“Sports is human life in microcosm”
As a sports fan of the XX chromosome variety, I couldn’t help but notice that last night’s Heat-Cavs game felt a lot like the hangover (and eventual rejuvenation) that accompanies breakups. From the female perspective, breakups are not only painful at the initial dissolution of the relationship, but a dull, constant ache that lingers like a sprained ankle in the days, weeks and months that follow. Lebron broke the city of Cleveland’s heart last summer, and after the dramatics that ensued last night, the Cavs and its fans can finally move on. I hope. So here’s my letter to the city of Cleveland. I understand how you felt, and I’m sure you love how you feel right now. Soak it up, because there’s nothing else to look forward to until the draft.
Dear Cleveland Cavaliers players, coaches, fans, staff, mascot, cheerleaders and management (especially Dan Gilbert. That guy seemed pretty pissed after The Decision),
Congratulations! You have achieved what so many women around the world hope to accomplish after a particularly rough breakup. You finally got the upper hand and embarrassed your ex in a way he will never forget while looking like the bigger person. No easy feat. Trust me, I’ve tried. Your resiliency despite losing a ridiculous lead made for a great Tuesday night, and one that Bron Bron will never forget.
You see, I know how breakups are. He breaks up with you via Facebook (or in your case, ESPN. Sorry about that…) and changes his relationship status without even the customary breakup dinner.
Brutal. So what’s a girl to do? You’re angry, you vent, you blog, you may even take an ad out in the paper to let other people know how betrayed you feel. Hell hath no fury like a Dan Gilbert scorned.
After the initial anger and lack of judgment on social media websites and incessant texting/calling to make sure he fully understands what he’s missing, you continue to spiral out of control with a few “sick” days used, an undisclosed amount of Blue Bell ice cream and plenty of nights with a couple too many shots of vodka.
I don’t think there’s an equivalent of this for basketball. The Cavs just sucked.
And then, the worst thing possible happens (besides getting dumped on national TV and having no hopes of making the playoffs the next 10 years): your first face-to-face meeting since the breakup. You can only avoid his hangout spots, gas stations and any routes that would go by his apartment for so long.
December 2, 2010. You knew this day would come. In the NBA, the schedule kinda gives you the heads up. In real life, it normally happens on the worst possible day. You’ve got bags under your eyes, smeared mascara, an extra 20 lbs. from the ice cream binge and the same clothes you fell asleep in 2 days ago.
You’re headed to the store to re-up on your typical breakfast of mimosas and ice cream, when you see him on aisle 5. And he’s smelling all good, looking like he’s been in the gym and styling on you with his new girl, as Lebron did while dropping 38 points on the Cavs in the Heat’s 118-90 win over Cleveland. Damn.
A recap of meeting #1
Bron’s trash talk to the Cavs bench.
What’s left for you to salvage? Might as well just try to walk out the store like a model.
The Cavs wouldn’t recover, and would go on and 2-36 run. (Is it possible to go on a losing run?)
As fate would have it, there was still one moment for redemption. This time would be different.
Fast forward to last night. After getting on the Jennifer Hudson weight loss plan, finding a new boo and convincing your boss to let you keep your job after your breakdown, you’re ready. A mutual friend’s birthday will ensure he sees you in all your glory–new man, new outlook and that dress that gives you the Kim Karadashian in the back.
So the guy shows up, his boys can’t get in (Cleveland 1, Lebron 0) and he’s late, claiming to be in the bathroom during pregame intros (to miss out on the booing warmup?? Cleveland 3038302840, Lebron 0)
Yeah, he still caught you at the store in your houseshoes, but the cherry on top is that moment when his girlfriend doesn’t show up (Chris Bostrich, everyone) or they have a fight or something and you just have that feeling like:
The amazing thing to me is that the Cavs won 102-90, Lebron held his own with the triple-double and it was this whole “everyone thinks you made us, but you didn’t” moment. Even though, in reality, after you have your moment to let your ex know you’re fine without him, you don’t even really believe it yet. Mainly because for the Cavs, it’s not true. Especially in the realm of ticket sales and national television coverage.
But last night, the Cavs and their fans went to bed with the worst record in the league, 15-58, but felt like they had just won the Larry O’Brien.
Here’s to you, Cleveland.