Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Enter the Shaq: future Cleveland celeb?

So it was Superman that helped to shut us out of this years NBA Finals and now it is supposedly the OG Superman that can help lead us to the title next year. Sure it’s an ironic twist of fate and it’s probably not at all a sure thing in the eyes of realistic sports fans but getting Shaquille O’Neal to put on a Cavaliers jersey is certainly a fun prospect.

The bottom line is that Cleveland needs another superstar. The questions centering around whether or not Lebron can ‘single handedly’ carry us to a championship have traditionally been a little weak; he’s always had a little help be it the traded Damon Jones hitting clinch shots or Big Z being one of the most consistent big men in basketball (not to mention the influx of top-notch players over the past two years). But what we have in tenacity and vigor we lack in All-Star caliber basketball performers. Enter Shaq Fu, the Diesel, the Big Shaqtus. If anything ticket sales go through the roof and all eyes are again on us (plus the endless nicknames are a marketing dream come true.)

The city can’t loose. Worst case scenario is the old man decides to retire in a year and we only pay that big time $20 million dollar sum once (and hopefully LBJ gets his ring out of it). Best case scenario is something a little more interesting.

Cleveland is a town that absolutely thrives on its local celebrities. Sports heroes abound even when they would be bench warmers elsewhere (it was just two years ago we all rallied behind Larry Hughes as a Cavs starter), owners of furniture stores have their own cult following, midget jewelry hawkers are one step away from God status among a population that can barely afford frozen .99 cent spring rolls at the Dealz store in Steelyard Commons. So isn’t a guy with a laughable Hip Hop career, a history as a reserve member of the LAPD and a B-movie star with films in the bag where he plays a fucking genie worth all of Cleveland’s mocking and scrutinizing for years to come?

Yes. Yes he is worth our mockery. I truly believe that Shaq would make an extraordinary Clevelander. Think of the laughs and You Tube memories he can assist us with. He’s a walking punch line, he probably gets the joke if his bizarre dance-offs with Lebron at the All-Stare weekends are any sort of proof and he has four (god damn…four) NBA titles under his increasingly large belt.

Let me be the first, Mr. O’Neal, to prematurely welcome you to our fair city. And I truly hope that, in your stay here, you settle into a life of local commercials, auto show autograph sessions and a place in the Cleveland Hall of Fame; right between Mark Norton and Little John. After all, big man, you will deserve it if you get us past Superman next year.

P.S. In the midst of two blogs ago I call no curse. If we land another Shawn Kemp instead of the Big Galactus... it's not the Deadtown Curse: blame Mr. Ferry not Mr. Chernus (the same goes if Shaq disappoints; I'm not putting my neck on any line.)

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