It was just a week or so ago when Browns receiver Josh Cribbs was thanking the city of Cleveland for recognizing his work on and off of the football field. Well, Cribbs may be fortunate that the balloting took place before NBA All-Star weekend because after an on-location tweet, a few of the votes would have likely went to teammate Joe Thomas or Indians’ outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
From his center court Staples Center seats – courtesy of Cavs’ principle owner Dan Gilbert – Cribbs snapped a picture of Eastern Conference All-Star LeBron James and tweeted it out to his followers with the caption “My boy [LeBron James."
While the image looks like it could have been taken outside of the Staples Center amidst the lovely west coast smog, it was obviously the caption that mattered most to the majority of Cribbs' 54,000 followers, some of which did not react kindly.
Within seconds, Cribbs received hate-laced replies, which have been edited for shear readability.
"You just don't get it. You can be friends with the guy, but don't rub it in our faces. We're your fans and not his fans."
"So lets get this straight, [you] got those seats from Gilbert and gave shouts out [to] the man who burned our city on national TV? WOW”
“You [are] my favorite cleveland player and [you are] the man, but I’m dissapointed that [you] post lequit is [your] boy..we aren’t past it.”
“This is how you thank [Dan Gilbert] for your tickets? You are a [expletive].”
Cribbs would later tweet with regard to all of the hate he was receiving in his replies list, and fired back that if anyone stated that they were no longer a fan of his because of who he considers a friend, then said individual was not a fan to begin with. He would subsequently take a page out of Howard Stern’s book of Twitter by retweeting a few positive messages from fans who exclaimed their appreciation for Cribbs and all he has meant to the city of Cleveland, regardless of who he chooses to consider a friend.
Capping off the evening in Los Angels, Cribbs left Browns fans the following:
“Even tho I like LA, it has nothing on Cleveland, especially as a sports town.. LA fans were not as die hard as Clevelanders [and] I wasn’t feeling it.”
There we go…all better.
Alas, if any Cleveland athlete can get away with mentioning James in any form, and get – at the very least – mixed reviews, it is Cribbs. He was at the Cavaliers game this past Wednesday when the Wine and Gold topped the Lakers, and he will likely take in many more between now and the end of the season despite the team sitting at a mere 10 wins.
It’s easy to understand some of the reaction which ensued post-tweet. After all, this town will likely never get over what James did. And sure, discussing James while in Gilbert’s seats may have taken some balls.
But then again, so does running head first into a ready-and-waiting James Harrison with the goal of gaining a mere few extra inches for the team which this town blindly adores.