guest post: lebron's gone but you're not

Friday, July 9, 2010

a good friend of mine, cubby, just emailed me the following blog post saying that he didn't care if i posted it or not but he just wanted to share how he was feeling about the whole lebron debacle.

and who am i to stifle anyone's freedom of speech? plus, after i read it we are essentially on the exact same page.

enjoy. have a great weekend, kids.

Hi. My name is Kevin. And I love Cleveland.

Sound like group therapy? Apparently we need it. Just when you feel like things are looking up, something comes along to take the wind out of our collective sail. I don’t need to rehash any portion of The Decision. Where the therapy comes in is helping make sense of what it all means (and maybe a big group hug at the end).

(Insert any athlete’s name here) leaving is not an indictment on the state of a region. Athletes exist in a bizarre, parallel universe that you and I will never comprehend. Logical reasoning and decision making are typically not part of the equation, since making millions of dollars for playing a game and being fawned over isn’t particularly logical in and of itself. Plants grow in conditions where they can thrive; egos aren’t much different. So it comes as no surprise that they flock to bright lights and maximum attention. In this instance, the old break-up cliché is actually true: it’s not you, it’s me (me being the athlete’s id).

Question – when you woke up today, what was different in your life? Answer – absolutely nothing.

Lebron James has had no discernible impact on your life. You’ll do everything today, tomorrow, next month as you would have if he were here. Cleveland will not crumble into Lake Erie. Downtown will not turn into Ghost town. No bars or restaurants will close, and if they do, they sucked anyway (I’m looking at you, Local Heroes and Forti’s).

What has changed: the Cavs now suck. So what? Most of our sports teams have sucked for the majority of their existence, with a few minor aberrations that inevitably led to heartbreak. Those heartbreaks make us what we are. You know what championship starved fans look like once relieved of that burden? Three words: Red Sox Nation. Have you seen these people or dealt w/ them post-October 2004? Words can’t describe the contempt that winning breeds. Insufferable pricks comes to mind. Embrace the hardiness of being a Clevelander. It gives you character.

So what have we learned? Cleveland is still alive and kicking, and the only loyalty towards it you can count on is your own. Other than just simply living here (or being from here), what will you do to prove your loyalty? You love this city for some reason; let it be known why. I’m not asking you to put on a cheer-leading skirt and pick up pom-poms. What I am asking is not to be an accomplice to stereotyping and bashing, which amazingly comes exclusively from narrow minded people who have never been to Cleveland. Your portrayal of Cleveland is ultimately the picture that is in the minds of others; paint it the way you see it and live it. Only then will the distorted view of our fair city finally come into focus.

Don’t worry about one man’s legacy; he made his bed last night and history will define it for him accordingly. The better question is: what will your legacy be? Don’t be bitter. Be better.

(Group Hug).


  1. LOVE this post. Thank you (from someone who doesn't live in and isn't from Cleveland and therefore really doesn't care about The Decision).

  2. From a New Englander, Sox and Celtics fan from wayback: Thank you for putting this so eloquently. I hope this gets published in your local newspapers.

  3. OMG - I couldn't have said it better! LOVE IT! Also - random stalking - I saw on twitter it said seidenwand - any relation to Katie/Mentor Seidenwands?? That was one of my close friends in college!

  4. Cubby!
    you are such a great writer!!!! i had chills and almost tears!!!
    great post!!!


  5. I whole-heartedly agree. Although I no longer live in Ohio, my FB page was blowing up with all my OH friends ranting and raving about LeBron's decision. Really, it's not the end of the world and if you choose to live your life through sports icons, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate your priorities! Great post :)

  6. Love it! So true and so glad someone had the balls to say it!

  7. Well said. >> Hug back <<

  8. Here, here Woogie. Thank you.

  9. Yay for a voice of reason.

    I will say I hope Cleveland wins a title before LeBron does though.

  10. This is actually very wise. One athlete does not make a city. I very much agree :)

  11. Ditto to The Modern Gal's second sentence!

  12. Suburban SweetheartJuly 11, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    "Don't be bitter; be better." A good motto not just for the wake of the Former King, but for life in general. Cubby is a smart, smart man.

  13. Great post and I love that last line. It's so true and what you need to keep in mind. I wasn't happy with The Decision but I can't wait to see how Cleveland rises above :)

  14. Nice work Cubby. Hit the nail on the head.

  15. Fantastic post, especially in that it can be enjoyed even if you aren't big into sports. Second the above--"don't be bitter, be better" is a good way to go through life.

    That said...LeBron's still a douche. Hope the Cavs stick it to him, just once.

  16. Yeah for capital letters on this blog I've never read before today.

  17. hell yeah, don't be bitter, be better.

  18. "Lebron James has had no discernible impact on your life."

    Sorry, that's just wrong. I know that I and many others were discernibly impacted by LeBron's being here. He made Cleveland, all else equal, a more exciting place to be. He brought folks together. Gave people something to rally around.

    I guess his departure has as well, and I know we'll bounce back, but don't pretend like we're not affected here.


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