Cleveland landed the first pick in the NBA Draft… again. This is the second time in a row and the third time in four years they’ve won the NBA Draft Lottery. Needless to say, success with the ping-pong balls hasn’t translated into success with the basketball. But when it comes to picking what team will pick first, Cleveland is absolutely #1.
This got us wondering… What else is Cleveland good at? Here are eight more Cleveland #1’s:
1. Picking LeBron James
While recent draft picks haven’t exactly lit up opposing defenses, one of their first overall picks has made a career of it. LeBron James is easily the best player in the NBA today. He carried the Cavaliers for years and is the biggest reason the Heat are a perennial favorite. And Cleveland picked him first overall in 2003.
2. Biggest City in Ohio
Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is the most populous city (and county) in the great state of Ohio. With less than 400,000 people, though, it’s only the 48th biggest nationally, just ahead of the thriving megalopolis that is Wichita. Oh, and it’s shrinking — Cleveland is one of only two cities in the top 50 that’s losing people in this age of urban renewal.
3. Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra is considered by many to be the finest orchestra in the country. Its home is Severance Hall on the east side of the city, though like many residents it gets out of Cleveland whenever it possibly can, playing regularly in Lucerne, Vienna and New York.
4. Consecutive Baseball Sellouts
Until 2008, the Cleveland Indians held the MLB record for most consecutive sellouts. The team sold out 455 consecutive games between 1995 and 2001 at what was then called Jacobs Field. That loyalty was rewarded with a World Series appearance — and loss — in 1997.
5. Not Winning
Wouldn’t not winning be the same as losing? Not quite, my friends. Cleveland teams have won
many, some a few games, just not when it counts. The Browns last won a title in 1964, before the existence of the Super Bowl. The Indians have to go back to 1948 — before most anyone associated with the team was even alive — for their last World Series win. And the Cavs, well, they’re perennial champions in that alternate universe where up is down, left is right and winning the draft lottery means winning it all. In other words, they’ve never won an NBA Championship.
6. Most Boring Uniform
Is there a more boring uniform than that worn by the illustrious Cleveland Browns? It’s hard when your team name is a color, which I could almost accept if it were somehow an interesting color. But it’s not. It’s brown, a color best described as “blah.” Then again, given what happens on the field most Sundays, the name probably fits. We’ll see if Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football aka Johnny Cleveland aka the last great hope of a tortured city can breathe some life into the gloom.
7. Most People on Fire
One fine Saturday last year, 21 people in Cleveland set themselves on fire. Were they sports fans who had finally just had enough? Mercifully, no. The burners in fireproof suits were searching for publicity, not submitting to the futility of it all. And fame they found, in the form of a Guinness World Record. Go, Cleveland!
8. Loyal Fans Enduring
Cleveland sports fans — not to mention Cleveland itself — take a lot of flak. Some of it is deserved, and some it is just the rest of the country piling on. Depends on who you ask. But one thing is not debatable: Cleveland sports fans are as loyal as they come. And they endure. It takes a special breed of fan to keep coming back for more failure… over and over and over…
And over and over and over again.