The Optimist

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Moshi moshi from tropical Cleveland, Ohio, knuckaheads. Let’s begin, shall we?

Although it sounds like fun, I’m not the type to blow my own horn.

But I think I can say, without undue modesty, that I am an excellent lip-reader. I can always tell when a gaggle of NFL referees are planning to call, say, “illegal procedure” or when a foxy girl is mouthing the words “I. Want. You.” from across the bar.

And last week, in the midst of the Lakers’ 55-point drubbing of our beloved Cavaliers in Los Angeles, I could have sworn I saw Kobe Bryant – the Black Mamba himself – mad-dogging Cleveland’s bench after a made basket, barking: “Where’s your Optimist now?!”

And all the Wine and Gold and I could do was watch helplessly as Kobe and his Laker buddies continued to dismantle our dream of a
5-0 road trip.

And the LakeShow wasn’t alone. Before we headed back to C-town, the Jazz and Nuggets each got a piece of the Good Guys – doling out the basketball equivalent of what our Marine friends call a “Code Red.”

After last week’s stoot-slappings – and that thing about a 13-game losing streak – some of you are looking to bail, if you haven’t already.

And if it’s that easy, I say go. I say Go Now.

You’re farfalen. You’re fahrblunget. I understand. The Cavaliers are making you sad. And the NBA season is hard.

As for the rest of us – the ones who couldn’t stop being Cavalier fans if we tried – there is much work to be done around here. And as Clevelanders and Cleveland sports fans, you already understand that. There’s no escape pod. There’s no self-destruct button or getaway car warming up outside. We’re in it for the long haul – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, and so forth …

And why do we continue along this sometimes arduous path? For the love of the game. For the love of our frequently undermanned sports teams. We don’t do it for monetary gain, unlike our old friend and unquestioned leader of the Autobots …


Earthling,

I notice that the so called “Optimist” is no longer writing here on a regular basis. Why is that? Looks to me like you ran away just like LeBron. What team are you covering instead, huh? Are you now writing Optimist articles for the teams we play? This betrayal is unforgivable.

Tell your Editor I'll do a game article for EVERY game AND I'll do it for 100 bucks an article.

Optimist Prime
Believeland, OH


One hundred bucks per article?!! That’s just absurd, my friend. If you loved the Cavaliers as much as you claim to, you’d be willing to do this column, pro bono! I, myself, would write this stuff for free, but – like Patrick Ewing – I make a lot of money, but I also spend a lot of money.

So thank you for reading and writing in, O.P. I have not “run away” like LeBron. Instead, I’ve come to deliver some weapons-grade optimism. So you can go back to battling Decepticons. I’ll handle the prognostications.

What will it take to turn this thing around, to bail some water out of this boat?

I can answer that in a single word – at least in terms of Wednesday night’s matchup with the Suns.

And that word is: Boobie.

In a season of turmoil and inconsistency, Cavs guard Daniel Gibson has been as consistent as Kiss-Cam™ or the Red Panda Acrobat.

Unlike several Cavaliers – through no fault of their own – Gibson has a big investment in the team and the city. He’s seen the highs and the lows. He understands the Cleveland pathos implicitly. When the Wine and Gold lose, he feels our pain. And more importantly, he feels theirs.

Over this past summer, I realized that stats are for nerds. So I won’t break down Boobie’s field goal percentage or how many assists he’ll dole out. But I can tell you that the former Longhorn will be instrumental in the victory – most notably by the back-to-back three-pointers he cans to start the fourth quarter and give Cleveland its first lead.

I see James Edward Hickson having hisself another productive performance in the post, turning in another double-double as the Cavaliers snap their prolonged losing skein – delighting the home crowd with the double-digit win.

I know I’ve suggested that you bet the farm on games in the past, but this time I really mean it. Even if it’s just a dirt farm or you’ve plowed under your crops to build a baseball field – put all of your property and material belongings on Wednesday’s matchup with the Suns. (You can still take the points, if someone’s offering.)

As sure as God made little green apples, on this night our Cavaliers will emerge victorious. You might find this claim dubious right now, but after around 9:30 p.m. EST, you’ll spend the rest of the evening thinking: “By gum, that Optimist was right!”

This year, I haven’t been as effective predicting wins as I have with other activities – lip-reading, for example. But I feel like the next time we speak, it’ll be during the early days of a win streak. And maybe we’ll be able to put all this ugliness behind us.

Peace be with you, Cavalier fans. I’m going to go collect my $100 from Dan Gilbert.

As for you meatheads, if you’re still rolling with the Wine and Gold, please remember to …

Keep the faith, Believeland

Your pal,
The Optimist