The Coast News Group

Jay Paris: It’s easy to find winners in North County

So Cleveland rocks and San Diego continues to get rolled?

Aren’t you glad North County isn’t being painted by the same broad brush?

The Cleveland Cavaliers recently won the NBA title, which ended the city’s skid from its last championship. Not since the Browns claimed the NFL crown in 1964 had C-Town hoisted its index finger to the sky.

Except perhaps, for those citizens who did so in 1969 when the polluted Cuyahoga River, which dumps into Lake Erie, caught fire. They were lifting a single digit, gauging the direction the wind would point the flames.

But that’s different.

Just like North County is separate from San Diego, we can count our successes with ease.

The Padres are steamrolling to an 100-loss season — uh, OK.

The Chargers have made the playoffs once in six years — whatever.

We’re fortunate in our neck of the woods that we don’t have to fret about professional teams.

Instead we wrap our arms around profound events: the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course, the KIA Golf Classic at Aviara Resort, the Beach Bocce Ball Tournament in Del Mar and the World Bodysurfing Championships at the Oceanside Pier, which is celebrating its 40th birthday in August.

If there’s a team to call our own, it’s through tennis.

We offer the San Diego Aviators as they place their shingle at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.

But really our addiction to sports is more so as participants than as spectators.

Take a peak at Highway 101 on any morning. There are enough cyclists, walkers, runners and athletes pounding the asphalt to fill a stadium.

Or head to the beach, where thousands are frolicking in the surf, jogging on the sand, stretching on yoga mats, spiking a volleyball or playing basketball.

Side note: please advise if there’s a prettier spot to shoot hoops than Solana Beach’s Fletcher Cove.

The real clue summer is here is Interstate 5 brimming to its capacity.

Well, that, too.

For me it’s the junior lifeguards programs that blanket our beaches with kids having fun, while learning and respecting the lessons of the mighty Pacific Ocean.

And it’s always enjoyable tipping your cap to a car passing by, the one with painted windows boasting of the latest All-Star baseball or softball player.

There’s no better deal than watching these kids compete.

It’s a good brand of ball, and considering there’s no ticket cost, don’t be shy about throwing an extra buck in the snack bar kitty.

Then there’s the Del Mar Horse Racing with an opening day that is over the top and less than a month away.

Longing for a champion? Go sell that narrative elsewhere as North County settles into yet another greatest summer ever, an annual happening which always makes others envious.

Although this summer Cleveland might be the happiest on the earth, where the NBA’s most coveted trophy resides.

But the real mettle is shown daily by area sports enthusiasts with a passion for athletics that is far from Mickey Mouse.

It’s an active community that embraces the go-for-it lifestyle that is hard to duplicate.

We’ll let Cleveland enjoy its time in the sun, knowing North County locals bask in it on a daily basis.

Especially in the summer, where the only losers are those forgetting to apply sun screen and count their considerable blessings.

Contact Jay Paris at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports