Browns

“Cursed” Cleveland Sports Might Get a Documentary

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?

Cursed – Kickstarter

  • Scotty

    I’m with you 100%. The whole cursed mentality is a self-loathing, defeatist attitude that I’d like to think we as Clevelanders are above.

    No one feels for these people who complain about curses, did anyone really pity Red Sox fans before they started running off championships? I know I didn’t, because they just came off as a whiny, self entitled group of spoiled fans.

    Obviously it’s not the easiest sports city to root for, but everyone that wants to blame “curses” needs to toughen up, it’ll make it all the sweeter when one of our teams do break through to the promised land.

  • MrCleaveland

    Misery.

    It’s who we are.

    It’s what we do.

    It’s all we’ve got.

    /get me Daffy Dan on the phone!

  • Nicko

    Obviously this “Doc” won’t cover our Championship Soccer teams and our rule over Minor League Baseball…

  • oribiasi

    “Tis better to reign in hell than serve in heav’n.”
    (John Milton, Paradise Lost)

  • BuckeyeDawg

    After watching the trailer, it sounds to me like “a tradition of hope, passion and misery” could be the tagline of the film as well.

    If the filmmakers stick to doing what they say they want to do (make a “love letter” to the city and the fans), I think it’s a great idea. If it devolves into a 90 minute “woe is us” pity party, then I would not be so keen about it.

  • The Curse doesn’t come from fans per se, it comes from a dehumanizing caricature that mocks the genocide of Native Americans. I’m totally with you in “believing in people doing things and putting themselves in positions.” In this case it’s just the people of Cleveland continuing to embrace a disgusting symbol that’s put them in a position to deserve every bit of sports misery that they’ve gotten. Basic karma is all, and nothing could be dumber.

    They better talk about that in this movie or it will be completely worthless.

  • Proof of your curse is scant. The Braves won a World Series, right? (Poking the bear intentionally.)

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    @6

    Redskins won the Superbowl in 82, 87, and 91 using their “disgusting symbol”

  • jimkanicki
  • jimkanicki

    clicked on the video link and just hearing the poignant piano background to some guy’s ‘fumble’ story made my ears hurt.

    PLEASE DONT TURN US INTO REDSOX FANS EITHER PRE-2004 OR POST-2004.

    we’re better than that. let’s just do what we always do which is show up every week, every month, every year, keep faith with our teams, knowing that the reward will come someday. it will be much sweeter if we can do this without some cleve ex-pat d.b. writing a book like ‘Now I can Die in Peace’ or a 30-for-30 documentary. please. we should not seek national stature for our teams’ failures nor for our steadfast support. our reward comes not from national sympathy prompted by a whiny documentary. it comes in the winning.

  • oribiasi

    @ jimkanicki: Good question. I would answer but that’s off-topic and hence an offense worse than genocide in the comment section. Perhaps I’ll Tweet you the answer.

    Also, go easy on the Twitter criticisms, I’m new to it, brah. 🙂

  • MrCleaveland

    @9

    Jim, love the AH reference!

  • Last I checked neither the Redskins or Braves were represented by a sambo caricature on the order of Chief Wahoo. It’s not the name, it’s the intentionally degrading caricature. Google “New Scientific Study Proves that Chief Wahoo is worse than we thought” and you’ll see the clear difference.

  • Also Happy Thanksgiving, guys.

  • Harrison

    Frowns, writer/producer Qualin Harris is rocking a Chief Wahoo shirt in that video, so prepare for disappointment. Maybe its the Curse of Rocky Colavito then. Couldn’t just be a half century of inept leadership from the top down within all 3 organizations, right? I know you’d probably agree with that.

    Also, I’m currently reading Raab’s book, so I’m knee deep in the sad sack narrative. No mas. Agree with scotty & jimkanicki. No “reverse the curse,” no misery montages, & no “Cleveland Nation.” No embracing perpetual failure by deflecting responsibility for it to some supernatural influence. Looking at you, Cubs fans. I’d rather Cleveland’s next championship play out more like the Saints in ’09 than the Red Sox in ’04 & onward.

    Still, I’m 100% behind you, Frowns, on running Chief Wahoo out of town on general moral grounds.

  • Petei007

    The city of Cleveland, or it’s fans may not be responsible for their ongoing frustrations. The “Cleveland Curse” may indeed be due to the…”Buffalo Curse!”

    http://www.buffalocurse.com/cleveland.htm