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Commentary: Bitter losses make victory taste sweeter

Like a lot of Buckeye fans, I went through the five stages of grief during the men’s basketball team’s loss to Kentucky.

Denial: “William Buford will hit a shot.”

Anger: “It’s a good idea to launch a dozen napkins across this Buffalo Wild Wings.”

Bargaining: “I will give up a year of my eligibility to give David Lighty a sixth year.”

Depression: “Why was I born in Cleveland?”

It took me a while to get here, but consider this column my final step: acceptance.

It’s been a rough year for me as a sports fan. My teenage dream, LeBron James, stabbed my city, and me, in the heart. My favorite childhood team, the Cleveland Indians, is a disgusting representation of what it used to be.

The best hope for Cleveland is the Browns. Enough said.

Even my favorite shirt, my “In Tressel We Trust” tee, loses its meaning by the day. I leaned on the Ohio State basketball program, but naturally that didn’t work out.

As I sit here in anguish, my delusional mind came to the conclusion that I’m better off for this in the long run.

My loyalty continues to grow, and the abuse my teams take makes me even more defensive of them. Plus, if any of my teams can overcome all this adversity to win a championship, that’s a big middle finger to the karma gods — even bigger than the middle finger I gave that Kentucky fan Friday night.

The epic way my teams falter makes me feel like a higher power has a clear agenda against them.

As if the crippling economic depression, burning rivers, lack of sunlight and Lady Gaga concerts weren’t bad enough for my cities, it had to afflict the sports teams as well.

Yet, it all emboldens me. After all the heartbreak, you’d think I would have learned not to latch on to every glimmer of hope. That’s just not how I operate.

The Cavaliers have two lottery picks on the way. Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving would look breathtaking in wine and gold.

Fear not, as Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert are here to rescue the Browns.

The Indians might finish 81-81, baby steps.

Of course, I always have the utmost confidence in OSU athletics, which are like a combination of Red Auerbach’s Boston Celtics and John Wooden’s UCLA teams relative to Cleveland. All it took was the football team’s 2002 national title to reach that level.

To all the believers: When our day comes again — especially if it’s a Cleveland team winning — it will be a glorious celebration that would make the ancient Romans jealous.

To all the nonbelievers: We should all follow your lead and get out while we can. I pray my stubbornness pays off down the line.

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