…at least that’s what they’re saying today.
Let me say from the start that Cleveland is my hometown. I’m a sports fan. And I’m kinda happy for city of Cleveland that the Cavs are NBA champs.
However my history with the NBA has been one of declining interest. In my previous life I liked the NBA a lot. That was in the late 1960s. Soon after I began following the league, a new came to my hometown of Cleveland. In those days they were led by Austin Carr. Through the 1970s in 80s I followed the sport. I knew not only its stars but that second tier of excellent players that made a team a good team.
As the Bird/Magic/Jordan era came to an end in the mid-1990s I began to lose interest in the NBA. That downward trend continued until my transition when my interest in the league plummeted. Today I don’t know the players. I don’t have a feel for the teams. I hadn’t even seen an entire game in years. I watched game seven of the championship series only because I promised my niece that I would. It was a very good game but it has done nothing revive my interest in the NBA.
Maybe my feelings about the NBA have something to do with the fact that I’m emotionally flat about the first major sports championship in Cleveland since 1964. Still, I don’t know if I would feel any more emotion if it were the Browns or the Indians that won a championship.
However I suspect that the larger reason for my emotional flatness is my sense of being disconnected from Cleveland. Cleveland is my hometown but once I left for college, Cleveland became the place I came back to for summer. When school was over it became the place I came back to for Christmas. Now that my folks have passed on and my sister and her daughter have moved out here, it’s the place I don’t go back to. My connection with Cleveland is one of nostalgia and history. I feel no direct connection to the city I see celebrating on the television.
Add to this that I was never the real me, my true self, in Cleveland. Cleveland is Nice Guy’s town while Seattle is Carla’s city. There were times when going back to Cleveland felt like putting on a disguise. For about 10 years I would actually have to transform myself from girl to boy in the airport before meeting the family. That was hard. No one forced me to do that. I did it out of love for my family and respect for my parents. Still it took the shine off the apple when it came to going home. Even after my transition and the full acceptance of my family I was never fully at ease in Cleveland.
So as Believeland celebrates, I ambivalate.