It’s a near certainty that Cleveland sports are central to why the city consistently ranks among the most miserable cities in the United States. For years Cleveland fans have watched high preseason hopes fade into deep postseason depression.
Ultimately, Clevelanders can’t even appreciate the fact that their club made it to the postseason. It only brings back the recurring nightmare of why those games were lost: losing the lead in the ninth inning of game 7 of the 1997 World Series and blowing a 3-1 ALCS lead ten years later are a few that come to mind. Of course, that’s not even including the agony felt by Cleveland Browns fans on a yearly basis.
But through it all, the city still believes in their teams – year after year.
When the heartbreak of one disappointing season ends, the Cleveland fan does not throw away their jersey or ball cap and give up on their team. They shake it off and say two words that could be considered the motto of a Cleveland sports fan: next year.
Next year we will be better. Next year we will win. Next year we will go all the way.
Any sports fan can believe in a team that has millions to spend on the biggest stars. But it takes a special fan to keep believing in teams that have not given them a championship since 1964.
Maybe this year will be next year for Cleveland. Maybe this will be the year that a promising Cleveland Indians team can give its fans what they have been waiting for. Maybe.
But while there is always a degree of uncertainty casting a shadow over each Cleveland team, one thing remains certain: Cleveland fans will always believe – through it all.