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Sports History in Cleveland

February 5, 2011 - Al Stephenson
The number 24 (unless it grows) will go down in sports history with the others. 15, 31, 56 - the numbers come to mind immediately. If you are a sports junkie like I am, these numbers are readily recognizable. If not, let me enlighten you.

15 - the number of strokes that Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open by at Pebble Beach in 2000. The single greatest golf performance in the history of major competiton. I watched as Tiger wrapped up the victory hoping that he would finish strong. He did. I was impressed.

31 - the number of lengths that Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes in 1973 becoming a Triple Crown winner. The performance was astounding and I remember it vividly. You wanted to see him stretch out the lead and he obliged. We still talk about the race in reverant tones today.

56 - Joltin Joe DiMaggio had a hit in 56 consecutive games. No one has come close to that record since. After the Indians stopped his streak with a couple of defensive gems from Kenny Keltner, Joe D. hit in another 19 straight. This record could be broken sometime, but don't hold your breath.

So what is the significance of 24. Well the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the record books for LOSING 24 consecutive games. Maybe the number doesn't fit with the other three, but it is a record none the less.

For one of the few times in my life I rooted against a Cleveland sports team. I actually was hoping the Cavs would lose so they could set a record. I must admit that I didn't watch much of it (hey, Momma Mia was on TBS and I am a fan of ABBA music). I was interested though. You know, kind of like watching a train wreck.

The view from my seat suggests that Dan Gilbert MAY have been right when he said the Cavs would win an NBA title before LeBron and the Heat, but let the RECORD show that it won't be this year!


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