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Archive for October, 2007

Let’s Go Cavs!!!

Just got some of the best news of the year.

My longtime and good friend just called and asked if I wanted to go to the Cavs game tonight with him. Getting a replica banner of the Eastern Conference Championship isn’t even the best part. It’s that the tickets (from his mom’s work) include free parking, passes to a pregame party with Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry and other former Cavs. If I get to talk to Ferry, I might have to slap him to see if he is awake and if he knows Anderson isn’t on the team. And if by some chance Mark Price is there, I’ll probably hump him since he is my favorite all time player.

Oh yeah, at this gathering, it’s free drinks and free food. Then we will retire to our private suite to watch the game.

Yeah, it should be a good night.

GO CAVS!!!

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Sasha finally back; Andy to follow?

On the eve of the season opener, the Cavs finally signed Sasha Pavlovic. It’s about time. I don’t understand why this deal couldn’t have got done a month ago. There’s nothing, according to reports, out of the ordinary about the deal. Three years at $4-5 million a year. Sounds pretty standard for a guy like Sasha. Why couldn’t Danny Ferry make this offer sooner? What was he offering all summer? Was it the offer or was it Sasha and his agent finally giving into this after holding out for more?

It’s great to have Sasha back with the team but why was he in Serbia during all this? Didn’t he think he was going to sign with the Cavs? Shouldn’t he have been here working out, waiting, hoping for the moment the deal was finalized and be ready to join the team? What kind of shape is he in? Sasha won’t be playing tonight in the home opener and who knows how long it will take him to be in basketball shape. (I hope it’s not as long as me since I’m trying to get back in basketball shape for my league starting in two weeks and day one of conditioning left me winded and hurting.)

In addition, the Cavs put in a new offense that Sasha will be behind on learning. Oh wait, it shouldn’t be too hard to learn it. Let me help you, Sasha. A point guard brings the ball up court, passes to LeBron coming off a screen, then everyone just stands there and watchers. If you feel like it, crash the boards to rebound or stand outside the three-point line ready to shoot. There. He’s caught up.

As good as it is to have Sasha back with the team, I would have rather signed Anderson (if we had to pick just one). However, I think Andy will sign by Friday now. I think he was willing to holdout as long as Sasha was holding out too, but now that Sasha is back, Andy will want to start playing as soon as possible. He’ll settle for less than his $10 million a year. It might be a Drew Gooden type deal in the 3-year, $6-7 million range or it could be a one-year deal around $8 million. Either way, he’ll be back by Friday. If he isn’t, then he’ll sign somewhere overseas for a one-year deal. The thing about that is, even if he does it, when he comes back to the NBA he will still be a restricted free agent of the Cavs.

I’m trying to stay optimistic for the Cavs season but with a brutal west coast road trip (at Phoenix, Golden State, Utah, Sacramento, LA Clippers and Denver) after tonight’s game against Dallas and Friday’s verse New York, a 2-9, 3-8 record is very realistic. At that point, LeBron will be tested on how great of a leader and player he really is. Not saying the season will be lost by then, but it could be the difference in a Conference Finals appearance or a first-round exit due to home court advantage. I’m hoping for a 5-6 record after the trip.

In non-NBA, non-Cavs news, is there a more annoying show on TV than SportsCenter this week. In case you didn’t know, the Yankees have a new manager, Joe Torre may or may not be the new manager of the Dodgers, A-Rod opted out of his contract and the Patriots and Colts play this weekend and both are undefeated.

The only thing more annoying than those four stories taking up 52 minutes in a one-hour SC, is any image of Jonathan Papelbon doing his fruity little dance. How in the world can anyone, even Red Sox fans, be amused by this? I want to either shoot him in the head or cut his legs off every time I see him. How can any of his teams not take him aside and say “Jonny boy, you are making an ass of yourself. If you don’t stop this, we all are going to make you stop it.”

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Brett Favre is the best

I love Brett Favre. I’ve loved him since I was in middle school and got my first Favre poster (which said “Favre and Away”). If he smiled at me, I’d probably melt. I love him so much, I went out and got a pair of Wrangler jeans after another amazing performance last night and today I’m organizing a pick-up football game so I can play football wearing my new jeans and say “Wrangler jeans are a perfect fit for my lifestyle.”

In all seriousness, Favre has been my favorite NFL player for as a long as I can remember. I was as hurt and disappointed as anyone during the last two years when he played like Rex Grossman with Chad Pennington’s arm. For all the criticism he has got over the past two years mainly, there’s no arguing he is very enjoyable to watch.

Last night he showed again why is the best quarterback in the history of the NFL (at least until Brady and Manning are close to retirement, but even they haven’t won three straight MVP awards). If you didn’t enjoy last nights performance, you aren’t a football fan. There’s no better sight than Favre running to the endzone and tackling or carrying his wide receiver after a big touchdown catch. It’s been said a thousand times, but he just looks like a little kid out there playing the game he loves, and I love that.

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No one gets more excited (Brady used to until he started acting like the Hoodie cutoff). And no one throws a prettier ball. I don’t know how the Packers wide receivers fingers don’t break on every pass.

Yes, Favre will throw interceptions, that’s the gunslinger in him, but he will make plays no other quarterback can make and he’s being doing it for 17 plus years.

I do find it funny that two years ago everyone had him washed up. Even after Week 6, some guys were saying he doesn’t have the arm anymore. It took awhile, but if you question/challenge Brett Favre, he’ll answer/show you up. I didn’t want him to retire either of the last two years. He couldn’t go out like that. That’s not Favre. He knew he still had something left and now, with a decent team around, he’s proving that. What’s even more amazing, everyone knows he has to throw it 50 times again since their running game is about as productive as the Browns was from 99-05.

My top three favorite Brett Favre moments are him taking off his helmet and running around the field after winning the Super Bowl. His MNF game the day after his dad died. And now, last night’s 82-yard perfectly thrown bomb to beat Denver in overtime. (It helped that I needed every point he earned to win my fantasy matchup)

So if anyone wants to join me in a tribute to Favre, go get a par of Wrangler jeans and meet me in the backyard. I’ll be the one slinging passes all over the place.

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Sunday’s are fun again

The Browns are on a win streak. The Browns are on a win streak!! It’s not much of a win streak but it’s still a win streak. Two games in a row for the first time since 1982. Well, not that long but it sure seems like it.

For the first time since the Browns returned in 1999, they are actually watchable. Even their 9-7 playoff appearance in ‘02 wasn’t entertaining. In past years, every Sunday, I’d get together with some guys to watch the game but it was a chore. You knew they would lose and even more so, it would be a very boring game. That’s not the case anymore. Watching the games is, are you ready for this? fun. It’s amazing what an offense that can score can do for a fan. No longer is it a Sunday wasted on the Browns, but a Sunday made entertaining by watching them. Let me say it again, the Cleveland Browns are fun to watch. (yeah, i know, it does sound weird.)

This just in… Braylon Edwards is good. He simply makes catches. He had three or four grabs that were just amazing. He was dogged last year for his me-first attitude and dropping balls but this year he has put himself in the top tier of receivers. He still will drop a few balls (the last play of the Browns before the knee down) and a little immature (taking off his helmet, but come on, that was an awesome run and you’d be fired up too if you ran through a guy like he was a paper banner). The Browns should never send him over the middle unless it’s on a quick slant. That’s where he drops balls for whatever reason. He’s at his best when is going down the sidelines on deep balls and he can use his height and strength to come down with the ball. He will simply outjump anyone to those balls and he has proved his whole career.

If not for Tom Brady, Derek Anderson would be leading the league in touchdown passes. That’s kind of strange isn’t.

Also strange, at this point, Anderson and Edwards both should be Pro Bowlers. For a team that has only had one (one the defensive side) since 1999 and an offense that used to score as often as girls fourth grade basketball teams, that’s pretty special.

As good as the offense has been, the defense has been almost as bad. They looked awful early yesterday and I made the comment before the first drive ended that it could be a 40 or 50 point game again. But they regrouped and played well. They made the stops the needed to make. Two fourth down stops and an interception to seal the game. Hopefully this gets them playing better the whole game the rest of the year.

This week against Seattle is huge. They need a win to go 5-3 before very tough games at Pittsburgh and at Baltimore. After that, the Browns could be favored in every game they play (Houston, at Arizona, at NY Jets, Buffalo, at Cincy, San Francisco). Don’t look now, but the playoffs are very possible (knock on wood).

Even if the playoffs don’t happen, and let’s be honest, it’s a long shot, at least Sundays are finally enjoyable again.

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Yippy for Grab Bag Day!

It’s every favorite day today… The J Beanie Grab Bag Day.

** Remember at the start of the 2007 baseball season when the Indians Opening Day game and entire series was snowed out and the next series was moved in doors at Milwaukee? Those games were April 6 through the 12. You would think MLB would have learned something about scheduling games in cold weather cities in early April. Nope. What do they do? They give the Indians a home opener in March. Freaking MARCH!!! What are they thinking. Even worse, it’s only a three game series with Chicago then they go six game road trip out west to Oakland and Los Angeles. Why not just start out west were good weather is guaranteed? Yes, it’s nice to open the season at home but not if 30 degree weather. Of course, it is northeast Ohio and it could be 85 with out cloud in the sky.

** In NBA news, the Miami Heat traded ‘Twon to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now Antoine Walker can take his bloobbery, awful-shooting me-first, can barely get up and down the court, cry-babying attitude to the Wolves. At least he can play with Kevin Garnett. Oh wait. At least now he can play with Mark Madsen. The best part of the trade is that Michael Doleac was sent to Minnesota too. What a front court that will Sota. Madsen and Doleac. There’s a power combo. In return for getting rid of ‘Twon, who couldn’t get along with Pat Riley, the Heat get Ricky Davis. Do they really think Davis will get along any better with Riley. Ricky automatically makes Miami a struggle to reach the playoffs. Who would have thought a trade could make both teams worse?

** What’s going on with NFL quarterbacks? Who are some of these guys starting this week? David Garrard is out a month leaving Quinn Gray as the starter. What? You’ve never heard of the fourth-year pro out of Florida A&M who has career stats of 30-of-60 passing for 322 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs? I can’t believe you. But since he plays quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, I bet you can guess what color his skin is.

** Other NFL starting quarters, Vinny Testaverde (or David Carr, it really doesn’t matter since both should have had their last start three years ago), Joey “at least I’m not David Carr” Harrington, Trent “worse Super Bowl winning quarterback of all time” Dilfer (could but Alex Smith may be back), Trent Edwards (could be a good quarterback somewhere other than Buffalo. This has the second coming of J.P. Losman all over it and Losman is still there. Two Losmans on the same team can’t be good. Of course, this is the same team who wants to play home games in Toronto so what does that say about your franchise?), Chad Pennington (still?), Kyle Boller (you know your career is over when Boller, who everyone considered a bust 3 years ago is starting over you, Steve), Kerry Collins (break out the pain pills and alcohol, No not for Collins, for all Titan fans and VY fantasy owners) and Sage Rosenfels (love the name). Strange, strange days in the NFL.

** I know it’s a little old news but thank goodness the NFL shortened the time allowed for draft picks from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in the first round. It’s a start. I think everyone knows who they are going to take. I mean the study the players from months and months and then have 10 minutes to pick one. If after all those months of scouting and interviews, you don’t know who you want in the first 3 minutes of your pick, you don’t deserve a pick (Minnesota).

** Brady Quinn wore a USC jersey to an interview because of a bet he lost when USC beat Notre Dame. (He lost the bet to Rodney Peete of all people. Weird.) Is there a more worthless bet or “tradition” among professional athletes? Who really cares if you had to put on a hat or shirt of your rival? It’s just a worthless waste of time. I could really care less of Quinn was wearing a USC jersey during an interview. Second, why was Quinn being interviewed? What questions could you possibly ask him? “How mad are you that Derek Anderson is playing well?” Maybe he had to wear the jersey so people would actually talk to him.

** Going as Speed Racer to a Halloween party on Saturday. During my research of exactly what I needed for the costume, I found out there will be a Speed Racer movie next year. Who wants to go see that with me?

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Here he come
Here comes Speed Racer
He’s a demon on wheels
He’s a demon
And he’s gonna be chasin’ after someone.

He’s gainin’ on you
So you better look alive
He’s busy revvin’ up
The powerful Mach 5

And when the odds are against him
And there’s dangerous work to do
You bet your life
Speed Racer will see it through

Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer, Go!

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Someone get Ferry off the couch

The World Series starts tonight in Boston. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! That might be the last sentence about baseball I write on this site until April. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Go Rockies!!!

Let’s turn our attention to basketball. The season starts in less than a week but the defending Eastern Conference Cavs open play in exactly one week on Halloween Night when the Dallas Mavericks come to town. The 2007-08 Cavilers will have an uphill battle as they try to defend their conference title. I found a check list of things Cavs GM Danny Ferry wanted to do this offseason. Let’s look at it and see how many got accomplished.

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Sign a free agent point guard: un-accomplished.

Sign a shooter: un-accomplished.

Sign a big man: does Cedric Simmons count? Probably not.

Sign any player that will see more than 4 minutes a game and average more than 1.2 ppg: un-accomplished.

Resign Anderson Varejao: un-accomplished.

Resign Sasha Pavlovic: un-accomplishd.

Visit alma mater and give a inspirational speech to the football team: accomplished.

Sign any impact player: un-accomplished.

Play basketball at the YMCA to show I can still shoot: half accomplished (I played basketball but realized I never could shoot).

Sit on couch in fetal position knowing that I’m in way over my head and I’m a horrible GM: ACCOMPLISHED.
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Solid offseason Danny. To sum up, your best move was trading David Wesley for Simmons. Since Wesley was a waste of space and going to retire it was smart to move him for a young, raw, big man. However, I stop short of calling it a good move because you were the one who brought Wesley in here last year. All I’ll remember from the David Wesley Era is his break-a-way lay-up that he the bottom of the rim.

What did you do this summer Danny? You didn’t have any draft pick so you couldn’t help the team there. You didn’t make any trades other than the fore mentioned Simmons trade. You didn’t sign any player other than a bench role player who had a “breakout” year last year when he averaged 11 ppg. You had to key members of your team up for free agency and you didn’t sign them. So what exactly did you do? I don’t even have a joke here about what you did because it makes no sense what you’ve done the last 3 months. I’m getting mad writing this now.

OK, so you didn’t make any big offseason trades or signings. Not the end of the world. One of the reasons the Cavs played so well at the end of last season was the camaraderie they shared. Everyone knew their role, and a different person stepped on different nights. The one advantage Cleveland had over other teams is they would have the exact same team coming back into a system they were just learning last year. Familiarity, was weak as it sounds, was the Cavs advantage. But, of course, that hinged on everyone coming back. So what does Ferry do? He got cheap and hard-headed with two keep members.

Obviously the biggest issue is not resigning of Anderson and Sasha. Why? At the end of the season Sasha was finally showing his talent. He was still inconsistent but he was very good, fit into the system, LeBron liked him and he’s extremely talented.

Then there’s Anderson. The most important person of the bench and arguably the most important player after LeBron. You have a coach who preaches defense and rebounding and here is a guy who lives to do those two things, and you don’t make a serious effort to bring him back? Did you not notice how much loud the crowd gets when he comes into the game? Did you not notice how the game changes when he’s in? He might be the only guy who averages 5 ppg that other teams hate to see come into the game. Other teams hate playing against him. He’s always doing something good while pissing the other team off. You have to bring him back for whatever he wants because this is a guy you want on your team. It shouldn’t take him putting on a different jersey and drawing 12 charges and three technical fouls on the Cave to make you realize that.

Supposedly, Anderson wants like $10 million a year. Give it to him. You aren’t the Indians. You have an owner that is willing to overspend if needed. It’s needed in this case.

While the rest of the East got leaps and bounds better this summer, thanks to Danny Ferry, the Cavs did nothing. Boston’s better, Chicago’s better, Detroit’s better. The Cavs right now may only be the fourth best team in the East, and that’s being generous. Danny, please, please, please, get a deal with Anderson done. It needs to happen. Then turn your attention to Sasha. The Cavs need him too. Right now I don’t feel to confident about this year. Yeah, with LeBron the Cavs will still be good and fun to watch. They’ll make the playoffs and in the NBA it only takes on superstar to make a postseason run. But it would be easier if that superstar had all his weapons. LeBron said it best. He had an interview in the Akron Beacon Journal Tuesday.

Q: In your opinion, where is the team right now?

LJB: WE still have a long way to go. We have thing to (iron) out.

Q: How much better or worse are you guys without (Anderson and Sasha)?

LBJ: Oh, we’re worse. We’re not as good as we were if we have those guys. It’s simple. We all know that.

Now if only Danny can pull himself out of the fetal position on his couch, read that interview and do something about it.

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A sorry weak post

So no baseball, no basketball, didn’t get to watch the Monday Night Football game, could care less about hockey, soccer or whatever other second tier sport is going on. A pretty crapping sports night and couple days. Sure the World Series starts tomorrow but do you really think I’m going to watch that? All I’d think about is how much I hate the Red Sox and that the Indians should be playing if it wasn’t for a stop sign and Captain Cheesecake pitching like he got a meatball for every hit he gave up.

At some point I might reflect on the Indians season and say “You know what? They really had a great year, it was fun and they’ll be back next year,” but today isn’t that day.

I have one Indians thought though. This whole Paul Byrd used HGH thing. Who cares?!?!?! He did it back in 2002 and before it was banned in baseball. I’m sure a bunch of people used it then. I mean maybe it gave him an edge. He did hit 90 once in his last outing. He’s a career 97-81 pitcher with a 4.35 ERA. Give me a break. This whole witch hunt to find out who used HGH or steroids in the past is worthless, especially on mediocre players who no one would have heard of if the Indians weren’t in the postseason this year.

That’s really all I got for today. A weak effort I know but you’ll have to live with it. Maybe if I get bored enough at work later (an almost sure fire reality) I’ll entertain you some more later. The Cavs season starts a week from tomorrow so Wednesday will be the first Cavs related post since The Sweep.

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