Cleveland sports could not save 2016.
In the end, you’re going to remember this year as that time when all the celebrities died and we elected a president who once successfully sued the NFL for $1 (that really happened). By any objective metric, 2016 was horrible and we should probably just forget all about it.
But oh man, Cleveland sports almost made this whole year worthwhile. You probably don’t believe me and that’s fine, but have you ever really thought about it?
When 2016 didn’t have a defining sports moment and the Golden State Warriors were cruising to the most predictable victory since the duel at the end of Hamilton, the Cleveland Cavaliers gave us the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history.
When the Cubs were on the verge of losing the World Series and forcing Northwestern students to drink at home during an unseasonably warm October, the Cleveland Indians collapsed and gave you an excuse to get hammered in Wrigleyville with your friends.
And after Trump won the election, the Cleveland Browns protested by deciding as a team to never win another football game ever again (until Dec. 24).
For someone like me, a son of the Cuyahoga who pauses every June 22 to remember those we lost when the great river caught fire (even though nobody died), this year was great because Cleveland sports mattered.
Being a college student does strange things to your personal definition of home. Telling people I was from Cleveland never seemed quite true, because I only spent the first six years of my life in the #TheLand.
But the more honest answer about growing up in Florida usually led to questions about the last time I tossed an alligator through a Wendy’s drive-through window or did cocaine off an elephant’s tusk.
So my whole life it was Austin from Cleveland, the place where nobody ever wins and the sun shines almost three times a year. But not anymore.
Now it’s Cleveland, the only city in America with as many championships as Rock and Roll Hall of Fames. Come and look at both of our buildings.