It's not hard too see why so many Cavs fans have developed Stockholm Syndrome. LeBron has held their hopes and dreams captive for nearly a decade now. Listen to the Cleveland crowd when LBJ ties the game with a three. Is that what hate sounds like?
Since when did hate elicit enthusiastic applause?
It's been said before, notably by the Persuaders
and the Pretenders
, that there is a thin line between love and hate. Was it really so long ago that his jerseys were ablaze, their smoke coalescing above Lake Eerie? I guess in this accelerated age, it was.
As per usual, the siren song of hope arises from the sea of despair, perpetually luring susceptible Clevelanders to have their hearts torn apart on the rocky shores of sports fandom. Kyrie Irving is out (probably for the rest of the season
) most of the top Cavaliers aren't playing, the scoreboard's malfunctioning, and the season is shot.
So what's a fan to do? It's human nature to be drawn to the fantastic grandeur of dominance. A sinking team might play on our sympathies, but nothing attracts fanfare like success. For better or worse, we're all witnessing some serious shit now; a historic winning streak, a ring, constant statistical dominance—we're through the looking glass. We're in the future, helplessly watching it unfold on a flickering television screen. The Heat burn incandescently; the lights grow brighter; spectators journey to the glowing hillside. All the while, the Cavs shrink into shadows, and the world's eyes flutter away like insect wings seeking light in darkness.
Speaking of moths to a flame, I think this one might've singed his brain.
How long can anger satisfy? Sooner or later, a hated athlete returns to what he's always been: an entertainer—a boredom killer—a beacon to attract our gaze. The rules haven't changed much since Colosseum days. If a performer plays the game well enough, the spectators might willingly forgo pleading for his head on a platter.... at least til 2014.