- Steve Etheridge, ESPN Playbook
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Regardless of claims made by its promotional materials, Cleveland’s got it bad. Its teams rarely demonstrate success. Its rivers spontaneously combust. And people always feel compelled to apologize to it for things.
First there was Dan Gilbert, whose sic-heavy Comic Sans denunciation of LeBron James conveyed outrage and remorse over the pitiful circumstances that had befallen Cavs fans. "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE," the team owner e-hollered, making an impossible promise that set up fans for additional disappointment.
And then most recently was rock legend and documented jungle-dweller Axl Rose (formerly William Rose, Bill Bailey, William Bruce Bailey, and William Bruce Rose Jr.), who opted out of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and then wrote a mea culpa letter to the downtrodden Clevelanders. Please read the letter in its entirety, per Axl’s wish, at the link provided, and then consider the similarities between his letter and Gilbert’s.
For instance, each letter takes time to reassure the townspeople that it’s not their fault, that they are faithful fans, that they don’t suck as humans.
“Cleveland does in fact rock!” Axl claims, presumably with a straight face.
“You have given so much and deserve so much more,” Gilbert writes. “You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.”
Gilbert then goes on to say, “Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.” Translation: “Cleveland may be hell on earth, but put in your time and heaven will be all the sweeter.”
In all seriousness, though, Cleveland ain’t that bad. (Just an hour drive to Cedar Point!) But it should be noted that its best-reviewed hotspot on Yelp is a cemetery.