CLEVELAND -- This column, eventually, will be about
But first, this: During Tuesday night's game against Atlanta, they asked a great trivia question. You know James won the MVP award Monday -- the news covered the entire front page of the
I grew up in Cleveland, so that's the sort of trivia question I tend to know instantly. Only ... I didn't. I started thinking back through the years.
1. Albert Belle, 1995.
But Belle did not win the award, probably because nobody wanted to be the one to tell him he won.
There were other good Cleveland players through the years:
Anyway, none of those people won the MVP. The last Cleveland athlete to win the MVP before James was ... Cleveland Browns quarterback
But he had serious guts. I would say one of the most frustrating parts of being an NFL fan is that nobody seems to know how to use the clock. Timeouts get wasted all the time. Teams take forever to line up. Receivers don't run out of bounds. Quarterbacks will waste two or three seconds by calling a play at the line. Well, I don't think anyone in the history of the NFL understood the final two minutes better than Sipe. He was the quarterback in those days when the Browns called themselves the "Kardiac Kids," and in those final seconds he would rush to the line of scrimmage, everyone would line up in a quick and orderly fashion, he would yell "HUT! HUT!" and they were off. It was a lean operation. In 1980, Sipe threw for 4,132 yards and had 30 touchdown passes and only 14 interceptions. Then, in the playoffs against Oakland, he threw a final-minute interception on a cold, dreary day that cost the Browns the game, and he was never the same again. Yes. Cleveland memories.
Anyway, that trivia question set my memory racing. So, I figured it would be good to show you the last MVP for every sports city that has a baseball team. Here you go.
Cleveland: LeBron James, 2009.
* St. Louis is kind of the MVP capital of the world. The Cardinals have won four MVP awards the last 30 years (Pujols with two,
So, there you go. And it brings us all the way back to this year's NBA MVP, James, who against Atlanta on Tuesday scored 34 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out three assists, added four steals and just generally dominated the entire night. Cavaliers fans were all decked out in free black T-shirts with the words "Witness" and "MVP" on them. Unfortunately, the words were laid out like so ...
... so it read like some sort of bizarre pict-o-gram you would find in the newspaper. So what does it mean? Wit-over-ness? Ness-under-MVP? Who knows? Still, a free T-shirt is a free T-shirt, and, anyway, anything associated with James is, by definition, cool.
And there was a moment in the third quarter, with the game more or less out of reach, when James had the ball at the top of the circle. The clock was winding down. And James had this priceless look on his face, this look that said: "I am about to do something that will make this entire arena go crazy."
And with that, he faked left, faked right, faked left, faked right, it was hard to keep with the fakes because there were so many of them, and they were so subtle. Whatever he did, his defender just disappeared into a fog of confusion. And James was past him, driving to the basket, in the clear. He got fouled on the way to the basket so he did not get to finish off the move. But the point was made. He is LeBron James. And everyone else is not.