People not from Cleveland often ask us natives during the rare instances when one of our sports teams is in a championship, “are you nervous?”
Answer: Nobody from Cleveland over the age of 15 is nervous. Not one.
Why? Because we know Cleveland is going to lose. And not only just lose, but do so in the most spectacular fashion possible.
This isn’t to say that Clevelanders don’t want their team to win -- we do. We just know our history.
In the 1990s, the Indians lost to the Braves in six, only to lose in a heartbreaker in game seven two years later to the Marlins. (The Marlins now have a bar at their stadium named “The Clevelander,” though they swear it’s just the name of a local bar.)
It’s not unusual to see obituaries in Cleveland ask for local sports players to be pall bearers at the funeral, just so Cleveland's teams can “let them down one last time.”
I’m not throwing in the towel just because Cleveland is down 3-2. Had LeBron made the shot he missed at the end of the first game, the Cavaliers could have been up 3 to nothing — something nobody expected of a team lacking Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. It's just that we're destined to lose.
So, what are the possibilities for the Cavaliers at this point? In other words, which outcome would be most crushing?
First is the prospect of losing tonight at home in Cleveland. Some would argue this is worse than losing on the road. I disagree. Cleveland is used to losing, especially at home. Cleveland winning tonight would brighten the generally dour outlook of the Cleveland faithful just a little bit. So, that’s how it has to be.
Cleveland will then play game seven in Oakland. It will be spectacular -- for the first half. The Cavs will lead by double digits, the Warriors faithful will be scared and quiet. Then, after a close third quarter, Golden State will whittle away the lead. LeBron will suffer some peculiar and unlikely injury. The Cavs will keep fighting, but the lead will dwindle to two.
And then, with seconds left on the clock, Steph Curry will sink a 40 foot three pointer to win by one.
You heard it here first, sports fans.
And if I’m wrong, Cleveland will win its first title since 1964 -- not counting the three-time champion Cleveland Crunch, who last won a title in 1999. In indoor soccer.
Update: Cleveland loses.