May 252010

In the analysis of whether Lebron James should or shouldn’t leave Cleveland, those who say he should stay make the point that he has a good chance of winning a title there. I may disagree but my point is that their position is mostly analytical and contains relatively little trace of emotion, in contrast to other similar cases.

Once upon a time, Cleveland lost Manny Ramirez. George Steinbrenner actually hails from Cleveland as well. Right Red 88, The Fumble, The Drive, Jordan over Ehlo, blowing the World Series and so on. It’s safe to say that Cleveland is the most tortured sports city in the country. And now they may lose Lebron.

Joe Posnanski made an excellent point in his article a couple days ago that almost no one outside of Cleveland is saying Lebron James should stay because he belongs in Cleveland, in the same way that Joe Mauer seems to belong in Minnesota or Derek Jeter in NY or Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh.

Lebron seems bigger than his hometown and so goes the line of thought that he should leave. Whether to pursue worldwide Jordan-esque dominance on or off the court. With some exceptions, most stars are bigger than their cities. Especially those not in large markets. Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City, KG when he was in Minnesota as well as Ken Griffey Jr in Seattle and Brett Favre in Green Bay.

However, there is/was at some point sentiment for those big dawgs to stay, to make some reciprocal attachment (however anachronistic it may seem) to the city that embraced them. Not so in Cleveland. Lebron James needs to get out screams everyone, including the President.

I can quite fairly be accused of disliking (to put it mildly) Cleveland. They hate us and we hate them. And the world keeps on spinnin’.

Still, I wonder why Cleveland seems to be such an unsympathetic city. Truth be told, outside of the sporting context, it’s not that dis-similar from Pittsburgh or Kansas City… an old town, trying to make good in a service sector economy. It has its faults, its hopes and its fair share of tragedies. However, even Detroit seems to have more defenders than Cleveland.

May 202009

James Harrison is a bit of a nut. His first well-publicized reason for skipping the Steelers’ visit to the White House received headlines across the country.

“This is how I feel — if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don’t win the Super Bowl. As far as I’m concerned, he [Obama] would’ve invited Arizona if they had won,” said Harrison.

Now the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has revealed that Harrison actually has a fear of flying.

Of course, Harrison is somehow gobsmacked that so many people have taken an interest in his personal decisions. Shocking how one of the highest profile players on the Superbowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers would attract attention. Get over it. If the White House invites you, GO. Don’t take a flight if you have a fear of flying. Pull a John Madden and take a bus or a boat or cycle or drive down for the event.

James Harrison, role model for Steelers Nation

It’s the fraking Pres-o-dent who is inviting you! YOU, James Harrison, who worked your way up from undrafted free agent to become the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. It doesn’t matter if Harrison agrees or disagrees with President Obama’s policies. If I was part of a Superbowl winning team, I would’ve gone even when George W. Bush was in office.

Harrison should realize what an honor he is receiving. This trip to the White House should remind him that however enjoyable FOOTBALL may be, and even if the President picked your team, that the really important people in this world ARE.NOT.JAMES.HARRISON. They are ones who have invited Harrison to the White House.