This is how a city’s dream dies, with bitterness and plenty of fun fonts.
Has anyone in sports had a worse two months, legacy-wise, than LeBron James? In just eight short weeks, the man has gone from NBA MVP to playoff choke-artist to egotistical opportunist who abandoned his hometown team (in a prime time announcement!) to win a championship “the easy way” in Miami. (Part of this, of course, is not his fault — has any other athlete been so excoriated for trying to win a trophy? — but LeBron is so brand-conscious he had to know how it would look.)
Another owner, in another city, might have gone the stiff upper lip route: sad he couldn’t win the big one here but wishing LeBron well, et cetera et cetera. (See here for a general example.) But after what all the LeBron courtship put Cleveland through, that is not what Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert did.
In an open letter to Cavs fans that truly must be read to be believed, Gilbert pours open his soul about LeBron’s departure, and in the process reveals that his soul shares many similarities to an heartbroken 15 year old. To enumerate:
Comic Sans: Yes, that’s right: the whole thing is written in Comic Sans, the favored font of middle-school breakup letters everywhere.
Intense capitalization: The letter begins, “Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;”
Hyperbole, complete with scare-quotes: “[LeBron’s decision] was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his ‘decision’ unlike anything ever ‘witnessed’ in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.”
Refusal to use your ex’s name: Throughout the letter, LeBron is always “our former hero,” “the self-titled former ‘King’” or “our home grown ‘chosen one.’” The closest Gilbert gets to saying his name is a slip-up reference to “James.”
Random, unattributed quotes: “Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.”
Boilerplate self-pity: “The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.”
Comic Sans: This needs to be said twice. NewsFeed hasn’t seen Comic Sans express sentiments this anguished since our Xanga entry of November 15, 2002.
And finally, promises of revenge, in ALL CAPS: “I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE.”
You can read the whole thing in its 10th grade melodramatic glory right here.