I was checking out Scene Magazine’s website this morning and I saw a post about a new documentary seeking funding via Kickstarter. Of course the movie is set to be called Cursed. What else could you possibly call a movie about Cleveland sports? Ugh.
In all fairness to the movie makers, it doesn’t sound like this will be a movie draped in misery and self-loathing. Anyone who really looks into the sorrow over Cleveland sports failures will undoubtedly find some level of faith, tradition and loyalty. Those are certainly qualities that we are all proud of as Cleveland sports fans. At the same time, I have this growing feeling to not enable the cursed mentality to define me personally as a sports fan anymore.
Before I totally come off like a hypocrite, let me explain.
Ever since we’ve started really debating this issue about how we’re treated by the likes of ESPN / ABC with montages of misery, I’ve started to move away from the whole cursed thing. There used to be some power in owning it and fighting anyone who dared to take that storyline and project it without our permission. I even used to have a little message board for my friends called ClevelandSportsCurse.com. When I started it, I thought it was kind of clever. You know even if the teams aren’t cursed, I was cursed because I couldn’t stop being a fan. Like being born into something you just can’t shake like that ear-bleeding Pittsburgh accent. Of course, the name of this website kind of plays into it, but that doesn’t mean my philosophy can’t change.
I don’t believe in curses. I believe in people doing things and putting themselves in positions. I believe that curses are more like selective and self-perpetuating things that rely on a culture to move them forward. You know when you are looking at a new car and you test drive it? All of a sudden don’t you kind of see that car everywhere? The population of that vehicle on the road probably hasn’t increased in the slightest. You are just more in tune to see it.
Same thing with the curse. Every team has its fair share of negative things that happen over the course of time. When your team never gets good enough / lucky enough to find themselves standing at the end of the year, you only remember the really negative stuff. In fact, you seek out the negative stuff because it proves what you seemingly “know” about you and your teams already.
So, I’m going to break the cycle. I’m going to let myself off the hook. I release Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti and Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert and Dan Gilbert. Our teams may continue to lose and it may seem ever more creative how they get that job done, but curses are perpetuated by fans first.
And no, this doesn’t mean that I don’t think you should support the documentary. I wish them well in their venture to document the great Cleveland sports fans. In the end, “Cursed” is just the title of the movie anymore than Waiting For Next Year is just the title of this website. The moviemakers sound like they are going to make a very nice movie about Cleveland sports fans. Who among us wouldn’t support that?