Cleveland's long-standing title drought ended Sunday night when the Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The victory marked the city's first championship title (for any professional sports team) since 1964, when the Browns won the NFL championship.
Former Browns running back Earnest Byner joined Mad Dog Sports Radio on Tuesday to weigh in on the momentous occasion. Though the Cavs clinched their first title in franchise history, Byner said he's not off the hook for "The Fumble" in the 1987 AFC Championship Game.
"I'm still on the hook but it makes managing the situation a little bit easier. To tell you the truth, the Believeland show really provided a lot of healing for me and a lot of the fans that came and I'm sure watched on TV," Byner told NFL Media's Adam Schein. "But the ones that were in the question and answering session after we watched the Believeland show, that started the process in my estimation of me really getting to the point where I feel free, when the subconscious nature of carrying that weight started to be, now it's getting broken up and being relieved so that started that process. What availed me was the ability to watch the game and cheer for the Cavaliers.
"Part of the mentality of Cleveland is a never-die mentality, and that comes from the base that they have a sports family and generationally be fans of the Cavs, the Indians and the Browns. ... The mentality that Cleveland has and then being able to celebrate as opposed to saying, 'Let's wait until next year,' that's pure joy. When you're talking about joy and you're talking about the honest -- just really feeling plain out happy about something -- that's the kind of joy that I think is in Cleveland at this point."
The Cavaliers will hold their victory parade Wednesday. Byner said he will certainly partake in the festivities in Cleveland.
"I was a part of one at one point in Washington, but then that it is Cleveland and the history of Cleveland has been heartbreak. Has been long suffering, has been a lot of love and loyalty from the fans, ... it's an honor," he said. "I am honored to actually go up there and be a part of it. I'm honored that people asked me to come up, or asked me to be a part of it. So I am really and truly blessed."