In case you missed it under your rock, the Cavaliers have reached the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. It is at once a brand new and yet very familiar situation.
The new: The transcendent, mega-hyped superstar wears a Cleveland uniform and rips the hearts out of other cities.
The familiar: Despite all that, the Cavs are a tremendous underdog against the San Antonio Spurs.
Being the team on the rise, with the exception of the magnificent run of the mid-'90s Indians, is a glorious change for Cleveland sports. Being the underdogs that gets no respect is a position we know all too well.
Not one of the nine experts on sportsillustrated.com thinks the Cavs will win. Bomani Jones of espn.com wonders openly if the Cavs are the worst team to ever make an NBA Finals.
But it doesn't matter. For the first time in a long time, Cleveland sports fans have a real reason to hope. The longest suffering group of fans would gladly hand that mantle to another city, Buffalo perhaps, if its more than 40-year-old championship drought were ended.
There is the almost tangible feeling in the streets that, if the city could break through just once, if LeBron James could finally deliver his hometown that illusive victory, then the flood gates would break open. The Cavs would become a dynasty, winning multiple championships and dominating the league ala the Michael Jordan led Bulls of the '90s. The Indians would win the World Series. The Browns would ... make the playoffs. OK, at least finish above .500.
Hope, sports and Cleveland are hardly words that are written together not accompanied by the phrase "wait until next year." But it appears next year might finally be here.
By the way, Michigan still sucks.