7 Curses...of Cleveland Sports
Why it will always be next year in Cleveland
George Carlin told us about the "Seven Curses", words you can't say on TV, but now with LeBron James leaving Cleveland and being Sports Public Enemy #1 not just in Cleveland, but all around the Nation...it seems The Cleveland Curse still lives!...Or did LeBron take it with him? Anyhow, I could find "Seven Curses Of Cleveland Sports"...More like Seven and a Half, and I'll tell you later....
1) The Catch-1954
In the 50's, The New York Yankees dominated the American League...and except for 1954 and 1959, The Yankees were in the World Series. But it was 1954 that the Cleveland Indians were dominant, with 111 wins and the American League Pennant.
But it would be Game 1 of the 1954 World Series where things would change. It was the 10th Inning and Vic Wertz was at bat and the ball went to Center and...Willie Mays caught the ball. Later, The Giants would win the game as well as the Series in a sweep!
Result-This was the last World Series that The Giants Franchise has ever won to date, but would return to The World Series shortly in 1962, 1989, and 2002. The Indians though,would have a 41-Year Deficit in the World Series.
2) The Trade-1960
In 1959, The Cleveland Indians were almost World Series bound with Right Fielder Rocky Colavito. But in 1960, Indians Manager Frank Lane would trade Colavito for Harvey Kuenn who was playing for The Detroit Tigers. Frank Lane wanted to stump Colavito's popularity and made The Indians lurk in the cellar for 35 years!
Result-After The Trade, The Indians would never see a winning season until 1995. But The Detroit Tigers would win in 1968 and 1984...without Colavito! So both teams didn't gain much and the Indians lost big! Even today, The Colavito Curse still remains on The Cleveland Indians (Though Colavito denies this).
There's even a book by Terry Pluto called "The Curse of Rocky Colavito: A Loving Look at a 33-Year Slump" (Now it may be 50).
3) The Red-Right 88-1981
It was 1981 and The Cleveland Browns would be in the playoffs after 8 losing seasons. The Cleveland Browns would win the Central Division Title and Home Field Advantage. But with less than a minute to go, and a score with the Oakland Raiders leading it 14-12. The Cleveland Browns who at the time were "The Kardiac Kids" were in Field Goal Range and less than a minute to go and The Browns QB Brian Sipe calls a Time-Out. Sam Rutigliano would call for the "Red-Right 88" play.
Sipe would throw the football to WR Ozzie Newsome, but it was intercepted by Raiders DB Mike Davis. This would end The Browns Cinderella Season and make The Raiders Season end with a Super Bowl Win!
Result-The Browns would resume their playoff-bound seasons, but would stop short in the AFC Championship (See Below).
4) The Drive-1987
In 1987, The Cleveland Browns would return to the AFC Championship (first time since 1970, when it was the NFL Championship against The Minnesota Vikings). The Cleveland Browns were leading 20-13 with 5:32 left in Regular Play.
But John Elway would stop that...at The Broncos 2-yard line, Elway would make 15 passes which would span 98 yards! This would tie the game and send it into Overtime. Despite The Browns having the advantage in Overtime, they didn't get the job done and The Broncos would win by a Field Goal.
Result-Two More Attempts and one VERY hard game, which is 4 1/2.
4 1/2) The Fumble-1988
This in a way counts as The Browns-Broncos Rivalry of the 80's. It would be a rematch of 1987 AFC Championship, so this is why it's 4 1/2 rather than 5 since it has as much pain as The Drive.
The Denver Broncos were up 21-3 by Halftime, but Bernie Kosar would dominate the 2nd Half by scoring 4 Touchdowns! With 1 Minute left in the game, Kosar would hand the ball to Ernest Byner who would be tackled by Broncos DB Jeremiah Castille and Byner not only lost the football, but The Cleveland Browns would lose the game!
Result-The Broncos would try again for another Super Bowl win, which would happen 10 years later. But there was another attempt in 1990, but it was mostly Denver's Game.
5) The Move
Probably the WORST Cleveland Curse ever would be "The Move"! When The Cleveland Indians would have a new Stadium called Jacods Field (Now Progressive Field) and The Cleveland Cavaliers would also have a new arena called Gund Arena (Now Quicken Loans Arena), Art Modell who owned the Cleveland Browns since 1961 found out that The Cleveland Stadium wasn't suitable and he tried to have an issue for renovating Cleveland Stadium. Instead...he signed a deal with Baltimore to return Pro Football there despite the approval of tax money to a new stadium for Cleveland.
Result-The Cleveland Browns would be dormant for three seasons and Modell's team would be called The Baltimore Ravens, leaving Cleveland with an expansion team in 1999. In 2000, The Baltimore Ravens would win The Super Bowl and The Cleveland Browns would go to The Super Bowl...but the one Larry the Cable Guy talks about.
6) The Slip (1997)
I didn't know what to call this curse, but it still leaves a bitter taste in Clevelanders mouths. The Cleveland Indians were leading the game 2-0 by the 7th Inning. But in the 9th, The Indians get Jose Mesa to end the game, but instead he ties the game and leads it into Extra Innings. Two Innings later, Charles Nagy would make a pitch to Edgar RenterÃa. The ball bounced by Nagy and The Marlins would win their first World Series, while The Indians wouldn't see another World Series!
Result-As I mentioned before, after 1997 The Cleveland Indians haven't been to The World Series. In 2007, they were close, but would Collapse under pressure by the Boston Red Sox. The Marlins however, wound-up in 5th Place the year after, but would win another World Series in 2003 against The New York Yankees.
7) The Decision
"WE ARE WITNESSES"!...Between 2003 and 2010, LeBron James put The Cleveland Cavaliers on the map. Many would think that The Cleveland Curse would be broken...WRONG! On July 8 of 2010, LeBron James would make a decision on ESPN and would announce that he would leave to The Miami Heat!
Result-Cleveland had a LOT of Heat more than Miami Heat would ever have! Dan Gilbert would denounce LeBron James being ignorant...the he would apologize to the NBA. LeBron apologized to the NBA too, but LeBron's apologies aren't enough for Cleveland who has the worst sports deficit ever!
They tell us to 'wait until next year' or 'there's always next year'...but in Cleveland...you're better off saying
'don't hold your breath for next year' or 'there's never next year'.
I'll follow hockey...there's no Cleveland Team in Hockey...only The Columbus Blue Jackets!