Who are we now? For more than 50 years, and despite our protestations, our identity has been understood through the polluted prism of defeat. Sports disasters serve as our definitions. All of a sudden, we are champions. Such a crisis of identity would be a lot for even the most mentally stable metropolis to handle, let alone one tortured by burning rivers, poverty and lake-effect snow. Blame our quandary on LeBron James — built of the same oxidized stardust as the rest of Northeast Ohio. He brought us here, tore open the philosophy books and rewrote the chapter on ID, leaving us to cope with the meaning of it all. Winning a title hasn’t removed any piece of us. As shiny as that trophy is, it shouldn’t change our reflection either. More than a million of us showed up for a parade because win or lose, we’re in this together.
10:00 AM EST
September 7, 2016