Cleveland Rocks

Cleveland Rocks

My Tribute To The Greatest Fans On The Planet: Clevelanders.
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“The drought is over! The Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA Champions!”

In this moment I was jumping for joy, I was hugging everyone around me and screaming at the top of my lungs. At last, after 52 years, my beloved hometown of Cleveland was finally getting the championship that it deserved. I, like many Cleveland fans, teared up, remembering how much this city has gone through and how good it feels to finally win it all. The drive, the fumble, the shot, the move, the decision, and of course the two World Series losses by the Indians in the 1990’s, they all seemed to melt away in this moment. I think things are going to be different from now on…

Why do sports make us feel this way? Why is it, that when athletes emerge victorious, so do we? We look to them for comfort, support, and as one Clevelander put it, as “a pleasant distraction” from “the other things in life” besides sports. Grown adults and children alike are hypnotized by the power that sport has on the human soul. The answer is not a very complicated one. These athletes, no matter where they are from, are part of a team. That team represents a city and her people. They are indeed one in the same.

Before Sunday night, the last championship that the city of Cleveland won was in 1964 with Jim Brown and the Cleveland Browns football team becoming NFL Champions. In the 1960’s, the city of Cleveland really took a turn for the worst. The once industrial giant, a crowned jewel of the steel industry, began to die. Jobs and opportunity left Cleveland, and the sports teams reflected that struggle and heartache felt by Northeastern Ohio. Time after time, the Indians, Cavs and Browns ripped the heart out of Cleveland with a sports history that is known to most sports fans in the United States. So often the teams would come so close, only to end up so far. It created an almost comical attitude surrounding Cleveland sports, and ultimately should have ended them completely, as fans should have stopped coming and supporting the local clubs. When Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore in 1995, it should have been the end for Cleveland football. But for some strange reason, Cleveland wouldn’t let their team go. They fought and fought to get it back and it got its wish in 1999 when a new Browns team emerged, though they yielded similar results as the last franchise.

And yet the fans still showed up, decked out in Cleveland gear, cheering just as hard as the last game for their team. We still have blind optimism for the Browns every August, and still are thinking about playoff chances at 3-7. We love our Indians and wear our rally caps and cheer down 6 runs in the 9th inning. And we love our Cavaliers who suffered the heartbreak of LeBron’s “Decision” in 2010. Cleveland fans are just… different. We’re a little crazy, a little irrational. We keep getting our heart broken but we come back for more. Some say it’s something in the water over here. Or perhaps the dark, gloomy days year-round make a thumping on the Browns look almost up-lifting. Or maybe, it’s the love that’s here in Cleveland. That’s the thing that holds this sinking ship together.

When I watched LeBron hoist the Larry O’Brian Trophy on Sunday night, I knew what this would do to my city. Cleveland, we’re going to be okay. If we can get through the 52 year drought, we can get through anything together. All it takes is a little faith, love, and as many Clevelanders will openly admit; copious amounts of alcohol... The fierce devotion to family roots, to the city itself, and to our teams show just so much we love this hell-hole we call home. No matter where life takes me in this world, Cleveland will always be my home. It’ll always be a place that I feel pure, true, deep, love. Go Tribe, Cavs, and Brownies.
Cover Image Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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An Open Letter To The Coach Who Inspired Me Forever

Anyone who's found a love for a sport (or sports) while playing for rec teams, club teams or teams for a local school, can agree.. that somewhere along the way, there was a coach that changed everything.

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When I was five years old, my parents signed me up for my first organized sport. It happened to be the Fall of the year I entered kindergarten and the sport happened to be soccer. Now, at this age calling it, an "organized" sport is quite a reach. We met once a week, put on our colored pennies and ran around in a big field while a volunteer coach really thought they'd have the chance to corral us. That year, I continued through the seasons and got my first glimpse at a number of other sports. Cheering, basketball, and t-ball were all on my to-do list, and soon I was hooked.

Every week I would look forward to games on the weekend and a practice or two along the week. By the third or fourth grade, I believed I had narrowed down the sports I really wanted to play: soccer, basketball, and baseball. I played all of these until the fifth grade when it was first suggested that I switch over to softball.

I absolutely hated the idea of this but, that spring it happened. I was the first one to be "drafted" onto a team, that come to find out, was the team that always finished last. Even knowing this, I continued to play and learn every position and somehow leading my team to its first championship in years.

This.

This was the moment I learned to love the sport I least expected to, and first met the coach who would change my view on the game. Although the story leading up to this point may not have been the same as yours, we all know the moment we realized, this coach was going to change us.

For me, this coach over my middle and high school careers became one of the most important people in my world now revolving around this sport. He fought for my spot on the middle school team when the coach claimed I was "too young" and wanted to give older girls a spot. He pulled me to the varsity lineup as a Freshman and trusted me to catch every-game behind the plate of the senior pitcher who clearly had the speed and talent to pitch collegiately. He continued to mentor me, step by step as my role on the team transitioned from freshman catcher, to second baseman, to senior captain pitcher.

This coach changed everything for me. He taught me respect and accountability and I'd get out what I put into not only the sport, but all my other endeavors. He taught me integrity, and perseverance. But he also taught me how to have fun while I played. How to step onto the field and play my hardest, but know no-matter the score as long as I did my best it was a good game.

I had never known what it was like to have someone other than my parents be so invested in my success before. Of course, they're going to be there for every game, every carpool to practice and every early Sunday morning tournament. But often times, the coach who leaves it all on the field goes unnoticed. The coach who will sit after a game and cry with you after you played your very last game... the coach that truly made you believe in yourself.

So here's to him. Here's to the blood, sweet and tears left behind. Here's to "the good, the bad and the ugly" as he'd say, and learning that any bruise can be fixed by rubbing a little dirt on it. Thank you for your devotion. Thank you for shaping me in to the player I am today, and continuing to do so for others. Thank you for inspiring me everyday to be the best I could be.

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