While the association of sports punditry blowhards will bellow, “No, no, no!!! Cleveland and Washington are NOT rivals!!,” those with common sense beg to differ.
As we found out in early April, a game between a hapless Wizards team and the unstoppable force of LeBron & Co. wasn’t exactly meaningless.
The fact that these two teams seem destined to exchange barbs, not only between the members of each organization, but also amongst fans and journalists, screams rivalry on some level — contrary to popular opinion, a ‘rivalry’ is not solely defined by wins and losses.
On April 8th, Cleveland columnist Bill Livingston decided to randomly hurl insults at the Wizards franchise, for which a response was necessary: “Kicking The Wizards While They’re Down,” NBC Washington.
And lately, that LeBron James fellow just can’t seem to keep the Wizards out his mouth. As Michael Lee of the Washington Post relays, LeBron discussed with reporters last night about how Washington tried to be a physical team last year, but failed; the second such mention of the Wiz that LeBron has made during the ’09 postseason. The “anointed one” failed to acknowledge Gilbert Arenas being injured as a big part of the Wizards’ failure, but oh well.
The Cleveland and Atlanta media are even getting into spats (h/t to the big lead), with some douche bag Cleveland Fox news anchor named Bill Martin challenging the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Mark Bradley to a fight. Who the fuck does Martin think he is? Russell Crow?
An ESPN sideline report from game two between the Cavs and the Hawks last night relayed that the Cavaliers like to demoralize their opponents by laughing and celebrating on the bench when they are ahead (yep, we’ve seen this before). In other words, they’re just a bunch of dicks … and it seems that this assholishness is wafted upon the stenchy waters of Lake Erie and is transubstantiated to all of “The Cleve.”
Comedian Mike Polk has even received death threats for making quaintly valid Cleveland tourism videos such as the one below.
Death threats to a comedian from Cleveland? Ahh … the unfortunate who cannot make fun of themselves. Lord knows we could do a similar video for DC featuring our ‘Mayor For Life’ with a “moral compass from god” and a crack problem.
Sometimes this rivalry is fun, and sometimes it teeters on a steep slippery slope of absurd hatred. Not everyone from the Mistake by the Lake is a douche-bag (the guys from Waiting For Next Year are pretty cool) and not everyone from D.C. is a reflection of DeShawn Stevenson (especially since that dude isn’t even from the District).
One day, knock on wood/cross fingers/throw salt over the shoulder, the Wizards will have a chance to get the Cavs back for continued beatings. But until then, my hatred for the Cavaliers can’t help but fester. The ease in doing so, spawned simply by Cleveland being Cleveland, is what rivalries are all about … at least to this lone Wizards blogger.
[photo source: flickr/Walsh]