Game 7 unlucky number for Cleveland teams
Some Cleveland traditions -- Stadium Mustard. Polka. The St. Patrick's Day parade. The Rib Cook-Off. Losing the deciding game of a playoff series.
The history of both the Cavs and Indians is replete with losses in the deciding game of a playoff series, some legendary, most just lethargic. Of course, the Loch Ness Monter has been seen more often in the past few years than a playoff finale for a Cleveland team, so most of our failings have been forgotten. But the psychic wounds run deep.
The Cavs are 3-4 all-time in the grand finale of playoff series, which in the annals of Cleveland sports is good enough to shout about from atop Terminal Tower. The Indians have nothing glorious to say, with three losses in three tries in the final game of a series.
2001: Roberto Alomar hits into two double plays and is accused of tanking as the Mariners defeat the Indians, 3-1, in Game 5 of the ALDS to complete a comeback from down 2 games to 1.
1999: Pedro Martinez strolls out of the bullpen and shuts up the Jacobs Field crowd with six innings of shutout baseball in the Red Sox's 12-8 victory in the deciding Game 5 of the NLDS.
1997: Jose Mesa makes the Indians the first team to lose a World Series when taking a lead to the bottom of the 9th of Game 7 by blowing the save -- Tribe loses 3-2 in 11 innings.
1993: Cavs go the distance against the New Jersey Nets in the first round, winning Game 5 99-89 to take the best-of-5 series. They then get swept by the Bulls in the second round and go 2-12 in the playoffs until this year.
1992: The Cavs become only the second Cleveland team to ever win a seventh game, beating the Celtics 122-104 at home in the finale of the Eastern Conference semifinals. But the Bulls are waiting and stomp the Cavs in six games en route to the title.
1990: Charles Barkley gives Craig Ehlo a nice thud in lane as the 76ers win Game 5 in Philly, 113-97, to take the best-of-5 series.
1989: The Shot. 'Nuff said.
1988: Michael Jordan and the Bulls begin their mastery of the Cavs by taking their first-round, best-of-5 series with a 107-101 home victory in Game 5.
1977: Back when first-round series were best-of-3 affairs, Cleveland couldn't even win one of those. The then-Washington Bullets took out the Cavs in the third game, 104-98.
1976: The Miracle of Richfield. The Cavs won Game 7 against the Bullets, 87-85, to take the series -- it's a miracle!!!
So don't be surprised if by tomorrow morning, once again we are waiting for next year. After all, aren't we always?