Jul 10, 2010, 8:31 PM EDT
It’s got to feel a little bit like taking the ex’s stuff out of the
closet after she runs off with her dance instructor friend, the one you
Today Nike officials started bringing down the
giant ‘Witness’ banner outside of Quicken Loans Arena, days after its
star, LeBron James, abandoned the city to pursue a championship in Miami alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Amid an outpouring of rage and despair, with fans throwing rocks at the gigantic visage of the once and nevermore King, Nike sent crews out to take down the banner this morning. A report from News 5 in Cleveland says that it may take up to three days to take the banner down. If only the pain were going to take that long to remove.
That banner has been there for years, a testament to the empire fans thought was being built across the street. It was shown on every national telecast (of which there will be few in the foreseeable future) before James and the Cavs took the floor. It was representative of the immensity of superstardom James brought to the Cavs. Fans could look at it and believe they were part of something special, even as each year resulted in another playoff failure. That banner was about greatness in that city, in that player, for that team.
And it’s all gone. Or rather, will be, when the construction’s done.
And after the banner’s gone, and the Sherwin Williams building is just another building in Cleveland, people will still pass by that building and wince.
This is what sports does to people, to buildings, to cities. And it’s not always pretty.
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