With the exception of very few major league teams, more likely than not your season consistently ends in tears. Sitting in a bar this past Saturday, looking at the faces of those around me wearing Cavs jerseys, I was reminded once again of the ultimate reality of Ohio teams in the post season, and the heart break that lies therein.
The more I thought about it, we are not alone. You know who you are, kings and queens of “there’s always next year,” or preseason shouters of, “this is our year!” And you can be found across this great nation.
So here begins my little journey across country, to highlight our defeats, but most importantly, the beauty that comes from being a fan, and the hope that maybe, just maybe, this really is our year!
We begin in Ohio, and I apologize but it’s just this week! If you have masochistic tendencies, I beg of you, spend a season immersed in one of these teams… you will not be disappointed!
Oh my, where to begin. The relationship between the post season and the Bengals is pretty much nonexistent. With two Superbowl appearances in the 80s and then again in 90, all ending in defeat, and followed by 14 consecutive non-winning seasons, it’s safe to say that Bengals fans hopes are not too high. 2005 seemed promising, only to end with more of the same. Since then it has been almost comical to rattle off the number of arrests and problems this team has seen, even before even a single snap has been made. But I’m feeling it this year Bengals fans, with Nick Lachey on your side, the honor of being the Hard Knocks team in 09 and Ochocinco becoming Chad’s legitimate name.. the sky is the limit!
The Reds have been jonesing for a World Series title since 1990. Since then, the NL Central Division title in 1995 is the closest they’ve come to sniffing out a victory. While you long for the Reds of the 70s with Pete Rose and Joe Morgan, César Gerónimo and Ken Griffey, we can only hope that “conduct detrimental to baseball” will never see its way back to the Great American Ball Park.
The Browns are the quintessential, “things look great for us this season,” team! Always being hyped in pre-season chatter, anything that follows can’t help but be a let down. Browns fans are wishing they could go back to the AAFC, where domination occurred. Twenty-four playoff appearances since 1950 have led to 4 championships, the last in 1964. Since the dynasties of Paul Brown, Jim Brown, Bernie Kosar, Ernie Davis, Otto Graham and the like, your fanship has even been put on hold for three years from 1996-1999. A return to the NFL did not treat you well and since then you have come up with one play off appearance. Dear Dawg Pound, don’t give up the fight, maybe Brady Quinn will drink enough of EAS’s chalk like substance to pull-off a Superbowl win!
I’m still crying actually, give me a moment. Ok, I’m better. An expansion team born in 1970, it was evident from inseption that a black cloud was to hang over the Cavs. We have been struggling from the start people. Before Bron Bron got to town, we were looking at one division title in 1976. A Rookie MVP in 2003, King James brought much hope to an ailing fan base. But you know how the story goes: losing to the Pistons in round two in 2006, getting swept in the NBA finals of 2007 by the Spurs, losing in the second round in 2008, and finally losing in 2009 to the Magic. After a season of complete domination and then complete and utter failure, all I can say about the future, at least Lebron wants a ring before he leaves for New York!
The early years were not kind to the Tribe, for that matter neither were the latter years. We have not won a World Series since 1948 folks! Maybe Bob Hope should have never invested in this team. A thirty-year slump from 1960-1993, we were living in the cellar, besides a third-place and five fourth-places finishes. The curse of Colavito doesn’t have quite the ring as the curse of the Bambino, but is just as real! But from 1995-1999, it seemed as though all that had changed with solid trips to the playoffs, only to come up short-handed. The Red Sox took them down in 2007 and since then things have not been looking too hot for the Tribe. But chin up fans, if nothing we have one of the greatest baseball movies ever to show for the years of heartache!
Columbus Blue Jackets
With only nine years of play, it’s hard to get too emotional over the state of Blue Jackets fans. However, in 2009, with their first trip to the playoffs, it was difficult to watch them get eliminated in the first four games by Detroit! This team is young and their fans will bounce back, and in the meantime they can stare at Nash for comfort.
I thought we’d end on a high note for Ohio Pro Sports fans. The most recent team to bring home a victory, the Columbus Crew! The Crew have won MLS Cup, The Supporters’ Shield twice and the U.S. Open Cup. Who knows, maybe all it took was the first soccer specific stadium, or a certain Ladies… writer as a previous cheerleader, to end the post-season curse!
Please tune in next week, when we head to Illinois and tap into some more misery!