While I live in sports crazed, obsessed Boston, I am not an avid sports fan.
But I am an avid fan of loyalty. Even though I am far from my hometown of Cleveland, I still feel the pangs of disloyalty inflicted on the town by one man, one who was considered one of us.
If people outside of Cleveland don't understand why we are so upset about Lebron James deciding to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat this year, I thought about how I could explain it to others while watching Lebron James return to my hometown a couple of weeks ago as a Miami Heat baller.
The whole affair reminded me of is a women scorned.
So I thought I could break it down for women who are like me; who appreciate sports but wouldn't go out of their way to watch a game.
So ladies, it's like this: He pursued you. You didn't ask for the ring but he filled your head with a dream of what the future would be like. You opened up and started imagining the future with him. The kids, the house, someone to bring to family functions (think international or national events), all of what this one ring (aka NBA Championship title) would bring.
And you especially trusted him because he knew you since the day he was born, and he witnessed the heartache you suffered from your previous relationships. So you deeply trusted him.
He said "Listen. I am your savior. I am what you have been waiting for."
And you asked, "Are you sure? Are you really sure? Because I've been waiting a long time and you know I have been hurt before."
I've been deceived a couple times right before the big engagement. Think Cleveland Browns vs. Denver Broncos in 1986 and 1987 AFC Championship game. By the way that football was not in between the goal posts. (Note to readers: I was a huge football fan up until the day the referees acknowledged Rich Karlis' kick as a field goal.)
Those are just a few aches and pains the city has felt sports-wise. Cleveland has been so close now, that it just seems like the gods are punishing us.
We Clevelanders have been clawing and knocking at the door of national championship, that also correlates to national recognition as a major U.S. city.
However, we have only been allowed to peek into what could be. That is to finally be a wife, a major U.S. city.
That is the one thing we should be and the one thing others laugh at us for not being. Come on, I know you know the "mistake on the lake" joke, and "Cleveland? Why would you go there?" Have you ever heard anyone say they are taking a vacation in Cleveland? If you do go to Cleveland, it's by force or to visit family because, like me, you escaped a long time ago.
You may read this and say, "But Natalie, I don't see you living there." Of course not. Because Cleveland moves two steps forward and then four steps back in terms of economic development and opportunity it is lacking.
Oh yes, we did win the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But most of the galas and awards ceremonies surrounding the museum and inductees are held in New York City.
So that is why Lebron was so important. It was not just about sports but our chance at national recognition.
I saw his former high school coach say Lebron had never been anywhere, so going to Miami was an opportunity for him to experience the world. So Lebron does not have money to travel or buy a second, third or fourth house anywhere in the world during off season? Hmm. Interesting.
Lebron said "witness" my greatness. And then after you have given your soul, sold your treasures and took up with him on the journey, he vanishes a thief in the night, without telling you face-to-face "I've changed my mind."
He decides to take up with a hotter lady.
Then you wonder. Did I not do enough? I proclaimed my love for him by hanging a giant sized mural for all see on Huron Avenue. I wore your jersey to bed every night. And I started penciling in our wedding day; I calculated it using Michael Jordan's formula … how many years did it take him to win the championship for Chicago?
So bottom line, Lebron; don't make promises you can't keep especially when you know the implications, feelings and history of the town. And when you break a promise, as we all have one time or another, man up. She should be the first to know, not the last.
But I think of Lebron as other ex-boyfriends that have burned me and my girlfriends: One day when you least expect it, you will hear from him again.