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Written by Rich Swerbinsky

Rich Swerbinsky
As a 28 year old diehard Cleveland sports fan, all I know is the bitter taste of failure. I’ve never experienced the euphoria of watching the teams that I live and die for achieve the ultimate prize.

Sure the Buckeyes won a national championship. And I am a huge Bucks fan. But it wasn’t Cleveland.

We came so close in 1997 with the Tribe. I vividly remember thinking during that game that our time had finally come, before having those hopes viciously ripped away in the cruelest fashion imaginable.

As each year passes, I get more surly. If watching Phil Mickleson and the Boston Red Sox finally get theirs in 2004 didn’t push me over the edge, seeing Cleveland named the poorest, fattest, and most tortured sports town sure did.

All I know is misery. So it should surprise no one that I take so much delight in the misery of others.

Here’s some of my favorite moments in my life as a sports fan .....

1. Big Ben Falls Apart In The Playoffs

How great was this? Roethliseberger wins fifteen games in a row as a rookie, and Stiller fans come out of the woodwork. It had gotten to the point where I couldn’t even visit my local shopping mall without seeing scores of Yinzers flocking around me like a scene out of a bad zombie flick. Big Ben is hailed as the next messiah, and Browns fans are ridicluled daily for the fact our team passed on him. The Stillers are prohibiltive favorites to not only make the Super Bowl, but to win it, and The Squeeler Nation begins feverishly taking out second liens against their manufactured homes to buy Super Bowl tickets on EBay.

The it all comes to a crashing halt, as Boy Wonder completely falls apart, throwing five interceptions in the playoffs, culiminating in a throrough beating at home to the Patriots.

2. Carlos Boozer Destroys Career, Signs With Jazz

He had it all. A town that adored him. The best player in the league as his sidekick. And a monster contract awaiting him in just one year. Then Carlos Boozer stabbed a blind man in the back because his wife told him to, trainwrecking his career in the process.

Boozer became immediately villified in the main stream media for lying to the Cavs braintrust to convince them to exercise a clause that would allow him to temporarily become a free agent before signing a long term deal with the team. Boozer (after asking his wife) jumped through this open window, going back on his word, and signing with the Jazz ... branding him as a scumbag for life.

Five months later, the Cavaliers are 31-21 and fighting for a division crown. The Jazz are 17-36, and coach Jerry Sloan has repeatedly called out Boozer for his lack of defense. The Jazz actively tried to deal him before the deadline, finding no takers. Bafungu Carlos.

3. Bartman Snatches Ball From Alou, Screwing Cubs

I just couldn’t get enough of this one, and it’s even more memorable now that the Red Sox have broken their curse, leaving only Cubs fans as a more brutalized group than Indians fans.

If 26 year old Steve Bartman had not grasped that fly ball from Moises Alou’s glove, the Cubs would have been out of an inning that ended up morphing into an eight run fiasco that enabled the Marlins to take the NLCS to a seventh game, which they predictably won.

By lunchtime the following day ... Bartman’s name, employer, shoe size, and fetishes were all over the internet as a Cub Nation Gone Mad tried to find him and kill him. Because those sick bastards were unsuccessful, I can now laugh at this.

4. Jamal Lewis Gets Sentenced To Prison For Dealing Coke

I don’t know about you, but when Ray Lewis w alked free after his posse stabbed and killed two innocent bystanders, I was outraged. Lewis sold out his accomplices, who wound up getting off scot free. Lewis got just a charge of "obstruction of justice" and didn’t miss one game as the NFL also looked the other way.

I wanted redemption. I never got any. That was until Wednesday, January 26th of this year when his teammate and fellow piece of trash, Jamal Lewis, was sentenced to four months in prison for orchestrating a drug deal involving a truck load of cocaine. Making things all the sweeter, the idiot brokered this deal just months after being selected as a top five pick in the NFL Draft, and literally weeks before signing a multi-million dollar contract.

5. The Howard Dean Scream

I just had to include one non-sports item, as excluding this classic moment off of this list of my sadistic pleasures would have been tantamount to leaving Jim Brown off a list of the NFL’s top runners.

We all remember the scene. Dean had emerged on the scene as a very viable candidate for the Dems, and had high hopes heading into the Iowa primaries. After a finishing 3rd place finish in Iowa, Dean immediately looked to reinvigorate his base with a passionate stump speech that evening.

He maniacally rattled off the states ahead of him on his trail yet, looking more and more mentally instable as he named each one. Then, "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"

In a matter of just a couple seconds, Dean completely destroyed a career he had spent a lifetime building as voters nationwide immediately were forced to ask themselves whether or not this lunatic could hold office.

6. Neil O’Donnell: Meet Larry Brown

7. Smarty Jones Chokes In The Belmont

8. Marty Morhinweg Defers After Winning The Overtime Coin Flip

9. Jean VanDeVelde Melts Down At Carnoustie

10. Gus Frerotte Head Butts Wall, Lost For Season

11. Ryan Leaf Explodes On Reporter On Tape, Ending Career In Process

12. Jordan Fails Miserably At Baseball

13. Bettis Gets Screwed On Thanksgiving Day OT Coin Flip

14. Bonds Admits To Being A Cheater, Taking Steiroids

15. Danny Ferry Becomes Only Player To Punch Jordan In NBA Game

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