First of all, I'd like to say that we feel some of your pain. Not all of it, of course, because we just brought home an NBA Championship. That might be a bad way to start out this letter, but we thought we might as well get rid of the elephant in the room right away. Sorry about that. But we do have some sports pain that you aren't suffering from: the complete lack of an NFL team. I know you guys played musical Browns in the past when they went and set up the Ravens and all that, but we've had two teams leave us in the dust, so forget about LeBron.
But you're right, it's not comparable to the fact that your city hasn't won a sports championship since 1964. In fact, ESPN went as far as to call you the "Most Tortured Sports City" back in 2004. Ouch. But keep your head up. Cleveland is a proud city. It survived Art Modell, and it will survive the loss of LeBron James. Check out our list of our favorite pop-culture reasons to love The Cleve, and you'll be saying "LeBron Who?" Just like Michael Jordan did.
From 1963 to 1966, Cleveland brought forth Ghoulardi onto unsuspecting viewers everywhere. As the host of "Shock Theater" on WJW-TV, Channel 8, Ernie Anderson dressed up in a lab coat, wore wacky wigs, stuck on a fake bears, and endeared himself to viewers everywhere. In the process, he inspired shows like Mystery Science Theater, and father Paul Thomas Anderson, who would go on to write and direct amazing films like Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood.
Known to many as "The Father of Rock and Roll," Freed was a Cleveland disc jockey who was one of the first people to use the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the emerging genre of music. In 1951, he hosted the "Moondog Coronation Ball" which is considered to be one of the first rock and roll concerts. He was among one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Half of Fame, and the Cleveland Cavaliers' mascot Moondog is named in tribute to him. Speaking of which...
Cleveland beat out frontrunner Memphis, Tennessee to become the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in the 1980s. It's now been open since 1995, and strives to archive the history of rock music, while showcasing some of its legendary performers. Designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, the museum shares some design elements with the Louvre pyramid, which he also designed, and sits on Cleveland's North Coast Harbor.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster met while they were attending Glenville High School in Cleveland, and the two became fast friends while working together on a science fiction fanzine. Later, they collaborated to create the legendary Man of Steel, who is one of the most iconic characters on the planet. Had the two of them never met, who knows what sort of comic books we'd be reading today, or what Christopher Reeve would be most famous for. And speaking of comic books...
Sadly, the world of graphic novels lost a great when Harvey Pekar was found dead earlier today. His series of American Splendor comics proved that you didn't need to write about superpowered do-gooders or secret detective vigilantes in order to tell good stories. He was a frequent guest on David Letterman, and his irascible, grumpy behavior will be missed. Be sure and check out the film adaptation of American Splendor which starred Paul Giamatti as Harvey.
Howard the Duck
Cleveland has a long history with the entertainment, with some famous films and television shows having been filmed or set in the city. Movies like Air Force One, Happy Gilmore, and Spider-Man 3 were shot here, but it's really Howard the Duck that holds the geek badge of honor. George Lucas himself stepped down as president of Lucasfilm to focus on making movies, like this one. It's become a movie so bad that you have to see it in order to qualify as a true nerd, and being able to quote from it makes you a legend.
Cleveland has a rich history with video games that ... well, actually there isn't much of a rich video game tapestry in Cleveland. Can we fix that? Let's set a huge game in Cleveland, or establish a giant video game company there. Respawn? We know you're tied to the San Fernando Valley in California, but why not Cleveland? According to The Economist, it's a great place to live, hold business meetings, and it's known for the great cuisine, so why not build your new offices there? After all, the city doesn't want one of its lasting video game images to be Pimpin' LeBron in a fedora from NBA Ballers.
In closing, we love you, Cleveland. You've got a lot going on, and you deserve the very best. And you can take that to the bank. Just don't try and cash it, please. G4 is not currently legal tender.
All the best,