Cleveland Sports: A Fan’s Frustration

January 10, 2022


The life of a Cleveland sports fan is undoubtedly a depressing one. Year after year of constant heartbreak and depressing moments. Seasons that have ended in losses 99% of the time, no matter the sport. Yet somehow, the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Cleveland Ind… Guardians always find a way to break your heart. It happens in three distinct, separate ways that somehow all hurt worse than the last one. But it’s something you get over as a new season comes around.

The cycle always repeats as optimism fades into sorrowful frustration the year before. Not many other fanbases in professional sports can genuinely understand. But to suffer heartbreak after heartbreak only somehow makes the love we share for our teams even stronger. Truthfully the day the mountain top is reached, it will feel like peace has come to Earth for all of us, who have suffered so much.

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Cleveland Sports Heartbreaks: Browns

Cleveland is a football town, and not much will make that change at the end of the day. The soul of this city starts and ends with the Cleveland Browns. Sundays between August and January feel so much better. However, by the time the game ends, there is that feeling of frustration once again. Ever since the Browns returned, they have been seemingly cursed—bad QB play, bad breaks, and terrible front office decisions that keep leading to losses.

Aside from the 11-5 season in 2020 and the playoff appearance in 2001, there hasn’t been much to be excited about. The team was loaded with talent in 2021 and found a way to fail yet again. But in about eight months, we will all be optimistic once more, waiting to see how our beloved Browns break our hearts once again. As we all say, “Maybe one day.”

At least the Browns are expected to miss out when it matters most. However, the Cleveland Guardians love to reach the top of the mountain, only to fall off-putting the flag in place. I can’t count the number of times they have broken my heart on my hands. This is a place where future stars make their name and make money somewhere else. We have long been a farm system for New York and Boston and other big market teams.

However, that is not what is important at the moment, back to the heartbreaks. The Indians enjoyed great success in the 90s, without the Browns in town. It was an era full of excitement and happiness. However, once again, they would reach the top and fall off. 1994 was ended by a strike, and perhaps they weren’t ready in 1995. 

Cleveland Sports Heartbreaks: Cavs And Tribe

But the 1997 World Series is an all-time classic example of heartbreak. Two outs away from a World Series against a team who bought their way there, and they choke. Game Seven is not exactly a word with a good reputation around here. 1997, 2007, 2016, just on the baseball side of things. ‘97 was a given, and they failed, and it was a launching point for a curse that has seemingly lasted generations at this point. 2007 in the ALCS, the second most devastating blown 3-1 lead ever.

That team would’ve also likely won a World Series. But that brings me to 2016 and a rain delay that changed the course of baseball history forever. Even the words “foul ball” give most of us PTSD at this point, thanks to that game. It felt like the last chance, the last opportunity to finally say “no more heartbreaks.”

It felt like the moment that the Indians would be back on top of baseball. One Michael Martinez ground out later; the dream was dead again. The fan base seems more broken than ever, as a name change has been the hot topic. The now Cleveland Guardians also look primed for a rebuild as well. So who truly knows how long it will take to make it back to the Fall Classic.

But when we do, we will all be staring at the mountain top, hoping we don’t trip and fall once more. This brings me to the one team that got it done. The Cleveland Cavaliers broke the curse or kick-started a new one. In 2016 the Cavs won, and with it, kicked off the greatest party this city may have ever seen. But it’s been six long years since then.


In closing, this may not read like your typical article and more like a diary of depressing memories. But at the end of the day, it serves as a reminder. No matter how hard the Cleveland teams and their fans get heartbroken, we always get back out there. The pride and passion of this fanbase have been arguably unrivaled. That’s what makes it so special, and the day that we reach the mountain top once again, the party will commence.

After having suffered through so much sorrow and heartbreak, the life of a Cleveland sports fan is unquestionably a roller coaster ride of emotions. But we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world; it’s more than a fandom; it’s become ingrained as a lifestyle, from the depths of the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. 

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