Why Do People Look At Championships As Birthrights?


Watching the Jets/Patriots on Monday night along with LeBron James’ return to Cleveland made me think. LeBron has thought it, and Rex Ryan clearly thinks it. So why do people assume a championship is a birthright? My theory after the jump.


I can’t help but relate this to my own life as a sports fan. As a White Sox fan, the heartbreaking playoff losses and the near misses made that moment when we finally won the whole thing sweeter. I knew that the team, its owners, and the franchise had suffered greatly and tremendously to get to that point. Every playoff victory was better because it was the removal of one more torturous bit of our old history. Whether it was getting hammered by the Dodgers in our last world series, those heartbreaking bridesmaid years in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and the White Flag trade, all of us fans who knew that Good Guys wear Black were finally going to get what we had waited for.

LeBron James and Rex Ryan have nothing in common…physically. But based on their decisions and their actions it would appear that they want the glory without the pain – to hold the trophy without sacrificing fully and completely of themselves to make it work.

Think about what LeBron did (I promise, this is the last time I mention LeBron). He took a team that won 60 games in back-to-back seasons – teams that clawed their way deeper into the playoffs than any Cavs team had EVER been – and left it. He could have finished the job, could have stayed after being humiliated by a Celtics team that he was better than and come to the decision that “I want to win a championship here, and the Celtics aren’t going to stop me.”

Like Michael Jordan did.

People forget this, but we remember the Jordan who won 6 championships and changed the game forever. But early in his career he was cursed with the same tag LeBron now wears: “Great player – but can you win with him?”  Jordan heard it, and set out to prove that he could. The Pistons whipped him – he learned from it and would eventually beat them to go to his first of six NBA Finals. It was because he, and perhaps only Kobe Bryant of the modern day stars understands this as much – understands that being a true champion is about the sacrifice, about the almost getting there as much as it is about the finally getting there.

I await your response in the comments below.

12 Responses to “Why Do People Look At Championships As Birthrights?”

  1. Miranda says:

    No one wants to work anymore…everybody wants what they want instantly with no work, no sweat….I blame it on Reality TV.

  2. sankofa says:

    Practice? You’re talking about practice?
    –“The little engine that could” aka Allen Iverson

    I don’t do labour, i could sit all day and watch labour”
    —–Red Fox

    We now have a pill to lose weight, one to get your penis extended, another one to make your hair grow….damn miranda don’t hate! Reality TV is “realer” than real life! LOL!

  3. sankofa says:

    Just to point out that KG and Karl Malone tried to win in one place too. Don’t hate Lebron’s decision, like Miranda said hate they fact that work is a dirty word in the vocabulary of today’s society. That doing work means …actually, thinking about, considering on talking about, doing something with the concept of work, but hopefully eventiually getting to it.

    Folks don’t hate the player, hate the game. The shitstym conditions the players to fail.

  4. Miranda says:

    LMAO @ We now have a pill to lose weight, one to get your penis extended, another one to make your hair grow…………

    people dont even wanna raise their own damn kids anymore, dont wanna cook..will pop ish in the microwave that I know damn well cant be good for the human body. Everyone claims to be so busy and have no time..all in a rush to get nowhere.

  5. Ron Glover says:

    @Miranda you said all right there. The world thinks the answers to its problems lies in a pill to take care of whatever.

  6. Miranda says:

    And honestly Ron, I think most people want to take a pill and be in a haze. Remember the dude from The Matrix who did NOT want to know reality? LOL, he preferred to be in make-believe….I think 99% of society is as weak as that guy was.

  7. HarveyDent says:

    I’ll take the opposite tack of what you put down, Okori, because I don’t think you can blithely say that LBJ and Rex Ryan among other athletes and coaches don’t put in the effort to win and they just want championships handed to them. I’m quite certain the great seasons in Cleveland that only led to playoff frustration grated on Lebron and the only reason he took his talents to South Beach was not for the sun and no state income tax. He went to the Heat because he could play with one great player and another above average player to try to get the right mix to win a championship. Or maybe he just left because Dan Gilbert maybe let his master-slave mindset show a few too many times and he was ready to get out of there, home state be damned.

    Rex Ryan is a different animal as you touched on but don’t swallow that buffoon act he puts out for the media because his pronouncements and antics at his pressers is there to deflect the criticisms his players and his team may catch. The NFL outside of its protection of golden boy QB’s is a hell of a tester and wins aren’t just handed to a team most times. The Jets went to the AFC Championship Game in Ryan’s first season and notwithstanding that ass-kicking Monday night the team will be playing in January again. That’s work being put in behind the scenes to make this team a champion and if Rex has a little fun in the process more power to him.

    I still believe as Herm Edwards declared that you play to win the game and any high-level athlete worth his/her salt in any sport plays for that goal. Is Donovan McNabb’s comittment to win any less than Tom Brady’s because he doesn’t have a Super Bowl? Was Patrick Ewing’s efforts to win a title for the Knicks less valid because Jordan and Olajuwon denied him? Barry Bonds, Tony Gwynn, and the stars of your beloved White Sox before their most recent World Series win? No, to all those questions because while everyone has an opinion and will rip another person’s desire to succeed, most of us have never made those kind of sacrifices to succeed and still come up short so publicly as losing a chance to be a champion with the eyes of the world looking right at us.

    I like what are purported to be Alexander the Great’s last words when asked who would inherit his kingdom. His reply? The strongest. The strongest win championships still and it’s no shame if someone was stronger at a given moment when you know you put forth everything you had to beat him. It happens and hopefullly it’s not on the field of battle and you can live to fight another day. Never die easy.

  8. Temple3 says:


    I’ll take issue with what you’ve written as well. Just because you say it doesn’t make it so. You can proclaim it, but it helps to show your work.

    I’m with Harvey on this one.

  9. Origin says:

    Okori – I will flip the question on you…………why do fans think that a championship is their birth right?? And if they don’t get it why do they act like spoiled brats??

    As I said before if a team will not trade JJ hickson for Amare they deserve to have their star player leave……….I have no sympathy for them or their master mentality owner.

    As far as MJ……his GMwas smart enough to trade Charles Oakley
    for a Cartwright and flip picks to land Pippen and Horace Grant. That had more to do with why MJ would have never left.

  10. Temple3 says:


    I couldn’t agree more. Jordan was never a saint. He was a great player whose prime coincided with the decline of Jabbar and Bird. The Bulls beat LA in ’91, but they never faced another “super team” again. When you look at today’s Lakers and Celtics, it is clear that you need more than guys Hickson, Varejao and Mo Williams to get it done — unless, of course, it’s really NOT clear.

  11. Okori Wadsworth says:

    I thought about how best to respond to these comments and here was my answer.

    I’ll go for each one of them because the answer is different.

    For LeBron: 7 years in the league, and you still have an unreliable J? you still don’t go to the post as often as you should? those are sings to me that he thinks his game is good enough as it is to win a ‘chip, and it’s not. I can defend LeBron and it’s easy to do it. If he wants to be the best player he can be he has to become a much better shooter.

    As far as Rex Ryan goes, I don’t think he runs a disciplined team at all. I think a good head coach has to keep his team hungry, and motivated. And because he told everyone how good they are, this team doesn’t have that singlemindedness you need. At least that’s my opinion.

    Sidenote: It’s nice to be disagreed with and not be insulted. Huzzah to TSF for having smart, open-minded, commenters.

  12. HarveyDent says:


    In response to your sidenote:

    This is a community and many of us on here have “known” each other for some years now so it doesn’t fly to post personal attacks against each other. We can disagree but I’m all about give me the reasons for the position you take and I can respect that more than getting involved in a flame war like happens on other more well-known sites. TSF is a different animal which is why I’m happy to come back here everyday.