Last night the Cavaliers clinched their first playoff berth in eight years, and the first for any Cleveland team in more than three. It can mean only one thing.
We are about to get screwed again.
If you think there's no crying in baseball, you haven't watched a playoff series in Cleveland. In Cleveland, when it comes to the playoffs, there's crying in baseball, there's crying in football, and there's crying in basketball. There's so much crying in Cleveland, Adam Morrison is thinking of moving here.
Consider our recent playoff experiences (with "recent" a relative term):
* The Browns last two playoff losses were to the Steelers, in 2003 and 1994.
* The Cavs are 5-18 in their last six playoff series, from the 1992-93 season through the 1997-98 season.
* The Indians have choked away a World Series (1997), lost a best-of-five series which they led 2-0 (to Boston, in 1999), and lost another best-of-five series which they led 2-1 (to Seattle, in 2001).
And our teams don't just lose in the playoffs. They tease us. The Browns held a 17-point lead in the third quarter in that 2003 playoff game only to allow Tommy Maddox to bring the Steelers all the way back with 22 fourth-quarter points in a 36-33 victory. And the Indians took that 2-0 series lead against Boston in 1999, then gave up 44 runs in the last three games. in 2001 they reversed it, winning two out of the first three against the Mariners before packing up the bats and scoring just three runs in the final two games. The Cavs just teased us by choking away a sure playoff spot a year ago. At least usually once they make the playoffs, they've had the decency to simply get blown out rather than offer us false hope. Well, except for The Shot.
You sure you want the playoffs? You can't handle the playoffs! Our teams take us to the brink of ecstasy only to open the trapdoor beneath our feet at the last second. Our teams are Lucy holding the football, and we're Charlie Brown kicking at air every time another playoff series comes around.
The ride begins again at the end of the month. Prepare yourselves, cause God's driving.