How Cleveland Sports are Irrelevant
On a fateful October day this year, I did something that I never thought I would do in my whole life: drive into Ohio. I was born and raised in California, and couldn’t have ever imagined traveling to a state over 2000 miles away. The thing I didn’t realize though: people from the Midwest take sports way too seriously. Case in point… Adam Bonefeste, the founder of this blog. This is definitely not a bad thing but for people from Cleveland, a city located in the Midwest, this is terrible.
Why you ask? Mostly because they have three teams that are utterly unmentionable. The city even has the gusto to have a team with a slightly politically incorrect name to get some attention: the Indians. Despite the name, they are the only team out of the three that has made the playoffs in their respective league in the past four years. The Browns haven’t had a playoff berth in 10 years (let’s also not forget what a terrible idea having orange helmets is for a team with this name), and the Cavs may never make the playoffs again without LeBron. All have made their best efforts to be a valid part of their leagues, but to no avail.
Cleveland sports have also become so bad that their city’s economy hinged on one player: a certain LeBron James. As he signed his 6 year rookie contract for $34 million, the city was making an important investment for their near future. With it’s merchandise, ticket, and endorsement sales, the franchise was able to gross an estimated additional $50 million per season. Their ticket sales after he left dropped from $67 to $48 on average. I mean, with that much teetering on a player Cleveland was bound to become obsolete.
Cy Young, the winningest pitcher of all time and the namesake of an award given to the best pitcher in each league, spent half of his professional years playing for the predecessors of the Indians. Does anyone remember this? No, and the underlying reason might be because Cleveland can be that forgettable.
I was almost going to make this about Ohio sports as a whole, but then remembered that there is such a thing as the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are obviously the most important team in the NHL. Oh wait, that doesn’t sound right. I mean, the Columbus Crew is an actual team in a professional league, right? Cincinnati still has its merits, but not for long I’m guessing. Be ready for that follow-up post soon!