Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Cavs romp, LeBron teases, and the fans don't know what to think

Well as the Cavs finish up the hottest November in their history, including absolute demolitions of the Knicks, Thunder, and Warriors in four nights. Games in which LeBron barely had time to unsnap his pants before he was back on the bench for rest.

Interesting stats I saw yesterday--LeBron ranks like 39th in minutes per game this year, compared to top 3 or 4 most years. That, obviously, is an excellent sign. Although he's going to struggle to win the scoring title playing 30 minutes a game. Trade that for a ring? Also John Hollinger's Player Efffectiveness Ratings have Zydrunas Ilgauskas ranked #11 in the league, trailing only LeBron and a venerable who's who of perennial all-stars (and Devin Harris.)

Of course, it's early, and this week's competition was, shall we say, a little weak. But you need to beat the bad teams as well as the good teams, so this is a good sign.

Tonight they take the show back on the road versus the Bucks.

In other news, I think a couple people have been talking about LeBron leaving for the Knicks after next year, or of course, one of the other 28 teams in the league. LeBron coyly has fanned those flames, leading none other than Charles Barkley to tell LeBron to "shut the hell up."

"If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up," Barkley said in the Wednesday interview. "I'm a big LeBron fan. He's a stud. You gotta give him his props. I'm getting so annoyed he's talking about what he's going to do in two years. I think it's disrespectful to the game. I think it's disrespectful to the Cavaliers."
In response, LeBron called Barkley "stupid." Not that this will affect the Cavs at all, but similar to Mark Twain's advice "Never get into an argument with a man who buys ink by the barrel," LeBron should think twice about getting into a war of words with a guy who has basically his own TV show twice a week.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Vox Pix (13)

Good? No, I was much better than good. Great? Nope-- I was better than that. Friends, I was THE most exceptional handicapper in the world last sunday, sweeping 4 games. It's hard enough to pick four winners off a slate of supposedly tight lines in week 12, but what's really impressive is the way it all went down. These games were not hold-your-breath or backdoor covers. They were absolute point spread obliterations. I had Under 50 in the Browns game, and the total was 22. New England -2, and they won by 20. Falcons -1, and the the final margin was 17. Buffalo -3, and they crushed the Chiefs by 23.

My critics will call it a lucky week. Maybe so. But after a solid September and a nearly catastrophic October, I am 10-4 this month. More importantly, I am now 17-12 overall . I am betting with the Crookie's money again, and I am on my way to a third straight winning NFL season. The fact that my Pick'Em record is so poor only illuminates the success of Vox Pix. Losing weeks will happen, but I will persevere...and when the dust settles after 21 weeks of pro football, we will have taken the book down together.

Colts -4.5 over those Turkeys in Berea
Ravens -7 over Bengals
Patriots -1 over Pittspuke
Raiders/Chiefs Under 42


Last week: Fucking 4-0
Season: 17-12-3

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vox Pix (12)

Good hangovers to all and welcome to the rivalry, Rich. That's how we roll in C-bus; next time, don't bring the weak shit into the 'Shoe. And speaking of weak shit, here are my wagers:

Browns/Texans Under 50
Buffalo -3 over Chiefs
Patriots -2 over Dolphins
Falcons -1 over Panthers


These are not MINT's picks 'coz I didn't get them this week. I sink or swim alone 2day, but I'm feeling more optimistic than usual after hitting the over 44 in the Buckeyes game yesterday. Sorry I didn't get that pick posted here, but it's not like anyone is reading this.

Last week: 2-1
Season: 13-12

Friday, November 21, 2008

Michigan Fan Gameday Checklist

1. Wake up at 10:00 am and realize you are late for your pizza delivery job.

2. Roll over to check how many teeth the 300 lb. skank you picked up last night has.

3. Salute your John Cooper Fathead.

4. Pop in your Beta Max tape from 15 years ago to relive the days when Michigan actually mattered on the National scene.

5. Count how many wins your team has this year.

6. Realize you can't count that high.

7. Watch your team get destroyed by an AVERAGE Ohio State team.

8. Start referring to your own school as "That School Up North" out of utter embarrassment.

9. Go back to bed with your 300 lb. skank.

10. Start counting down the days until next year's game, but realize you don't know how many days are in a year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Vox Pix (11)

Good excuses I have for losing last week. The Vikings had the cover all but turned in, Margie, and then Gus Forgot they have no business passing when they can sit on a lead with AP. Also, last week's picks came from yours truly; MINT was out of action, chilling with his master in the Bahamas.

MINT is back this week and offers us two chalks and a road dog:

Falcons -6 over Denver
Dollar4corn -4 over Minnesota
Browns +5 over Bills


Last week: 1-2
Season: 11-11

I liked the Bills in this game originally, and it makes me nauseous to put my hard-earned behind a Romeo-coached football club but I know MINT knows better than the Vox. MINT is 3-1 for Vox Pix and 5-1 overall. Right now, I am asking MINT two important questions...will the Cavalies go 41-0 at the Q this year...and where is the location of the fifth and final golden ticket?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vox Pix (10)

Good Cavalier morning to you. Hope you had SVAC at -1.5 last night, an oddsmaker error against the inexperienced Bulls. Hope you bet the Cavs two weeks ago at +1500 to win the NBA championship. They've dropped to +700 already. Hope you are on board with these three bookie-busters:


Eagles -3 over Giants
Vikings -3 over Green Bay
Patriots -3.5 over Buffalo


Last week: 3-1
Season: 10-9-3

Monday, November 3, 2008

King Kaufmann states the obvious

Cleveland without rival in futility

Buffalo and San Diego haven't crowned a champ in a while either, but they've had fewer teams.

King Kaufman

Oct. 31, 2008 |

I mentioned Thursday that with Philadelphia's World Series win, Cleveland has emerged as a city without rival in championship futility in the major sports, with none since the Browns won the NFL in 1964. That brought some yelps from two of our finest cities:

Caldo, Achiever: As a San Diegan, I believe we deserve mention with Cleveland for elongated suckitude -- or are we getting credit for our N.L. pennants? Enduring three seasons of the Conquistadors should qualify us for some sort of bonus.

jfruhlinger: What about Buffalo? I don't want to take away from anyone's pain, but surely Buffalo deserves mention as a home for sports agony?

First things first: San Diego Conquistadors! Yeah!

Buffalo won an AFL title in 1965. I'm counting that. Shouldn't I? The AFL was already a pretty big deal by the mid-'60s. It was a big deal in Buffalo, anyway. Besides, didn't the Sabres win the Stanley Cup in 1999? When Brett Hull's goal was disallowed? [Ducks.]

San Diego, yeah, actually one year longer than Cleveland. The Chargers won the AFL in 1963. Cleveland has had NBA basketball and San Diego mostly hasn't. Buffalo hasn't had major league baseball and mostly hasn't had NBA basketball. So Cleveland has had more non-championship seasons in the big four sports than either San Diego or Buffalo.

In fact, even before Wednesday night, Cleveland had more non-championship seasons than Philadelphia by a lot. I'd thought Philly was in the photo, but not really. Here's how it breaks down for the four cities, before the Phillies won the World Series Wednesday. What we're counting here is non-championship seasons in the NBA, NHL, NFL/AFL and major league baseball since the city's last title in one of those. We're not counting the 1994 baseball season, when the World Series was canceled.

CLEVELAND
Last championship: Browns, 1964

Team League Non-title
years
since '64
Indians MLB 43
Browns/Browns 2.0 NFL 41
Cavaliers NBA 39
Barons NHL 2
Total
125

- - - - -

PHILADELPHIA
Last championship (before Wednesday): 76ers, 1983

Team League Non-title
years
since '83*
Eagles NFL 26
76ers NBA 25
Flyers NHL 25
Phillies MLB 24
Total
* Counts '83 MLB
and NFL seasons

100

- - - - -

SAN DIEGO
Last championship: Chargers, 1963

Team League Non-title
years
since '63
Chargers AFL/NFL 45
Padres MLB 39
Clippers NBA 6
Rockets NBA 4
Total
94

- - - - -

BUFFALO
Last championship: Bills, 1965

Team League Non-title
years
since '65
Bills AFL/NFL 43
Sabres NHL 38
Braves NBA 8
Total
89

Since Caldo, Achiever mentioned the Conquistadors, I'll point out that adding the American Basketball Association and World Hockey Association, the other two leagues that were absorbed into the established one in the era under discussion, doesn't change much.

San Diego would get an extra six seasons, three for the ABA Conquistadors -- we won't count the 11 games of their fourth season, as the San Diego Sails, before they folded -- and three for the WHA Mariners. Neither won a title. Then again, Cleveland would get four more seasons for the WHA Crusaders. Philadelphia would get one for the WHA Blazers.

Adding in the World Football League and the United States Football League, neither of which got to the prestige level of even the WHA, Philadelphia gets two seasons each for the WFL Bell and the USFL Stars.

Philadelphia had been the leader among the four-sport cities with no championships for 25 years. The new leader, just barely, is the Twin Cities, which last crowned a champion in 1991, when the Twins won the World Series. Washington also last crowned a champion in 1991, when its football team won the Super Bowl.

That actually happened in January 1992, three months after the Twins' win. Also, Washington has only been a four-sport city since 2005, when the Expos moved from Montreal and became the Nationals. The Twin Cities have been a four-sport area since the NHL Wild began play in 2000-01.

The longest wait for a four-sport city that's been a four-sport city the whole time? Not a city but an area: The Bay Area hasn't had a champion since the 49ers in the 1994 season. Atlanta's gone since the Braves won the World Series in 1995.

Seattle deserves a mention here, with teams in three sports but no championships since the Sonics won the NBA in 1979. Alas, that's one that's not likely to happen again soon.

-- King Kaufman

King Kaufmann states the obvious

___________________

Cleveland without rival in futility

Buffalo and San Diego haven't crowned a champ in a while either, but they've had fewer teams.

King Kaufman

Oct. 31, 2008 |

I mentioned Thursday that with Philadelphia's World Series win, Cleveland has emerged as a city without rival in championship futility in the major sports, with none since the Browns won the NFL in 1964. That brought some yelps from two of our finest cities:

Caldo, Achiever: As a San Diegan, I believe we deserve mention with Cleveland for elongated suckitude -- or are we getting credit for our N.L. pennants? Enduring three seasons of the Conquistadors should qualify us for some sort of bonus.

jfruhlinger: What about Buffalo? I don't want to take away from anyone's pain, but surely Buffalo deserves mention as a home for sports agony?

First things first: San Diego Conquistadors! Yeah!

Buffalo won an AFL title in 1965. I'm counting that. Shouldn't I? The AFL was already a pretty big deal by the mid-'60s. It was a big deal in Buffalo, anyway. Besides, didn't the Sabres win the Stanley Cup in 1999? When Brett Hull's goal was disallowed? [Ducks.]

San Diego, yeah, actually one year longer than Cleveland. The Chargers won the AFL in 1963. Cleveland has had NBA basketball and San Diego mostly hasn't. Buffalo hasn't had major league baseball and mostly hasn't had NBA basketball. So Cleveland has had more non-championship seasons in the big four sports than either San Diego or Buffalo.

In fact, even before Wednesday night, Cleveland had more non-championship seasons than Philadelphia by a lot. I'd thought Philly was in the photo, but not really. Here's how it breaks down for the four cities, before the Phillies won the World Series Wednesday. What we're counting here is non-championship seasons in the NBA, NHL, NFL/AFL and major league baseball since the city's last title in one of those. We're not counting the 1994 baseball season, when the World Series was canceled.

CLEVELAND
Last championship: Browns, 1964

Team League Non-title
years
since '64
Indians MLB 43
Browns/Browns 2.0 NFL 41
Cavaliers NBA 39
Barons NHL 2
Total 125

- - - - -

PHILADELPHIA
Last championship (before Wednesday): 76ers, 1983

Team League Non-title
years
since '83*
Eagles NFL 26
76ers NBA 25
Flyers NHL 25
Phillies MLB 24
Total
* Counts '83 MLB
and NFL seasons
100

- - - - -

SAN DIEGO
Last championship: Chargers, 1963

Team League Non-title
years
since '63
Chargers AFL/NFL 45
Padres MLB 39
Clippers NBA 6
Rockets NBA 4
Total 94

- - - - -

BUFFALO
Last championship: Bills, 1965

Team League Non-title
years
since '65
Bills AFL/NFL 43
Sabres NHL 38
Braves NBA 8
Total 89

Since Caldo, Achiever mentioned the Conquistadors, I'll point out that adding the American Basketball Association and World Hockey Association, the other two leagues that were absorbed into the established one in the era under discussion, doesn't change much.

San Diego would get an extra six seasons, three for the ABA Conquistadors -- we won't count the 11 games of their fourth season, as the San Diego Sails, before they folded -- and three for the WHA Mariners. Neither won a title. Then again, Cleveland would get four more seasons for the WHA Crusaders. Philadelphia would get one for the WHA Blazers.

Adding in the World Football League and the United States Football League, neither of which got to the prestige level of even the WHA, Philadelphia gets two seasons each for the WFL Bell and the USFL Stars.

Philadelphia had been the leader among the four-sport cities with no championships for 25 years. The new leader, just barely, is the Twin Cities, which last crowned a champion in 1991, when the Twins won the World Series. Washington also last crowned a champion in 1991, when its football team won the Super Bowl.

That actually happened in January 1992, three months after the Twins' win. Also, Washington has only been a four-sport city since 2005, when the Expos moved from Montreal and became the Nationals. The Twin Cities have been a four-sport area since the NHL Wild began play in 2000-01.

The longest wait for a four-sport city that's been a four-sport city the whole time? Not a city but an area: The Bay Area hasn't had a champion since the 49ers in the 1994 season. Atlanta's gone since the Braves won the World Series in 1995.

Seattle deserves a mention here, with teams in three sports but no championships since the Sonics won the NBA in 1979. Alas, that's one that's not likely to happen again soon.

-- King Kaufman

A reason to watch

Well, well...two minutes after I posted the below rant, I see that ESPN is reporting that Brady Quinn will be our starting QB on Thursday. Got to say it...I am surprised: The wheels of this franchise's upper managment grind exceedingly slow...I did not expect #10 to play before the middle of the month at least.

Now what?


We’re halfway through the NFL season, but it seems the Browns’ season ended the moment Derek Anderson’s wayward screen pass landed in the arms of Terrell Suggs.

Where do fans go from here? I really don’t want to watch the Thursday night game against Denver. What is the point of rooting for D.A., who will undoubtedly be the starting QB on such a short week, when victory will only prolong his tenure of rocket-armed inconsistency? Why should I pull for Romeo Crennel when I know he’s incapable of preparing his team from week to week? A win against a mediocre Denver team means little after yesterday’s eye-opening loss.

Eye-opening because after nine-plus years the Browns still have no true identity. Are they a passing team? Will they try and cram the ball down opposition’s throats with the run? Will they rely on hard-hitting defense and field position to get the job done? Who the hell knows? It seemed last year that the team was building a reputation as an offensive club with a solid line and numerous weapons. Injuries and poor play this year have scotched that plan. Meanwhile, the defense has one consistent playmaker, and a coach who claims his squad lacked the “energy” to finish off a division rival at home.

How very sad…and very revealing.

So…I bid you adieu, Romeo. Same with D.A….team management is delusional if they think this team has a chance at the postseason, even in a down year for the AFC. I want to see Quinn starting the Monday-nighter against Buffalo. The franchise’s future depends on it. That future does not include Romeo or D.A., so why wait?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Vox Votes '08

Good intentions I had when I started this column. Honestly. We would all get rich from my NFL handicapping skills. But I am not Cleveland's premier handicapper. I'm not even the premier handicapper in my own house. That honor belongs to the dog, who can sniff out a skunk long before I can these days. After a sizzling September, I went O for October. I have now endured four straight losing weeks. Where do we go now, Axl?

Well, with eight weeks in the books, help is on the way.

Miami +3.5 over Denver
New England +6 over Indy
Eagles -6 over Seattle
Rams +3 over Arizona


Last week: 0-2-1
Season: 7-8-3

Almost forgot, McCain is +400 to win on tuesday. BarryO is -700. The books are basically begging you not to bet on Barrack. This line obviously indicates there will be no drama; Obama is in. And yet I am resisting the urge to put a few hundred on Cain. I am still beating myself up for not taking Bernard Hopkins at +300 in a fight I believed was a toss-up, but I didn't want to bet against Kelly. And I certainly don't want my money against Obama, but I have to wonder if this presidential line is a major error.

This column marks my formal endorsement of the Obama/Biden ticket. I was a Hillary supporter and somewhat undecided when this race started, although I was modestly leaning towards Barrack. I even considered voting for Ron Paul. Three things put me firmly in Barry's corner:

1) Cain's running mate. I wrote when he picked Palin that she seemed eerily similar to George Bush...a dumb governor with strong evangelical ties and a dangerous ideology that directly conflicts with our constitution's mission of separation of church and state.

2) Rolling Stone's article on Cain, "Make Believe Maverick." This piece exposed him as a lousy soldier, a bad student, and eager to compromise his views for political gain. I once admired Cain for calling out the religious right as "agents of intolerance" in 2000 and probably would've supported him over Gore, but his actions in this campaign only cater to the very group that he decried.

3) Obama's modern day messiah speech in Denver. "John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives."

Let it be known, I'm all for Issue 6 and I don't give a fuck if the entire casino is a loophole. In fact, I don't even give a fuck if they rig every slot so the house always wins. And I don't care if Berman keeps every dime of profit. Will the construction, implementation and fulfillment of a resort casino create thousands of jobs? Yes. Will a resort casino increase tourism in Ohio? Absolutely. Will it open the door for other casino opportunities in Ohio? It sure can't hurt.
Will Issue 6 pass? Not a chance in hell.

Also, please please please vote no on Issue 5. A cap on interest rates will effectively put joints like Payday loans out of business, costing this city and state more jobs that it desperately needs and eliminating a service that is extremely necessary for consumers with bad credit. I don't believe in government regulation of interest rates. Nobody forces you to borrow money. And for those that choose to, let the free market determine the rate of interest.
I think this will be a close vote, And I was happy to hear the message Craig Krenzel left on my answering machine urging my household to vote no on this anti-capitalism referendum.

And one more VoxVote...Annette Butler over incumbent Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason.

she's the dollars
she's my protection
yeah she's a promise
in the year of election


I am a preacher stealin' hearts at a travelin' show in the box.