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Cleveland Pride

The city most recently famous for it’s under-inflated balls, had a reporter with an over-inflated ego slam the city.

Our city.

Cleveland. 

Sometimes, the high road is the road less traveled. So, I won’t slam Boston in response. It’s a nice city. I have friends there. Even people I consider family. Afterall, for Shaughnessy to be so lazy, critical, and childish as to criticize a city, it’s people, and economy, when he contributes nothing to Boston or it’s economy, is not worth being angry over.
You see, it’s not about revenge or resentment. It’s about unity. Us and them. It truly is OUR city. And that unity and sense of pride is not understood by outsiders. If you’re not from Cleveland, you won’t get it. It’s an inside joke that all Ohioans share.
Remember the national confusion when LeBron James came back to the Cavaliers in a letter in Sports Illustrated? Why would someone of LeBron’s stature choose, choose!, to go to Ohio? Or as Shaughnessy called Cleveland, a “godforsaken/hopeful town.”
All this because the Cleveland Cavaliers rained confetti after it’s first playoff win in four seasons. The smugness in his article was of the sore loser/take my ball and go home childish variety that you normally see in 5 year-old’s teasing their younger siblings and friends.  Fortunately, readers were even treated to a remark about him having to “brush confetti out of his jheri-curl hair” to keep things interesting.
The overall tone and content of the article were condescending. Shaughnessy brought up every awful sports memory of Clevelander’s in a backhanded, unsympathetic way. He called Cleveland “a hungry place, peppered with people with hungry faces,” and then said how he loves this city. Yet, still found it beneath him that a 16-ounce can of beer was $3. When I was in Boston last summer, the cigarettes were $2 more than in Cleveland. After two packs of cigarettes here, I could buy a 16-ounce Pabst and have enough to tip the bartender with the savings!
It seemed as if Shaughnessy thought his writing and spectating actually played a part in the outcome of Boston team championships. He wrote about them as if they were a personal accomplishment. So it was amazing that he criticized the “All In” mentality of the fans here, in Cleveland.
Cleveland is my city. I see it’s potential in the downtown skyline every morning. I pass through the construction sites, that remind me that Cleveland; the Cavaliers, the Browns, and the Indians, are truly building things. 
I see First Energy stadium nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, as if it could wash away the years that the team was taken away. I see the Indians on the corner of Carnegie, the stadium stands as a monument to baseball right off the freeway.
Further into the city that is “quiet on weekends and empty on weeknights,” I see more construction for the Republican National Convention. Driving down E.9th, I can see where parts of The Avengers movie was filmed.
Shaughnessy may be right though, downtown is quiet on weekends and empty on weeknights. But, that’s because there are so many other places to go. Coventry, Lakewood, and Tremont have delicious food and nice bars, as well as interesting shops. We have malls in Strongsville, Crocker Park, Akron, Columbus, and many other cities. Downtown is not the necessity of nightlife that it is in other cities.  

Shaughnessy wrote a hack job of an article, but in the end, I’m not angry. I’m disappointed that the city was brought up in this context for a basketball game. There was no point other than not provoke this reaction. So, I’ll tip my cap to you Dan Shaughnessy. When it comes to being an idiot, you're the best and you have to admire someone at the top of their game.
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About David Burkart

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