Rally Hopes to Reverse Curse of Cleveland Sports

There are no such thing as jinxes.

The sports teams in Cleveland have been victims of freak injuries, phenoms who never lived up to their full potential and decades of poor ownership. “The Curse of Rocky Colavito” is the title of a book, and that’s it.

But just in case…

There’s going to be a rally at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Mall C downtown. The Indians will be home, hosting the Yankees. The Browns will play their first preseason game. And a group of devoted Cleveland sports fans will try to bring some good sports juju to Cleveland.

“It might not be a curse,” said David Grendzynski of North Ridgeville, who’s organizing the rally. “But it’s got to be something. It’s not just that they lose, it’s how it happened.”

Grendzynski, 45, grew up in the Slavic Village, and has never seen a Cleveland sports team win a title in his lifetime. He did live in Atlanta, and was there when the Braves won their only World Series – against the Indians in 1995. He, like a lot of other Cleveland sports fans, joked about the idea of a curse. But this year kind of solidified it.

“When the Sports Illustrated cover came out with the Indians on it, you just heard people say, ‘Well, we’re done,’” he said. But the final straw was the Cavaliers’ NBA playoffs.

“They had two starters go down in the playoffs,” he said. “It wasn’t even basketball injuries! Kevin Love had his arm pulled on like it was a church bell, and how do you break your kneecap like Kyrie Irving did it?”

That got him thinking about all the other ignominious defeats in Cleveland sports history. John Elway leading The Drive. Jim Chones breaking his foot before the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. And the 1997 World Series. “Things that just don’t happen to teams keep happening to teams in this city,” he said.

So he decided that the city needed a jolt of positive energy. And that led him to Andrew Keith, another Cleveland sports fan, who was 7 years old when the Browns won the 1964 title. Keith is a medium and psychic healer in Brunswick.

“I was asked, ‘Can you do magic and reverse the curse?’” Keith said. “No. But I can release the negative energy.”

Keith and Grendzynski both have seen a self-feeding negative energy take hold. And that, they say, is part of the problem.

“The people in Cleveland don’t even believe,” Keith said. “We have the greatest fans possibly in the world, but they really don’t believe they’ll win.”

“It’s just as much about the fans,” Grendzynski said. “We’re just trying to change the way people think.”

The event will be a brief one, no more than half an hour, and Keith isn’t quite sure what’s going to happen. “I don’t think I’ll know until I get there,” he said. Grendzynski and Keith ask anyone who can’t make it to send their positive energy. And the event will end with a huddle break, like the one in the Nike commercial that debuted to great fanfare when the Cavs opened the season.

“We’ll end on a high note, and then we’ll go win some championships,” Grendzynski said. “How about that?”

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