images1The biggest professional sports play in their history is notoriously referred to as “The Fumble”. Their NFL owner literally packed up their beloved team and moved them to Baltimore in the middle of the night. Their NFL team has been in existence for 68 years and has never sniffed a Super Bowl, let alone won one. Their MLB team hasn’t won a World Series title since the ’40s. Their NBA team has been around since 1970, zero championships. Futility, thy name is Cleveland.

That’s not to say that the city hasn’t had it’s sports moments.  The Indians have found their way back to the World Series a few times in recent decades. Jim Brown is still arguably the best running back in the history of the NFL. There was also a home grown mega-talent named Lebron James who played with the Cleveland Cavaliers for seven memorable seasons before taking his talents to South Beach and abandoning his hometown for greener pastures.

Four years ago, The Decision (as it has come to be infamously known) culminated in an agonizing hour long ESPN special in which Lebron stammered on for 58 minutes before announcing to the world that he was (as a free agent) leaving Cleveland for Miami. The past four seasons have resulted in four straight NBA Finals appearances and two NBA championships for the Lebron-led Miami Heat (and a lot last place finishes for the Cavs). Last week, with Lebron (once again in free agent status) every viable social media outlet was hi-jacked by “The Decision 2.0”.

LeBron Decision Ohio Basketball

To his credit, Lebron is a different guy than he was four years ago. Most speculation had Lebron either re-signing with Miami and likely extending their great 4 year run, or signing with another big market team like the Chicago Bulls or Los Angeles Lakers and making the rich richer. Lebron though, decided to head back to Cleveland, to “Loserville”. He wants to bring the city of his birth a championship. He can become a free agent again in 2017, but Lebron is telling folks he’s home for good.

The arrogance and diva-esque spectacle that was “The Decision” has matured now into a humble and gracious desire to return to the city that was spurned harshly just four short years ago. Over the past few days, several people have asked me if I thought that Cleveland would take Lebron back. That’s honestly the silliest question I’ve heard in forever. It’s like asking if the Old Testament prophet Hosea would take back his repeatedly unfaithful wife Gomer. He took her back again and again, and insisted that he would do it a thousand times more. The jilted lovers we root for are the ones that didn’t have it coming – the ones that seem to always be unlucky in love and yet love unconditionally.

This is certainly not to suggest that the city of Cleveland will remain as forgiving and as long-suffering as Hosea. There’s no guarantee that “King James” will bring Cleveland that elusive championship. There’s no guarantee he won’t leave again. However, this particular jilted lover is worthy of our support. When the two nicknames your town goes by are “Mistake on the Lake” and “Loserville” you need some love.

So, today, let’s join the chorus.

(Anyone preferring the Price is Right/DWTS version of Drew Carey to this one is dead to  me!)