October 26, 1997. Edgar Renteria’s single in the bottom of the 11th wins the game for the Marlins, and Cleveland loses, as it always does. I started crying like a little bitch immediately after the winning run was scored. My dad, a Shaker Heights, OH, native and the reason I root for the Indians despite growing up in Los Angeles, turned to me, told me to “stop fucking crying” before leaving the room, and I did. I’ve been crying on the inside ever since.
Seinfeld has a brilliant bit on the silliness of being a sports fan: “Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify,” Jerry says. “The players are always changing, the team could move to another city, you’re actually rooting for the clothes. You are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city.”
5. Learning How To Forgive
All you had to do was get three outs, Jose. Three effing outs. But wearing my favorite team’s clothes, you and your stupid handlebar mustache gave up a run in the ninth and blew the ’97 series. After 20 years and extensive counseling, I’m ready to forgive you, Mesa. I’m putting the voodoo doll away and moving on with my life. Same goes for Charles Nagy and every player on the team from 1955 to 1994.
4. Mastering The Art of Being An Optimistic Pessimist
I haven’t been excited about anything since 2002. With everything in life, I’m patiently waiting for my hopes and dreams to fall apart, so whenever something gets realized, it’s incredible, and when things collapse, I’m prepared. Thank you for that, Indians. Thank you.
3. Remembering I’m Not In Control
I usually reserve my prayers for the health and happiness of all those around me, but occasionally asking my higher power for an Indians World Series forces me to remember what’s important in life and that God has better things to do than focus on the outcome of baseball games. Again, this is what I tell myself to sleep at night.
2. Empathizing With Any/All Fans Of Shitty Teams
Oh, you’re a Padres fan? I feel your pain, brother. I root for the Cleveland Indians. Don’t you wish that you rooted for clothes from New York or Boston? Me too. Maybe next time.
1. Always Looking Toward The Future
See what we did there? Using a picture of Future (the rapper) contemplating his future? Pretty meta, right? If there’s one thing being an Indians fan teaches you, it’s always to look ahead because brighter days are coming — the present can’t get any worse…