Friday, December 3, 2010

Cavaliers, You Failed Us...

It’s been a day now since the “The Return” and I am still disappointed in our Cavs. I was up in Loudville yesterday, just like I was in Game 5, lingering with the final few thousand fans with a familiar, sour taste.

I was not all that surprised by the typical manhug-lovefest before the tip and really could not see the "friendly" dialogue between teams during the game that I am hearing about on the radio. But the Cavs' lack of...I'm not sure what word I am looking for here...effort/passion/empathy really brought me down. We got run out of our own place and that’s OK, I guess. Our team really isn’t that good. But those players and the entire Cavs organization missed a really big opportunity. To have that wave of crowd support behind them and then let the opportunity flounder was pathetic. I am sure Gilbert is steaming today. I can’t help but wonder how fringe fans (the ones with one leg off the old bandwagon), are reacting now? And how they would have reacted had we won, competed, or played with an ounce of passion or, dare I say, anger? Mo, Boobie, Jawad, or even Joey Graham could have become instant fan favorites (if not legends) simply by not shaking a hand, playing hard, or playing with a Red-Ass- attitude. You let the guy drop 25 in the 3rd quarter without knocking him on his ass? I'm sure Austin had something to say on that. I play with more passion in my Tuesday night pick-up games amongst friends.

I guess the pro-athletes have a fraternity of their own and we are just on the outside looking in. Their mentality seems to be Athlete, League, Team, then Fan/City (Team is often, and unfortunately, separate from City). As a lifelong fan, never have I felt so much distance between me and the player. Growing up, sure, I was naive to think that the player was just like the fan. I could bump into a pro around town or get their autograph at the local car dealership. Seemed to me like they were one of us, and I just figured they must love Cleveland, too. Now I am older and more realistic, and know that's not the case...but, come on, play with passion or at least pretend to have passion!

Last night, it was like the Cavs were gaming with some gangster/bully/popular kid that they were afraid to cross, in fear of him holding a grudge against them. Maybe, he'd refuse them as a teammate down the road or Nike would not offer a contract if they crossed That Guy. Oh, and Byron’s post-game presser was pathetic. Did anyone tell him that #6 used to play for the Cavs and left on bad terms?

Maybe I'm still naive, maybe times have changed, and maybe our teams don't love us as much as we love them. Damn it, give this Hard-Working Town the Hard-Working Team it deserves.