Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jason Whitlock again eviscerates LeBron

Starting with "I give up", and then bestowing a nickname I'd never heard LeBron called before.

So I give up. I'm just going to accept his immaturity and stubbornness and bullying. He's an immense talent I'll never fully enjoy or appreciate. I'll tune in Thursday night and root for the Cavaliers.
James is a lost cause. He'll never man up and apologize. His bank account says he doesn't have to. His friends say he shouldn't. His coworkers and peers, besides Spoelstra, are too fearful to tell James what they really think. He's a bully. Team LeBron's next media leak could be about how Chris Bosh needs to be traded or Dwyane Wade must shoot less.


King Blames can't hear us. Not any of us who ask him to rule the basketball world with grace, class, fairness and eye toward greatness. We don't need him. And he doesn't need us.
I give up.

Nothing is Funny to Derek Anderson

Great rant by Derek after stinking up the joint on Monday Night Football....

Unfortunately ESPN won't let me embed the video...so click below....


Friday, November 26, 2010

Jordan's Response to "What Should I do"

Obviously, a mashup of two different ads--but a great one for sure!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Polls are a bad idea in the NFL too...

Not that it matters one bit...but the Browns go to overtime versus the #1 team in the Sporting News NFL Power Poll--and drop 2 notches for their effort.


Former Ravens LB (and Jets player) Trevor Price weighs in...

Trevor Price, with no apparent motive except what comes at face value, gives Colt McCoy mad props...

"Quote me on this: 'They have a quarterback now.  I'm glad I'm not in the AFC North anymore so I don't have to see him get better. They've had quarterback problems for a long time. They now have a legit quarterback. He plays with a lot of confidence and he plays with a lot of poise."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Deep breath, and reflections on Browns-Jets.

Well Sunday's game felt like old days.  In the first half, when the Browns were looking great, I turned to my buddy and said "what a weird feeling, huh?"  As in nervousness, excitement, all at 1PM on a Sunday, for the first time in what seems like a long time.  We were watching a team that was for real, a team made up of "professional football players" as Bill Simmons might say, and it feels good.

The feelings turned to elation, and then heartbreak, of course, as the Jets took over the ball with 24 seconds in overtime, and Santonio Holmes darted between three Browns defensive backs for a game winning touchdown with just 16 seconds to play.  Ouch.  Ball game, 26-20 Jets.  Oh what I would have given for a duplication of 23-20 Browns from my childhood.

Most of the postgame chatter was about a few negative, game turning plays, but before that, I just need to point out that Bud Shaw hit the nail on the head--it's apparent that the Browns now have put their trust in Colt McCoy...there is no going back, and I don't think Browns fans will complain at this point.  True,the lack of production by the wide receivers is very much alarming, and it makes me nervous about the "arm strength" questions McCoy had coming out of college.  But the leadership and smarts are there, and he makes some very nice plays, especially when it counts.

Some not so very-nice-plays?
-Chanci Stuckey fumbling in overtime.  Now I find it impossible to believe that Browns fans can hate Chanci for what he did--fought for more yards, tried to get closer to what he knew the field position needed to be for a first down.  It wasn't irresponsible 1-vs-5 fighting for more yards, it was a good strip and 20/20 hindsight is no good here.
-Joe Haden picking off Sanchez late in overtime inside the Browns 3.  That led to pass-run-run-punt from the back of the end zone, which then led to the Jets winning TD.  Should Haden have batted it down, and the Browns taken their chances on a punt.  In retrospect, yes.  But were the Jets in four-down territory?  Who knows.  I don't know, if Mangini had a "pause" button, what he would have told Haden to do there.  Probably drop it.  But if the Jets go for it, move down the field another 20 yards and kick a field goal, Haden would have been ripped for that.
-Play call from the 3 yard line in overtime.  Yes, running would have run the clock out and taken the tie.  I don't think anyone wants a tie.  But why pass deep on first down--a pass to a receiver who was open, Ben Watson, but overthrown--and then run twice?  That incomplete pass indicated the desire to win. The two runs indicated desire to tie.  So pick your poison.  Should have passed on second and third downs, and tried to do something. 
-Nobody has mentioned the ensuing punt return.  A dagger in the shoulder (not heart yet) when the Jets got the ball back.
-Finally, the Holmes touchdown.  Bad play by the defensive backs.  They know it, we know it.  No need to kick 'em when they're down.

Regardless we can be proud of this team, they played hard.  Hillis came out crushing, McCoy showed his poise, but some days it's not enough, and Sunday was one of those days.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cavs confusion

Some years ago, local rocker, DJ and “PM Magazine” co-host Michael Stanley was commissioned by the Cavaliers to write their theme song. The Springsteen-esque tune’s energetic blue collar message was meant to connect with a fanbase that appreciates hard work and scrappy play over pomp and showmanship.

Flash forward to the late ‘90s and me hanging out with friends at their house on the campus of Ohio State University. I spent many nights with this totally awesome group of guys, lustily singing without irony and even in mixed company the Stanley-penned fight song before each Cavs game. We’d then watch Coach Mike Fratello employ a slow-it-to-a-crawl offense that squeezed every drop of talent out of a roster full of role players. Scores of 77-75 and 80-76 were common during those days.

Fratello’s teams averaged about 45 wins a year, but never made it out of the first round of the playoffs. “Hard working team” or not, those mediocre turn-of-the-millennium Cavs were never going to win a championship for a “hard working town” desperate for one.

In some ways, the 2010 Cavs remind me a bit of those old Fratello teams, starting with how Coach Byron Scott’s play style get more attention than any individual player, even if Scott’s up-tempo, pass-happy offense is more fun to watch than boringly efficient Fratello-ball.

The new Cavs, even in losing That Guy in Miami, are certainly not as terrible as some in the national sports media would have us believe. JJ Hickson is a nice young talent with upside who’s surrounded by decent role players and a couple of former All Stars who are capable, when healthy, of putting up 20 points on a given night. When the offense is flowing as it did against Philadelphia and Washington this weekend, these guys are going to beat some teams. What's more, this team’s unselfish chemistry has been enjoyable to watch and is easy to root for.

Still, as a fan among millions who would like to see that parade down Euclid Avenue some day, I can’t help but think about Cavs basketball not just bringing back the scrappiness of the Fratello years, but returning to the treadmill-like non-progress of the late-‘90s “Mills, Phills and Hill” teams as well.

After all, while “nice” and “decent” are fine qualities for your daughter’s Homecoming date, they just won’t cut it in a superstar-driven sports league. Coach Scott, I’m afraid, arrived one year too late, because the Cavs as currently constructed are destined to win 35-40 games a season, which will plunk them squarely into the depressing NBA shadow realm of 8th-playoff seed/low lottery pick.

In the NBA, it’s said that the worst place to be is in the middle. This is not a league where you can “contend while rebuilding,” as Indians’ GM Mark Shapiro once tried to sell Cleveland baseball fans. To me, that means the Cavs probably have to get bad to get better. It’s a painful process and we’ve been there before, but it’s preferable to the hamster wheel-like futility facing the Cavs if they try winning big with what they have.

As Cleveland is not exactly the #1 destination for superstar free agents, it will take high draft picks, smart trades and plain luck for the Cavs to get back to any level of prominence within the next five years. GM Chris Grant first needs to look at any offers for Andy Varejao, especially if he can get a team to take the contractual albatrosses of Antawn Jamison or Mo Williams off the franchise’s neck.

Then you clear the decks; blow it up; choose your cliché. It’s either going to happen now, or it’ll happen three years from now. Play the kids and draft a solid character guy who can create his own shot. Build on that.

At least that’s what my head says: Despite the assurance I have in the above statements, in my heart I still can’t actively root against these Cavs. This is not the horrible, unlikeable Cavs team whose best player shot at the wrong rim to get a triple-double, even if that was also the year we sunk low enough to win the lottery and bring in That Guy. (If you couldn’t tell, I’m giving the Voldemort treatment to our buddy #6. I’m going to try and keep his name out of this and future columns from now on. We’ll see how it works out.)

I’m rambling, but I don’t know what to do. What’s the point of rooting for a team that you know with absolute certainty can’t win it all? On the same token, cheering against your favorite squad just so they get some extra ping pong balls seems so pointless and hollow. Damn...this is tough. I think I’ll listen to some MSB to clear my head:

Tonight the hardwood’s burning
And the Cavs will keep on working
Get behind the wine and gold
With all your might
Cavs basketball, tonight’s the night
Ohhh, C’mon Cavs!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"You Make My Dreams"

Someone I know posted a classic Hall and Oates video of "The Ghost Inside" on Facebook. This got me thinking, during this otherwise slow sports week in C-Town, about one of my favorite SNL skits from recent years and makes me ponder how CST contributor and resident music buff SamVox could leave Hall and Oates off his Vox in the Box (23): Vox Rox Redux Top 100 Rock Artists list:

(The H & O part starts after a few pretty funny jokes by the Weekend Update crew)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What do you think Mangini can do with 2 weeks to prepare?

This week's game could be interesting for sure.