I was born and raised in NE Ohio, and it will always be home to me, no matter where I live. I’m not going to bother to drop the name of the town because nobody’s heard of it. Also, does it really count as a town if it consists of one roundabout (zero actual traffic lights), a gas station, a liquor store, a bar, a general store and a few meth labs? When people ask me where I’m from, I usually say Cleveland because that’s the closest recognizable city.
People like to rip on Cleveland a lot. We’re underdogs in just about every way. Yes, our river got so polluted at one point that it literally caught on fire. The economy sucks and the weather sucks even more. If you’ve ever gone months without experiencing any sunshine, you know what I’m talking about. Prior to the 2016 NBA Finals, none of our professional sports franchises had won a championship in over 50 years. That sounds like a lot to make fun of, right? Well, let me tell you why Cleveland is awesome and we take all of that in stride.
Cleveland is great because of the humble and genuine quality of character that Ohioans have naturally. We’re used to being the simple poor underdogs that bigger, flashier cities make fun of, and we really don’t give a shit what anyone thinks of us. As sports fans, we’re extremely loyal to our teams, no matter how bad it gets. I’d like to see how long Golden State fans would stay loyal if their best players left and they had to rebuild their team from the ground up while watching loss after loss. I’m guessing that bandwagon would empty quickly.
The difference between Cleveland and those big flashy cities like, oh, let’s say Los Angeles, is that nobody acts pretentious about living in Cleveland. We don’t have a Rodeo Drive where you can buy a pair of shoes that cost more than a car, but you can buy a house for the price of a VCR. We don’t drink $500 bottles of champagne just to show off, but we’re ecstatic when Great Lakes Brewing finally releases their famous Christmas Ale every year. We aren’t all vegan or paleo or whatever the trendy diet that week is. We live for bacon, especially the Christmas Ale flavored bacon they sell at the West Side Market. If you like good beer, bacon, and not overpaying for everything to prove how cool you are, Cleveland might be right for you (as long as you bring your own job and anti-depression lamp for the winter).
I’m allowed to make fun of Cleveland a bit because I’m a born and raised Ohioan, a Buckeye off the old tree. Not even Lebron James likes Cleveland anymore, and we still don’t care. We’ll continue to be the simple people that we are, root for our Cavaliers no matter what, and always remember this: At least we’re not Detroit!