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Archive for January, 2008

How good is LeBron

Mine God, is there anything LeBron James can’t do. He’s… he’s… I don’t even know what he is. Every word from amazing to great to incredible to unbelievable has been used to describe him and that still doesn’t even come close. He, again, basically single handily won another game for the Cavs last night. This time scoring 17 fourth quarter points with a soar ankle and a bruised hand. (On the soar ankle issue, I hate Jon Berry, who was doing the color for ESPN. He thought it was a bad sign for Cavs fans that LeBron went to the locker room with 23 seconds left. Why? The Cavs were on defense and there would be no reason for him to be out there when he can get back to the locker room, get his ankle looked and taped up and be ready for the second half. Then Berry wouldn’t let the ankle thing go away. He kept saying lines like “You can tell LeBron is bothered by that ankle,” and after taking two jumpers to start the half, “I think this is the type of game we’ll see from LeBron now, settling for outside jumpers. He doesn’t to drive and test that ankle,” or “I hate to keep saying it but that ankle is really bothering LeBron.” Jon Berry, you sir are an idiot. Let the ankle thing go. It really bothered him as he took over the fourth quarter. You were so bad I had to switch the game to FSN and listen to Austin Carr, who was so gitty over a foul call on the Blazers in fourth quarter I thought he was going to wet himself. Wow, sorry about that. I didn’t know how much Berry bothered me until I put all my thoughts down on paper.)

 

Watching the game was a real struggle. The Cavs looked awful. Larry Hughes was back to his old form, Gooden was making everyone miss Andy even more, Damon Jones was so mad he didn’t get a pass from LeBron when he was open for three that he put his hands on his hips and just stood in the corner then walked with his hand still on his hips back to the defensive end, and there was way to many Ira Newble, Dwayne Jones and Cedric Simmons sightings. I was sick of watching this game mid way through the third quarter and switched over to Family Guy. (Did you know Luke Perry is gay?) 

 

I came back to the Cavs just in time, with about four minutes to go. I should have know LeBron would do what LeBron does (that sentence reminded me of “Don’t do what Johnny Don’t does.”) He simply took over. I guess that’s the best way to describe it. We need to come up with a word to describe LBJ’s fourth quarter play. “Mr. Clutch” is over used and stupid. “Dominator” is too sexual. How about “I’m too good I can score whenever I want but I choose the fourth quarter just because it’s more fun to take over when the game is on the line and close rather than blowing teams out from the start and you all know I’m going to do it but there’s still nothing you can do about it.” I know it’s wording but I think it has a nice ring to it. 

 

This was also the second game in which LBJ got into it with some fans. After the game he credited the fan for his fourth quarter play and for costing the Blazers a win. I like this trend. Fan in all NBA arenas, keeping talking smack to LeBron in the fourth quarter. Keeping trying to be Spike Lee and LeBron will keep being “I’m too good I can score whenever I want but I choose the fourth quarter just because it’s more fun to take over when the game is on the line and close rather than blowing teams out from the start and you all know I’m going to do it but there’s still nothing you can do about it.” 

 

The Cavs really aren’t a good team. (If LeBron can’t play tonight, that will be proven against the horrible Sonics, my guess is he’ll play, though) But they don’t need to be. All they have to do is play some what respectable (Larry, I’m looking at you). With LeBron, he more than makes up for it. And when LBJ is at his best, in the fourth quarter, it doesn’t matter who is on the floor with him or how good they are, it’s LeBron’s game and he is simply indescribable.

 

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In Team River City news (I know you’ve missed the updates but we had a bye last week, well actually a forfeit win), it was a classic game last night. Team River City beat River City 75-74 thanks to a pair of sharp shooting brothers. Brother Scott knocked down two free throws with 14 second left that held up to win the game. He led the team with 27 points and hit 7 three’s while his little brother (me) scored 17 and hit 5 3’s. Team River City has won three in a row to improve to 5-4 on the year with one game to play before the playoffs. A win next week would make it a three way tie for second place with a 6-4 record, at which point I have no idea how they’d seed the teams. A loss puts us in as the four seed and have to play the undefeated first place team. We have lost to them by 4 and 3 so we can play with them. The season is winding down but Team River City (mainly myself) is just heating up. 

 

 

Fratello 

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I am really struggling with a topic today. Yeah, I got nothing. Literally nothing. I’ve read the papers, surfed the web, talked to unintelligent coworkers and I can’t come up with the slightest thing resembling an interesting topic. But gosh darn it, I’m a dedicated blogger and I’m going to throw some kind of junk out there for dedicated fan(s). Time to give it the old college try. (Which I’ve always thought of an oxymoron since I didn’t try in college).

 

The best things I could think of were to continue yesterday’s discussion from the comments. LeBron says he wants Kidd and getting him would bring an NBA Championship to Cleveland. I think he’s exact phrase to the question about a championship of Kidd came to the Cavs was, “Yeah. It’s that easy.” See Graig, LeBron agrees with me and we all know LeBron is never, and can do nothing, wrong. 

 

You are right, however, in saying that with Kidd’s salary it will be near impossible to trade him. And Scott you are right that the players the Cavs can offer probably won’t be want New Jersey wants for Kidd. (They can’t even offer Andy because he hasn’t been with the team 90 days yet because of his holdout) A third team would have to be involved and that just makes things even more complicated. Has as been pointed out, the best the Cavs can do is offer some combination Hughes, D-Good, Cedric Simmons, Ira Newble and a draft pick and none of that seems very likely. But who knows, the Minnesota Twins traded a way a much better player than Kidd for much less so it could happen.

 

As for Kirk Snyder, he was drafted in the first round, 16th overall in the 2004 draft out of Nevada. He has played in a grand total 184 games (just nine this year) and averages 6 points, 2 rebs, 1 assist per game. But in 2005-06, when he averaged 19 minutes a game with New Orleans, he scored 8 ppg. Maybe he can be an athletic wingman for the Cavs. But that just shows you the kind of balls Danny Ferry has. He’ll probably make some low risk trade for a role player than go for the high risk blockbuster.

 

In non Cavs news, it’s still Super Bowl week and it just get more and more annoying. Yesterday was Media Day. Is there a bigger waste of time than Media Day. Give me a break with this already. No new stories come from it and semi retarded “reporters” who think Plaxico Burress is a type of plexiglass get to ask questions that would make the ones heard at elementary school assemblies sound intelligent. I’m fed up with this crap. Next year I’m applying for a press pass. For the love of God if a Mexican TV show can get in with a women wearing a dress (who is hot by the way) and can’t even speak English besides, “Will you marry me Tom Brady?” I, as a “respected blogger” should be able to gain entry. Any other bloggers want to go to Tampa with me next year?

 

One last thought, this one around the Browns and the Pro Bowl. Ethan Kelley, Antwan Peek, Joe Jurevicius and David McMillan all had some kind of operation on their knee. Absent from the list is the guy who probably needs it the most, Kellen Winslow. He is waiting until today to decide if he is going to have surgery. He isn’t waiting on another doctor opinion or anything. It’s a given he needs surgery on his knee and probably shoulder too. But he is waiting on making that decision to see if he is named as a Pro Bowl replacement to Antonio Gates. Gates has a toe problem and might not play in the game to heel his toe. Makes sense. But not for Winslow. As much as I think he deserves to be in the Pro Bowl, don’t delay surgery just so you can play in the most meaningless game ever played. Get the surgery and be ready to go in training camp. I understand Winslow wanting to be a Pro Bowler and if Gates pulls out, he can still be named one and then do what 50% of the starters do anyway; Pull out because of an injury. That’s what makes the Pro Bowl so stupid. No one wants to play in it and stars use little pains as excuses not to play. I don’t know how many replacements have already been named but it seems like everyday a different guy is added to the team. On that note, expect Winslow and Derek Anderson to replace Gates and Tom Brady today. 

 

For struggling to think of something, I sure rambled on for a long time.

 

 

Fratello

 

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Come on Cavs, Kidd around

The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing really well right now. They have won 12 of  their last 15 games and have found their groove and rhythm in January. Mike Brown has seemed to find a rotation that works and players are accepting their roles. It will be interesting to see what happens with Andy out but throw in Donyell and give D-Good and Z more time and it shouldn’t be too big of a loss. Things are really starting to look good for the Cavs but there’s no reason they shouldn’t be looking to make things even better. By they, of course I mean Danny Ferry.

 

Jason Kidd wants to be traded out of New Jersey. The Cavs are expected to be interested in him (pardon the grade school response but duh!) but they need to make a serious effort to get him. He would be the perfect complementary player to LeBron James. He’s a pass first point guard who can shoot and will take a lot of pressure of LBJ. Imagine how nice it would be when at the end of game the Cavs actually run a play to get LeBron the ball instead of the hand-the-ball-to-LeBron-watch-him-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-while-everyone-else-stands-around-and-he-forces-up-some-stupid-off-balanced-jumper-that-has-about-as-much-of-a-shot-of-going-in-as-ESPN-does-of-not-talking-about-Tom-Brady’s-ankel-the-rest-of-the-week. (Man is it hard to type when you use the –  key as the space bar.) 

 

Jason Kidd makes too much sense be a Cavalier. The Cavs need a point guard and Kidd needs a team that doesn’t have Vince Carter on it. Kidd and LeBron have become friends (or so I’m told) since they played together this summer and there was that talk early in the season that they really want to play together. 

 

There are three reasons why Kidd won’t come to the Cavs. One, NJ won’t want to trade him to an Eastern Conference team. Two, the Cavs don’t have enough young players/draft picks/exspiring contracts to make the trade work. And three, (the most stupidest one) the Cavs are playing so well right now they don’t want to shake up the roster.

 

Let’s take a look at each of those. One, the Nets need to get younger and they aren’t going to make any noise in the East this year (or next). They need to get the best package they can for Kidd and if that comes from an East team then so be it. Kidd only has about two years left in him anyway so if the Nets are rebuilding that shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Two, everyone on the Cavs roster besides Gibson and LeBron should be available. I wouldn’t want to give up Andy and the Cavs should do what they can to protect him but if he is the missing piece I’d take my chances with Kidd and LeBron over Andy and LeBron. Larry Hughes (get him while he’s hot), Shannon Brown, Drew Gooden, are all players who could be of interest with some draft picks and I think Snow and Newble’s contracts expire this year (could be wrong). Kidd makes $19 million this year and $21 million next year, so the finances could be difficult but Ferry needs to find a way to make it work.

 

Third, I have to resort to the Really Argument. Really? You don’t want to get one of the best point guards of all time because you team has won 12 of the last 15 games and playing well now? Really? You don’t want to change up your roster to have a better chance at winning a championship this year? Come on. Get serious. If I ever hear that come from Danny Ferry’s mouth, I will no longer be a Cavs fan.

 

Another thought is going after Damon Stoudamire. The recently released guard from Memphis isn’t what he used to be but you can’t tell me he wouldn’t worth a shot. You can probably get him really cheap. He’s a true point guard and could possibly just need a new team to rejuvenate his career (playing with LBJ should would help too). He is at least worth a look because who knows how long until Larry Hughes remembers he’s Larry Hughes. 

 

The bottom line is Ferry needs to make a serious effort to bring Kidd to Cleveland. A true point guard, although not the only reason, is the main reason the Cavs haven’t become a dominate team in the East and couldn’t compete with the Spurs in last year’s finals. Ferry, I know you don’t like to really work (figuring out contracts is a lot of hard work) but you have to move on this and move quick and move strong. The Cavs need Kidd but more importantly, LeBron needs Kidd. 

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The mystery of the leaky roof

The Cavs-Lakers game was delayed in the first quarter yesterday due to “rain.” Apparently, there has been some roof problems with the Staples Center and some workers were called in earlier in the day to try and fix it. When water started falling to the floor, it seemed these workers had failed at whatever task they were suppose to accomplish. The game was delayed for about 15 minutes. 

 

This sucks for players and I speak from experience. One game during my senior year of high school, we came out from the locker room after halftime and the same thing was going on. A leak from the roof made the floor un-playable and the game was postponed. It just sucks. 

 

Anyway, back to the Cavs game. When the leak finally was stopped, play was resumed. Then a flabbergasted Michelle Tafoya reported the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. The water dripping wasn’t from a busted pipe or a hole in the roof or anything that would make sense. It came wet clothes the workers had taken off. Really. That’s what caused the delay. This raises a series of very important questions. 

 

First, how wet did those clothes have to be to drip that long and cause the much water?

Second, how did the workers get that wet?

Third and most importantly, why did they take their clothes off? Why would they do it on a catwalk? And how did they leave the building without any clothes?

 

I’m just confused by this whole situation. Someone please explain it to me. I was trying to think of a great story behind these roof workers but I just can’t come up with any story that would justify taking off your clothes on a catwalk inside a NBA arena. And more so, if the water didn’t start dripping until the end of the first quarter, that means they had to have taken off their clothes why the game was going on. Didn’t anyone see this happen? This could be the most bizarre story of the season. Someone needs to investigate this and give us more details.

 

As for the game itself, LeBron further proves he is the MVP. The Cavs are in a groove right now. Larry Hughes played all right but did airball a layup (I don’t have any clue a professional player misses a layup let alone airball one). But the real story is the Cavs are back to were they started the year, no Sasha and no Andy. And while this means we’ll see Donyell Marshall for the first time this year soon, I’m not worried. With LBJ, all is in good hands. Plus the hardest part of the schedule is out of the way and the All-Star break is coming soon.

 

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A quick story from the weekend. I am now an official member of the Northeast Ohio Drinking team. What that actually means, I’m not sure yet. Let me explain a little.

 

I went out with the Girlfriend, her roommate and friend from out of town on Saturday night for the Girlfriend’s birthday. At some time early in the night, this guy sitting at the bar heard it was her birthday and offered to buy her and her friends a shot. It turned out this guy looks actually like Lloyd, Ari’s assistant from Entourage.

 

(Yeah, he looked like that) 

After everyone agreed without ever second guessing the comparison (although the guy wasn’t gay. Well, I guess he could have been but he didn’t act gay and never touched me but what do I know), I said to him, “You know you really look…” He cut me off with “Yeah, I know I look like Lloyd. I get it.” That made my night. Well, that and the fact that between him and his friend, they bought close to nine rounds of shots for all of us. When he realized I could keep up with him, the Lloyd-look-a-like asked me to be on his Northeast Ohio Drinking Team. I agreed without hesitation even though I had no idea what I was really agreeing to. He explained that he was getting people together to go to bars and challenge people to drink. Again, not really sure what this meant but it can’t be a bad thing. He also said he was going to make polo shirts with a logo and numbers. I don’t know what all this means but I do know if I was at a bar and 10 guys walked in wearing drinking team shirts and challenged people to a drink off, I’d want to be a part of that group.

 

 

Fratello 

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Yippy? The weekend

The weekend is here, Yippy! But what a boring weekend of sports, Booo! This could be the worst stretch of sports all year. There is just one football game left and it’s not this weekend, college basketball doesn’t get great until the end of February, the NBA season is still dragging on, the NHL is the NHL, no baseball besides the steroid talk that is more annoying than “Brady in a boot talk,” golf is out there but really only the majors are worthy of a sit-down-watch-all-the-way-through (golf now is better for naps) and tennis only comes on late at night or when normal people are sleeping. But at least the Winter X Games have started!!! 

 

Of course, I’ll still watch most of these things (minus the X Games if you couldn’t pick up that sarcasm) so let’s take a look at our best options to fill the weekend with sport TVing.

 

Tonight the Women’s Australian Open women’s final. The best part about this is there are two smokin’ hot 20 year olds sweating it out in little skin tight dresses. I’m a tennis player and love the game and probably would watch bits and pieces of this match no matter who was playing in it, but with Maria and surprisingly underrated hottie Ana Ivanovic playing, I’ll tune with more attention and frequency.

 

Also tonight, the Cavs host the Phoenix Suns. The Cavs haven’t beat the Suns in two years. They are playing great ball winning five in a row so hopefully that continues tonight and they beat the Suns. Hell, if Minnesota can do it twice in a year, the Cavs should be able to do it once. Just play like the T’wolves do; sloppy, reckless and like they really don’t care what happens. That seems to work. This will be the first game the Cavs play without Sasha Pavlovic. On the surface it doesn’t seem like much of a loss since Sasha hasn’t been playing that well is averaging something like 7 points a game. But as we dig deeper it means much more. Devin Brown probably moves into the starter role when he’s much better off the bench and playing a reserve role. That means there has to be another guard to play Brown’s backup minutes. Oh no! The other guards are Ira Newble and Eric Snow! That can’t be good. Plus it probably means more minutes for Kitten Killer Larry which in turn means more minutes for LeBron since he will have to do a lot more to make up for KKL chucking up horrible shot after horrible shot. 

 

Cavs also play the Lakers on Sunday at 3:30. It’s not quite football but at least there will be something watchable on Sunday afternoon.

 

The best college games on TV Saturday are Gonzaga at Memphis (noon on ESPN), UConn at Indiana (1pm on CBS), Texas A&M at Oklahoma St. (2, ESPN) USC at Oregon (9, FSN Ohio,) and Sunday the best the networks could do is Michigan at Michigan State (1, CBS) and that’s not even a real game. It’s like varsity verse junior varsity. 

 

Let us not forget U.S. Championships figure staking on Saturday and Sunday on NBC, or the NHL All-Star Game on Verses on Sunday at 6:00 (if anyone can name three players in that game I won’t believe you and I’d say you have a better chance of doing that than you do of knowing what channel Verses is off the top of your head), or more X Games, or the always popular H&R Block Tournament of Champions (PBA [that’s bowling]).

 

My goodness this is going to be bad. Even the Aussie men’s final is being played at 3:30 a.m Saturday into Sunday and even if it was on at 2 on Saturday afternoon no one would watch it because Federer isn’t in it. It’s going to be a long, uneventful weekend of TV watching. Hell, maybe it will give me time to go outside and do… nah, I’ll tough it out in front of the TV. Of course, a bunch of naps and Wii playing will be scattered in. This is the type of weekend that makes you wish football was played year round.

 

 

Fratello 

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Grab Bag Day

I guess I’ve kind of done a mini-Grab Bag all week but today we’ll make it official and call it a Grab Bag Day.

 

~ Anyone else agree. I was watching part of the Kansas State-Texas A&M game last Saturday. Every time the cameras showed KSU coach Frank Martin I kept thinking that he looked like someone but couldn’t figure out who. He always seemed upset or dumbfounded. He would either be yelling at someone or standing there with his mouth open wide hands on his hip or shrugged in the air. It was beginning to bother me. He eyes wide open, hair sticking straight up, when it finally hit me. He looked actually like the bad guy in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Judge Doom. These pictures aren’t the best (the best I could find) but he really does. Frank Martin looks like a man who was really a Toon. I’m probably the only one who sees it but next time KSU is on TV, watch the game for a little while, treat yourself to some Michael Beasley, and see when Martin gets mad if he doesn’t remind you of Judge Doom.

 

 

~ The Falcons got themselves a sucker. Mike Smith is expected to be named the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons today. Who is Mike Smith you ask? I’m sure you know a guy named Mike Smith, since it has to be the most common name in the history of men, and he is probably just as well know as this Mike Smith. He was Jacksonville’s defensive coordinator for the last five seasons. Although the Jaguars had a good defense you go to love the comments made Jax defensive end Marcellus Wiley.

 

“Jack Del Rio was the defensive coordinator, and if it wasn’t him, it was [linebacker] Mike Peterson. Smith was just a guy who stood at the front of the room when Jack Del Rio was leading the defense.” He finished his comments by saying, “the Falcons really went down low on the totem pole.”

 

Ouch. He sounds just like what the Falcons need. An inexperienced, defensive minded coach to come in and turn around an offense that was about as good as three day old Taco Bell. I would say this would be bad news for the Falcons but there’s no way Smith last more than two seasons. He might even beat Bobby Petrino’s record for skipping town. There’s a reason the Falcons hired a guy with no head coaching experience that was on no one else’s coaching list and wasn’t even respected by the guys he coach. No one else would take the job. 

 

~ Jose needs pesos. Jose Canseco offered to keep Magglio Ordonez out of his newest book if Mags gave him money for a movie Canseco has something to do with. A bunch of talking heads have called Jose the most credible source when it comes to steroids. I’ve always laughed at that because how can you trust a guy who gave up a home run by miss judging a fly ball so bad that it bounced off his head and over the wall? The real story here isn’t Jose bribing Mags, it’s, what kind of movie is Jose making? This has too be great, right? I’m thinking a 1985 feel to it where two sets of brothers fight for supremacy of the neighborhood; the Canseco’s verse the Stallone’s. 

 

~ The Cavs may be, could be, quite possibly, be back. They crushed the Washington Wizards last night, 121-85, like didn’t have Larry Hughes on their team.  That’s five in a row and 11-of-13 since Christmas. They have moved into the East’s No. 4 spot and it’s only a matter of time before they catch Orlando for No. 3. I wouldn’t be surprised if they catch Detroit too. The Pistons, although still playing well this year, they have struggled recently. They are old and there is no way they keep up the pace they started the season with. The Cavs on the other hand are improving as the season goes. LBJ is the MVP, Hughes is still killing kittens but not playing in the fourth quarter so that’s OK, Mike Brown has learned that Gooden plays good for 25 minutes and not a minute more, Z is going to go to his third All-Star Game, Boobie’s been as steady as LeBron, Andy somehow improved his game by laying around on Brazilian beaches and bleaching his hair in the off season, Damon Jones has a mohawk, Donyell Marshall hasn’t seen the floor this season and Sasha got hurt last night. Things are really starting to look good for the Wine and Gold. (of course that could all change after Friday’s game against Phoenix, but we’ll stay positive today especially since the Suns lost to Minnesota)

 

 

Fratello

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Give me a Break

I hate Super Bowl week. Or Super Bowl weeks. I said I wouldn’t mention the Super Bowl until the game but I lied. Sorry. That’s what I do. 

 

I hate Super Bowl week because the media has to find something to talk about to keep it as the lead story. Point and take, Tom Brady and his walking boot. Give me a break. If I have to see one more picture, listen to one more sports commentator or celebrity wanna be broadcaster or read one more article, I’m going to lock myself in solitude until kickoff. 

 

This is really the best the media could do? Give me a break. This isn’t even a story. His ankle was soar after being hounded by a very tough and physical San Diego Chargers defense so he put the boot on for some protection and heeling purposes. Later that night (might have been the next morning) he was seen with the boot off. And this isn’t anything new. Brady has been listed as questionable or doubtful or probable on the injury report since 2001. Give me a break. The real question here should be what did Brady do that he needed to bring his girlfriend flowers on Monday morning? 

 

This is why I hate Super Bowl week. We get worthless stories like this. And it’s double this year since the SB comes after a bye week. Like I said previously, the players don’t need a bye week, the fans don’t want a bye week and the hype dies down after 13 days. The only people who like the bye week is the media who gets to play “creative journalist” and find meaningless stories and blow them out of proportion. Give me a break.

 

~LeBron James has a new baseball shoe that will only be sold in New York and has a Yankee theme to it. For some reason this became a huge story in northeast Ohio in the last few days despite the fact that the design of the shoe was released over a week ago. People are furious about LBJ having a New York theme shoe. Give me a break. This is less of a deal than LBJ wearing a Yankee hat to the Indians-Yankees division series game last fall. Who cares? He’s a Yankees fan and always has been. While I think it was wrong of him to wear the hat to the stadium formerly knows as Jacob’s Field, he has every right to sell any shoe he wants. It’s about making money. (We all know LBJ needs a few dollars to save for the offseason). He wants to make a blue and white pinstriped baseball shoe and sell it in NY, fine. He’s a basketball player, not a baseball player, and he’s playing in Cleveland, not New York. This doesn’t mean he is going to high tail it out of town to NYC as soon as he can. (who would want to play for Isiah Thomas anyway?) All it means is he saw a way to make money on a shoe that would sale better in NYC. Want do you think would have more money making power; a Yankee theme shoe selling in NYC or an Indians theme shoe selling in Cleveland? Yeah, me too. Give me a break.

 

~ Larry Brown is accusing the NY Knicks of spying on him during his ever successful one season as their coach. Give me a break. Where is this coming from? Why is he just now saying it? Did he run through the $875 million the Knicks still owe him already? 

 

“Imagine when you get to work, they don’t talk to you,” Brown said. “They had security people standing close to me in press conferences, and spies throughout the arena.”

 

Give me a break. Where has LB’s head gone? Did he get the senile in the last year? Did he watch one too many spy movies? Give me break.

 

 ~ And very special Happy Birthday to Eric Metcalf who turns 40 today. One of my all time favorite Cleveland Browns, but I hated hearing “Metcalf up the middle.” 

 

 

Fratello 

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