That's the text I received at 9:51 Thursday night from my pal Chad while I was at work. The dreams of an undefeated postseason were dashed; the one-seed Cavs had been defeated by the eight-seed Bulls.
As soon as I digested the weight of those words "No," "more," "fo" (although it would have been a lot cooler if Chad had written "No mo fo fo fo fo," but I digress), I was awash with a rage that surprised me, a desire to bite the brim of my filthy Ohio State hat quelled only by my intense fear of whatever germs may be crawling on it. I wanted to scream nonsensical slurs at the Japanese executives going about their business around me, and pull the hair of my female co-worker. I wanted to shit on the president's desk, and then wipe my ass with the picture of his daughter (I'm guessing). Someone had to pay for this smear on the city of Cleveland and their basketball team, but my senses got the better of me and instead of essentially resigning from my job in the worst manner possible, I just punched my gut until I felt like I was going to cough up blood. The pain soothed my rage, and I began to reason through what had transpired.
Lighten up, I chuckled to myself. So the Cavs will win the series in five games instead of four. Whats the difference?
The difference, the rage screamed from within by bruised gut, is that the Cavs aren't the Lakers or the Celtics or even the Spurs. They play in Cleveland, and if there is anything the last 46 years of championships in the three sports that matter being celebrated in towns not named Cleveland has taught us, it is that even the smallest loss can lead to heartbreak (game 5 of the 2007 ALCS is springing to mind, and it's rudely raping the cavity behind my eyeball, making matters worse).
Settle down, big guy, I laughed uneasily. We don't even know how LeBron and Co. lost. Maybe it was some horrible call or a fluke half court shot.
If the Bulls were in position to win on a fluke half court shot or some bad call, the rage sneered, the Cavs failed. If the Bulls won by 10, the Cavs failed. If the Bulls won because they were allowed to play with six guys on the floor, the Cavs failed. That's how much better they are than the Bulls. There should be no fluke play to win going either way, because the Cavs should always be up by 10.
Fortunately, the dull, monotone voice of Canadian public broadcaster Jonathan Goldstein re-telling the story of Jonah and the whale took my mind off the travesty of the Cavs loss and let me finish my shift in peace.
Upon my return home, however, I made the mistake of going to ESPN.com (to check to see how dazzlingly correct my mock draft was, which it wasn't [except for Jimmy Claussen falling to the second round]) and clicking on the recap button above the "Cleveland 106 Chicago 108" scoreboard. The rage was not happy.
How in the fuck could a team led by LeBron fucking James in his goddamn prime ever be down by 21 to a .500 club in the goddamn playoffs?
Look, I said, a little scared of what piece of furniture I was about to end up breaking my toe on when the rage flailed my leg out in an uncoordinated fury kick, they only lost by two. A few bounces here or there, and we're sitting pretty at 3-0.
Even if we had won this game, faggot, the rage admonished me, it would have been an embarrassment. 21 points? To these fucking guys, and they're fucking coach? Does that guy even do anything? When they go to the "Wired Up" segments or whatever the fuck they're called in his timeout huddles, nobody's ever listening to him. I can't blame them, either, since all he ever says is "Rotate the ball, rebound, get after it." NO SHIT. I'm convinced that queer Joakim Noah is really the coach, which would explain why they're the BIGGEST GROUP OF FAGGOTS IN THE WORLD AND THE GODDAMN 60+ WIN CAVS JUST FUCKING LOST TO THEM!!!!
No need for slurs, I whimpered. If the Bulls were playing the Magic, you would love Noah and the rest of the scrappy gang.
Don't get me started on the Magic, the rage says. They know how to beat the shit out of a terrible team. They are going to kill us, if we can ever get out of the first round.
We will get out of the first round, I explain. Look, the Bulls needed a 9-12 shooting night from Kirk Hinrich to beat us by 2. You know how many times a year Hinrich goes 9-12 (or even 6-12)? Once, so he's used it up. The Cavs can pull this thing out.
Maybe, the rage admits, his steam running out as I begin to binge eat an entire bag of Garlic bagel chips. But they'd better win the next two by a combined 28 points, or I'm putting
Deal, I say.