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Archive for February, 2009

The East belongs to the Cavs

A few post ago, I wrote about how the Cavs seem to be cursed this year and have everyting  stacked against them. Making a run to the title would be more difficult than finding something you agree on with W. But the tide may be turning. It started with Mo Williams finally being named to the All-star team, continued with West coming back and the Cavs on a five game win streak that is seeing them play like the team that started the year, and by that I mean blowing teams out. And it has continued this week with the release of Stephon Murbury from the NY Knicks and the expected move that he’ll sign with the Boston Celtics. With that move, it clears the way for the Cavs to reach the NBA Finals. The biggest obstacle in the Cavs way now is the streak shooting Orlando Magic who can’t win a seven game series against a good team. Murbury has never been on a title contending team. He can’t bring anything good to your team. He hasn’t played in a game since last Jan. and even then he wasn’t good. Signing him to your team would be like picking up a KKK member to play on your all black basketball team. Nothing but ciaos will come of it. But hey, good move Celtics. Thanks for handing the East to the Cavs. You’re next move should be to trade for KoKo.

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Who said AC isn’t loved?

This one is for all the AC fans out there. I don’t know how many of you got to read the Plain Dealer this morning but they had the best article of all time on the front page of the sports. I don’t got time to really write much today but I had to pass this along to you all, especially you Graig. Enjoy.

http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2009/02/austin_carrs_fans_are_throwing.html

Who’s up for playing a little AC drinking game this Friday for the San Antonio game? Rosie? Haven’t seen you in a while and this could be a good time. What do you say?

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Spring’s here… sort of

The other day I got my first spring feeling. No, it wasn’t the smell of flowers or the birds chirping in the morning. It wasn’t even the warm weather we had for two whole days in northeast Ohio. Nope, it happened as I was walking throug the beautifully redone campus of the lovely University of Akron. I was enjoying the warm weather on Wedsensday when I heard the sound that made me think of spring. STHACK! It was the unmistakeable sound of a baseball smacking into and being caught in a baseball glove. I love that sound. The only better sound would have been to hear someone take out their driver and rip tee shot.

And even those those warm winter days two weeks ago was just a tease of the warming spring days we have a head, it was enough to get me excited for the baseball season. (Now, let me clarify “excited” by saying baseball is third on my list of sports [behind football and basketball and just barely a head of hockey] and since no one with any form of a life follows college ball, “excited” really could be substituted with “marginally ready for.”) 

But that sound did remind me baseball is right around the corner. Of course, so did all the talk of steroids but since I agree with Cliff Lee on the issue and could care less about who did or didn’t take them, the steroid/A-Rod talk just made me hate baseball a little bit. Then that sound happened. That beautiful STHACK. It’s time we STHACK ourselves (I’m sure Graig has numerous at his desk today) into baseball season.

Well, not quite all baseball season, just the Indians. 

Last month Serena Williams won  the Australian Open. I took this as a good sign for the Indians. What does a beautifully buff, sexy black woman winning the forth best major have to do with the Indians you ask yourself? Everything, I answer. 

Serena has won the Australian Open each of the last four odd numbered years – 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The Indians have been good or at least competitive each of the last two add years. In 2005, it was team that wasn’t suppose to be any good winning 93 games and only a collasial choke job the size of Avery Johnson’s mouth (thanks for the comparison idea from the comment sections) stopped them from making the playoffs. In 2007, it was a postseason appearance, destroying the Yankees until Joel Skinner put the stop sign on a World Series title. In 2009, they’ll go all Serena on us and walk away holding a trophy with a lot of flags on it in late October. 

There’s no doubt the Tribe as potential to do just that. Will they is a completely different question. You can’t expect Cliff Lee to be as great as he was last year but I think you can count on him for 16-18 wins. The rest of the staff is the biggest concern. Carmona, Pavano, Anthony Reyes, Aaron Laffey, David Huff, Jeramy Sowers, Zach Johnson. That sounds more like the line-up at AA Akron than Cleveland. That could be a very scary thing all year. 

It will but up to the offense to outscore people. Last year, the Indians sucked and had scored the fourth most runs in the league (maybe third, not sure). They didn’t have Hafner or Victor for most of the year and still put up good offensive numbers so if they have to outscore people to win, they can. 

The outfield is average at best but there is lots of potential there. Ben Francisco and Shin-Shoo Choo are question marks but have shown great ability. Grady, of course, will be All-Star-esque in his play and looks.

The Garko-Vic first base combo and Vic-Shoppach catcher combo, I’m not a big fan of. Garko hasn’t shown he can be a consistent hitter or above average fielder. Shoppach showed he deserves to play everyday and can produce. Time to give up on Garko if he gets off to a slow start. 

Cabrera, Peralta and DeRosa are a solid infield and Carroll and Barfield may be the two best back-ups in the league. The bullpen rest on the fragile arm of Kerry Wood. Still don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. The rest of the bullpen seems stronger than last year when they sucked and bullpens seems to do the same thing the Tribe does with it’s good one year, bad the next. They weren’t good last year so 2009 should be a good year for them, and the Cleveland Indians as they’ll be the second Cleveland team in as many seasons to win a championship. Be ready Cleveland. We’ll be celebrating two world titles in a five month span. I can’t wait. 

Man, all this baseball talk has bored me. Good thing the best thing in sports starts in 24 days.

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Trade Talk

Let’s discuss the Cavs potential trades and if they should pull the trigger. I’m starting to write this at 2:25 so that leaves 35 minutes for something to happen as I write.

One of the first trade talks about the Cavs was them getting Amare Stoudemire was ridiculous. I never wanted him and he didn’t fit in with the Cavs since he doesn’t play defense or go after rebounds and loose balls. However, the same lack of defense was brought up with Mo Williams and he’s bought into the system. But this trade is not happening so who cares? The Cavs are a better team with who they got than who they’d have to give up to get Amare.

Then there’s talk about Awtawn Jamison and/or Caron Butler. I’d be good with either of those, or both. I don’t know who the Cavs would have to give up but it would have been worth it. Mo, Butler, LBJ, Jamison and Z/Andy would be a lethal line-up to run out there. But this trade is dead too.

I guess so is the Marcus Camby deal which would have been sweet.

Now the Cavs are going after Shaq. I know I just dogged Shaq yesterday but doesn’t he fit in perfectly with this team? He would only have to play 20-25 minutes a game. He’s playing great ball this year and every time he gets on a new team he plays amazing b/c he feels he has something to prove. Shaq would love to play with LeBron and get him his ring. Can you imagine LBJ/Shaq vs Kobe in the NBA Finals? Would that not be the best/highest rated Finals of all time? The media would have 12 inch boners for  months. Shaq would average 22/12 just to stick it to Kobe and then either retire or win another one with LeBron in 2010. Giving up Wallace and Sasha is well worth it in this case. However, the Suns want Wally and the Cavs don’t want to give him up. But my inside sources tell me a third-team has just been brought into the mix and a deal may happen by 3. Stick to J Beanie for all the updates. I’m on top of this.

In other trade talk, I think my favorite trade so far has been Sam Cassell being traded for a second-round pick… in 2015. When I read that I just laughed. What do you think the people on Cassell’s home planet think of that? He got traded for a pick six years in the making. Who does that? Isn’t that worse than being cut? Isn’t a can of soup and a $20 bill more valuable? What’s the over/under on how many times this pick gets traded? I’m starting the line at 17.

Even with their semi-resurgence, how do we know the Knicks are the worst run franchise in basketball? They traded for Larry Hughes. At least this means LBJ isn’t going there if Hughes is on that team in 2010.

Hughes was the second former Cavalier to be traded as Drew Gooden was shipped to Sacramento. I almost feel sorry for D-Good. Two years ago he was playing in the NBA Finals with the best player in basketball. Now he’s the best player on the worst team in the NBA. Gooden is the new Chris Gatling of the NBA. He’ll be with 10 teams (some more than once) over the next 8 years.

UPDATE: It’s now 3:02 and it appears there is no trade for the Cavs. No big deal. Getting Shaq would have been fun (can’t believe the NBA didn’t make the Suns do the deal) but we’ll be just fine without him. Unlike past years, LeBron hasn’t lobbied for a trade and says he can win a championship with this team. I believe him. When everyone is healthy (and stops playing football on sheets of glass), with the chemistry this team has (I love how when someone is hurt, no matter how minor, the whole team comes on to the floor to check on him), they can win the NBA title. No one can stop LBJ in a seven game series. NBA title here we come (unless David Stern screws us again).

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Notes from NBA All-star weekend

I’m starting to enjoy All-Star weekends/games less and less as I get older/more cynical. Something that used to be so great in and of itself is now nothing more than a glorified commercial with athletes trying to “be cool” with their dress (LeBron, please no more old lady button up sweaters and D-Wade those glasses aren’t cool and neither are your personalized band-aids that you don’t need anymore. Nelly thinks that’s played out), their style of play (sure, Kobe wasn’t gunning for the MVP by putting up 10 shots in a quarter) and what they say/do (nice dancing Shaq. Mark Madsen thinks that was stupid). I liked it when things were simple, the game started at 5 or 6 and the MVP went to players who played well, not those who make the biggest story lines.

Here are some other thoughts as I took in NBA All-Star Weekend 2009.

H-O-R-S-E is much more fun to play than it is to watch. In fact, watching Mike Brown stand in front of his 500 pairs of glasses, trying each one on until he had the perfect match for his suit would be more entertaining.

C-Webb and Kenny Smith were jealous of the participates. They were like the little kid no one would let play basketball with them yet showed up at the park everyday and cheered and coached from the sidelines.

They were the only ones jealous of Durant, Johnson and Mayo. Those three didn’t want to be out there after the first 5 minutes. Even the kids from Boys & Girls Club standing on the court were bored.

All this and I still watched the game of H-O-R-S-E, err, I mean G-I-E-C-O. I couldn’t help it. It was like watching fat people porn. You know it’s not good but you can’t help but watch because it’s still porn.

How come Michael Rapaport was on the TV every six seconds during the Celebrity All-Star game? Did his agent pay for that air time?

The Rookie-Sophomore Challenge may be the best thing to watch all weekend. I was at the bar and couldn’t hear LeBron’s commentating? How was it?

The Saturday Night festivities are awful. I don’t know what they can do to make it better but I’m pretty sure having anyone from the WNBA participating isn’t the way to go.

The theme of the season continued for the Cavs during the Skills Challenge when Mo Williams was robbed of the title by a ball boy who got in his way after he was paid off by Joey Crawford and David Stern.

The 3-point shootout may have passed the Slam Dunk Contest as the most  over-hypedboring event. No one broke 20 in any of the rounds? Really? Those are the best shooters in the NBA? I would have rather watched Mark Price, Dan Marjele, Craig Hodges and Damon Jones (anyone else miss him?) in the thing than the guys I just watched.

The Slam Dunk was pretty boring, but not horrible. The judges went into it knowing Howard was going to get 50’s. His only good dunk was the off the side of the backboard one. Rudy Fernandez got robbed when he went Nate Robinson on everyone, but that dunk was still the best one of the contest.

So LBJ preliminarily put his name in for the 2010 slam dunk contest. Do you think he knows what preliminary means?

The All-star game itself… boring. It couldn’t keep my attention and I went to bed at halftime. The first half was so bad (how bad was it?), my brother and I were more intrigued with the E! THS on Mario Lopez. (did you know he dated Kelly when SBTB first started? And surprisingly, there was no mention of his work on the Animal Planet.)

Is there a more over played story line than Kobe and Shaq? Did you know they won three championships together and then hated each other? My goodness, Bonds, Bettis and Favre think that story line is over covered. But there’s no way Kobe is happy about sharing the MVP award with him. You don’t take 10 shots in the first quarter of an all-star game if you aren’t trying to win MVP. I really wished Kobe would have said something like that and/or punched Shaq during the presentation.

That’s it from All-Star weekend. It really made me miss the Pro Bowl.

(Goal for today: Not to see, hear or read a single thing about A-Rod’s press conference. So far, I’m successful.)

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I’m back with Cavs, Browns and lesbian talk

A few thoughts about what’s been going on in this crazy sports world of ours while I actually have a few moments.

First and foremost, W and Damman, you can take your all OSU football idea and shove it right where you would shove each other’s penises wrapped in a Buckeye condom, only to have the condom break under the pressure of performing. That comment alone brought me back and made me do what I can to dedicate myself to posting at least twice a week. I hate you both more than ever.

This might not be the Cavs year. God, does that hurt to say. Everything seems to be going against them. They can’t stay healthy, the East for once has more than one good team (not only good teams but two other dominate teams plus a team the Cavs always have a tough time with [the Pistons], even though they usually beat them now, the Lakers own them right now, a sure bet All-Star makes the team only after two others get hurt and Commissioner David Stern was threatened by the entire city of Cleveland, historic triple doubles are being taken away two days after the fact and now referees are making up phantom calls on our King because they have something against him. The ending of the game last night was the worst ending to a game I’ve ever seen. The only possible explanation is Joey Crawford had money on the game and need the Pacers to win. You don’t make that call. There’s no way you make that call. The refs in my Park & Rec. league think that was a bad call. Even if there was a foul, the only way you are able to blow you whistle fast enough to make the call is if you predetermined you were going to make that call. And the scorekeeper must have been on it too. There’s no way, with  0.4 seconds left on the clock, you can stop it with 0.1 when you hear a whistle. That is just humanly impossible. You can’t even stop a stop watch that fast when you try. How come no one is bringing that up? I truly believe this is a gambling conspirecy and Joey Crawford and the scorekeeper need to be investigated. I loved how Mo Williams simply answered the questions about the call by saying “Joey Crawford.” If all you have to do is say a ref’s name and you know what he means, I think it’s time for the ref to stick to his day job. 

Because of all these reasons, I just think the odds are stacked against our Cavaliers. Of course, this may be just what they need to re-light the fire in them and pull of the greatest championship run in NBA history. And that’s what it would be if they capture the title because everyone, including the higher-up’s in the NBA are against the Cavs right now.

Here’s an idea I was discussing during the Super Bowl with GFB: Since Anquan Boldin wants out of Arizona, and Braylon has worn out his welcome in Cleveland, the Browns should trade Braylon for a first or second round pick (I really have no idea how much he would be worth) and then do whatever it takes to sign Boldin. Boldin becomes the man on a team that needs one. Also, Leigh Bodden was cute from the Lions, go re-sign him too. 

Changing subjects, how funny is it that a former Central Michigan women’s basketball player is suing the university and coach because she lost her scholarship for “not being a lesbian” and “wearing too much make-up.”  I don’t know where the bigger joke is. Is it, a women’s college athlete isn’t a lesbian? Or thinking how the conversation between player and coach went when the coach told her she was wearing too much make-up? 

Coach: Brooke, I need to talk to you? Something has been bothering me.

Brooke: OK, Coach. What is it? Am I not playing defense hard enough? Is it my free throw shooting? I’m working really hard to get the ball all the way to the rim but it’s just so darn far away.

Coach: No, it’s not of that. I know how hard it is to put that ball in the hoop. I’ve never been really good at it so I don’t expect you to make it either. Us averaging 23 points a game is way above my expectations. And as for defense, sure, you look a little slow out there but we all look like we are playing the game under water so you’ll be fine. What’s been bothering me is the way you look?

Brooke: The way I look? What about it?

Coach: You look too normal. Is that make-up on your face?

Brooke: Yes. Why?

Coach: You wear too much. You need to go with a more natural look. Like when you wake up in some strange girls bed after a long night of scissoring. 

Brooke: I don’t understand.

Coach: Either stop wearing make up or scissor with me right now!

Just another reason why women’s sports is a bigger waste of time than arguing with a Buckeye fan.

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Favre and Away II

Editors Note: First, I missed you guys. Second, this post originally appeared on this site on March 5, 2008. I thought it was appropriate to run it again (since I needed to put something on here so I’m not put on the PUP list of bloggers and I’m too busy [lazy] to write something new). It’s amazing how much I don’t care this time. It’s like the whole steroids in baseball, I just don’t care. And as much and Favre annoyed us over the past year, and pissed the Jets season away because he was to proud to admit his shoulder hurt, he made the Jets a better team and the Packers won 8 fewer games this than they did with Favre.  If I ever officially retire from this site, at least I have the inspiration of my favorite quarterback of all-time to follow if I change my mind.

Editor’s Note II: I did no editing, obviously.

Editor’s Note III: I’m saving this for Favre and Away III.

Yesterday Brett Favre announced his retirement from the NFL. It’s a sad day for me since he was my favorite playing growing up and still is my favorite. I’ve already confused my man crush on Favre here before but it’s warranted again.  

The title of this entry is from a poster I got as a kid. It was a Brett Favre poster that I got back in elementary school. I framed it and hung it on my basement wall. It has been there ever since.  That’s what it looks like below (sorry, I couldn’t get it any bigger).

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Favre was an amazing player. If he was on TV, you wanted to watch (maybe not if John Madden was the announcer though). Everything that can be said about him, has been. And it all has been repeated yesterday and will continue to be repeated until, and after, he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. I don’t know how you can’t like this guy. Yeah, he got a free pass a lot of times from the media and fans because of who he was but that wasn’t his fault. He was just playing the game he loved and having fun (thank Madden for making that the most over used line when talking about Favre, but it’s still true). 

 

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The ironic thing is Favre’s last two games were so typical of his career, both the good gunslinging playmaker and the bad gunslining playmaker. Against Seattle in the Divisional round, in the snow, at Lambeau Field, Favre had a good Favre game. The play of the day, his spinning out of a sack and throwing underhand to Donald Lee (I think) who picked up the first down. It was a play that we have come to expect from Favre. It’s the play that makes us say ‘wow, how’d he to that’ or ‘wow, why would he do that?’ It’s a play that made fans love him when it went right and hate him when it didn’t. It was a play, in a game, that showed all the good qualities of Favre. He made plays, he tackled teammates, he threw snowballs and he looked like he was really enjoying himself. But that’s only part of Favre’s legacy.

 

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Then there was the NFC Championship Game against New York. It was not Favre’s way to ride into the sunset. He didn’t play great and when he had the chance (at least twice) to move his team down the field in the final minutes, he couldn’t complete a pass. Then, given even another chance in overtime, he made his last throw of his career. It was a bad decision, across the field throw that was left to the inside of the receiver and easily picked off. The Giants scored a few plays later and in doing so, ended Favre’s career. This game, this throw, was as bad as the previous game was good. But that’s what you got with Favre. More often than not, it was good. But every time he dropped back to pass, anything could happen.

 

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At first I was shocked Favre would retire after his great season last year. I was shocked he would want his last NFL pass to be an interception that cost his team a trip to the Super Bowl. But as I think about it, it makes sense. He is leaving after one of the best seasons of his career. The Packers will still be a good team without and it’s time for him to move aside. After two down years where people questioned his ability, he came back in 2007 and showed everyone he could still get it done. Why take the chance of having a down year in 2008 (I don’t think he would though) and putting those doubts back in the minds of fans?

 

Is Favre the greatest quarterback of all-time? Probably not. But he has to be in the discussion.

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Throwing an interception on his last throw kind of fits. Favre was a gunslinger, as cliché as that is. It was either a spectacular throw that made you say “wow” or a spectacularly bad throw that made you say “why.” On that last throw, Favre took a chance. More often than not those chances turned out good. Sometimes they turned out bad. But that’s what made Brett Favre, Brett Favre. I’m going to miss seeing him take those chances.

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