A City upon a Hill is a phrase from the parable of Salt and Light in Jesus's Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:14, he tells his listeners, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."
There isn’t a Hollywood scriptwriter that could have imagined this. There isn’t a prophecy that has predicted it.
Yes, of all the cities in America, of all the places in the world Cleveland, Ohio has morphed into what is now that place President Reagan described in his farewell address as that “Shinny City” upon a hill.
Sports and its professional teams have a unique way of identifying and connecting a city.
For decades the city of Cleveland has been cast as a darken place on the American landscape besieged in poverty, divided by segregation and perplexed by its woeful performances of its sports teams.
Since moving to Cleveland from Los Angeles, a friend described my new location as, “A graveyard with lights on.”
He warned how I would hightail it back when the winter arrived.
Well, one winter has gone and another is on the way, but after a historical NBA championship by the Cavs in June, followed by the Republican National Convention that was the most polarized political event in history, the Cleveland Indians are trying to win their first World Series since 1948.
Oh, by the way they are playing against the Chicago Cubs, which is arriving at this pinnacle trying to win it for the first time in 108 years. What’s happening in L.A. ?
This is all so new and unexpected to Cleveland that the parade for the Cavs which attracted some 1.3 million fans was so flawed that no one remembered the hiccups. After all it’s been a while, yeah like more than 50 years since CLE had a parade.
Now, right at the cusp of another unpredictable winter season, CLE could be planning for yet another parade in the most memorable year in the history of the city.
Only in Cleveland would both the mega star LeBron James and the coach Tyronn Lue of the Cavs would be openly rooting for the baseball team during the time when their championship banner and presentation of their championship rings would unfold.
Only in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio does a championship trophy for the basketball team make rounds to all parts of the region and in between, shared like a family passes the bread rolls at the dinner table.
Only in Cleveland does the predominantly African American basketball team find a commonness and bond with the lily white baseball and nobody says a word.
Only in Ohio does Donald Trump draw more people to a rally than President Barack Obama, and it’s not a big deal.
Only in Cleveland does a minor league hockey championship such as the Monsters resonates with that of the Cavs NBA crown.
Because in Cleveland where there is a division, there is also a connection and most frequently that connect is its local sports teams.
Even the hapless Browns are beloved just as a parent would a child who has taken some wrong turns.
One of the primary reason why the connection is so deeply rooted is because the people are all born or raised here, they rarely leave not even for a vacation and generations upon generations have grew up once divided and are now attending schools together, and are now working together, but even while divided they have always cheered together.
This week they will have a little extra pep in their step when the smiling face of Indians star Francisco Lindor gleams brightly upon the “Shinny City” upon a hill.
This is the week an aging once forgotten Indian such as CoCo Crisp will play as big a role for the Tribe as JR Smith did for the Cavs.
This can only happen in Cleveland, and regardless of the outcome there should be another parade downtown. After all Cleveland, you’ve had some practice now…