The Optimist

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Ni hao, y’all! It’s me, the Optimist, checking in from Chicago, Illinois – home of Rob Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson, Mother Cabrini, Al Capone’s Vault, Dr. Richard Kimble, President Barack Obama, Ann Landers, David Mamet, Bill Murray, Mike Wilbon, Oprah, Hugh Hefner and Ferris Bueller, who sings “Danke Schoen” on a float in the middle of Michigan Avenue every single day, just like the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disney World.

Sounds like a pretty cool place, right?

It is.

I agree with TheBron, who professed his love for the City of Broad Shoulders. Unlike Bulls center, Joakim Noah, we Cavaliers are gracious guests. And we’re above such nincompoopery.

I’m sure if Noah had the chance, he’d learn to love our city the way we love his. For example, when he heard about Noah’s dig, Zydrunas Ilgauskas defended the homeland, saying that Cleveland was just like Lithuania, but with better fishing.

More than anything, this silly war of words has gotten in the way of Cavalier fans basking in their tasty 2-0 series lead.

TheBron was supernatural on Monday night at The Q, propelling the Wine and Gold with a 40-point eruption. The Bulls bench double-dog-dared Numeral 23 to shoot it, and, as TheBron said, he did so “over and over and over and over” and so forth.

Combined with Jamario Moon’s all-around play, the Cavaliers took Game 2 in convincing fashion.

But we all know that the situation will get a little hairier on Thursday night at the United Center. The House that MJ Built is going to be extra loud, but I think the Cavaliers and their traveling caravan will be ready. I wrote this entire column with piped-in crowd noise just to prepare myself.

So I won’t be shocked when the Bulls jump out to a double-digit lead after one quarter. (Although you guys might.)

Sit tight, y’uns. This is all part of Mike Brown’s master plan – not unlike Muhammad Ali’s famous “rope-a-dope.” In the first stanza, the Cavaliers take Chicago’s best shot – closing to within single digits of the Bulls’ on a Delonte West three at the first half buzzer.

In the third quarter, the United Center crowd becomes uneasy as TheBron starts to simmer. As in Game 2, he’s coasting at around a 7.0 on the Angry-ometer™. But on somewhat nondescript play to begin the fourth, Noah takes down Anderson Varejao on a layup attempt.

This maneuver only serves to Hulkify the Chosen One. And Chicago, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Now inflamed at an 8.3, the MVP begins swishing and dishing, slashing and cashing in on pair of three-point plays that put Cleveland up by eight with under two minutes to play.

Get some!
When Mo Williams picks Kirk Hinrich clean and feeds a streaking Jamario Moon for two on the next possession, the United Center begins to clear out. When it does completely, the scoreboard reads: Cleveland 96, Chicago 89.

The “Wine and Golders” – as my man, Freddie Mac likes to say – take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Suddenly, all Joakim Noah can think about it how much he can’t wait to come back to Cleveland. That will likely be in the offseason, however – which works out well. I hear the fishing is great.

Of course, I don’t think I need to tell you guys – we’ll need all hands on deck for tonight’s Game 3. I know Thursday night marks the inaugural prime time version of the NFL Draft, and if the Cavaliers weren’t embroiled in a tough playoff series, I’d be glued to the tube right with you.

As a rabid Browns fan and enthusiastic Draftnik, I’ve studied film and combine metrics and I’ve finally figured out who I’d like with the Browns’ first three picks – 7th, 38th and 71st overall.

With the first choice at No. 7, it’s no secret that our beloved Pumpkinheads would love to get their hands on Tennessee safety Eric Berry. This is also my choice – a hard-nosed playmaker to knock that stupid smile right off Hines Ward’s puss. I would also settle for a beast tackle or defensive end to maul Carson Palmer, Baltimore’s Bert and Ben Toothlessberger six times a year.

The zeitgeist points to Colt McCoy becoming the Browns second round pick, and I have no beef with that. I personally would like to see them nab Notre Dame wide receiver, Golden Tate. He’s a guy who goes after the ball. The Browns don’t have that guy.

And finally, with the first of their three 3rd round picks, I’d like to see the Browns pick up New Mexico’s Elizabeth Lambert.

If you haven’t watched film on her, you can click here to do so. If you have, you recognize her as the Lady Lobos’ soccer player who single-handedly pummeled the BYU squad. She punched opponents out, kicked them around and yanked them down by their hair.

She'll tear Ray Lewis' head off and puke in it. Line that girl up at H-back and Troy Polamalu be poopin’ his pampers.

We’ll see how matters unfold over the next three days, fellow fans of sport. Right now, let’s do what Coach says and take this thing one game, one day at a time.

Fourteen wins separate us from glory, friends. Let’s gird up and get there.

Choose faith, Cleveland

Your pal,
The Optimist