'Cleveland--You've Got to Be Tough'

I am 30 years old and the first 11 of those years were spent in Cleveland. Embarrassing as it is, my sports heart remains on the shores of Lake Erie.

Every summer I agonize for the Indians. Each winter I suffer in stony silence for my Browns. I would grind my teeth over the Cavaliers, but I left Cleveland three years before they came into being. My friends laugh at my ridiculous loyalty, while family members only shake their heads sadly at my mindless devotion.

Don't get me wrong. I root for the Dodgers and Raiders--I ignore the Rams on general principles and because they callously abandoned Cleveland 39 years ago. But my feelings about Cleveland--its teams and the city itself--are summarized on the T-shirt I'm wearing as I write this letter. The shirt bears a rendering of the polluted skyline and reads: "Cleveland--you've got to be tough."


Santa Monica

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