Cleveland has chewed its nails to the cuticle throughout the last 50 years. In 1964 the Cleveland Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts for the National Football League Championship before the Super Bowl existed. Everything from The Fumble to The Decision has taken Cleveland fans from the edge of their seat at one moment to crying in the corner or burning jerseys in the street the next.
To their credit, Cleveland fans have always been proud and supported their teams and players. Clevelanders have been screaming from the Dawg Pound, cheering from the bleachers at the Jake and chanting “All for One” for all 52 years, no matter how devastated they have felt. This city’s people never give up on their athletic teams and will always be cheering no matter what.
This past summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, ended the “Cleveland Curse.” They made history not only by winning the franchise’s first National Basketball Association (NBA) title, not only by winning the first championship for Cleveland since 1964, not even only for beating a team in the NBA Finals after being down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, but also by beating a team with a record number of wins during the regular season.
Winning has done much more than just bring a trophy and a few rings to the home of Rock and Roll. It has changed the complexion of the city and completely transformed many parts of our culture here. No more did we have to say,“There is always next year.” No more did we have to watch a season go down in flames and feel the exponential rise of disappointment in our guts. This year we got to taste the sweet nectar that is victory.
How can one visualize the effect that this city experienced? Take the championship parade as an example. The entire Cleveland metro area is 2.1 million people in population. The actual city of Cleveland has a population of roughly 390,000. The parade had a total of 1.3 million people in attendance.
What once was Believeland has turned into the Land of Champions—and it feels great.
Welcome to the Land, the Land of Champions, our Land. All for one, and one for all.