10 Times the City of Cleveland Didn’t Have Terrible Sports Luck

Cheer up! It hasn’t been all bad!

There’s a perception that the City of Cleveland has awful luck when it comes to sports. This idea has only been bolstered with the news that Kyrie Irving will miss the remainder of the NBA Finals with a fractured knee cap — a development that assure Cleveland’s decades-long titleless streak will continue.

But everyone who says Cleveland gets nothing but bad breaks seems to forget all the times that things have gone okay. Here are the 10 best examples of Cleveland’s sporting good fortune.


Basketball superstar LeBron James has played many years in Cleveland — from 2003 to 2010, and then again beginning in 2014 — yet he has never suffered a serious, career-threatening injury (as of this writing).

May 26, 1982: On a flight back from Minneapolis, the Cleveland Indians’ plane experiences a bit of turbulence. However, the plane doesn’t crash into downtown Cleveland, killing hundreds or even thousands.

After just two seasons, the NHL Cleveland Barons merge with the Minnesota North Stars and leave town, thereby saving the city from having a fourth professional sports franchise to humiliate and disappoint it.

Pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander played from 1911 to 1930 and won 373 games and a World Series. He never played for Cleveland and isn’t from Cleveland, but … hey, not bad!
Grover Cleveland Alexander: Greatest Cleveland athlete EVER?!?! (AP)

The Cleveland Browns have lost 10 or more games 15 times in the past 25 seasons, but not once — not once! — have they gone 0–16.

Despite many similarities, Cleveland is NOT the same city as Buffalo.

The Cleveland Browns have made many horrible draft picks, but they did not draft Lawrence Phillips, Rae Carruth, Darren Sharper or Aaron Hernandez.

While lots of people talk about how the name “Redskins” is racist, the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo — which, it could be argued, is more racist — mostly flies under the radar.

(AP)
January 2015: Ohio State wins the college football national championship. None of Ohio State’s branch campuses are in Cleveland or even near Cleveland. But maybe one day.

After opening the season in dead-last, the 1989 Cleveland Indians win the American League East in a one-game playoff over the powerful New York Yankees. This happened in the fictional movie Major League, but the movie could have had Cleveland lose. But it didn’t. So that’s nice.
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