ELYRIA — As some folks — folks who don’t originate from here — see it, there’d be a lot of fat-pocketed Clevelanders around if they were given a nickel for every time they said, “There’s always next year.”
“You know how all the states have slogans?” asked James Egan, a Detroit native who recently moved to North Royalton. “Here’s one for Ohio: ‘Come get your heart ripped out.’ ”
Egan and two friends, sipping beers Thursday night at Buffalo Wild Wings in Elyria, pointed out that the failures that have become staples of the Cleveland sports scene are, well … staples of the Cleveland sports scene.
“Seriously, do you guys do this all the time?” Egan asked. “In Detroit, we had the Red Wings, the Pistons, the Tigers. And we pretty much just disregard the Lions.”
Egan’s bar mates, Hope Nally of Toledo and Matt Mercado of Lorain, winced at the candid analysis and pointed out that the Cavs — who fell in four games to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals Thursday night — still beat the Pistons.
“When it finally happens — when a Cleveland team wins a championship — you’ll really appreciate it,” Egan said. “That day will be Armageddon and probably the end of all sports, but I still hope it happens, too.”
A newfound Clevelander, Egan already seemed to be trying on the unwavering optimism with which so many Cleveland sports fans adorn every season in every professional sport.
“Cleveland wants a winner,” said Buffalo Wild Wings owner Mike Batchko. “That’s what these people are all here for. It’s the optimism that one day we’ll finally get one.”
Most who watched the Cavs’ loss Thursday night — and who have experienced the heartbreaking, oh-so-close losses by the Browns and the Indians — might think that day will never arrive.
Of course, some fans like Luis Rivera of Lorain — who was sitting within earshot — say it already has.
“Hey, we’ve still got LeBron James,” Rivera said with a tinge of optimism.
Contact Shawn Foucher at 329-7197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.