Friday, May 19, 2006

Tear the Roof Off the Place

There hasn't been a day like this in Cleveland since 1997. The Cavs don't have a chance to just win a series; they have a chance to knock out one of the NBA's Goliaths--a team whose virtues this week's issue of Sports Illustrated spent several pages extolling, having already written the Cavs off by press time.

Every Cleveland fan knows how these stories traditionally end, but we also need to remember that before Jose Mesa shakes off Sandy Alomar and throws sliders, we sometimes get something like Game 5 of the 1997 ALDS against the Yankees. Every sportswriter and baseball pundit in the country had written off the Tribe in that series, but I guess the Indians didn't read the papers. They came from the brink of elimination in Game 4 to pull off one for the ages on that night 10 years ago. Game 5 still sticks in the craw of Yankee fans, and ranks in the all-time top ten for Yankee haters.

I was lucky enough to be at Jacobs Field that night, and I've never seen a baseball crowd like it. There were 42,000 people living and dying on every pitch, and when Bernie Williams flied out to Brian Giles to end the game, the ballpark was literally shaking from the noise.

That brings me to my point. I was amazed at the lack of support the Pistons' crowd provided to them when the going got tough on Wednesday night. The NBA's dreaded "suit" factor appears to have kicked in big time in Detroit, and with decent seats going for north of $500 on StubHub, I'm more than a little worried about the same thing happening tonight. Listen, if you've scored a ticket to the game, leave your laptop and blackberry at home, and turn your cell phone off. Tonight's not a night for business deals; it's a night to tear the roof off the place.

Hey gang, Detroit's wounded, but they're still very dangerous. Nobody in this town wants to see a seventh game on the Pistons' home court. Stealing one game there was miraculous enough, grabbing two would be loaves and fishes material.

So do your best to make tonight the most miserable 48 minutes that the Detroit Pistons have ever experienced. Make the noise so oppressive that the Pistons can't think, talk or even breathe--and for God's sake, if the Cavs fall behind, don't let yourselves be taken out of the game. The rest is up to the Cavs, but the way they're playing, that's fine with me.

1 comment:

Ben said...

good call on the game 5 ALDS, I'm trying to keep myself grounded for this game, because part of me can't forget the simple fact that a Cleveland team is involved, which ususaly means this heartbreak.

But Cleveland teams do get some nice moments before the heartbreak (Tony Pena 95). So here's hopin