Cleveland Put On Suicide Watch
With the complete playoff implosion of the city's basketball team, the Cavaliers, coupled with the crippled economy and rampant crime, crisis counselors fear the city of Cleveland is on the verge of suicide.
The Center for Suicide Prevention has put the Cleveland Municipal Area on suicide watch, and is urging friends to lend support, even though most agree that those who have never rooted for a Cleveland sports team can't possibly understand the depth of the problem.
Cleveland is exhibiting what many suicide-prevention experts refer to as "red flag" warning signs, including drinking heavily and acting distracted. Most of the population has, for example, threatened at one time or another to jump off the Loraine-Carnegie Bridge if the city's popular sports teams -- the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers -- continue to fail. Many have vowed to drown themselves in Lake Erie if they even find themselves still living in Cleveland the same time next year.
Now, with the Cavs season over after a 103-90 loss to the Orlando Magic in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, those close to Cleveland are deeply concerned.
"This is an urgent time for Cleveland," said suicide counselor Julian Sparks of the NE Ohio Suicide Prevention Resource Center. "The possibility of [famed basketball star Lebron] James having his MVP year was pretty much the only thing keeping this city going, so the crushing defeat of the Magic-Cavaliers series is a very serious thing."
Sparks says that now, Cleveland is closer than ever to committing suicide, and that "it would really only be fair to at least partially blame Orlando."
"I'm even thinking about it," he added. "Might just take a gulp of water out of the Cuyahoga River…"
Even some of Cleveland's depressed, often-unsuccessful friends have taken pity on the beleaguered city, suddenly finding themselves looking much better by comparison.
"It would be easy for this city to dwell on the whole 'Detroit Lions' thing, but looking at Cleveland, I'm instead reminded of how many Stanley Cup victories we've had over the years -- and are about to have again," said Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illich. "I love Cleveland, and wish everyone in NE Ohio the best of luck, but I don't know if this is really the right time for us to be coming to its side."
Illich added that as of today, he will no longer be returning Cleveland's sobbing, drunken 2AM voicemails.
45 years of chronically unsatisfying and heartbreaking outcomes of every sports team that has played under the Cleveland name has joined with the mortally-wounded economy to push the city to what psychologists say is the crucial moment for Cleveland at large to choose life or death. In other words, experts say, the Browns had better make the playoffs.
"I can't imagine what it's like to live in those conditions -- we have a thriving downtown, and the Steelers, after all -- but everyone from Cleveland is encouraged to take a deep breath," said psychology professor Brenda Christian at Carnegie Melon in Pittsburgh. "They should meditate on the things that make life worth living, like friends, family, and the hope that someday, some kind of natural calamity will destroy the city, and its inhabitants will be given government checks to move elsewhere."
Added Christian: "I wish I could tell Clevelanders to look forward to the next time the Browns beat the Steelers, but they wouldn't appreciate any jokes right now."
Even Lebron "The King" James has been unable to assuage the city's pain.
"I love the fans in this town, but if we don't win the Championship next year, I will fucking shoot myself in the head," said the King. "Either that, or I will move to Philadelphia."