Saturday, February 3, 2007

White Coaches Make History

MIAMI, FL - The build-up for Super Bowl XLI has been mostly highlighted with talk of equality and opportunity. But for 25 non-African American coaches, Super Bowl week just doesn’t have the same pasty feel to it.

“For me, the Super Bowl has always been a corporatized event full of great football, pageantry and white coaches.” Said Andy Reid, who reached the super bowl two seasons ago. “This year, everything will be the same, except for the part about white coaches.”

Gone largely unreported by this year’s Super Bowl press, 2007 marks the first time in NFL history that a white coach has failed to reach the final game. The significance was not lost on Buccaneers coach John Gruden.

“Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that one race of people took a gigantic step forward this week,” Gruden Said. “But the argument could be made that there are a whole bunch of other qualified coaches that are being hung out to dry.”

Two-Time Super Bowl-winning Coach Mike Shanahan noted that this is a critical period for the future of white NFL coaching.

“We hope that this doesn’t deter generations of whites from getting into the sport that has treated us so well in the past,” he said.

Former NFL coach Art Shell, a self-admitted African American, remained skeptical about the possible trend.

“I’m not sure this will establish a pattern of white-coaching failure,” said Shell. "That is unless owners start taking chances on the Shula sons again.” Continue Entry»

Has Ron Mexico Invaded Minnesota?

MINNESOTA, MN - If only the Falcons had reached the super bowl, Jim Mora Jr. would still have a job and the state of Minnesota would still have a flourishing high school wrestling program. Instead, they've had to shut down the entire sport because of a nasty little herpes outbreak. As a safety precaution, the state has also banned direct "skin-to-skin" contact between the wrestlers - Oh you think so doctor? A national herpes expert not named Michael Vick said wrestlers are at a high risk for this sort of infection due to the nature of the sport. We could have never seen this coming. Continue Entry»

Friday, February 2, 2007

No Longer A Tall Tale

UPPER SANDUSKY, OH - We don't typically dabble in high school coverage or get too heavily involved with the recruiting trail (and judging by the latest rankings, either does Jim Tressel), but Buckeye-bound Jon Diebler is officially on our radar screen, and he's reaching "can't miss" status. If we would have only known sooner.

He's put up some ridiculous high school performances that would make LeBron jealous, including an insane 77-point effort in a regular season game a year ago. Not many can say the "King" is in their rear-view mirror, but Diebler dribbled right past him last week on the all-time Ohio scoring list. He's closing in quickly on former Buckeye Jay Burson for the number one spot.

Tonight his game was broadcast on Sports(some)Time(s) Ohio - as we affectionately call the Indians network. He was better than advertised. All Diebler did was unveil an arsenal of feathery smooth jumpers, step back dribble moves, and pin point passing on his way to 67 points. Some have speculated that Matta's '07 recruiting class could turn out better than the current one, with Diebler, anything is possible.

Diebler's now up to 40.4 ppg, 14.5 reb 7.2 assists, 4.9 blocks and 4.9 steals per game.

Some Diebler Links:
Dieblers making history
Diebler Bio on
SI Article
Diebler Passes LeBron Continue Entry»

Less Winter and More Bad Basketball

PUNXSUTAWNEY PA - According to everyone's favorite groundhog, An early spring is right around the corner. Unfortunately for Cavs fans, LeBron James did see a shadow late last night in Miami - a shadow of his former self. Let's hope this doesn't become a time-honored tradition. Continue Entry»

Sorry Ted Johnson, You'll Get No Sympathy From Us

NEW YORK, NY - Former Pats linebacker Ted Johnson must have had a rough one-on-one with Dr. Melfi - he's now blaming Bill Bilichick for causing depression and an addiction to amphetamines. Not many people had a soft spot in their heart for Bill Bilichick during his tenure as Browns Head Coach, except for maybe Todd Philcox. With that said, don't you think Clevelanders and other members of the Browns nation have a better case than Johnson? We were subjected one winning season, a healthy diet of Metcalf up the middle and the exploits of Vinny Intercept-a-verde. Had it been available, I'm guessing Zoloft sales would have been at an all-time high in northeast Ohio during those dark years. Sad thing this point most Clevelanders would take those years back in a heartbeat. If those were the dark years, what passes as a proper euphemism for the current era?

photo courtesy of cbssportsline Continue Entry»

Miami Post Mortem

It was a rough night in South Beach. OK, really just a rough fourth quarter. Either way, the Cavaliers are now only 26-20 and LeBron isn't exactly LeBron. I think the ABJ's Brian Windhorst might still be a little upset about losing his front row seat at the Cavs games.
"But he just can't stand sitting, especially when a national television audience is watching. I know he plays Mr. Team in the media, but he's just as vain as anyone else. Yes, when it comes to stats and awards he is too, despite what he says."
He's now shooting only 69% from the foul line (Greg Oden is at 63%, left handed and blindfolded), perhaps some rest is in order. Does anyone know if the All-Star Game is nationally televised? The Bobcats are next on the schedule. We're guessing LeBron won't be playing; either voluntarily or forcibly - depending on how Stu Jackson is feeling. We're guessing LeBron gets the one-game suspension for his "inadvertent" hit on D. Wade (seen below), which in our view, was more premeditated than Kobe's.

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Thursday, February 1, 2007

Nationally Televised Embarassment

AP Photo/ Alan Diaz
MIAMI, FLORIDA - This evening two of the NBA's superstars went head to head in the most popular city in the country, and one man came out head and shoulders above the other. That player was not Cleveland's Lebron James, who has been a shadow of his former self this year. Lebron now falls to 0-7 in Miami for his career, and went a miserable 3-for-8 from the free throw line tonight to go with 6-for-18 from the floor (Maybe he should take lessons from D-Wade, who consistently went to the basket all night long, got to the line, then actually made his free throws, and took over a very important basketball game for his team). Dwyane Wade outclassed, outwilled and outplayed Lebron during this contest, and even went as far as outscoring the entire Cavs team 24-23 in the fourth quarter. I don't know about the rest of you Cavs fans, but I'm getting real tired of watching Lebron miss clutch free throws down the stretch that cost us games (Let's not get started on the flagrant foul that was totally unnecessary and pointlessly gave the Heat a two-possession lead).
Perhaps we got spoiled with Lebron last year (Remember the guy who went to the basket, seemed to have a will to win, and wasn't lazy on both ends of the court), and it's starting to become apparent that he may not be the same player until he realizes that he's not a jumpshooter.

Bright spots for the Cavs were the career-high 19 points from Daniel Gibson (who inexplicably wasn't in the game with 3 seconds left when we needed 3 points to tie, but yes Z was in the game), and the continued impressive offensive game from Sasha Pavlovic. Cavs coach Mike Brown, who seemed to have found something in the third quarter and early into the fourth with his bench bunch, came back with Z and Lebron at the end and that proved to cost us the game. Just a thought: The high pick and roll with Z and Lebron DOESN'T WORK, nor does it take a very intelligent basketball mind to figure this out. Clearly that is why we ran that miserable play on every possession in the last 6 minutes of this game.
It should be interesting to see if Lebron gets suspended by the league for his hit on Wade, considering how Kobe Bryant just received a 1-gamer for something not nearly as bad. If so, the Cavs will probably win another game without him when they host Charlotte tomorrow night, and then we'll find ourselves wondering again "Are we really better without Lebron right now?"
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Useless News

photo courtesy of

PITTSBURGH, PA - According to, the Steelers all-pro safety with the stupidest hair in the league (Sorry Al Harris, you finished a close second) has recently changed his name to Troy Polamalu. I know, I know... we all thought his name was already Troy Polamalu, but in fact his legal name until yesterday was Troy Benjamin Aumua. In related news, Nene Hilario is considering changing his name to Nene Hilario. Continue Entry»

LeBron Will Play Tonight

According to the Miami Herald, LeBron will play tonight. It's not like this was predictable or anything, I mean, this is a nationally televised game.

Also, some crazy message board rumors have been circulating regarding Bibby and Artest coming to Cleveland for Gibson, Hughes and Gooden. We will not even begin to dignify such a ridiculous trade with valuable space. Continue Entry»

A Fusion of Bad Football and Overweight Women

We're often criticized on this site for failing to fully cover all aspects of Cleveland sports. Well we're certainly not going to start now - and instead we'll just make fun of the local women's pro football team. The Fusion have been around since 2002, and all they've done is win - meaningless football games. You might think the video posted above is a bunch of carefully edited stills. Nope, it was actually shot in real time...that's how slow they really are.

We're actually hoping for losses this season. Not b/c we believe in failure (even though we did create a failed blog called, but b/c we're fully aware that that the Fusion need to do everything they womanly can to win the coveted Holley Mangold sweepstakes. We have formally applied for press credentials, but are still unclear how the whole "reporters in the locker room" thing will work. I can guarantee you this though: If ever there was a women's locker room we wanted no part of, this would obviously be it. OK, we're obviously lying. Continue Entry»

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ming Squared

AP Photo

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND - Get a load of this guy! According to Sports Illustrated, Sun Ming Ming, the 7'9" center from China, signed today with the Maryland Nighthawks of the ABA. This Asian version of Gheorghe Muresan hopes to one day play in the NBA (And who isn't already wondering how long it will take for this guy to get posterized by Kobe or T-Mac). Sun is the tallest player in the history of professional basketball, and apparently complained that the XXXXXXL sized team sweatshirt that he was wearing was too small (Insert Asian penis size joke here). The owner of the Nighthawks raved about his "basketball IQ" and "soft hands," but said nothing about his acting skills (Ming made an appearance in Jackie Chan's upcoming movie Rush Hour 3). NBA scouts will be watching this guy closely, and so will Billy Crystal, I hear My Giant 2 is already being scripted.

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Roush Racing Hauler Car Causes Multi-Vehicle Accident

Photo courtesy of

In what appears to be the largest off-the-track whitetrash car accident in recent history, a Roush Racing car hauler ran into a motor-home, which then plowed into a tractor trailer, which then hit a big-rig on a West Texas highway. Yes, that is 4 seperate whitetrash vehicles all in the same accident by pure coincidence. The only car missing from this whitetrash catastrophe is an '88 Camaro with T-Tops and a "Get Er Done" bumper sticker.
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Buckeyes Travel to West Lafayette

The #4th ranked Buckeyes shouldn't have their work cut out for them tonight at Purdue, they really shouldn't. But the way things typically go at Mackey Arena, you should fully expect Greg Oden to be saddled with 4 fouls with about 16 minutes to go in the second half. You see, road teams don't exactly "get calls," at Purdue. They do instead get a healthy dose of 6'8 untalented balding white guys who think knee pads are an essential basketball accessory.

Hopefully the Buckeyes get real creative with their offense tonight and decide to throw the ball around the key repetitiously until they get a contested long range perimeter jumper. That's the offense I would go with if I had a 7'1 athletic player who looks like he's playing against middle schoolers. We're not exactly sure Thad is a suitable x's and o's guy at this point, but we'll obviously take his recruiting as opposed to the last coach. Instead of recruiting McDonald's All Americans, Jim OBrien's idea of recruiting was bringing in guys that used to work at McDonalds. Literally - Nick Dials just sold me a Six-pack of McNuggets. Continue Entry»


AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

WASHINGTON - The Wizards were dealt a major blow last night in losing the softest player in the NBA: Antawn Jamison, to a left knee injury. They were, however, able to come out with a victory to remain atop the mountain that is the NBA's Eastern Conference. Jamison is averaging almost 18 points a game this year, all of which come on floating one handers, which is precisely what you look for in a power forward these days. Jamison, who tip-toes the court like a ballerina, will have an MRI on Thursday, and will not travel with the team to Toronto. Reports are surfacing that if Jamison is out for an extended period of time, the Wizards might look to sign Brian Boitano to a 10-day contract to fill his role. In related news, Cleveland fan-favorite Carlos Boozer will also be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after fracturing his fibula...what a shame!

**Special Note: I have had a personal vendetta against Antawn Jamison ever since his North Carolina Tarheels lost to Utah in the '97 NCAA tournament when I had North Carolina's Mountain Dew Cap and was in line to win a $5 dollar hat that I would have looked ridiculous on me anyways. Continue Entry»

Former 3 Point Champion Disses Cavs

AP Photo/Mark Duncan

In today's installment of ESPN's Daily Dime, NBA analyst (And former terrible NBA player) Tim Legler predicted the playoff seedings for the Eastern Conference. According to Tim, the Cavs will finish in 5th in the East, behind Detroit, Washington, Chicago and New Jersey. In his analysis, he stated that the wine and gold were the proud owners of the least creative offense in the league (No Shit... I guess this is why they pay him the big bucks, to point out things that 3rd graders know). He also noted frustration in Lebron's body language (Something one dude shouldn't say about another dude), and claimed that the guys on the set as well as the cameramen could have done damage against Golden State last night. The Cavs continue to be easy targets for criticism from commentators around the league (Yes, even ones who never averaged more than 9 points a game for their careers and switched back and forth between the NBA, the CBA, the ILA) and I can't wait to see what Charles Barkley has in store for the Cavs after Thursday's matchup with the defending champs.

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What a Guy!

Latrell Sprewell's at it again. The New York Daily News reports former NBA choke-artist (and by choke-artist, I mean he is really good at choking people) had a $200 million lawsuit slapped on him. The suit was filed by Candace Cabbil, who is the mother of four of Latrell's children and as an added bonus she takes care of another one of Latrell's kids from a previous (and I'm sure non-abusive) relationship.

In the suit, Cabbil claims that she was dragged down the stairs by her feet after a pre-Christmas argument causing her numerous injuries. The suit is coming at a bad time for Spree, he just got off of charges of choking a woman while having sex with her on his yacht. Who would of thought that the NBA's four-time "Good-Guy of the year" would be getting into so much trouble after only one year out of basketball?

Photo courtesy of
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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Someone actually WANTS to play for the Browns?

Photo Courtesy of
CLEVELAND, OHIO - How good would this guy look wearing orange and brown? Well, according to Sports Illustrated, Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith has been taped as saying he'd like to be drafted by the Browns and give back to the community that he grew up in (Think about this Browns fans, there is actually someone who wants to be a part of this team!). Smith has his critics, and a lot of experts have him being drafted in the second or third rounds. His height is an obvious issue (So is the fact that he played poorly in the National Championship game against Florida, a team that made JaMarcus Russell look equally silly if not worse by picking off three of his passes and sacking him repeatedly), and the fact that he played in a spread offense has scouts wondering if he can be consistent under center. Granted, with the Browns picking at either 3 or 4 overall, taking a guy like Smith who's being billed as a "Project" would be tough to rationalize. However, if he's still there in the second round, who could really argue with drafting a quarterback who is a hometown fan favorite, actually is lobbying to be drafted by the Browns, and has proven to be a winner throughout his college career? (Although, I seem to recall trying this same idea out on a little white-trash treasure from Akron two years ago, and we still don't have conclusive positive results on that one)
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"Stern" Punishment for Unintentional Elbow

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Tonight, arguably the league's best all-around player was sidelined due to a one game suspension which resulted from the play shown above (Keep in mind, Kevin Garnett was recently also given a 1 game suspension for actually looking at Antonio McDyess, then winding up, and then throwing the girliest punch I've ever seen at him). Greg Anthony said he disagreed with the suspension, Tim Legler said it wasn't even a foul (Which the referees agreed with by going ahead and not calling one), and even Kobe Bryant's accuser didn't think he was guilty of this particular crime. Fans at Madison Square Garden have displayed the utmost respect for the superstar over the past few years, and even chanted MVP for him during a 40 point performance last year. This evening, during intros before the game, the crowd booed when it was announced that Bryant wouldn't be playing (They also booed when the p.a. announcer confirmed that the same overpaid underachievers were suited up for the Knicks). Fans who had purchased tickets to this game before the phantom suspension should be given their money back to make up for this disaster. Or better yet, David Stern could autograph some of the new basketballs that he implemented and later withdrew from the league after nearly every player complained, and then personally mail them to the ticket holders. What's next?...suspensions stemming from yelling too loud? How 'bout dunking too hard? The bottom line here is this: Just last night Kobe decided to give back to the NBA and it's fans by entering the Skills Challenge (Almost entered the Dunk Contest as well), and less than 24 hours later commissioner Stern decided to take a potential win away from the Lakers, and take a fan-favorite away from the greatest stage in the NBA. Continue Entry»

Cavs Improve to 8-2 Without LeBron

CLEVELAND - Mike Brown is the best coach ever. First he benches Eric Snow for the rookie Daniel Gibson. Then he decides to insert Sasha into the starting lineup in the spot vacated by LeBron James. He then tells the team to pretend they are the Phoenix Suns for one game. And what do you know, it actually all worked. The Golden State Warriors have a way of making coaches look really good - with the exception of their own. A few things that were either learned or reinforced tonight:

Gibson made the most of is starting lineup-debut. Count us as temporarily leaping on the Daniel Gibson bandwagon. Counts us off as soon as he has an off game. We're consistent like that.

LeBron was in a better defensive stance on the bench than he's been in all season. We kid Lebron, we kid.

The Warriors couldn't play defense if their lives depended on it, literally. Reports circulated that Don Nelson threatened his team before tonight's game that they would have to keep the Cavaliers below 120 or they would receive the Uday treatment.

Donyell Marshall must have taken his DeLorean back to the mid 90's. Two dunks on two consecutive possessions, with an actual team of basketball players attempting to protect the basket? That's precisely why they inked him to that $5 million a come up big on January 30th, 2007.

Fred McLeod has some interesting angles. At one point or another, he praised just about every Warriors player as having a "career" year. At 21-24, looks like they can only get worse.

Free throw shooting is still inconsistent, even w/o LeBron! Cavs went 28-39 from the stripe.

Sasha can really play (once in awhile). 24 points on 7/11 from the field. Could there possibly be a better time to trade him?

And finally, ball movement was the best it's been. Look, we know LBJ is a phenomenal talent. We know he put on a show last year in the playoffs. But what's clear to us is that the offense is stagnate with him in the game. We know he's unselfish (for the most part), but he needs to keep the ball moving for Brown's offense to work. He can't just pound the ball into the floor at the top of the key while the defense gets set - that's not good basketball.

photo courtesy of cbssportsline
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Stars Align for NBA Skills Challenge

Photo Courtesy of
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - This year, the NBA Skills Challenge will play host to the 4 biggest stars in the league today: Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash and Lebron James (Nash and Wade are past champions....Who Cares?). I wonder if they forgot that this is the worst competition that All-Star Weekends have featured since "2-Ball." I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't wait to see the superstars of this league dribbling around an obstacle course and passing balls into nets before shooting one non-climactic shot to stop the clock (Way more exciting than watching three of the league's best dunkers in the dunk contest and Nash in the 3-pt. Shootout). Personally, I'd rather watch the rookie game, the old-timers game, hell I'd rather watch a badminton game than this terrible event.
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Boobie Nips Starting Job

Cavs fans are getting their way, according to ABJ Cavs beat writer Brian Windhorst. Eric Snow and his 5 ppg will take a seat for the first time in Brown's tenure. We love Gibson and his aggressiveness - he's been called for more fouls in the last three games than LeBron James has committed in his career. We're more interested to see what this means for Brown's rotations and how the starting unit will defend the better perimeter players in this league, the one skill Snow excelled at. Inserting Gibson into the starting lineup probably isn't the magical elixir fans think it is, but it could just provide the spark on offense this team desperately needs.

photo courtesy of cbssportlsine
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Monday, January 29, 2007

All Toe Up: Lebron Might Rest Big Toe

There are so many heroic stories in sports, but none is quite like the plight of LeBron James. Alonzo Mourning came back from kidney cancer, Pat Tillman died fighting in Afghanistan and Kobe Bryant came back from rape charges (well that's not heroic but the fact he was able to keep his ridiculously beautiful wife after the ordeal was). LeBron James, well LeBron James hurt his big toe and played through it.........for awhile.

It appears James is contemplating sitting out a few games to rest his toe. As anticipated, X-Rays and an MRI confirmed #23 needs to grow a set and man up. Doctors aren't exactly sure how he hurt it but they did confirm that the injury doesn't look like the result of any overexertion on the defensive side of the ball. James was able to shoot around, stretch and toss the pigskin around at practice with fellow cavalier Sasha Pavlovic, but it is still unclear whether he will be ready to go this week.
"We're playing every other day and we have back-to-backs and there isn't much rest time.....It's something I need to think about and sit down with the coaches and come up with a solution," James said.

It's not all sad news though in the world of LeBron James. His foundation hosted a celebrity roast on Sunday to raise money and to well... honor himself. LeBron hosted the likes of Cedric the Entertainer (who hasn't come up with any new material since the Original Kings of Comedy), Paul Rodriquez (who can only make Hispanic people laugh) and Ralphie May (who has never made anyone laugh). After dinner, the "King" showed a video about his foundation and then, of course, finished it off by thanking his mother for raising him and for the tab he still has for her DUI and kicking out the window of a police cruiser.
Photo Courtesy of
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Brilliant Programming

Photo Courtesy of

ESPN HEADQUARTERS - I'd like to thank the wonderful people at ESPN2 for their selection this evening: 3 hours of old arm wrestling tournaments (Don't get me wrong, of course I loved every second of Stallone's arm wrestling epic "Over the Top," as well as every second of the soundtrack written and performed by none other than Kenny Loggins). Where else can you hear a second-rate commentator say "Did the thumb slip out of there or did he pull away on purpose?" when speaking about two sweaty men? Who wants to turn on their favorite sports network and see haircuts that belong in the 80's, bandanas and porn-star mustaches? And is it just me or is every sporting event that nobody cares about hosted at Mohegan Sun? (Typically women's billiards, although what guy doesn't stop to see Jeanette Lee gently stroking a pool stick wearing what must be the same black leather outfit for every match?) Apparently the folks in Bristol couldn't find any of their billion copies of "The Drive" or "The Fumble" which had previously consumed each and every open timeslot over the past 19 years.

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Least Powerful People/Things in Cleveland Sports

Not to be outdone by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who unveiled their not-so-controversial list of most powerful people in Cleveland sports on Sunday, had decided to compile a different list. Well basically we're doing the exact opposite, only with less names, less rationale, and probably less humor, but better writing.

6) - We've been around three weeks and have less hits than You could literally type in "" in a google search and not find anything. We stink.

5) Mason Unck, who inexplicably has his own website that can be found on google, It apparently is "going under a major overhaul." Oh really? Is that a page that really needs to be updated? If you've seen one Mason Unck special teams wedge bust, haven't you seen them all? Where's the stat on wedge busting? Shouldn't it be right next to "pass defensed," or "staph's infected?"

4) Greg Brinda, WKNR sports talk show host. I only use the disclaimer b/c I believe in the Arbitron ratings, and if true, he and I have the exact same amount of listeners: zero. The daily opinions of John Antus have more relevance to local sports fans at this point (That's not a John Antus death joke, that's a Greg Brinda stinks joke).

3) Mark Shipiro - although we all like Mark and will continue to pretend that last year never happened, we all have to admit he really doesn't have as much pull as we all originally thought. He can't go after big name free agents b/c of the inflated market. You know what? The market isn't inflated at this point, it's the market. If it happens every year, then the market is actually pretty predictable and therefore, reasonable. As an aside, what do you think Shapiro's reaction was the day he heard about Shooting Sizemore? Stroke? Heart Attack?

2) Ira Newble - Now, I just don't understand how a guy who averages 8 career ppg at a MAC school gets a shot at the NBA? Did he win a reality show that we never heard about? One that pays $3.4 million a year apparently. He better be buttering up the LeBronterage, b/c 2008 is rapidly approaching.

1) Bill Livingston - senior PD columnist and resident windbag, this guy really has his finger on the pulse of the Cleveland Sports fan.. Well only if that pulse belongs to; (too soon for a Casey Coleman joke?). OK, we'll scratch that line. Either way, his articles are as compelling as syphilis.

photo courtesy of
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CursedCleveland Kicks off Super Bowl Coverage in South Beach

MIAMI, FL - Greetings from South Beach, the town 8th and Ocean made famous! That's right, is on location all this week as we countdown the days until Super Bowl XLI (anyone good with roman numerals?). It seemed like every other media outlet imaginable was heading down south, heck, everyone from SportsCenter to CSI Miami packed up their bags - even Snowmobile Weekly made the trip, although I think it might be an uneventful seven days for them. We will have our reporters on the ground all week, pounding the pavement to give you a side of Miami that you and the Golden Girls never knew existed, and by that we mean, copying and pasting Dan Le Batard's columns under our names. Continue Entry»

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bengals State of the Union

The Cincinatti Enquirer reported on Saturday that the team is ready to head in a new direction. Bengals president Mike Brown has set forth his new agenda for the upcoming season. "There may be some gifted athletes we won't pick that we might have picked a year ago," Brown said in reference to the 2007 draft. Mike Brown makes it sound as if he didn't knowingly draft every criminal possible in last year's draft. Maybe this will all work itself out though. After Chris Henry's four arrests and subsequent "scared straight" 2-day jail sentence, we might start to see the Bengals become the moral compass for the NFL but I highly doubt it.

Mike Brown's 2007 draft class is going to be followed closely. Picking up 5 criminals in the 2006 draft is going to be a tough act to follow but if there is anyone that can do it, it's Mike Brown. I'm going to go ahead and play Mike Brown and provide you with my first mock draft of the 2007 season:

Cincinatti Bengals

Round 1: Brandon Merriweather-Safety (University of Miami) : This is an absolute no-brainer here. Not only did he start the season off with a bang (getting in a gunfight at teammate Willie Cooper's house), he also was a key player in the Miami-Florida International brawl as he was seen stomping on a Florida International player's head.
Round 2: Marshawn Lynch-Running Back (California): Once a shoe-in first rounder, Lynch's stock might have slipped for some teams but it skyrocketed for the Bengals after a former girlfriend alleged that Lynch choked, slapped and then sexually assaulted her. Rudi Johnson is definitely a capable back, but you can't pass up running backs that beat women (Jim Brown was the best).
Round 3: Eric Wright-Cornerback (UNLV): Some might say that he played an easy schedule and that he has never had to cover a pro-level wide reciever but you cant blame him for that. He would have been going against the cream of the crop if he had just hid his ecstacy pills in a better place before getting kicked out of USC.
Round 4: Demarcus "Tank" Tyler- (NC State): Although he did have allegations against him of assaulting a police officer and public intoxication, he does show a nasty attitude and a lot of passion. Prime example, against Southern Miss Tyler got frustrated and spit in the face of an opposing offensive lineman.
Round 5: Taurean Charles- Inside Linebacker (Bethune-Cookman): Anothe talented player who would have been playing at Florida State if only he didn't attack a student at a party and throw a keg at him. Imagine the upperbody strength you need to throw a keg, this is a definite indicator to me of his skill level.
Round 6: Juwan Simpson- Outside Linebacker (Alabama): Was slick enough to get out of charges for possession of a stolen handgun. Is pursuing a second degree in criminal justice (seriously).
Round 7: Mitch Cozad-Punter (Northern Colorado): Who said punters arent competitive, this one stabbed the starter in the leg.

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Sun Sets on Helpless Cavaliers

AP Photo/Mark Duncan

CLEVELAND, OHIO - For 3 quarters this afternoon, the Cavs were able to keep up with the hottest team in the NBA. When the fourth quarter began, the Cavs decided to score 2 points in the first 7.5 minutes and watch the Suns run away with a game that the Cavs desperately needed to win (They also decided to allow uncontested jumpers to rain through the nets one after another).

For a team in search of an identity, losing games at home and being unable to score on a team that is known around the league for a lack of defensive prowess certainly doesn't help the cause. Larry Hughes looked absolutely dreadful this afternoon (Who could have predicted that?), going 3-13 from the field with 3 turnovers. Lebron went for 30-9-5, but down the stretch wasn't able to entice his troops into forging any sort of resistance to the Suns barrage of wide open three-point shots (On a side note, I have gained a new level of respect for Steve Nash after watching his unparalelled level of efficiency at the Q today).

The bright spot in today's game was the play of PF Drew Gooden, who went for 19 points and 14 rebounds (8 of which were on the offensive end). I wonder if the Cavs lack of consistency this year has anything to do with differing rotations on a nightly basis? Nobody gets consistent minutes (Z played 13 minutes today), and it's causing problems throughout the lineup (I heard Danny Ferry is going to get a few minutes in the next game).

Having heard no real rumors of any potential trades, we must wonder what the front office is thinking watching this team continually underachieve. The Cavs have too many average guys who can come in and produce minimally, but lack that one other stud to compliment Lebron and take this team over the top (Larry just doesn't fit into this style of offense). If nothing is done to bring in some help, this team will continue to be miserable to watch and bow out in the first or second round of the playoffs....AGAIN!

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Hold the Mayo

WEST VIRGINIA - Normally initiating contact in a high school basketball game is grounds for a personal foul. That is of course unless the guy on the receiving end is an official. USC signee O.J. Mayo is officially ready for the NBA. If getting expelled from one school, repeatedly taunting others, and getting forcibly removed from a high school game by law enforcement doesn't prepare you for the NBA lifestyle, I don't know what does. Fortunately he'll be headed to southern California, where he's almost certain to avoid distractions and stay out of trouble.
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