I'll admit it. I got choked up last night. My wife came down into the basement as the game was ending and asked me an incredulous, "Are you crying?". All I said was a quiet "It's been so long".
I got choked up seeing the thousands upon thousands of people downtown watching the game outside after the Tribe had let out. I got choked up seeing a Cleveland sporting arena alive and shaking like I've never seen before. I got choked up seeing Lebron and Z embrace in a hug that for Z, seemed to give him a brief respite from the sorrow and agony of losing two unborn children this year. I got choked up thinking that the undisputed best young player in the league is one of us and knew, like only someone who has experienced the Cleveland sporting experience can, what was riding on this series and played liked the hopes and dreams of the region were resting on his broad shoulders. I got choked up as all of the years of frustration, anger and disappointment of being a Cleveland sports fan completely left my mind, if only for that night. For that night, and maybe only for that night, Cleveland was on top of the sports world. Cleveland had what everyone wanted to see. Cleveland, yes CLEVELAND, was the place to be. I know we still haven't won anything, but like I stated above, for that one moment in time, I couldn't have been prouder of a team from Cleveland. I wish so badly that I could have been there to be a part of this and to share it with everyone else who has experienced what I've experienced as a sports fan. My brother and sister were down at the Jake and described to me the atmosphere that was downtown and the electricity and excitement of what was going on. I know we are still a long shot, but I can tell you this: if we do win the title, a 7 hour car ride will have never seemed so short.
I won't get into too much analysis about the game because if you're reading this, there's probably a 99.9% chance that you cared enough about the game to actually watch it. It was nice to see the Pistons strategy of double and triple teaming Lebron completely backfire due to the one factor that this strategy relied on, no other player being able to step up and fill LBJ's shoes, fail miserably. Boobie Gibson was ice cold and buried dagger after dagger after dagger after dagger in the 4th in the Pistons' collective hearts. It's shocking that a second round draft pick that was barely a factor in the regular season is now the wild card that gives the Cavs a fighting chance against the Spurs. Things like that aren't supposed to happen in Cleveland. It was also nice to see some offensive strategy being put into play, especially when Detroit went to a trap and we spaced out everyone around the perimeter and then flashed a big man to the top of the key for an entry pass. Drew Gooden did this a couple of times. He was so wide open on one of them, he didn't know what to do.
Sorry to be so melodramatic, but to win 4 straight games after losing the first 2 and to do so in such a convincing fashion is the stuff of legends. For the generations of you who bleed the brown and orange, the wine and gold and the red, white and blue, enjoy this. Enjoy like it may never happen again, because everyone from Cleveland surely knows that moments like this are never promised and definitely rarely ever given.