What LeBron James Means To Buffalo (Yes, Buffalo)

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The last time that the city of Buffalo has seen a major sports championship was 1965 when the Bills captured the AFL title, before even the Super Bowl existed.

 

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The last time that the city of Cleveland has seen a major sports championship was 1964 when the Browns captured the NFL title, again before even the Super Bowl's time.

Both of these cities have experienced their own trials and tribulations in sport. Heartbreak has been an unfortunate constant through the decades. Though a turn in the tides is inevitable for both, Cleveland’s glory suddenly seems much closer to a reality with the recent (re)signing of LeBron James. Yes, the best basketball player in the NBA has decided upon a homecoming to Cleveland for what seems will be his home for the remainder of his career.  

As a Buffalonian and sports fanatic I, after texting all of my friends (or ‘Cavs fans’ as they now call themselves) of the news, thought about where the Queen City now lies in the championship realm against Cleveland. To borrow a line from a Buffalo friend: it's not a race but…it's a race. 

Cleveland has three major professional sports teams (Browns, Cavs, Indians) while Buffalo (Bills, Sabres) only has two: edge Cleveland, obviously. Cleveland has the Browns while Buffalo has the Bills: edge Buffalo, and I think secretly even Mike Pettine (who jumped ship as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator and headed to Cleveland for head coaching position) would agree. Cleveland has the Indians while Buffalo has the Sabres: push, due to (other than the apples and oranges comparison) the plentiful question marks that remain on both sides. And most tellingly— Cleveland now has LeBron James while Buffalo has…: edge Cleveland, and a big one.  

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The Cavaliers’ acquisition of LeBron has put Buffalo in the sports shadow of Cleveland. The Rock and Roll capital of the world now seems a few steps closer to a title than the Queen City, as unfortunate as that is to admit. Though LeBron has suddenly made hopes bleak for Buffalo, if there is anything that characters like Chan Gailey, JP Losman or Taro Tsujimoto (a literal fictitious character created by the Sabres in 1974- click the link) have taught us it is to believe in Buffalo.