The Optimist

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L'Shanah Tovah, soulmates! I’m the Optimist, and I’m here to wash the stink of 2010 off of you filthy bastages.

For about a month now – save some individual glimmers and a tasty Saturday night win over the Knicks – our beloved Cavaliers have taken it on the chin.

On. The. Chin.

Just last week, I asked Santa Claus to turn things around for us. Not only didn’t Saint Nick give the Cavaliers that night’s win in the ATL, he allowed Cleveland to blow a two-touchdown fourth-quarter lead to the Timberwolves, allowed an aerial bombardment by the Magic and, on Wednesday night, sat by idly while the Bobcats went wire-to-wire.

To make matters worse, I woke up on Christmas morning and – ONCE AGAIN – found nary a black Lexus™ with a big red bow on it parked in my driveway. I’ve lost track of how many consecutive years it’s been, but I watch the TV, and I see that almost everyone gets a black sedan or mid-sized SUV with a big red bow on it for Christmas morning. Everyone except me.

I was all set to fill that bad boy up with gin-and-tonic or maybe a nice deep lager and cruise around the west side on New Year’s Eve.

Now, I’ll have scrap those plans for yet another calendar year.

But I will not hang my head because of these recent disappointments – both on the hardwood and in my driveway. It’s a new year. I am the Optimist. And, as my man Brother D is wont to say: Self-pity is stronger than morphine.

However – let me sound this warning now: If I so much as smell the Fat Man trying to wriggle his cheeks down my chimney next year, I swear by God and sunny Jesus, I’ll clock him so hard it’ll give Austin Collie a concussion.

I abhor violence, but drastic times call for drastic measures, people. You, me and the Cavaliers need a reversal of fortune – post haste. We’ll never make the Playoffs at this pace.

The Cavaliers can’t win ‘em all at once. All they can do is build off of the New Year’s Day win over the Division-leading Bulls and move forward in 2011. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Before we talk about Saturday’s much-needed victory over Derrick Rose, Booz and the Bulls, whatd’ya say we take a quick peek into the old Optimist Mailbox? Come on – it’ll be fun …


My Lord Optimist,

I would just like to take this moment to say, you are the FREAKING man. I have read every column of yours since the 2007 Finals and would like to alert you that you have my undivided loyalty. Any order you give me, I will follow without question.

It is an honor to serve you, my liege. Keep the Faith.

Cordially,

Sir Jonathan Henry
Macedonia, OH


First, Sir Jonathan Henry, thanks for reading and writing in. And let me say that Macedonia is a lovely suburb.

Must ... Obey ...
Dungy.
Secondly, there’s no shame is subjecting yourself completely to a more powerful individual’s will. For example: I think Tony Dungy is a great coach, and all. But when he starts staring me down in HD on Sunday night, I sometimes feel like I’d kill for him if he asked me to.

I’ve been told that my column has the same hypnotic effect on readers, Sir Jonathan.

Thirdly, that kind of butt-kissing will easily catapult you through the Junior Optimist ranks. I might start you off at Brigadier General or Lance Corporal or something like that. Please report for K.P. duty – double-time!!!!!

Let’s talk hoops.

The Cavaliers and Bulls meet on New Year’s Day, each without their spiritual leaders – Anderson Varejao and his Windy City doppelganger, Joakim Noah. Andy suffered a cheek fracture against the Bobcats and will miss both games this weekend. He’ll be fitted for a protective mask, but don’t worry ladies – he’ll be just as beautiful when it comes off.

With Andy gone, the Cavaliers will once again rely on the Baby Bull – J.J. Hickson, and I see the man with broad shoulders having himself a game in the City of Broad Shoulders.

No, I don’t think he’ll put up Andy’s numbers or even approach the Wild Thing’s normal swath of destruction. But I do see him battling the Bulls bigs to a stalemate and doing the dirty work while Antawn Jamison does the fun stuff – like dropping a season-high 33 points in Chicago.

I don’t do boring, administrative stuff like final scores any more. But I do forecast Anthony Parker hitting a late three-pointer and four straight free throws to seal the sweet win for the Wine and Gold.

What better way to start New Year’s 2011 than with a Cavaliers victory to snap this five-game skein? Ahhhhhh. To paraphrase little itty-bitty Bushwick Bill and his buddies: Gosh-darn it feels good to be a gangster!

As for New Year’s resolutions, that’s up to you, individually. Heck, maybe you need to eat more fatty foods or have beers more often on weeknights. What you plan on doing next year – that’s completely up to you.

All I ask is that you stay committed to the Cavaliers. And I’m talking about real commitment. Remember that age-old adage when you’re eating that good, greasy, savory breakfast on New Year’s morning after a night of debauchery on the final night of 2010: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

That little oinker made the ultimate sacrifice for you, Cavalier fans. He probably doesn’t even know that he’s good luck to eat on New Year’s Day. (Where, conversely, eating chicken is supposably bad luck on New Year’s Day. Means you’ll be ‘scratching all year.’)

There’s no room for chickens on the Cavaliers bandwagon. I’m not crazy about a bunch of pigs, either. But they’re lucky and delicious and right now we need all the help we can get.

We’re going to need all hooves on deck for the New Year’s matchup with the Bulls, my porcine little friends. Fight through that hangover and a strong urge to check out the Rose Bowl. Your hometown Cavaliers need you to …

Keep the faith, Macedonia

Your pal,
The Optimist