Courtesy of youtube.com

As Joe Nathan euthanized the Indians tonight on nine pitches, stretching the Indians slide to eight losses in a row, I couldn’t help but think back to the best summation of being an Indians fan I ever heard.

You see, I’m a bit of a bandwagon Indians fan. How is that possible? Well, you’re right, it’s not. But I was not born and raised an Indians fan. I, like so many young lads who were raised in the 90’s, was attracted to pinstripes and the Derek Jeter jump-throw. When that got extremely boring, I dabbled with Brian Giles and his time with the Pirates and Padres, looking to enjoy baseball from a new, and more sad, perspective. This was even more boring, and hardly sad, because my passion for the teams never quite coalesced.

My father was born and raised an Indians fan in Wickliffe, OH, and much to his dismay, I took a stance prior to the 2007 season that I would cheer for the Indians to win a World Series before he left this earth. I thought I was their good luck charm when, that season, the Indians made it one game away from the World Series. I was then introduced to what it means to be an Indians fan, as the Boston Red Sox kicked, stomped, and trampled my testicles for three straight games. My balls have been hurting ever since.

Is this the best summation of what it means to be an Indians fan? Absolutely not.

One night this past winter, I was at a bar in Oakland, proudly rocking my over-the-top Indians gear — fitted cap, Carlos Baerga batting practice Starter jacket — when a group of middle-aged gentleman asked me if I was from Cleveland. No, I said, but my father is, and I support all things Cleveland. Because I never tell them I am a bandwagon fan. It would take too much explaining. I then launched into a diatribe (pun intended) about how I thought we had the offense, but the pitching was still looking a little dicey. One of the men calmly cut me off, with a big ole shit-eating grin on his face.

“You know how I know you’re not from Cleveland?” he chuckled. “Cuz you still believe.”