Heartbreak by the lake

“If you are a fan of Northeast Ohio sports teams, you’re incurably deranged. You’re sadistic. The best occurences for us in the last 20 years have been gut-wrenching. You don’t have to describe the situations. You just give them names or numbers. Like ’97 or ’95 or 2007.”

If you are a fan of Northeast Ohio sports teams, you’re incurably deranged.

You’re sadistic.

The best occurences for us in the last 20 years have been gut-wrenching.

You don’t have to describe the situations. You just give them names or numbers. Like ’97 or ’95 or 2007.

You would think with everything we’ve experienced, it would get easier, but it never does.

And something always has to happen that makes us think for a second that the inevitable impending doom won’t take place.

Like in ’97. Two outs, bottom of the ninth, with a one-run lead.

Or the Murder’s-row lineup in ’95.

Or the 3-1 ALCS lead in 2007.

Or, closer to home, the Zips basketball team 6.6 seconds away from a trip to the NCAA tournament, then Doug Penno. Freakin’ Doug Penno.

They say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never love at all. That’s garbage.

I would much rather have had Albert Belle’s spleen erupt in ’95 or Jarret Wright stay in Buffalo in ’97. This year, I just wish the Tribe’s loss didn’t come against the Red Sox, simply because I find it hard to embrace the hate for them that I should have.

It was easy to hate Craig Councel. Who was he before that hit, or since for that matter? He should have never been given a job in the league unless it involved yelling Beer, here! Ice cold beer, here!

Mark Lemke looked and played like a hobo for the ’95 Braves. Rafeal Belliard joined Lemke up the middle to form what may be the worst second base-shortstop combination to win a World Series in the history of baseball. They made it easy for us to despise them.

But the Red Sox are legit. Manny Ramirez (who should go in the Hall of Fame wearing a Cleveland Indians cap) and David Ortiz formulate the best power duo in baseball.

Josh Beckett has been successful on the big stage before, with a World Series MVP with Florida in 2003, and Jonathan Paplebon has taken the Best Closer in the Baseball title from Mariano Rivera.

They won when they had to and, love or hate them, you have to respect that fact. It doesn’t make it easier to get over, though.

The way we cope (other than gulping Jim Beam by the gallon) is to tell ourselves that our struggles will pay off the following year.

The Indians are young, talented and deep, the Browns are on the upswing and LeBron James legitimizes any team. All we’re doing is setting ourselves up for the next chapter in what inevitably will be another disappointment.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. I’ve to get ready. There are only nine days until the Cavs’ season-opener and this could be the year.

I can’t help it. I’m deranged.