reviewed: Bar traffic dissipates during Cavs-Heat game as Miami takes victory

Kate Sheafer

Buffalo Wild Wings in Kent was filled to capacity with hopeful, excited Cavs fans by 7 p.m. Thursday (DON’T NEED TO USE “NIGHT”) night. While wine and gold-clad CAVS enthusiasts crowded the bar’s booths and tables, dozens of latecomers waited to fight for vacant seats in front of the big screens.

By 10:30, with nine minutes left in the much anticipated Cavaliers-Heat game, half of the tables were empty.

“The fans showed up,” said senior secondary education major Zack McCoy. “The players didn’t.”

In the minutes leading up to one of the most anticipated basketball games in the Cavaliers season, any Miami Heat fan would have easily been driven away by the diehard fans stationed throughout the bar.

Cheers erupted as fans read the sea of anti-LeBron James posters scattered through the stands at Quicken Loans Arena, and the patrons joined Cleveland’s crowd with boos at nearly every sight of James.

“I think it’s hilarious that they boo LeBron whenever he touches the ball,” McCoy said. “LeBron’s trash.”

During the first quarter of this historic (HISTORIC? REALLY? HISTORIC?) (MUCH AWAITED PERHAPS, BUT NOT HISTORIC) game, applause and cheers filled the room with every Cavs point scored. Laughs and taunts accompanied every mistake made by James.

As the buzzer sounded for halftime, however, the room’s vibe became much quieter as the Cavaliers faced a 19-point deficit.

“I’m very disappointed in the Cavs,” said Mike Myers, senior sports management major. “It doesn’t take talent to play hard. The Cavs just aren’t.”

With the time ticking away and the Cavs falling further behind, fans began to trickle out of the bar with sour looks and crushed hopes. The few dedicated fans who remained continued their cheers halfheartedly as their team struggled to keep up, but silence filled the majority of the time as Miami continued to outscore Cleveland.

In a short four hours, the atmosphere of Buffalo Wild Wings made the dramatic transition from excitement and anticipation to outright disappointment as Cavs fans realized their chance to prove they could survive “The Decision” was slipping away.

“I didn’t think I was going to be this mad about the game,” McCoy said. “I was wrong.”