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Zydrunas Ilgauskas

March 23, 2010

I am going to do it.

I am going to freak out over Z.

First of all, watch this clip and try not to love him. (It's at the bottom)

http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2010/03/ilgauskas_to_sign_1-year_deal.html

You can't do it.

He is just too lovable.

So I am going to make a not so crazy prediction.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas is Cleveland's new Bernie Kosar.

There is just a love affair with this guy. Just like Bernie. He isn't replacing Bernie. He is joining Bernie. Those two will now sit in the pantheon of ridiculously-loved-athletes-who-are-so-beloved-here-and-we-know-you-are-so-beloved-but-we-don't-care-because-we-are-too-busy-beloving-you pantheon.

LeBron James is the next generation Jim Brown.

Z is the next generation Bernie.

I was as certain as anyone that Z was coming home. I wasn't surprised when he announced he was coming home. I was pleased but not flipping out when the word came through that Z officially came home. See, because I knew it would all happen.

Then I watched the above linked interview.

My heart nearly jumped from my chest. This guy, this 7'3" Lithuanian, this white guy from Northern Europe, this guy is all that is right with sports. Yep, I am making that big a statement. Let me write it again for emphasis:

Zydrunas Ilgauskas is all that is right and good about professional sports. He is the physical embodiment of what we all cheer for.

Of course, Big Z said all the right things. He talked about the process. He may have even went through it, since it was the right thing to do.

His heart was and is and should forever always be here.

Cleveland is his home, for Z, for Jennifer, for his sons, forever.

We know you will never leave Z. We will never leave you either.

Jack Bacevice

P.S. I just watch the cleveland.com clip again and I just... wow.


P.P.S. Andy has a very real shot to get to the beloved level too.


P.P.P.S. Z, LeBron, Andy, Mo, Shaq, Delonte, Jawad, J.J., AP, Jamario, Boobie, Leon, Danny, Tawn... seriously, what part of this squad are you not in love with?

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