Up until last week, when he was traded, the Cleveland Cavaliers were the only U.S. team Anderson Varejão had ever played for.
For the purposes of this post, there are only a few other things you need to know:
*Cleveland loves its sports teams. (It sometimes hates its sports teams as well, but indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love.)
*Cleveland loved Anderson Varejão, and Anderson Varejão loved Cleveland.
*Anderson Varejão has crazy, floppy, curly hair, which earned him the nickname “Wild Thing.” Andy’s hair also inspired the Cleveland Cavaliers to hold not one, not two, but three different “Wild Thing Wig Nights” (“Everyone in attendance will receive the wild head piece that resembles the Cavs forward’s wacky hairstyle”) during the 12 seasons he spent with the team.
Last year, during the Cavs’ playoff run, I was taking a walk around our neighborhood when I glanced at a house and saw that the lawn goose on the porch had been dressed as Anderson Varejão, complete with a little lawn goose-sized crazy, floppy, curly hair wig.
It’s tempting to regard this as ridiculous, but I was touched and delighted.
It takes love and dedication for someone to purchase, or make, a wig for a lawn goose.
This week, I was going through an old sketchbook and discovered a little thumbnail sketch of this civic totem. I considered re-drawing it and making a more polished product, but decided I liked its impromptu nature; a wild thing for Wild Thing.
Best of luck, Andy. We’ll miss you.