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If Cleveland sports can experience a year like this, then anything is possible in your life, too


The NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers changed the time of their previously scheduled ring ceremony Tuesday night so that Clevelanders could also watch their hometown Indians play in the opening game of the 2016 World Series that very same evening. 

Telling of such a scenario would typically have you passed off as a try-hard jokester, over-served bar patron or delusional Ohio sports fan — quite possibly all three. But 2016 has been an anomalous year indeed for what was, until recently, America's saddest sports city

When June of this year began, Cleveland — a city with three professional teams in the NBA's Cavaliers, MLB's Indians and the NFL's Browns — hadn't experienced a pro sports championship since 1964. 

That was the year the Browns won the NFL championship — a game that was still three years away from becoming known as the Super Bowl. Humanity was still five years away from putting a man on the moon the last time Cleveland tasted pro sports glory.

Cleveland's epic run of deprivation was the stuff of both sports lore and late-night comedy jokes. Not only that, but the city had been subjected to some of the most famous humiliations in sports, including Ohio's own prodigal son, LeBron James, using a national television show to tell the world he was leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010. 

James then returned to the Cavs as a free agent in 2014, and this June turned in a Herculean performance to lead Cleveland to the NBA title and break that half-century free-fall of futility. That the Cavs' win came against a Golden State Warriors team many saw as invincible following an NBA-record 73-win season only increased the improbability of the achievement.  

That's the championship for which James and his Cavs teammates will collect their rings Tuesday night, which is the first day of the 2016-17 NBA season. 

Hey @cavs fans: #CavsOpener now starting @ 7:30pm. Wanted to spread out 2 of the greatest sports moments in CLE history by @ least 30 min...

— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) October 21, 2016

Literally right next door that same evening, the Indians host the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series. The Indians haven't won a World Series since 1948 — just three years after the close of World War II. 

Can the Indians possibly double down on the Cavs' championship to deliver Cleveland its second pro sports title in a single year after more than 50 years without? 

That, of course, remains to be seen. But Cleveland sports in 2016 have already proved — no matter the realm of your own struggles and failures — that there's hope for all of us to find happiness all yet. 


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