Saturday, May 23, 2009
What They're Saying
As Lebron James said after his game-winning miracle against the Orlando Magic Friday night, a second is a long time.
Long enough to watch Cleveland's collective sports history flash before our eyes. Long enough to remember that the last-second crushing defeat was practically invented in Cleveland, with a long line of losses stretching back more than 50 years.
And long enough to erase it all.
National sportswriter Jay Mariotti captures the city's sports zeigeist with his Fanhouse column, calling LeBron's shot, "Cleveland's middle finger to the world." The Plain Dealer's Brian Windhorst summarized the Quicken Loans Arena atmosphere before, during and after LeBron's miracle, writing that the sellout crowd was so quiet after Hedo Turkoglu put the Orlando Magic ahead with one second remaining that, "you could almost hear the red lamp on the backboard buzzer come to life."
Then LeBron brought the crowd back to life, resuscitating the 20,562 with a defibrillator of a shot that arched through the air, hit the back of the rim, and rattled through, the rim like a black hole from which even Cleveland's horrific sports past could not escape.
Don't start thinking this was just another buzzer beater. This was Cleveland's buzzer beater. This was Lyle Lovett marrying Julia Roberts. It was The Shot Seen Round the World. As Adrian Wojnarowski writes for Yahoo! Sports, "no city does sports tragedy like this one." It even turned ESPN.com's Chris Broussard into a believer.
In a city with a sports scene so long full of false hope, the most amazing feat of all isn't that we are all witnesses, but that we are all believers. Again.