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Cleveland - The New Sports Capital of the USA

Written by Two Minutes Sport

9 months ago

For so long, Cleveland, Ohio has been the butt of many jokes in mainstream American media - watch How I Met Your Mother or the scene when John McLane is on the ground at Dulles Airport looking for his badge after shooting a few terrorists in Die Hard 2. 

The city on the shores of Lake Erie was once a powerhouse manufacturing centre during the Industrial Revolution but like many cities in the region, including Cincinnati, Detroit, etc., experienced decline as major corporations sent their work to the developing countries. 

Like its economy, sport in Cleveland once ruled the roost in US sport but up until recently, teams like the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers were/are considered sleeping giants.

The Cavaliers have long awaken from their slumber thanks to LeBron James and the NBA championship win against the greatest regular season team of all time, the Golden State Warriors of 2015/16, earlier this year ended Cleveland's long, long championship drought stretching back to 1964 when the Browns beat the Baltimore Colts to win the NFL Championship game - two years before the first Super Bowl. 

In a strange twist, Cleveland's baseball team, the Indians, who have long been hiding in the shadows of the likes of the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and last year's World Champions, the Kansas City Royals, have emerged to leapfrog those teams and clinch a place in the World Series. 

The Indians aren't quite like the Cavs who have a clear star players with several handy professionals. They are a bit more balanced with seasoned pros like Coco Crisp, Mike Napoli, etc. along with star pitcher, Andrew Miller, but they have created one heck of a team that has beaten the fashionable Boston Red Sox and the much vaunted Toronto Blue Jays en route to clinching their place in the autumn classic.  

Interestingly enough, it is the second time this year that a Cleveland sports team has had to play off against a Toronto sports team for a place in the grand finals - the Cavs had to overcome the Raptors to make the NBA Finals earlier this year. 

Cleveland is one of those real blue collar cities in America where the community really rallies behind a sports team even when they struggle. When they do well, the city is transformed. 

Think Manchester, Liverpool, Dortmund, Pittsburgh, Hamilton - all great sporting cities with tremendous sporting culture. Cleveland deserves to be in that list.

Perhaps, it's time for the Browns to have a look and perhaps finally emerge from obscurity. 

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