The plight of long suffering Cleveland sports fans is entrenched into the fabric of American culture. Like fast food and representative democracy. It's a part of us all. Every sports fan knows and empathizes with what Cleveland sports fans have lived through. From The Fumble and The Drive to The Decision and whatever is left of the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland sports fans have suffered like none other for decades. That's not to mention losing the Browns for a brief period of time. And the fact that many Cleveland sports fans actually live in Cleveland.
The Browns won the last title for Cleveland's pro sports teams in 1964. The Indians last won in 1948. The Cavaliers have never won a title. Next year, 30 for 30 will showcase the journey of Cleveland sports fans for the 50th anniversary of the city's last championship with filmmaker and Akron native Kris Belman, who produced More Than A Game about LeBron James and his time at St. Vincent-St. Mary. Belman revealed the new 30 for 30 project last week on ESPN Radio in Cleveland. Here's more from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"Belman and his crew are in Cleveland this weekend on an exploratory trip in advance of the serious work on a planned ESPN "30 For 30" documentary on the Cleveland sports fan. The film will air in 2014, the 50-year anniversary of the last championship here — in case you'd lost count.
The documentary brings together Belman, who directed the excellent "More Than a Game" documentary on LeBron James and his high-school buddies, and acclaimed producer Gary Cohen. Cohen is a Mets fan from New York, so he, too, has some scars."
Belman and ESPN are betting on no Cleveland sports team winning a championship in the next calendar year. Unless Brandon Weeden suddenly becomes the second coming of Otto Graham or Drew Stubbs starts hitting like Pedro Cerrano, it seems to be a fairly safe bet.
Cleveland sports fans get kicked around quite a bit, but hopefully this documentary shines a brighter light on a loyal fanbase who have stayed true in spite of superstars and even franchises leaving them behind. No city has come as close to winning championships across professional sports and yet continued to come up empty for such a long period of time. It could be the Browns of the late 80s, the Cavs under LeBron, or even Edgar Renteria singling off of Charles Nagy. If anyone can pay proper respect to Cleveland sports fans and tell their story, it should be the acclaimed 30 for 30 series.
And it may not happen next year, but eventually one of the three Cleveland sports teams will win a championship. It's mathematically improbable to think otherwise. Unless of course God does really hate Cleveland, I suppose.