Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Most Dominating Player To Dominate Nothing


I sat alone in my apartment this evening watching the No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes take on their hated rivals, the Michgan Wolverines. I am a graduate of The Ohio State University, so it is in my interest to catch as many games as possible as the Buckeyes make their run to the tournament of 65. Since I do catch my fair share of Buckeye's games, I get a chance to analyze Greg Oden a bit more than your average fan who only catches highlights on "Sportscenter." After seeing this guy play I have come to one conclusion that no one else seems to agree with me on.

Gred Oden is not that good, in fact, he's not even the best player on his team! (See Mike Conley Jr.)

Throughout the course of the game, I heard the game's play-by-play crew refer to him as "dominating", a "freak", a "game-changer", and an "exception-to-the-rule". What has Greg Oden dominated at all this year?? He is 7'1", which makes him a mortal lock to be the biggest player on the court and his stat line reads 15.9 ppg 9.5 rpg 3.5 bpg. This isn't a bad line by any means, but dominating?! Has anyone seen Kevin Durant play? 24.9 ppg 12 rpg 1.7 spg 1.8 bpg 42% 3p. That is true domination at the college level.

I mean seriously, let me give you a list of five big men who were considered dominating players at the college level and you tell me who Greg Oden reminds you of most.

A. David Robinson

B. Tim Duncan

C. Patrick Ewing

D. Akeem Olajuwon ( Who knows how he spelled it then)

E. Michael Olowakandi (who knows how you spell it now)

The obvious choice is "E." Both Oden and the "Kandi Man" were the biggest players on the court, both lacked polished offensive games, and most of all they are both super soft. (on a side note, Olowakandi averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds his last season at Pacific). I know you can't teach 7'1", but you can't teach tenacity either, just ask LeBron James, version 20.07. As for defense, Oden is unequivocally the top shot-blocker in all of college basketball (not counting the top 15 shot blockers...which he's not one of).

I know, I know...Oden has been battling a right wrist injury that has been hampering his game all season. Does he jump with his wrists? Does he head fakes with his wrist? Does he get position with his wrists? Don't get me wrong, he's as ambidextrous as it gets. He's just as good at sitting on the bench with foul trouble, right-handed or left-handed.

I know that some lucky team is going to get the number one draft pick when all the ping-pong balls settle, and here's my advice to them. In an era where crappy coaches last two years, and crappy GM's last four, make it Kevin Durant, because Greg Oden will be good once you're fired.

Submitted by guest columnist Justin Welsh Continue Entry»

Friday, March 2, 2007

News

SignedBach!

BREAKING NEWS - Browns sign Eric Steinbach to kick off free agency period



CLEVELAND, OH - According to John Clayton of ESPN, the Cleveland Browns have reached a deal with free agent offensive guard Eric Steinbach. Early reports are that the former Bengal has signed a 7-year $49 million deal. It is still unclear if the Browns plan to move the versatile lineman to the left tackle position, the spot currently held by Kevin Shaffer, who most feel is better suited to play right tackle. Early reports indicate that the deal is front loaded with $23 million spread over the first three years. While most experts tagged Steinbach as best guard in this free agent class (possibly the top free agent), his hefty contract might be an indication that the Browns will move him to the blindside tackle position. This move almost assuredly cements that that the Browns won't take Joe Thomas if he slipped to the third spot.

We'll have more on this as we receive more word from the message boards... Continue Entry»

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Future Browns??



As most of you probably already know, there have been some big name players released in the past day or two. Headlining this list are players like Joey Porter, Fred "Party Boat" Smoot, Jamal Lewis and Joe Horn (If we were playing a Madden Franchise, I certainly wouldn't want any of these guys due to the fact that they are way too old, but thankfully I'm not in Phil Savage's shoes). Let's take a closer look at these "Bsmith's Most Hated" players:


Joey Porter - I have hated this guy more than anyone in football for years now, for reasons such as his fight with Willie Green (which wasn't actually scored by judges, but he clearly landed more punches), his badmouthing of K2, and his uncanny ability to sound uneducated in every interview. However, slap him in a Browns uniform and I'll certainly change my tune. He is a dominating presence at OLB, and would instantly transform this linebacking group into a major defensive strength (Although I'm not sure he'd want to shower with Kellen Winslow after he publicly called him a term that we don't condone....lying of course). Rumors have been circulating that if he doesn't get signed by a contender, Porter will start a blog with Tim Hardaway outlining all of the "Gay" players that they hate in professional sports.
Fred Smoot - The only reason I don't like this guy is because my fellow CursedCleveland.com writer Jeremy G has been all over his nuts for the past few seasons. He is a solid NFL corner, and adding him would certainly make our secondary stronger. My only concerns are whether or not the Good Time III hosts illegal stripper parties, and if so whether he'd extend an invitation to his buddies at CursedCleveland.com.
Jamal Lewis - Yea so he was indicted on drug charges, served time in jail, and has never been the same since returning to the field. I haven't ever liked this guy, he's set records against the Browns, and certainly don't want another slow running back (a la Reuben Droughns)...in fact he shouldn't even be on this list and I'm done writing about him.
Joe Horn - This guy has been a solid receiver in this league for years, however injuries kept him out of some games last year, he's nearing 50 of age, and is clearly declining in ability.....so he shouldn't be on this list either. Hopefully a division rival picks him up and he makes me sound extremely stupid for doubting him.
photo courtesy of steelers.com
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Browns Seeking Top 3 Free Agents

According to Len Pasquarelli, the top three free agents this off-season, in order, are Nate Clements, Adalius Thomas and Eric Steinbach. Apparently, the Browns could land all three according to this article. As Cleveland fans, we do realize that it is highly unlikely that we will scoop up all three of these guys, and I'd be happy to snag one or two of them along with Igor Olshansky from San Diego heading into the draft. A major snag in many teams' free agent plans is that Dr. Evil has become the agents for many of these guys, and reports are saying that Adalius Thomas is looking to receive a signing bonus in the $17-18 millon range (This is laughable considering this guy is 30 years old, and we already have an aging outside linebacker who's career is nearing its end). Free Agency begins tonight at 12:01 a.m., and here at CursedCleveland.com we will stop at nothing to bring you the news as it happens (Or we'll just wait until one of the big websites posts the news and then add jokes to it, post it, and have nobody read it).
photo courtesy of scout.com Continue Entry»

In the News


So what if he didn't score well on his Wonderlic test, at least Troy Smith proved himself in the title game...oh wait. Just wondering about Wonderlic

One positive about this year's Tribe: At least Wedge isn't platooning the pitching staff. Rotation a no-stress decision for Wedge

LeBron apparently doesn't listen to critics (add that to the list of things he doesn't do...along with practicing his free throws or wearing protection...We kid LeBron). Mavs, Nowitzki a big benchmark for Cavs

Seriously, what is Thad Matta paying his recruits? Babbitt rounds out Buckeyes' 2008 class

Droughns might be running slowly somewhere else. Browns weigh who'll run ball Continue Entry»

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Craig Karmazin Appears on "More Sports and Les Levine"


ESPN 850 WKNR's new owner Craig Karmazin finally broke his local cable access silence Wednesday evening as he appeared on the "More Sports and Les Levine" show, which is seen on the Time Warner cable system in northeast Ohio. Karmazin mostly fielded calls about his recent changes to the WKNR programming lineup, but wasn't afraid to tackle some of the more pressing local sports topics. Callers bombarded the owner of Good Karma Broadcasting with their specific sports talk preferences; some in favor of recently-obtained Tony Rizzo, and some lamenting the loss of the high school show and the acquisition of "Costas on the Radio." Make sure to check out my conversation with Les and Craig, as I questioned the necessity for the archaic "Sports Update" in today's modern internet age.


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In the News


LeBron hasn't decided yet if he wants to win a bronze medal this summer. LeBron undecided on FIBA games

Guys that hit 13 homers and 39 RBI's are lining up in droves to come to Cleveland. Team's good reputation sold Dellucci

Another nailbiter? LeBron is expecting a son

More info on the Akron Zips than you'll ever need (And this is only the first installment of a three-part series!) Changing basketball in Akron

The good news: Browns have $30 million to spend. The bad news: So does everyone else. Browns target few free agents

You can play two sports at OSU, just as long as academics don't become a distraction. Double Duty? Continue Entry»

The Jason Grimsley Witch Hunt Continues


ORLANDO, FL - Jason Grimsley just wants to be left alone. The former Indians relief pitcher spent an entire career toiling in relative obscurity and now it seems he can’t get back there fast enough. According to ESPN, Grimsley is once again the target of another BALCO-induced federal probe.

Among the athletes reportedly on the customer list are former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley, according to the Times Union. The 15-year veteran was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball in June after his name was linked to a federal drug probe.

We're not sure how this new information bodes for Grimsley's Hall of Fame chances; he'd probably have a better chance getting elected by the veterans committee at this point. If Albert Belle wasn't so busy developing an undetectable global positioning unit for the purpose of stalking his ex-girlfriend, he might be able to finally repay Grimsley for his little corked-bat favor. Either way, it's about time the feds left him and his jars of human growth hormone alone for a little while.

Continue Entry»

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cavs vs. Hornets Complete Recap



First Quarter: First of all lets go ahead and say happy birthday to Daniel Gibson, who turned 15 today, and is said to be eagerly anticipating being able to get his temporary drivers license this year. As for the start of the game, the Cavs seemed to be able to get any shot they wanted... however making them was a different issue all together. It was nice to see Sasha return to the court from flu-like symptoms (I suppose he's a little run down after spending the bulk of his time starring in Fox's hit show Prison Break). After one quarter of play: Cavs 25, Hornets 18.

Second Quarter: The second quarter started off at a make-up sex pace...bodies flying everywhere and a look of anger in the combatants' eyes. The Cavs were able to overcome an early run by David West and company, and Lebron finished off one of his most complete halves of the year: 13, 6 & 5 (He also had one of his best dunks of the year, which drew the oohs and ahhs of about 17 die-hard fans). He looked well on his way to a triple double, and the Cavs defensive effort seemed to have them well on their way to a home victory. Halftime: Cavs 52, Hornets 43.

Third Quarter: I started off watching the second half with a pretty good feeling about the way the Cavs were playing, and that's been a rare occurrence as of late....aaaand then jump shot time began (I don't think that Mike Brown's halftime speech included the words "Hey guys, I want you to go out there and forget about what's been working for us; just stand around and launch fadeaways for a while." However, the way the team came out, you could easily convince me that this was the plan). Thankfully for the Cavs, the Hornets forgot how to play defense as the quarter dragged on, and Chris Paul figured it'd be a good idea to get into foul trouble and not attack on the offensive end. The Cavs also switched gears and started attacking the basket again, and what do you know they extended their lead. At the end of the third: Cavs 77, Hornets 65.

Fourth Quarter & Final Thoughts: A couple of questions to start with: Why is it that Larry Hughes can't dribble a basketball? And, how many times during this game can he drive to the basket, and just lose control of the ball without anyone even swiping at it? Those being asked, the Cavs came out in the fourth extremely flat, and the Hornets quickly cut into the lead. With four minutes left, the game was tied at 83, my remote was broken and King Nick's lock of the night wasn't lookin so hot. I don't know why when the end of the game comes around, the playbook really gets creative and has LBJ holding the ball at the top of the key until there's only five or six seconds left on the shot clock, but hopefully we can resolve that in time for the playoffs. Just because I wrote that, Lebron went ahead and hit two consecutive 28-foot three pointers to ice the game, and although I don't agree with the shot selection, I will shut up because they went in. The Cavs had 16 turnovers tonight, which is certainly something to improve on, although they showed resilience in being able to hold off a few big second-half runs to get the home victory. Was great to see Lebron show the ability to finish a game again, man I missed that. All in all, not a bad Tuesday night. Cavs 97, Hornets 89.
photo courtesy of Mark Duncan/ AP
Continue Entry»

Draft, Free Agency, Rumors and More



Can't wait for the draft? Tired of being a loser and navigating from site to site for the latest rumors? Want to know who the Browns are going to get in the draft and free agency? Well I was a loser and searched all the sites for you, so no need to go any further.


Combine's Top Performers
-Calvin Johnson (WR: Georgia Tech) 4.35 40-yard dash at 6'5" 239 lbs (in a pair of borrowed shoes)
-Adrian Peterson (RB: Oklahoma) 4.38 40 yard dash, 38 1/2 vertical, 10'7" broad jump
-Laron Landry (Safety: LSU) ran a 4.32 40-yard dash
-Chris Houston (CB: Arkansas) ran a 4.35 40-yard dash and also led the DB's with 27 reps
-Chris Henry (RB: Arizona) ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at 230 lbs and also did 26 reps, this was a surprise since he barely even started in college
-Gaines Adams (DE: Clemson) ran a 4.66 40-yard dash and stood out in LB drills as well
-Alan Branch (DL: Michigan) ran a 5.08 at 6'5"3/4 324 lbs and did 33 reps
-Adam Carriker (DL: Nebraska) ran a 4.85 40-yard dash at 6'6" 296 lbs and did 33 reps
-Anthony Gonzalez (WR: Ohio State) ran a 4.44 40-yard dash and had a 38-inch vertical
-Yamon Figures (WR: Kansas State) ran a 4.30 40-yard dash
-Jason Hill (WR: Washington State) ran a 4.32 40-yard dash
-Patrick Willis (LB: Mississippi) ran a 4.51 40-yard dash with 22 reps
-Joe Thomas (OT: Wisconsin) ran a 4.92 40-yard dash and did 28 reps and had 33" vertical
-Justin Blalock (OG: Texas) ran a 5.10 40-yard dash and did 40 bench reps

Some Rumors

ProFootballTalk.com reports that the San Francisco 49er's might already have a deal in place for Baltimore Raven's linebacker Adalius Thomas. Now this would make sense if you were actually allowed to work a deal right now (which you aren't). For those Brown's fans hoping to get Thomas (I would be included), it more than likely will be between us and the 49er's. Let's hope the Phil Savage connection is stronger than the Mike Nolan connection.

It is starting to sound more and more like the Browns will make a push for Kris Dielman, the guard from the San Diego Chargers. Reports out of San Diego have the Browns as one of the main players. Obviously there is a connection with Chudzinski coming over from the Chargers and it might make more sense than the Steinbach signing. Steinbach probably is a more complete player but you are more than likely going to have to pay him tackle money.

Other Free Agents

CB's: Roderick Hood (Eagles), Travis Fisher (Rams).......When a guy named Jereme Perry touches the football field, that means you are probably a little thin at corner. We need a lot of help here. I think you would really have to break the bank to get Nate Clements b/c of the lack of quality corners in this years free ageny pool. Phil will give a long hard look at these two guys, not sign either one of them and then go draft a corner and find out early on he will not be able to play the entire year (DeMario Minter) or one that will fade into obscurity faster than you can say Antonio Perkins.
OG's: Cooper Carlisle (Broncos), Montrae Holland (Saints).......Once again, I do not watch offensive lineman play but scout.com has these two guys in their top 50 free agents and I think they actually do reasearch.
WR: Brandon Stokely (Colts).....Not actually a free agent but look for the Colts to dump his salary to clear up some space. He is the protypical slot reciever. This is one of our most overlooked needs. You have Braylon and Jurevicious with absolutely no proven NFL talent behind them.
Photo Courtesy of ivts.wordpress.com
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Spring Training Report # 1 - The Showalter Effect



With the Grapefruit League season just around the corner, the staff here at CursedCleveland.com is preparing to provide you the most comprehensive in-depth coverage of Cleveland Indians Spring Training 2007 (at least the most complete coverage that can be offered from 1085 miles north of Winter Haven).

While a few questions of consequence loom regarding the Tribe's 25-man roster, namely the last two spots in the bullpen and the ever-so-important utility infielder position (was it not Rafael Belliard's presence on the 1995 Braves that clinched their World Series victory???) we see the greater picture. While Jason Davis and Matt Miller will likely win the final two bullpen spots and Joe Inglett or Hector Luna the utility infielder job, the reality remains that issues much greater than these will determine the fate of the 2007 Tribe.

Of these greater issues, one is reportedly close to being resolved as general manager Mark Shapiro is nearing a contract extension with the team. Still, another potential powder-keg has been ignored by the mainstream media and even overlooked by the ever-so-perceptive internet message board community.

This major issue facing the 2007 Tribe? The presence of Buck Showalter.

Click here for the exciting conclusion
Continue Entry»

In the News


David Dellucci has a bone to pick with Ray Nagin and Michael Chertoff. A helping hand

Who's on first? I don't know...Third Base! Blake a man for many situations

Since when do they let David Manoloff cover the Cavaliers? Misfiring Cavaliers struggle for answers

The first time the Plain Dealer has recognized MMA ever. It's perfectly legal to start covering UFC events now...please start this Saturday, it's only a two and a half hour drive to Columbus. You have no excuses. Mixed martial arts knock out boxing

Bud Shaw thinks the combine is boring. You know what Bud, we've seen you on "More Sports and Les Levine"...you're not so entertaining yourself. Combine definitely not must-see TV

After a brain aneurysm, Peter Gammons only knows half of the Lake County Captains roster. Gammons stays positive in game of life Continue Entry»

Monday, February 26, 2007

Syracuse Wins National Title in February!!!


Syracuse, N.Y. - Well folks, the college basketball season is finally over, and the Syracuse Orange have won another national championship under coach Jim Boeheim after defeating Georgetown 72-58 this evening... wait no they haven't. In fact, all they did this evening was win a conference game, which will probably get them into the tournament yet again (Doesn't it seem like every year 'Cuse gets in on some miracle game and then gets beat by some school who doesn't even belong in the tournament?). However, if you were as unfortunate as I was, and had nothing else to do besides watch all 40 minutes of this game, (plus the deleted scenes bonus feature that they showed at the end by subbing in every big white guy who never plays) you got to watch a team that isn't very good go ahead and act as if they had just cured cancer right there at center court.
Gotta love Eric Devendorf, who has emerged as a pretty solid point guard in his sophomore year...well, that is when he isn't turning the ball over at a Jason Williams from the Sacramento years pace. Special thanks to the camera crew at ESPN, who never fail to zoom in on this guy screaming out profanities and getting overly excited after every made basket (If you happened to tune in, you would have seen him get his shot blocked badly, then get shown up by the guy who blocked the shot... and then in retalliation he purposely threw an inbounds pass off the guy's back who had blocked his shot, then recovered the ball, and threw it away immediately. You can't dislike a guy who will go to such drastic lengths to keep his "Street Cred" up in the middle of a game). Couldn't you picture this guy hanging out with K-Fed, Vanilla Ice, Eminem and other similar "White guys who wanna be gangstas" on the weekends? Congratulations are certainly in order for Towson St., or whatever other miserable team might supposedly upset the average-at-best Orange in a few weeks come tourny-time.
photo courtesy of espn.com
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Michael Vick Would Be Proud...


REGINA, Saskatchewan - According to reports from espn.com, the distinguished gentleman pictured above has been up to no good. Trevis Smith, a former Alabama University player, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual assault this month. Apparently, he knowingly had unprotected sex with two women, while knowing that he was a carrier of the HIV Virus (From the looks of him alone, I can't possibly see how he could do something like this). Smith was a linebacker for the Saskatchewan RoughRiders, of course... I mean is there a better name for a team full of thugs? According to reports, two Canadian women (Who can't be hot considering Avril Lavigne might be the only attractive woman in the whole country) told a judge that Smith knowingly had sex with them and didn't inform them of his condition. The judge believed the women, although Smith denied the allegations. I can't help but wonder whether or not this guy will be forced to inform his fellow inmates of his infection before they perform "initiations" on him? Falcons Qb Michael Vick has been very sympathetic with the plight of Smith, and is believed to be lobbying for a quick appeal for this case.
photo courtesy of images.tsn.ca
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Rizzo Returns to Radio


TERRESTRIAL RADIO - Legendary local sports personality Tony Rizzo made his triumphant return to sports talk radio today as part of ESPNR 850 WKNR's new programming lineup. His "cast of thousands" were back in full force, as Rizzo took his listeners on a virtual two-hour joyride. It was a who's who of local personalities and dignitaries that welcomed the "Riz" back to the airways, including former syndicated sport talker Chuck Booms, Detroit Sports broadcaster Matt Dery, Indians Paul Dolan, and yours truly, SportsBoy Tony.

The Fox-8 sports anchor had little trouble settling back into the role as local sports jawboner, as he took more calls in two hours than his predecessors had usually taken in a full three-hour show. For your listening pleasure, you can click on the player below for our unrehearsed conversation on today's show during the coveted 10 o'clock hour.


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New beginnings for sports talk radio station

WKNR.com
Ohio Media Watch Continue Entry»

Jeff Garcia to Join a New Group of Eagles


*The Following is a Special Guest Article Written by CursedCleveland.com's beat writer Mr. Elliott Feldman*

Philadelphia, Pa. - Reports are surfacing that the Eagles are attempting to lure former pro bowl QB Jeff Garcia. However, these reports don't say anything about him playing in Philadelphia. The Eagles of the New York Gay Football League have landed Garcia with a 2 year/$2,500 contract, with many undisclosed benefits to be named later. The NYGFL is known for their exciting play, charisma and hilarious team names. When glancing at the standings you will notice teams named Porky's, Bamboo 52, and our personal favorite: The Gym Bunnies (Something about referring to a team of men as "Bunnies" is just wrong on so many levels).

Many thought that Garcia would don the baby blue and pink of the Gym Bunnies, but some last minute maneuvering could land him right smack in the middle of this incredibly talented Eagles' roster. Apparently, the Eagles picked up another sponsor to find the funding for Garcia's healthy contract. The new sponsor, http://www.manhunt.net, has been trying to crack the NYGFL market for sometime now, and congratulations to them for entering behind Garcia.

We're fully expecting the most common plays from scrimmage to include the naked bootleg and the Statue of David. Here at CursedCleveland.com, we will bring you continual updates as this story progresses. For now though, put your money on the Eagles to make a splash in the SlapAss Bowl XXII.
photo courtesy of pathguy.com
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In the News



The Tribe loves platooning outfielders, but what about the no-namers backing up our no-namers in the infield? Who will fit Tribe's utility bill?

Supposedly some scouts have a problem with Smith's height. Scouts giving Smith short shrift

For two consecutive seasons, the Tribe's starting pitching has been remarkably healthy. Blame Sheldon Ocker and the ABJ if players start dropping like Ken Griffey Jr. after a wrestling match with his kids. Indians pitchers model of durability

Instead of "whiteouts" and airball chants, Buckeye fans came up with a new clever gimmick. Fans ode to Oden: 'One more year' at Ohio State

Mike Conley is pretty good too, for me to poop on!. Conley's keen abilities seem to surface best at crunch time

Brian Windhorst is sick and tired of jump shots and apparently, comprehensive game recaps for his blog. Been there, seen that, wrote it Continue Entry»

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cavs Fall in South Beach


MIAMI - If someone would have told you that Shaq and D. Wade would combine for 19 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists, you probably would've thought that the Cavaliers would lose and that D. Wade missed the game and possibly the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder injury. If so, you'd be right. The Cavs are now only one full game ahead of the Bulls and the #5 spot in the East. The Cavs shot just 36 percent from the field, dropping their record to 1-12 when they shoot under 40 percent. LeBron had a game-high 29 points, but was just 7 of 12 from the free throw line, dropping him to 58 percent on the season from the line. That's just ridiculously bad for someone who's supposed to take over games in the fourth quarter, which he failed to do, again.

So here's what he know at this point: Regardless of the specific player rotations, regardless of how well LeBron plays, regardless of whether Larry Hughes misses eight contested jump shots or nine...this team is inept offensively. They clearly need help, fortunately the trade deadline is only...umm, well there goes that idea. Continue Entry»