In the aftermath of LeBron James' decision not to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert's open letter to Cavs fans took center stage. Within an unusually furious screed, Gilbert called LeBron a coward and guaranteed that the Cavs will win a championship before LeBron does.
It was such an expertly-written (and fonted) piece that he must have written several drafts before finally settling on this one, and if we can't see these earlier drafts, I think we're really missing out. Here is what I imagine Gilbert's first draft looked like, in its entirety:
he Prince of the Erie Ocean has slipped away to exile on the eve of his coronation, followed by no one save for a caravan of miscreants and a flock of buzzards. The buzzard is a solitary animal, but as remarkable situations merit, he will at times join a flock. This flock now grows larger and larger, until it forms a terrible dark cloud of flapping wings and crimson eyes, for the greatest of feasts is imminent.
Little is known of the South Territories. In brighter times, before the Prince was beholden to Evil and Greed, he sent vassals to cartograph lands south. Few returned. One spoke of a chicken establishment which refused to open on Sunday; another told of boiled peanuts, the cruelly-wrested eggs of the peaceful and defenseless peanut bird.
But the tale of greatest portent was told by the youngest of the vassals, who bravely ventured further south, and described a Great Ocean, although the Holy Guide To Experiencing Greater Cleveland Brought To You By AAA informs us that the Erie Ocean is the largest of oceans by a factor of eight. This vassal was tried for heresy and sent to the oubliette.
The Prince found the vassal's account intriguing, and often spoke of it whilst lounging in his observatory. The alderman tugged at his robe, warning him not to subscribe to such myths, but curiosity began to contract his heart, just as the Dark Lord's invisible hand squeezes a neglected apple into fermented rot.
The Prince has forsaken Cleveland for this reason, and in so doing has scribed for himself a future of unchecked misery and anguish. For the remainder of his days, the axles of his carriages will split in twain, never to be made right again. The very bits of matter that comprise the Universe will conspire against him. Pebbles will find refuge in his shoes as he marches along trails to nowhere.
As the serving Viceroy of Cleveland, it is my promise to my subjects that we will realize the glorious future that the former Prince of the Erie Ocean has so foolishly denied himself. Dear subjects, I order you to pillage your domiciles, tearing wooden planks from the walls and shipping them to the Arena. Do so with haste. Soon your homes will not matter, for we shall use all our resources at our disposal and cobble together a Grand Tower which will reach to Heaven. The Pantheon of Saints shall be there to greet us, and bestow upon us the Gods' good graces.
And once we have this power, these hearts -- our hearts, made burnt and brittle by the spurning of our favorite son -- will burn brightly with vengeance, and while our former Prince is left to the Southern Marshes in disgrace, sipping tasteless stew and drinking curdled milk, he will know what he has done and he will weep the tears of a coward.
Smell you later,
Dan the Man