Here’s a peak into the conversation that changed everything:
From: Me [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 9:06 AM
…worried are you about tonight’s game?
At this point I don’t really know what to expect from his response. I just know that if I were him, I’d be worried after the witnessing the bomb Boston dropped on the Cavs in Game 2. I couldn’t be happier with his response. What he gave me was gold (Gold, Jerry. Pure gold!).
From: Him [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 9:47 AM
Subject: RE: How…
If they lose, it is not the end of the series as taking 1 of 2 games in Boston is all that is really required. That is truth. Bottom line.
That being said, imagine this basketball season for the Cavs as a planet much like earth. It has been green. It has prospered for months now. There have been small natural disasters, (Shaq’s injury, Delonte West’s gun charges, etc.) but the world has also proven fruitful (James, Jamison, best record in the league, etc.).
So this planet has moved along well until Game 2 against Boston, which was (in regards to this metaphor) a volcanic eruption much like the one that destroyed Pompeii. In the hardened lava you will find Cavs fans standing mouth open not expecting the sudden lava flow that has engulfed and destroyed them (even though the city was built under a volcano).
But that is just one city. One natural disaster, these things they happen.
A loss tonight in Game 3 would be a major city going down – think Hiroshima in WWII. A loss tonight AND on Sunday… well then we move to the brink of anarchy in all major cities. Power is barely on and there are riots and destruction engulfing the major populations of the world as hope becomes a dying ideal.
One more loss (in either Game 5 or 6) and LBJ will probably leave town (my guess is to Chicago which would make that team a threat for numerous title runs for years to come) and my once lovely planet becomes like the planet in the movie “The Road”: Essentially covered in ash and death. The few people left will be resorting to cannibalism, eating babies cooked over BBQ pits and knowing that their only real future is death (just like the planets of the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warrior, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Indians, and of course, the Oakland Raiders).
Now I like my planet and I don’t want to see it become the Pluto of the NBA, far away from the sun that is ESPN/TNT. I can’t deal with no more national games, no more SportsCenter, becoming just another team that people make fun of when talking about actual contenders. I live on other planets just like this. I have watched planets die like this before (see all other Cleveland planets) and it makes me want to quit watching sports.
So to sum up, there are bigger games ahead, but a win tonight would be a step towards saving my planet and bringing a future that will be remembered and written about.
And yes I am very worried. If you lived on the planets I have lived on, you would be worried too.
This is truly an amazing and insightful email that gave me a view from his side of the fence, which was submerged by my own narcissism and something I had never considered. I had written their fan-base off as ridiculous idol worshipers who personified the arrogance of their leader.
Nothing more, nothing less.
What I found was a tormented fan-base scared to death that their leader will leave town if they don’t win, and win now. This sense of urgency will obviously come to a crescendo in Game 5 should they go back to Cleveland down 3-1.
Needless to say, I was inspired by his analogy. But I found the metaphor incomplete, and I couldn’t help myself.
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