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Rosen’s Rumblings: Contemplating Five Summers, a Changed King and Four More Wins


This is my first EHC column and written from my unique perspective as the former Editor of the LeBrownsTown.com blog and Creator and Editor of LandLoyalty.com, our response to the post-LeBron era. Unlike the many true Cavs fans, that blog didn’t have staying power, lasting for a short time during the darkest era in my, and many others, lifetime as a diehard Cleveland sports fan.

The best part of our plethora of sporting miseries, is the promise of Cleveland’s grandest party ever on the night one of our teams break the spell.

Is it our time? I ponder this question as I did in 2007 and many times as a kid in the 90’s. We are so close to ending the championship drought that has spanned generations of Cleveland fans. Four more wins and 1964 is just another number. All the demons won’t be erased but will sting a little less. Who are we kidding, a lot less. As the voice said in Field of Dreams, one title would “ease his pain.” In this context “his” is the city of Cleveland. One championship and we all get the celebration, the parade, the redemption and the happiness that we deserve.

The national media likes to pretend our entire city burned LeBron jerseys and gave up for four years. The reality is most people didn’t burn LeBron’s jerseys and the bulk of fans never gave up. Frankly, anyone that burned a LeBron jersey was within their rights to do so. I hated that man. I said I didn’t want him back. I was definitive. Am I a hypocrite? No, because that man does not exist anymore.

The previous version of LeBron James was a child who this city adored as he dazzled us on the court. He was the best player our city ever saw, short of Jim Brown, and he made a point to spit on us every time he could. He wasn’t trolling Cleveland fans, he made it very clear that he was Akron and that he didn’t really like Cleveland when he was younger. Whatever his reasons, he wasn’t talking up “The Land” as he is these days, he was wearing a Yankees hat to a Tribe playoff game. He was on the Cowboys sidelines on Opening Day, at then Cleveland Browns Stadium. We all know how he left us and how the left-handed free throw that preceded it made us feel. That man was not the person to end our drought. He wasn’t capable and we deserved better.

The analogy that changed my opinion and resonated with much of the city was comparing Miami to college. All of us that attended college made mistakes or at one time or another made decisions that would embarrass us today. Personally, I wouldn’t want to hang out with the person I was for a portion of college, maybe all of it. But we mature and we learn. In some way, being away from his home region and being exposed to the example of D-Wade and Pat Riley helped LeBron morph into the man he is today. Once we signed him, I was happy for Cleveland and hopeful that this truly was a changed man. Clearly as we have all witnessed, he has embraced the city of Cleveland and isn’t just a kid from Akron anymore. Obviously he is a tremendous business mind and the “home” concept is marketing gold but it’s bigger than that.

Why is all of this centered on LeBron? Very simple, because the man and the ridiculously talented player and leader needs to be at his best now. Perhaps the best he has ever been, for our Cavs to win it all. Without Kevin Love and with Kyrie Irving’s knee and foot issues, LeBron needs his full game working. He needs to not only drive but needs to hit jump shots and three’s at a rate more consistent with his career numbers. I know the former LeBron could not have done that, not against an opponent of this caliber with depth and this year’s MVP. Golden State is a gritty, top defensive team that also feels as though it is their time with a fan base and an environment that rivals ours in terms of passion and craziness. They also believe the wait, forty years since their lone basketball championship, is just about over.

Soon the pondering on both sides will be over. Will we be able to watch or at least acknowledge that final game in ’97 against you all know who? Will we be able to laugh, at least a little, about the misfortunes of the 80’s on the gridiron, including one against this very same city that we face in The Finals? Will the infamous possession where Craig Ehlo failed to stop the greatest to ever play this game, be just a mere footnote before an era of greatness? We are so close to finding out but this time both the player and the city deserves this grand fiesta. Get pumped Cleveland and let every moment of the next few weeks sink in. If this is it, you will want to cherish each and every moment!!
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About Brian Rosen

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