Cleveland will be the center of attention tonight for sports fans all across the country. It’s an obvious statement, we’ve been hearing about it for weeks now. That phrase, “center of attention,” is usually a subjective distinction. This time it isn’t. This time it’s a fact.
The Indians are one of two Major League Baseball teams still standing and the Cavaliers are one of two teams getting the new NBA season started, and they’re doing so 30 minutes and a couple hundred yards away from each other. So just by the numbers, out of all the people out there that have an interest in sports, a vast majority of them will be watching what happens in the Gateway District tonight.
But it’s a lot more than that.
The Cavaliers were step 1. They famously ended our city’s 52 year championship drought in June, and did so in historic fashion. Just in case any of the rest of the country had forgotten that Cleveland is an NBA Champion or that the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, there’s going to be a ceremony with a shitload of television cameras everywhere tonight to remind them.
The Indians though, they weren’t supposed to be here. A talented team, sure. But to do what they’ve done, the way they’ve done it, and the players they’ve done it without? If we win the World Series that would be like the Cavs winning it all in 2015 without Kyrie and Kevin. And LeBron. And Joe Harris putting up 20 with a buzzer beater to win the Eastern Conference Finals.
And that makes tonight even sweeter. The Cavs run was absolutely incredible and tonight will be absolutely incredible at the Q. The folks next door will be experiencing something incredible, too. But for reasons a little different.
There’s nothing more satisfying than doing something other people don’t think you can do. The Indians did it all season long, they did it by sweeping the Red Sox in the ALDS, they did it by beating the Blue Jays in the ALCS and they’ve done it by advancing to their first World Series since 1997. They’ve done it without some of their best players, and they’ve done it against some of the best teams. They’ve done it. And now they only have to do it four more times.
Tito said it best. “I just think if you look too far back, or you look too far forward, you miss what’s right in front of you.”
So whether you’re at the game or at a bar or on your couch tonight…try not to be on your phone that much. Give too many high fives. Cheers your Bud Lights with strangers. Scoot over to make more than enough room for your fellow feather heads at The Corner or in the bleachers. Just take some time to look around you and take everything in.
Conventional baseball knowledge tells you the Cubs will win this World Series. Conventional baseball knowledge also told you the Blue Jays would win the Championship series, and that the Red Sox would win the Division Series. Conventional baseball knowledge can go to hell.
We’re playing with house money. A lot of it. And our seat is on fire.
KEEP THE CHIEF