Six Reasons Cleveland Fans Should Burn Their LeBron James Jerseys
I gotta be honest: I’m more upset about LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers than I thought I’d be. But I get the feeling nothing can compare to what Cavs fans are feeling right now. I’ve never had to sit back and watch the best player from my team up and leave. And being that LBJ is from Cleveland? Well, that must only make things more difficult.
During last night’s broadcast of “The Decision,” ESPN played clips of Cleveland fans burning their LeBron James jerseys out on the street after he made the announcement that he was leaving the Cavs to play for the Miami Heat next season. And while it might seem barbaric (and even stupid—we are, after all, still in a recession!) I can see why they’re doing it. Here are six emotions that Cavs fans must have been feeling last night when they took torches to their LBJ jerseys.
Did LeBron really refer to himself as “loyal” during “The Decision” tonight? Just hearing that word come out of his mouth seemed inappropriate at the time. Here’s the thing: LBJ has stuck by the city of Cleveland for seven long seasons and hasn’t been able to get over the hump. But he’s turning his back on the city right now and sending them back to the bottom of the league by going to Miami.
Before LeBron, the city of Cleveland didn’t have much to cheer about when it came to the Cavs. But LBJ gave them plenty of good times and took them as far as the NBA Finals. After LBJ? Well, let’s just say things aren’t looking good right now.
The way the whole LeBron James/free agency thing played out was terrible. It made for good TV and gave us all plenty to talk about, but it didn’t give Cleveland fans any time to prepare for the devastation of LeBron leaving. Had they had more time to get ready—and if they didn’t have to hear about him heading to Miami during a live TV interview—they might have been able to keep their cool a little bit better.
It could take years for the Cavaliers to become relevant in the NBA again. Literally, years. And if you look at some other teams throughout pro sports, they never recover when a superstar leaves town. That probably has a lot of Cavs fans burning their jerseys and thinking, ‘Who cares? I’ll never go to another Cavs game again anyway.’ Ouch.
If LeBron James—a guy who’s from your city and grew up there all his life—doesn’t want to play in Cleveland, how are the Cavs possibly going to get someone else to take his place?
6. More Anger
Cleveland hasn’t had much to cheer about over the course of, oh, the last five decades or so. The Browns stink. The Indians stink. And the Cavaliers? Well, sorry, Cleveland fans, but they stink now, too. You’re out $70 for a LeBron jersey, $5000 for all the tickets you’ve bought over the course of the last seven years and $1500 for all the odds and ends you’ve bought to rep your Cavs squad in recent years (you just had to have that LBJ bobblehead, right?). And now, it’s all gone and it’s all over. Priceless, huh?
So, go ahead, Cleveland—and let it burn. I didn’t think I’d really care if LeBron left Cleveland. But I feel your pain.