(Before we begin: I’ve been sick all week and haven’t been able to update the site as much as I would’ve liked. Sorry.)
Cleveland Cavaliers fans, I feel your pain.
No matter the color of the jersey or the sport, it always really hurts to find out someone doesn’t care about you as much as you thought they did.
You guys learned that lesson the hard way tonight. For that, I am sorry.
Outsiders will tell you that you shouldn’t be so upset. “It’s a business” will be the line of crap that they feed you. They’ll tell you LeBron James has to do what’s best for him. Miami gives him a better shot to win, the Cavs couldn’t surround him with a similar set of talent and, in the end, LeBron had to take that opportunity.
Is that true? Yeah, maybe.
Doesn’t matter – that’s not the point.
The point is that you loved him through it all. Success or not, he was your guy. He made you proud. You supported him. You treated him like he was one of your own – which, well, he was. Or, at least, was supposed to be.
You felt like you had a special relationship, one that fans everywhere admired. He had to feel that way too, didn’t he? I mean, he said he did, so you took him at his word.
In the end, though, he didn’t really feel anything at all. The giant middle finger he showed you guys on ESPN proved that. It was a nasty sight to see, even for a guy who admittedly cares very little about the NBA.
I know that middle finger - I’ve seen it before.
I had to endure my own “Summer of Torture” around this same time two years ago (and again last summer). You can’t believe your guy is doing this to you. Has he lost his mind? What is he thinking?
You calm yourself by thinking he’ll come to his senses and remember how special the relationship is, especially with the way sports are nowadays. He wouldn’t just throw that all away, would he? Even if he goes somewhere else, they’ll never love him like you did. He knows that, right?
And surely he knows that, once that bridge is torched, it can never be rebuilt, right?
It’s at that exact moment that he drops the match on the gasoline that he himself has spent weeks pouring.
Gone baby, gone.
You’re angry. Scratch that – you’re furious.
You’re going to yell and curse. You’re going to hate yourself for getting suckered in by such an utterly despicable person. You’re going to have too much to drink and, maybe, you’ll get sad enough to cry. You’re going to want to throw away the posters, bury the ticket stubs and, perhaps, break out that jersey and do a little torching of your own.
If you think I’m going to tell you any of these actions are “wrong” or “classless,” you are incorrect. You’re talking to a guy who kept his autographed Brett Favre photo on the wall of his apartment for the sole purpose of drawing a vulgar thought bubble out of his mouth (think of the movie “Clerks” and you’ll know what I wrote). I am not above such actions.
Do it. Do all of it. You’ll be amazed how much better it makes you feel.
So far, I’ve tried to steer clear of giving you any advice. After all, everyone hates the guy who tries to throw those tired, pathetic cliches at you after you’ve just had your heart ripped out.
That said, I want to end this thing on a positive and, hopefully, this makes you feel just a bit better.
You’re down on your team now. I get that. But don’t be down forever.
In fact, when the season rolls around, go to Quicken Loans Arena as soon as you can. Sell the place out. Be louder than you’ve ever been before, even if your team stinks (and by all accounts, it’s going to). Let LeDouche know it was never about him – it was about the team. That is what really matters. It’s their building, their town, your town - he was just renting some space.
And when the traitor returns home, do NOT listen to those who tell you it’s wrong to boo him. Don’t be above that. Boo the living daylights out of him. Let him know how disgusting he really is.
His new team might beat yours – and that’ll stink if it happens – but he will get the message. Even moronic, self-obsessed professional athletes know what 20,000 boos means.
It means that the oldest cliche of them all really is true: You can never go home again.