The Miami Heat's game in Cleveland this week settled one thing for the rust belt city: LeBron James is gone, and he's not coming back.
And he's not the only thing that's leaving. Cleveland's declining population makes it now the country's 43rd largest city, down from 33rd in 2000.
Cleveland's very soul was crushed by LeBron's rejection. So as the last Clevelander heads out, we hope they bring with them these vestiges of a better, LeBron-filled Cleveland.
1. The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame
Yes, rock had something of a start in Cleveland, lots of bands came from there, blah blah blah. Minus the Black Keys, most music found there now gets its start in a theater that looks like an abandoned auto parts factory. In South Florida, we've got Propaganda, Revolution Live, Churchills, the Talent Farm, and boatloads of arenas. Tours start here, indie rock bands are from here, and rock 'n roll hall of famers ought to be crowned here.
2. U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Kuchinich's website calls him "America's most courageous congressman," and that's mainly because he doesn't mind being the only congressman to vote against the 9/11 Commemoration and to advocate ending the war on drugs. In Ohio, all that makes the former Boy Mayor of Cleveland an anomaly. In South Florida, he'd be another politician on the far end of his party. Just like the rest of them.
3. The Cleveland Clinic
Wait, we've already got that one.
4. Football Coach Jim Tressel
In ten seasons with Ohio State, the Cleveland native has racked up a remarkable 105 wins and just 22 losses. That's a win percentage of 82 percent. University of Miami football has an all-time win percent of just 64 percent. Sure, Tressel would have to lose his sweater vest in Coral Gables, but he'd look sharp in a guayabera.
5. Cleveland's Work Ethic
When the Browns play the Dolphins today in Miami Gardens, Cleveland fans will no doubt bring their brown-and-orange hard hats. They do so because Cleveland is a town of rock breakers, bridge builders, and pierogie makers. OK, maybe that last one doesn't equal muscle, but let's be honest, South Florida could use a bit more of that hard-working gumption that is the Midwest. More could be said on this, but well, it's 70 degrees this weekend.
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