Dan Shaughnessy is talking about Cleveland again


A year after Boston Globe windbag Dan Shaughnessy wrote an article that painted Cleveland as a decrepit ghetto where every vagrant that lives there reeks of despair and their long faces are littered with wrinkles caused by hundreds of years of depression and poverty as they hold out a tin cup with a shaking hand begging for change, he’s got our city on his keyboard once again. And he’s embedded a video of The Fumble this time.

Some of you may not remember the name, or the article. Here’s the CliffsNotes:

  • We can’t really blame these folks. It’s easy to be smug when you come from a city that has celebrated nine championships in this century. I had to brush confetti from my jheri-curl head as recently as Feb. 1, when Pete Carroll made the worst play call in the history of sports. I wasn’t expecting a celebration in the sky when Gigi Datome slinked off the floor Sunday, but anything these Cleveland folks do is OK because they have truly suffered.
  • They come downtown and they see a diminished city where commerce and activity once thrived, before the foreclosures and rampant unemployment. Cleveland once was one of America’s five largest cities. Today, downtown Cleveland is a sad space with many vacant buildings and boarded-up stores. The city is quiet on weekends and empty on weeknights after the workforce goes home. It feels like the local economy runs on lottery tickets.
  • At the corner of East Fourth Street and Prospect you can still get a 16-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $3 at Flannery’s Pub. Not far from the other end of Fourth Street, there’s the Horseshoe Casino, connected to the Tower City Center. This is not a high-roller crowd. It’s not Ocean’s Eleven. It’s more like Atlantic City-on-the-Cuyahoga.
  • LeBron and the Cavaliers are important because Cleveland is dead or dying, and there hasn’t been a team to make the city feel good about itself since Lyndon Baines Johnson was in the White House.
  • Then came “The Decision’’ and the burning of LeBron’s jersey on the streets of Cleveland. But now LeBron is back and the Cavs are back and everybody in this godforsaken/hopeful town is “All In.’’

And now that I’ve got your blood boiling, let’s take a look at his most recent “article.” He sure thinks about us a lot, huh?

The headline is “How can you not root for Cavaliers to win it all?”

“These things I believe:

1. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA.

2. The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to win the NBA championship and put an end to the 52-year sports drought that has tortured and plagued the good folks who live by the shores of Lake Erie.”

Aw thanks, Danny. Trying to extend an olive branch after realizing how off base your article last year was. Much appreciated.

“[LeBron] is one of the top 10 talents in the history of the league. He still has some trouble closing and has won championships only twice in six appearances in the NBA Finals, but I can’t believe there’s a coach out there who would not take LeBron first if all players were available for an open draft to assemble a team for this year’s playoffs.”

At this point, I’ll take even back-handed compliments.

“This year the Cavs are healthy. LeBron, Irving, and Love make for a nifty Big Three. They have the maniacal J.R. Smith and Channing Frye draining rainbow jumpers from international waters. Tristan Thompson is a rebounding robot. Iman Shumpert is a serviceable two-way player. Head coach Tyronn Lue has replaced the stiff and annoying David Blatt, who kept telling us how many playoff games he won overseas.”

Yes, we’re healthy, in part due to the fact that one of our best players wasn’t a victim of aggravated assault in the first round this year. Draining jumpers from international waters, that’s funny.

The stiff and annoying David Blatt? Oh hell no. Only we’re allowed to make fun of our ex coach. If anything I thought Blatt was engaging and, dare I say, funny by the time he left. Stiff and annoying? Where do you even get that?

“But this is about the city of Cleveland more than it is about LeBron James or the Cleveland basketball team. Cleveland has endured one of the worst half-centuries in American history. Its population has fled,

That’s why apartment buildings downtown are filling up quicker than they can build them. Got it.

its downtown is dismal and too often empty,

Casino rebranding, Dan Gilbert buying Tower City, Public Square overhaul, nuCLEus project, the new Nautica plan, Progressive Field renovations, the new Corner Alley look and Mabel’s on East 4th, FWD and the whole East Bank of the Flats…..do some research for me one time Dan!

And too often empty? You try getting a spot at Clevelander during a Cavs game, pal.


I wasn’t kidding. He actually embedded a video of The Fumble in his article about the Cleveland Cavaliers. Simply stunning.

Also, he mentions in both his articles this narrative about the long-term concern for the health of the Indians. Not sure where that’s coming from. Probably absolutely nowhere.

“So this is the year. LeBron’s Redemption. Duck boats on the Cuyahoga River.

Book it, people. A month before Donald Trump is anointed at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, LeBron James and the Cavaliers are going to make Cleveland great again.”

Pass. You can keep your stupid duck boats in Boston. We don’t need them, or Donald Trump to make Cleveland great again. We’re doing just fine without them, without him, and without you.

Looking forward to his “give Cleveland back-handed compliments for 4 or 5 paragraphs then list their historical failures team-by-team” article coming in Spring of 2017.




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