Dolans “at least are better than Jimmy Haslam or Dan Gilbert,” which drives me nuts, because it’s like saying Curly was the smartest of the Three Stooges. Paul Dolan – the same guy who questions fan loyalty while saying he’s “disappointed” in attendance, but at the same time saying they “must” cut payroll to remain fiscally sound. So, Paul, you want the fans to “buy in” when you, yourself won’t?  

What, me worry?

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:40 AM, 06.18.2019