Looking and Hoping for a Cure for ACFS: Abused Cleveland Fan Syndrome

I suffer from a problem that is not all that uncommon. Unfortunately, maybe you do too. I have been self-diagnosed with an acute case of ACFS, or Abused Cleveland Fan Syndrome. Symptoms including: Waiting for the bottom to drop out; fear of incredible disappointment; haunted memories of losses past; a complete lack of real hope; and an inability to ever see the bright side of things when it comes to our three professional teams.

My latest flare-up concerns the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are hours away from returning to the playoffs for the first time since the last time Lebron James was on this team. They face the Boston Celtics, a team with a bright future if they play their draft picks right, but a team that will be lucky to get out of this series with one win.

So what's the problem, right?

Well, you see, I'm already worried about the second round matchup against the Chicago Bulls, a matchup that may not even happen. (It most certainly will, though) The Bulls are a tough out, and have been for the past few years, Derrick Rose or no Derrick Rose. They play gritty defense, which is always frightening.

"Oh, for crying out loud, Primo. Relax. The Cavs are picked by almost everyone to go to the NBA Finals. At least the Eastern Conference Finals." Yeah, I know. And it doesn't make me feel better; it actually makes me feel worse.

Let's flashback to May 2010.

2009-2010 seemed like a dream season. The Cavs were rushing towards an NBA championship. 

In the first round, they played the Detroit Pistons and swept them away 4 games to 0. Yeah. Next up were the Atlanta Hawks, an up and coming team. The Cavs swept them away, too, 4 games to 0.

Does everyone know the NBA phrase "fo-fo-fo"? It comes from 1983 when then-Philadelphia 76er Moses Malone was asked about the Sixers chances in the postseason, and he replied "fo, fo, fo," (four, four, four) meaning that they would sweep each of the then-three playoff series enroute to becoming champions. (They actually came close, losing only one game that postseason, to the Milwaukee Bucks.)

That was what people were saying about the Cavs in 2010 as they prepared to face the Orlando Magic in the conference finals. (Technically it would have had to be fo, fo, fo, fo, but that hardly matters when we're all being cutesy.)

I'll never forget that first game. The Cavs were up 58-50 at halftime, and the game wasn't even that close. I was at a friend's house and we stood outside at halftime while he smoked a cigarette, NBA Champion dreams filling our heads, and we talked about how it was obvious the Cavs were going to crush the Magic. 

They didn't. As a matter of fact, they didn't even win that game. In the end, they fell to Orlando 4 games to 2. The Magic shot threes out of their minds and the Cavs were suddenly going home. The Magic came back to earth in the Finals series against the Los Angeles Lakers, losing 4 games to 1. 

Could the Cavs have beaten the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010? Does it really matter?

So here we are, five years later, and all I can think about is that series. We as fans sometimes seem to forget the struggle that the playoffs are for every team. The Miami Heat with James went to four straight Finals, won two, but had a miracle - and controversial - win in Game 6 that kept them alive and allowed them to play the Spurs in a Game 7 that gave them their second championship.

No matter who the eventual champs are, the road to get their is never easy, not in this day and age. I get that and it scares me. Is this team far more talented than that '09-'10 team? Oh yeah. Holy crap, yeah!

Does it make me feel any better? You know it doesn't.

I'm not going to rehash the Cleveland heartache that, for me, started with Red Right 88. It's been talked to death. If you don't know about our heartbreaking history by now, then you don't care.

This abuse, this constant letdown, this "we can do this!" followed by "no we can't" always seems inevitable. I wish I could not do that, but I can't help it. God help me for how I will feel if they do get past the Bulls/Milwaukee Bucks. If I'm worried about those two teams, how I will I feel about the conference and possible NBA finals matchups?

I know I'm not alone. I know there are more suffers of ACFS. Is there a cure? A championship would help. Heck, if the Indians and Browns could start making some serious noise, it would help.

Is this Cavs postseason the first step in finding a cure for this dreadful disease? I don't know. I'm excited to find out. I'm just also worried that it won't be, and we'll be doing this again in a year.*

Until a cure is found, let's all stick together and support one another. We're going to need it. We can't stop ACFS alone, we need the teams to actually pitch in, but until then, we can stick together, support one another, and, when that doesn't work, get drunk out of our minds.

Just the same......GO CAVS!

*No offense to the Indians and the Browns, but I have zero belief that either of those teams are going to offer any immediate relief. If they do, no one will be happier and more willing to eat crow than I, but I just don't see it happening.
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