This week, we are bringing you a meeting between Washington and Cleveland. When, in professional sports, has their been a Washington-Cleveland matchup with such high stakes? Never! Well, not quite never, but we'll get to that.
The professional sports teams of Cleveland haven't had too much success in their respective leagues' post-seasons. The word "curse" gets dropped pretty regularly when referring Cleveland teams. Of course, Cleveland is an easy target to begin with.
Washington's teams have done better, enough that people aren't quite ready to attribute any misfortune to superstition.
Given these cities' somewhat infrequent trips to the post-season, it's very unlikely either of these cities would meet each other. So again, we'd like to point out that we're doing you a service. And since we're service-minded, we'll break this down by sport.
The Washington Redskins have made five Super Bowl appearances and have won three, which is actually quite impressive and is probably why no one says Washington is cursed.
The Cleveland Browns, on the other hand, have never made a trip to the Super Bowl, which makes meeting someone in the Super Bowl extremely difficult.
The Cleveland Indians haven't won a World Series since 1948.
That sounds bad until you realize that Washington hasn't won a World Series since 1924. Of course, that comes with some caveats. Washington's current team, the Nationals, moved to D.C. from Montreal in 2005. Prior to that, the Washington Senators were in town from 1961-1971 before vamoosing to Texas. And prior to that, the original Washington Senators played American League baseball from 1901-1960. It was this original Senators franchise that won the city's only World Series title in 1924. Also, apparently they were sometimes known as the Nationals, funnily enough.
|Either that, or we're being punk'd by the Internet|
But, we digress. It boils down to this: three teams, two names and only one title. And they never met Cleveland in the post-season, nor were they ever in contention for the American League pennant.
Cleveland doesn't currently have a professional hockey team, but they did have the Cleveland Barons for two seasons, staring in 1976.
Needless to say, the Barons didn't make it to the playoffs. At this same time, the Washington Capitals were still a few years from their first playoffs appearance at that point.
First off, the now-defunct Cleveland Rockers never faced the Washington Mystics in the WNBA playoffs.
|They, apparently, didn't rock very well.|
Okay, actually Cleveland and Washington have met in the NBA playoffs five times. Twice in the '70s, when Washington's team was known as the Bullets (in the '90s, they decided maybe they shouldn't call attention to Washington's crime rate, so they changed their name to the Wizards).
|The Wizards then became synonymous with this, which isn't nearly as cool as you might think.|
You might be saying, "But that was a Round of 16, George and Grover are fighting in a Round of 32. How are the stakes higher for you guys?"
Because ours involves presidents and not overpaid athletes. Also, why do you hate America?
We suppose the most important Cavaliers-Bullets matchup would be the first time they met in the playoffs in 1976. The winner of that series (the Cavs) went on to the Conference Finals, where they were promptly felled by the Boston Celtics (who wound up winning the championship).
Okay, Washington and Cleveland's NBA teams had an important matchup in 1976. All 1976 does is remind us about the American Bicentennial, and what's more important (to Americans, anyway) than America? By transitive property, American presidents are also more important.
So, we stand by our claim that this week's Washington-Cleveland matchup is more important than any in history. Be sure to vote in this historic meeting.
Oh, hey. Something else Washington and Cleveland sports teams have in common: racially insensitive mascots.
|Still not as bad as the Atlanta Braves' Chief Noc-A-Homa, but there wasn't a president named Atlanta, |
so there's no need to get into that.