Reid, I know your pain. After reading your post about the hopelessness you feel rooting for the Indians year after year after year, I want to urge you to stick with it and keep rooting for your teams. The payoff when a Cleveland team finally does win a championship is worth the wait. As a Philadelphia sports fan, I went through a similar drought. Before the Phillies’ World Series win in 2008, a Philadelphia team hadn’t won a championship since Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and the Fo’-Fo’-Fo’ 76ers beat the Lakers for the championship in 1983. As a die-hard sports fan before 2008, it was an agonizing feeling that I been on this Earth for 16 years and I had not yet experienced the joy, pride, and elation that a team’s championship brings to its fans and its city. The Flyers had not won the Stanley Cup since 1975, the Phillies had not won the World Series since 1980, and the Eagles have yet to win a Super Bowl. However, for the first decade of my life as a Philadelphia sports fan, I kept rooting and rooting for my teams, knowing that sticking through the bad times and not giving up hope would only make the eventual victory that much sweeter. I attended Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, a game the Phillies won in extra innings and was one of the most memorable nights of my life, and I remember exactly where I was sitting when the Phillies clinched the championship later that week. All my commitment and dedication had finally paid off.
I know my situation was not as dire as Cleveland’s current championship drought is. Philadelphia went 25 years without a championship; Cleveland’s drought is 65 years and still going strong. The Indians look to be a middling team, the Cavaliers have a young star but nobody to play with him, and the Browns just have no hope whatsoever. However, sticking with it and rooting for your teams during the bad times will make the good times even more rewarding. Just like the Red Sox shed their demons (the Babe Ruth Trade, Bill Buckner, Grady Little, etc.) with a 2004 World Series win, so too can Cleveland. A championship will help you forget about Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, and even The Decision. If you jump off the bandwagon and wait till a winning team arises from the ashes to jump back on, victory won’t be as sweet. Keep rooting for your teams. Trust me: it’s worth the wait.