Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How the NBA Finals and Metallica Reminded Everyone That Cleveland Rocks


The NBA Finals have everyone here in Cleveland in a frenzy over the possibility of our first championship (I’m writing this before game 6). Yet, with all the basketball storylines – Lebron James’s domination, Dellymania, Kyrie’s injury, Steph Curry’s chewed up mouth guard – there is one other story that managed to garner quite a bit of attention. That story – Metallica playing the national anthem for game 5.

It got coverage in Rolling Stone, Time, Guitar World, Entertainment Weekly…even Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi talked about it on their podcast, This Old Marketing! Why was this a story? I mean, Metallica has played the national anthem before, so why such a big deal? Because Golden State out-rocked Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Capital of the World. By the way, their performance was one of the best I’ve ever seen.


What did Cleveland offer? Rascal Flatts and Usher – that might be ok somewhere else, but hardly worthy of the Rock Hall city (tonight’s game will be a 6-year old blind girl, actually a heart warming choice). Why no Joe Walsh? Foo Fighters (even though Dave Grohl just broke his leg)? They’ve got Cleveland ties. At least they didn’t bring out Michael Stanley…

There is some good news here though. The fact that this was a big deal means that Cleveland is still considered the Rock Hall city. While we have so many great things going on in Cleveland, our rock reputation still stands.

Despite moving away from “Cleveland Rocks” as our tagline and way too many touring rock artists passing over Cleveland, this is still what we’re known for. That gives me hope. People still view us as a rock city first. We need to make sure that we don’t let this get lost in all of the improvements and attention we’re getting.

While we’re on the short end of the rock national anthem performances this year, we can be proud that the reason it made people take notice is that they expect us to rock. Let’s turn it up to 11! Go Cavs and Rock On!

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