I’m going to a Cleveland Cavaliers game tonight, because I have been a dedicated fan since my youth, and have an old school Hot Rod Williams jersey and my senior thesis was on the importance of Eastern Bloc countries in the Cavs’ starting lineup.
Just kidding. You can go ahead and remove everything after “because” in the sentence above and just replace it with “LeBron James.”
I am unafraid to admit that I am a fair weather fan. I know there are people out there who have suffered along with the Cavs for decades, and LeBron James is their reward for all their patience and loyalty. I’m just saying, I appreciate them being so patient and loyal so now I can just jump in and only enjoy the good parts.
To me, it’s not how long you’ve been a fan that matters—it’s the intensity with which you dedicate yourself to the team when you’re on the bandwagon. And anyone who has seen me in action at a Cavs game can attest to the fact that, when I’m in the zone, I reach Beatlemania-random-screaming-and-passing-out mode. I have been known to cry at the end of very close games, and honestly, if my visceral reaction to the pre-game routine is any indication, I can be hyped into literally murdering people if you mix the right combination of video footage, inspirational music and pyrotechnics.
When LeBron made The Decision back in 2010, I may have completely lost my shit. My #23 jersey, though not burned, was buried deep in a Tupperware container in my basement, and I could speak of virtually nothing else for months. The horror! The betrayal!
When the season started up again that October, I vowed that I would keep watching no matter what. I may have jumped on the bandwagon because of LeBron James, but now I was here to stay!
This lasted exactly one game.
But when LeBron came back in 2014, I knew exactly where that jersey was buried, and I went and dug it out. It didn’t fit quite the same, but it still looked good on me.
I know LeBron won’t be around forever, and we may never get our championship. I’m willing to accept that once he’s gone, basketball will probably fade right back into the background for me, but for right now, I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.
I just hope I don’t murder anyone during pre-game tonight.