City of Light, City of Magic
Cleveland has suffered dismal, frustrating, or tragic sports franchises, without exception, since the Eisenhower administration (“The Week,” November 13)? Come west of the Hudson sometime and stop relying on “fake news.” See for yourself.
Since the Eisenhower administration, the Cleveland Cavs have made the NBA playoffs in 2010, 2015, 2016, and 2017, winning the basketball championship in 2016! The Cleveland Indians made World Series appearances in 1995, 1997, and 2016, and had 102 wins in 2017, second only to the Dodgers’ 104. How about those Lake Erie Monsters winning the 2017 ice-hockey championship in their division! For the record, the beleaguered Browns have won a football championship since the Eisenhower administration, albeit in 1964! And, yes, another bright spot for the Browns has been Joe Thomas. He personifies perseverance, consistency, excellence, and character. Thank you for acknowledging a class act.
Before casting further aspersions on a city moving forward, come take a look and discover in Cleveland a world-renowned orchestra, a first-rate hospital that is arguably among the world’s best, a thriving Playhouse Square theater district, the “Emerald Necklace” park system, and outstanding museums, including: the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Crawford Auto and Aviation Museum, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Visit delightful ethnic neighborhoods including Asiatown, Slovak Village, Little Italy, and the whole shebang at West Side Market. Even the Republicans were amazed during the convention, including those who still like Ike.
The Editors respond: “Almost without exception,” we wrote. The Cavaliers broke the rule when they won the NBA Finals in 2016, but that’s okay. The city’s tradition didn’t die. It only nodded: Months later, the world watched in wonder as the Indians, true to the Cleveland genius for the tragic, roared back to lose Game 7 of the World Series in extra innings — again. Everyone says it was the best baseball game ever. And this year! What about those 102 wins? That late-season 22-game winning streak? We noted it in The Week (October 2). The best team in baseball, hands down, the Indians were, according to the sabermetricians. Congratulations, 2017 world champion Houston Astros.
We know Cleveland well and agree that it’s misunderstood. The institutions of University Circle do belong in any list of its attractions, and the Cleveland Orchestra deserves special mention. The downtown museums — the science center, the rock-and-roll museum — are slick and still too new to have absorbed and radiate the city’s character. Get back to us about them in a hundred years. The people of Asiatown are “delightful,” but let’s not sugarcoat the truth about the neighborhood. It’s dreary. Agreed, Cleveland has a fun Little Italy. Save us a spot at La Dolce Vita.
About 1 percent of Americans live in the Western Reserve. From reading National Review, online as well as the magazine, you might think it was more. Cleveland enjoys, and suffers, a disproportionate amount of our attention. We have been a consistent and spirited defender of Chief Wahoo, for example. To know the city’s distinctive culture is to be charmed by it. We believe in Cleveland exceptionalism. With an eye on spring training, just around the corner, we shout out a hearty “Go Tribe! Wait until next year!”