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On the 5th anniversary of The Decision, we rank the 10 most gut-wrenching moments in Cleveland sports history

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Cleveland Sports Curse
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On the 5th anniversary of The Decision, we rank the 10 most gut-wrenching moments in Cleveland sports history

9. The Collapse

After destructing talented 1990s teams, the Indians finally regained winning form in 2007. The team marched all the way to the ALCS, where they got out to a 3-1 series lead over the Red Sox. In typical Cleveland fashion, the Indians blew the series lead away, lost in seven games, and have been back to the playoffs just one time since -- a one-game Wild Card round loss in 2013.

(Getty)

5. The Move

Just more than a year removed from an encouraging 11-5 season in 1994 under Bill Belichick, the Browns were relocated to Baltimore as a new franchise, the Ravens, in 1996. The Browns would return to the NFL, effectively as an expansion team, in 1999 -- just in time to see the Ravens win their first Super Bowl in 2000. Their consolation prize as the No. 1 overall pick after returning? Tim Couch, who spent five years with the team, going 22-37.

3. The Drive

Perhaps the most futile of Cleveland franchises, the Browns actually had several chances to clinch a Super Bowl berth in the alte 1980s and early 1990s. They were mere minutes away from getting there in 1986, before John Elway drove the Broncos 98 yards in just over five minute to send the AFC Championship into overtime. Denver would eventually win on an overtime field goal, burying Browns fans' hearts into the dirt.

2. The Shot

When LeBron James was a four-year-old, the Cavaliers weren't even that bad -- actually, they were one of the best teams in the league. As a No. 3 seed, they faced the No. 6 Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, and were favored after defeating the Bulls in all six of their regular season matchups. Then, The Shot. In a decisive Game 5, with their backs against the wall, the Cavaliers led 100-99 with three seconds left, before Michael Jordan hit one of the best shots of his career over Craig Ehlo. Bulls win. The rest is history.

1. The Decision

After seven years in a Cavaliers uniform, LeBron James decided to air an hour-long special on ESPN, in which he tore the heart out of Cleveland's collective chest. In the most painfully drawn-out program ever, LeBron announced he was joining the Miami Heat, and the jersey burning commensed. Oops!

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Cleveland fans have had the most miserable fate of any over the last several decades. It's plain and simple. Their last professional sports title came when the Browns won the 1964 NFL Championship Game -- before the Super Bowl even existed.

Five years ago today, their misery reached, perhaps, an all-time high. LeBron James bolted Ohio in 2010 for the Miami Heat, where he'd go on to win a pair of championships. The King has since returned to the Cavaliers, but at the time... there was no consoling the fanbase. They'd been through too much misery.

For self-loathing Cleveland fans, or curious outsiders, click through the gallery above to re-live the city's most depressing outings.

Cleveland Named Most Cursed Sports City in America


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