I don't have much explanation for it. I'm not from Cleveland, I've lived in a half dozen cities of some note (or suburbs, at least), but not one of them seems to connect with me. I'm not, contrary to my Twitter handle, a DC maven, I'm certainly no power broker. When I set foot in Dayton and its surroundings, it just seems foreign to me. I root against the Huskers anytime they're not playing Iowa, so we can rule Nebraska out in a hurry.
I am an Ohio guy to be sure. When I remember growing up, my childhood was more about Butler By'not'e, Raymont Harris, and Greg Frey than it was about Reagan, Bush, or Clinton. But my childhood was spent ay Riverfront Stadium watching the Reds lose, always lose. I saw Kal Daniels pull a hamstring on a ground rule double, I saw Tracy Jones pitch. I apparently saw the Beach Boys...but I was three. And I've been back to Cincinnati. Let me assure you I've never belonged anywhere less. You could drop me in Midtown Manhattan, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, or Miami and all of them would make more sense than Kentucky's neighbor. It's a red city, I'm a blue person. In both senses.
And so Cleveland feels like home. It's just me. It's a city that's about struggle -- joys are few, far between, and fleeting -- every celebration is premature and defeat is around every corner.
Except this one.
No matter what happens tonight, this is a tremendous team. They are champions, and I'm glad I get to be here tonight no matter what. And if, through fortune and skill, I get to be back here Monday, I will be overjoyed.
Go Tribe. Thank you for making me at least a temporary denizen of Tribetown in October.