The last time the city of Cleveland had a pro sports championship victory was 50 years ago in 1964. That last Cleveland championship came courtesy of the Cleveland Browns of the NFL–and to give you an idea of how long ago that was, legendary running back Jim Brown led his team to victory in a game that didn’t even have a Roman numeral affixed to it. The NFL hadn’t even invented the Super Bowl yet. The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers (born 1970) didn’t yet exist. The Indians were around of course–had been for 70 years already–but Major League was still 25 years away! (The Indians last won the World Series in 1948.) Craig Ehlo was a baby, just like the guy who jumped over him, Michael Jordan. There was no Dawg Pound. Lyndon Johnson was in the White House and there were “whites-only” signs at restaurants and hotels in a number of major US cities.
The long championship drought may give more insight into why Cleveland went bonkers with joy when LeBron James announced he was coming home to the Cavaliers. LeBron James’s mother wasn’t yet born when Cleveland last claimed the top prize in sports. It’s been a long time, in other words. This is a big year for the loaded Cavaliers.