July 11, 2014 – 1:25 pm
LeBron James’ decision to return to Cleveland has had an unintended consequence: sealing Buffalo, New York’s fate as the most mind-numbingly depressing city in which one can be a sports fan.
For years, the competition on the opposite ends of Lake Erie was fierce and unrelenting. The resumes are remarkably similar: Cleveland hasn’t won a title since 1964, Buffalo since 1965. The ensuing years have been filled with countless moments of sports heartbreak set against the backdrop of once-glorious cities decaying into something we have derisively labeled as the Rust Belt.
“It was good once, but don’t go back there no more.”
And for all the scorn heaped upon LeBron for his much ballyhooed departure for Miami four years ago — plenty of it coming from this corner — he is now doing something admirable by reversing that trend. While it may not be altruism in a true sense — he’s jumping onto the horse that’s equipping itself to win the Triple Crown instead of one last race, after all — it is still refreshing. The Great Lakes region is oozing former residents across its borders, hence Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany’s reprehensible yet business-savvy expansion of the league to a larger population of East Coast snobs. I respect LeBron for saying “You know what? Being from Northeast Ohio is something to be proud of. Embrace this. Wear this.”
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