NOT FAR OUTSIDE CLEVELAND, Ohio — “To truly appreciate where we’re going,” one of my high school teachers said, “we have to understand where we’ve been.”
At least that’s what I think he said. I was in the back of the room, reading the sports page.
To make a long story a little shorter, I’m not old enough to remember the Browns winning the NFL championship in 1964, but my parents are. My grandparents remember the Indians winning the 1948 World Series, but I clearly don’t. Michael Jordan and Earnest Byner made me cry because I was young, but I never felt decades of pain or tied my life goals to a Cleveland team finally winning a world championship.
I just kind of accepted it wasn’t going to happen. You know how it goes. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me seven or nine or 15 times and I just become numb to it.
We — Cleveland, Akron, everywhere within partying and rooting distance — live in a different time now. So completely, absurdly, and enormously different that on Tuesday night, the Indians are hosting a World Series game right next door to where the Cavs are holding a ring ceremony to celebrate last year’s championship. If there were still sports pages to read in the back of history class, they’d wonder if they were reading fiction.
Believe it, baby. Cavs and the elusive banner at 7:30. Indians in Game 1 with their unquestioned ace on the bump at 8, and the best bullpen in baseball awaiting for anytime after around 9:15 or so.