Game 1 of the NBA Finals begins tonight between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. This has the potential to be one of the most exciting Finals in years and is expected to put up big ratings all around the country. In Miami who have the hated threesome of James, Wade and Bosh going up against a Thunder team led by homegrown stars who were put together through the draft. The NBA could not have asked for a better matchup.
Unfortunately success for someone means heartbreak for another. In this situation one city will suffer no matter who is lifting the trophy in a couple weeks. For the city of Cleveland their nemesis is Heat Forward Lebron James. While the hate for Lebron seems to be softening around the country, it is only getting stronger in Cleveland. This is a sports city that has not won a championship since the 1964 Cleveland Browns. We are approaching 50 years without a championship in Cleveland and Lebron James was supposed to be the “chosen one” to end that drought. Of course he never delivered and had his infamous “decision” to announce leaving Cleveland for better places. Rooting for Lebron James to lose is the closest the people of Cleveland can come to having that championship feeling.
The people of Seattle have not had as much heartbreak as Cleveland, but watching their team grow up into a potential championship team and even potential dynasty over in Oklahoma City is just hopeless and depressing. Oklahoma businessman Clay Bennett bought the team in 2006 with the intent to do everything possible to keep them in Seattle. When the city refused to pay for a new stadium for the Sonics Bennett with the help of NBA commissioner David Stern moved the team to his hometown of OKC in 2008. Keep in mind that the city just built new stadiums for the Mariners and Seahawks and the Sonics arena was only 15 years old. To compare, the Suns US Airways is approaching it’s 20th birthday.
Clay Bennett never had the slightest interest of keeping the Sonics in Seattle. Emails leaked with a couple of his partners where he said he was a “man possessed” to move the team to OKC. In the book “Bad sports” by David Zirin he gives a great story of what Bennett thought of Seattle. In his first meeting with all the executives of the Sonics after he bought the team, Bennett flew them all out to OKC and ate at a fancy restuarant. He gave them all a OKC delicacy which everyone loved. When asked what that delicacy was Bennett told them it was lamb testicles. I am sure you get the meaning he was giving the people of Seattle.
The cities of Seattle and Cleveland have gone through numerous heartbreak and I am here to investigate what city god hates the most because one of these cities will only be adding to their heartbreak when Lebron or Bennett lift that championship trophy.
As I mentioned earlier, Cleveland has not won a championship since the 1964 Browns. It is also not a good thing when the majority of the most famous moments in sports feature Cleveland on the losing end. Most of these moments even are titled such as the “drive”, “fumble”, “shot” and “decision”. These moments have defined Cleveland sports fans and a championship by Lebron will only add to this list.
“The Drive” 1986 Cleveland Browns
The Browns were hosting John Elway and the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game. With 5 minutes left the Browns were up 7 and the Broncos were backed up at their own 2 yard line. From their Elway marched down the field and tied the game and the Broncos went on to win in overtime denying the Browns of a Super Bowl bid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bypo-WhahYo The last 5 minutes of the game.
“The Fumble” 1987 Cleveland Browns
The Browns again hosted the Broncos in the 1987 AFC championship game. In this game the Browns were down 7 but were on the verge of scoring when Running back Earnest Byner fumbled the ball right before he crossed the goaline with a 1:12 left. The Broncos recovered and went on to another Super Bowl.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DPeiUOakis The Fumble
“The Shot” 1989 Cleveland Cavaliers
In 1989 The Cavs were hosting the Bulls in the deciding Game 5 and were up one with the Bulls in-bounding the ball. As most basketball fans know Michael Jordan hit a game winning jumper at the elbow against Craig Ehlo to win the game. These are the most famous games in the history of their sports all happening in a 4 year span and Cleveland being on the heartbreak end of all of them. The sad thing is we are only half way through the list.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5WUOnTxwPw Jordan and the shot
Browns move to Baltimore 1996
The Browns are one of the NFL’s historic teams playing in Cleveland since 1940. The NFL was so upset by owner Art Modell’s decision to move the team to Baltimore that he forced him to leave behind all the team’s history, colors and name and that his franchise in Baltimore resemble an expansion team. The NFL promised the city a new team when it had a new stadium and in 1999 the “new” Browns began NFL play. Unfortunately the “new Browns have been a major disappointment having yet to win a playoff game and have yet to find a franchise quarterback in 13 years. The Ravens led by Ray Lewis have had a decade long run of playoff appearances that have included a Super Bowl win in 2000.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylNnmmZI-v4&feature=related Browns last game in Cleveland 1995
Game 7 of the World Series 1997
The Indians finally make it on the list with a meltdown of their own! In game 7 of the World Series they took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th with closer Jose Mesa trying to save the game. Of course he blows the game giving up a sac fly to Craig Counsell that scores Moises Alou. The game goes to extra innings and with one out in the bottom of the 11th the Indians botch a routine double play ground ball that would have ended the inning. A couple hitters later Edgar Renteria wins it with a base hit up the middle scoring Craig Counsell. The Indians also lost the 1995 World Series to the Atlanta braves. A decade later they blow a 3-1 lead in the ALCS against the Boston Red sox in 2007.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0J8Pznxf5o Game 7 of 97 Series
I don’t think I need much explaining for this one. After another playoffs heartbreak for the Cavs Lebron James goes on National television and declares he is “taking his talents to South Beach” and leaves the Cavs in shambles. If/when Lebron wins a championship it will keep this moment up there with the greatest heartbreaks in Cleveland sports history. God hates Cleveland is something Clevelanders truly believe.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHSLw8DLm20 The decision
We are now known of god’s hatred for Cleveland, but how does his hate for Seattle compare? Lets take a look. Seattle does not have the moments or individual games that Cleveland has besides the Seahawks Super Bowl loss to the Steelers. They do not even have that much heartbreak due to the fact their teams have not been very good for the majority of their histories. Their only championship comes from the Sonics in 1979. Seattle sports fans were really even thought of until Bennett hijacked the Sonics to OKC. Lets see how much pain seattle has dealt with.
The Mariners began in 1977 and went 14 years until they had their first winning season. It took 4 more years until they won their first playoff series. In 2001 they tied the regular season wins record with 116 but they failed to reach the World Series. In fact they are one of 2 teams (Washington Nationals) to have never even make the World Series let alone win. Since 2004 they have had only 2 winning seasons and have had 5 season of winning 69 games or fewer. They have seen guys like Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson win championships once they left Seattle. This team has not even given their fans much reason to get heartbroken. They have just been flat out historically irrelevant.
The Seahawks for the most part are in the same boat as the Mariners. Before a 2005 playoff win the Seahawks went 20 years without a playoff win. Not much for Seahawks fans to get upset about during that time frame. The top Seattle heartbreak moment comes in 2005 when they lost the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10 in 2006. Seahawks fans believe they were on the bad end of many calls that changed the outcome of the game. They had a touchdown and interception called back due to penalties. This is a very sore subject for Seahawks fans and they have yet to recover save for their 7-9 division championship and upset win over the Saints in 2011.
The Sonics are or were Seattle. They were the one team that brought success to the city. They won the 1979 NBA finals and won conference championships in 1978, 79 and 96. They have had legendary players such as Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Ray Allen, Lenny Wilkens, Nate McMillan, Jack Sikma and Fred Brown wear a Sonics uniform. They even had a year of Kevin Durant to themselves before the hijacking. What the Suns are to Phoenix is very similar to what the Sonics were to Seattle. The pain that Seattle has gone through with having their team stolen will only multiply if Clay Bennett is holding the trophy in a couple of weeks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i48P28281sc RIP Sonics 1967-2008
The head is telling me that the hijackers take this series in 6 games. They just do not lose at home and I do not see the Heat winning a game in OKC. The Thunder can easily take a game in Miami and I do not think the Heat can match up down low with OKC bigs. The Heat’s strengths (Wade and Lebron) are equaled by Durant and Westbrook. That leaves James Harden giving the Thunder one up on the Heat. Then again after looking over the miseries of both cities it is almost a fact that god hates Cleveland. And for that fact I would highly recommend not betting on this series because Lebron and the Heat could win this championship and again, we know God hates Cleveland.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j60Fq7KUPxg This guy says it all for Cleveland sports