I didn't grow up in Cleveland. But I grew up in Cleveland. (Stay with me.) I spent my childhood in Columbus (614-ever) but I moved to Cleveland just two months after graduating from college. I worked my first "real" job in Cleveland. I lived in my first (and second) apartments in Cleveland. I got engaged in Cleveland. I paid my first bills in Cleveland. I made some of my best friends in Cleveland. I got married while I was living in Cleveland. Columbus may be my home but Cleveland is where I grew up. I became an adult an Cleveland.
Which is why Cleveland will always hold a very special place in my heart. I experienced so many firsts in that city, that I couldn't forget about my 3.5 years there if I wanted to.
Now, Cleveland sports. Let's talk about it. The thing about Columbus: it's Buckeye country. And that leaves plenty of healthy debate over which professional teams to cheer for. But for me, I've always been team die-hard Cleveland. Before I even moved to the city, my love for the Browns, the Tribe and the Cavs ran deep. But the love was never reciprocated. As a city, we were a joke. Football games became more about tailgating, Tribe games were something that happened in the background of the bar and Cavs could never finish what they started.
Until Sunday, June 19. When the Cavs won the NBA Championship in the most Clevelandiest ways of all - coming from behind 3-1 to win in Game 7 on a history-making night.
In our household, tears were shed, champagne was popped, flights to CLE were searched for and we reveled in the fact that finally, after all of the heartbreak, we could call ourselves champions.
But in South Carolina, the appreciation for the historical feat was, let's just say, lacking. I get it, we're in college football country. After all, when the Panthers made the Super Bowl, I barely heard a peep. When the Cavs won a championship, 1.3 million people flooded downtown for a sight that looked like this:
Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
BUT that didn't stop me from wearing Cleveland gear to the office every finals game. Which is why I couldn't help but round up my all-time favorite tees and tanks to rock when you're looking to show off your CLE pride.
Take a peep at the below (sorry but #5 is my fave) & let me know which threads I'm missing. I think it's safe to assume our next paychecks are going straight to championship gear so I might as well live it up while we can...YOLO.
If you're a fellow Cavs fan, tweet me @kelseyjoynelson so we can relive the glory of Sunday together. And if you were at the parade + rally, tag me in your pics so I can live vicariously through you. If you're not a fan or hate basketball, that's okay, still tweet me. Topic of convo is your pick :)