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Thank You Lebron James for Fulfilling My Bucket Wish List

You can't grow up in Northeastern Ohio and not be a sports fan.  As a cheerleader in middle and high schools, I came to appreciate and UNDERSTAND the game of football and basketball.  

I remember Marion Motley from the OLD Cleveland (Bulldogs) Browns coming over our house to socialize with my parents.  (He and my mother went to high school together).  I remember  Brian Sipe and the "Kardiac Kids" who always had me on the edge of my seat when they were playing.  I remember how proud I was when my high school classmate Phil Hubbard made his presence known on the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with Brad Daugherty, Ron Harper and Mark Price (the Cavalier's three-point king).

But in all of those years, we never won a championship or even came close.  My saddest memory is the 1987 AFC Championship Game between the Browns and Broncos on January 17, 1988 at Mile High Stadium. With 1:12 left in the game, Browns running back Earnest Byner fumbled on the Broncos 1 yard line while trying to score a touchdown to pull within one point. The Broncos went on to win 38–33 after taking an intentional safety.

Since that time, I've gone through life wishing and hoping that I would see a Championship before I die.  

And then, lo and behold, a saviour named Lebron James came to the Cleveland Cavaliers and gave me hope. I saw his promise when he carried the team to the finals in his first year.  I wasn't one of the fans who went beserk when he left to go to the Miami Heat.  I remained a loyal fan and even told people that once he won a championship there, he would return to Cleveland.  

And he did just that.  And he didn't disappoint.  In his second return year with Cleveland, he carried the team on his back for a World Championship.  And he did it while I happened to be on vacation from work.

I remember telling my husband before the start of game 7 that if Cleveland won, I was going home to be a part of the parade.  I wouldn't dare miss it for the world.  I remember crying hysterically during the final minutes when I knew victory was ours.  I also remember my grandson, who was a Golden State Warriors (Stephon Curry) fan, leaving  a stinging voicemail message about how Cleveland cheated and how they sucked.  I laughed as I thought "He has no idea he's going to Cleveland for the parade with grandma!" 

We drove to Cleveland to be among the estimated 1.8 million others who also wanted to witness history.  And we had a great spot---right in front of course.

So even though Lebron never looked my way when I yelled out his name, we did get high five's from Matt Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert and I fell in love with Josh Cribbs (who I didn't even recognize before the parade).

Thank you Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for making one of my bucket list dreams come true.


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