Honest Effort

Forgive me, Cleveland, for I have sinned. I know that I have done wrong and wish to admit my transgressions and atone for them.

I know that we are not a forgiving bunch (see "Grudge Report"), but I'm truly sorry for my misguided thoughts and actions, which have been gnawing at my insides like a $5.99 buffet (see "You Got Trouble").

Cleveland, I am sorry, ... but I felt just a tinge of sadness for LeBron James during the NBA Finals.

Don't get me wrong, I was completely thrilled when the Dallas Mavericks denied him and the Heat a championship. Though his postgame comments suggested otherwise, maybe LeBron got just a taste of how we felt last July. But LeBron's performance in those final losses made me question my faith as a fan: Was this really the player who had walked on Lake Erie's waters for seven seasons?

I imagined grabbing the king by his broad shoulders, shoving him into an uncomfortable chair and plopping in a DVD of his 48-point performance against Detroit in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, a night when he scored the Cavs' final 25 points. "Don't you remember this?" I'd ask. "This is the player you're supposed to be."

But as LeBron advised when the series was over, we all had to go back to the real world. And in the post-finals reality, that double-overtime victory and others like it had become an empty alternate universe that has only one logical response (see "Letting Go of LeBron").

And while I'm confessing my civic sins, I may as well go all the way: I have never attended the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy (see "Eat, Pray, Love").

How this has come to be, I have no idea. I lived on the outskirts of the neighborhood for a time after college. During those days my diet included unhealthy portions of Mama Santa's pizza and Presti's doughnuts. There was even a time a few years back when I even served as a judge for September's Taste of Little Italy Wine Competition, sampling some of the area's best (and less than best) homemade vintages.

Still, I've somehow never partaken in the August Feast, which is essential if you want to be considered a real Clevelander. For that, I'm repentant, and I promise to eat an extra cannoli or two this month if you'll have mercy on me.

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