I am sitting in a Starbucks in downtown Cleveland right now. I am frustrated because I didn’t get the discount on the Evolution Sweet Greens juice I drink almost everyday. I asked for the discount and I know the code to get a dollar off. However, the guy said that he couldn’t give it to me. I said, “come on, yeah you can.” He said he needed the coupon to take to his sales meeting. I was fine with the “no”, but a little miffed with the reason. I have been all over the United States drinking these and getting the discount without the coupon. It might be a flaw in the system; but, I got a little self-righteous and, in turn, the guy got a little testy with me. I laugh because it is one of those instances where I want to be right for whatever reason, but it just makes me look ridiculous. I put him on the defensive and I owe him an apology. It doesn’t matter if I was right, or if he accepts my apology, I have to humble myself (He accepted and appreciated it).
Yesterday marked five months that I have been on the road. I left Milwaukee on February 10, as I recall it was quite cold! I have been lucky that I have been able to chase warm weather. It feels like the longest summer of my life and I am loving it! Like I said, I am in Cleveland and the town is getting a little crazy with the LeBron James signing. The news is everywhere and people are excited. I just want to watch a baseball game. In view of the recent news break, I don’t think Cleveland cares about baseball at the moment. ESPN, ABC, CBS, FOX are all here getting the fans reaction. What I find funny is how staged the news is. They tell them when to cheer. The majority are happy to oblige for their moment in the sun even if it is for a couple seconds.
I moved from the Starbucks, to a sports bar near Progressive Field, which is across the street from the Quicken Loans Arena where the Cavaliers play. A t-shirt vendor just rolled up outside the sports bar and is selling t-shirts that say “Forgiven” for $30. There are long lines to get them. What is it about the attachment of a player and/or a team that people get so fanatical about? The energy and expectations is very high for next season. Anything less than a NBA championship is going to be a let down. I am sure that we will hear the team tell the fans to temper those expectations once the season starts; but at the moment, they are gladly taking the bounty of cash that the fans, with their mob mentality, are willing to pay without hesitation. I am excited for the City of Cleveland. People need things to rally around. People are high- fiving, with LeBron on all the TV’s, shouts of “We’re Back” and “Forgiven” can be heard and everyone is smiling. I understand this is a baseball blog but it is hard to ignore the electricity that is in the air. I love the feeling. Fans feel like they are the stars with all the coverage, they want their 15 minutes of fame and are willing to say what the news wants to hear. The feeling of being important. I observe one guy slap his girlfriend on the butt after he finishes his moment and gives her a look of satisfaction. She smiles and they get in line to buy a t-shirt.
I talk with my waitress about what this means to Cleveland. She is beaming. She tells me that Cleveland is turning around and this helps. She rattles off everything that the city is doing to improve its image. She tells me about the chandelier in the theatre district which I saw it earlier when I was at Starbucks. She says it is going to be a good night for tips, “When people are happy they are generous.” I listen to some fans who are discussing how much the t-shirt vendor is making, “yeah those shirts only cost him $3 and he is selling them for $30”, one guy points out. “Who cares” another says, “this is awesome.” A cameraman points his camera in the window, people start chanting “Lets go Cavs, Lets go Cavs”, horns are honking, people are celebrating. This is the commercialization of sport. LeBron is God- like right now. He gets paid to preform and people are doing shots of tequila in honor of “King James”. I want to go to the baseball game. I want this energy to show up in Alexandria, Minnesota for a Blue Anchors game.
Since I need to touch on the baseball aspect of the post, I just want to say that I had a long drive last night and today. I had time to think about the most memorable experiences thus far on the trip. I compiled a list of some of my favorite experiences. There have been many and this is only a few that I want to point out. Please, feel free to click on a link and read.
Best College Experiences
Best Baseball Ballparks
Best Small Town Baseball Experience
2. Cape Cod
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