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          Keeping the faith: what to love about Cleveland sports

          Michelle Udem

          Issue date: 3/19/10 Section: Opinion
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          League Park, at the corner of East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue, was the site of the Indians' 1920 World Series victory, but today, both it and the state of Cleveland sports aren't exactly pretty. Still, Cleveland sports fans have plenty of hope.
          League Park, at the corner of East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue, was the site of the Indians' 1920 World Series victory, but today, both it and the state of Cleveland sports aren't exactly pretty. Still, Cleveland sports fans have plenty of hope.
          [Click to enlarge]
          I've finally found my place in sports culture within Cleveland's good-sport attitude and endless supply of beer koozies. As a child, I was forced to play years of cutesy pee-wee soccer, some more years of fumbling tennis, and then join a surely fungus-infested swim team. Yet I always strayed away. My competitive urges were satiated by cutthroat journalism competitions, and I embraced team camaraderie playing in improvised grunge bands. Since moving to Cleveland, I have now started fawning over Mo, Lebron, Shaq and the crew. I'm currently itching for baseball season. I finally feel as though I belong, rooting for the underdog and taking competition with a very large grain of salt.

          Regardless of Cleveland's lack of sports accolades in the past decades, several aspects of the Cleveland sports scene are especially noteworthy. Tickets to sports games are pretty affordable and the fans are hopelessly loyal. What more can be expected from a town that allegedly suffers from the curse of perpetual losses? This alleged curse consists of historically awful moments in sports beginning with "The:" The Catch, The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble and the Ted Stepien Era. One may infer that these losses would crush the spirits of fans, but I've found that Cleveland natives instead are hardy. They just take another slug of their ice-cold beer, and resume their hope of a victory (a must for stomaching a Cleveland sports game.)

          Tall tales give character to Cleveland sports teams' shortcomings. The Browns-Steelers rivalry is one of the oldest and most popular rivalries in NFL history. Yet, the competitiveness between the two teams has practically evaporated in recent years (one guess as to which team is lacking in edge). However, competitiveness in skill has little to do with this rivalry. The feud has more to do with superiority in turf. As a Cleveland resident, I understand it is part of my civic duty to insult and demean all aspects of Pittsburgh whenever the opportunity arises. The Browns hold that same responsibility. Unfortunately it seems as though turf is all we can stand by, since the Browns' last season sweep of the Steelers was in 1988.
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          In This Issue


          • 2010 USG executive board candidates speak
          • Can you name this place?
          • Minh for the win? Current vice president of student life Minh-Tri Nguyen seeks USG presidency
          • New performing arts center announced
          • Representative Barbara Lee addresses concerns over new health care bill
          • SEC proposes cutting 20 percent of Greek life funds
          • Undergraduate Student Government polls open through tonight
          • Weberian politics: Current vice president of finance Max Weber campaigns for the USG presidency


          • CWRU head coaches conference's lowest paid
          • Distance does well at Wake Forest
          • Future is promising for new boathouse
          • Mather Park close to completion
          • Men's tennis squeaks by Walsh, pound John Carroll
          • Spartan Spotlight: Steve Bills
          • Spartans get swept
          • Spartans knock off No. 2-ranked Heidelberg
          • Z's return

          Fun Page

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          • Editorial: Maltz Center a great gift, with some questions remaining
          • Foreign sentiments: an American's reception abroad
          • Formality: dead and gone
          • Letters to the Editor: firearms and Greek funding
          • State of health care not worthy of "crisis" label
          • What is your favorite Greek Week event?


          • An in-depth look: Will You Marry Us?
          • Argument against complaints
          • Case Animal Rights and Ethics Society sees green at vegan dinner
          • CIA Student Exhibition displays student works with minimalist atmosphere
          • Lifehouse to open for Daughtry at Wolstein Center; bassist speaks
          • Notes from the flowers: florals for spring
          • Over 300 films from over 60 countries in one city: The 34th annual Cleveland International Film Festival
          • Ryan Keytack wins Dancing with the CWRU Stars
          • Sex and dating: A capacity for change
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