While We’re Waiting…ESPN Cheap Shots, Colt Optimism, Cavs Rotations

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

‘Dudes’?: “As if ‘The Decision’ weren’t brutal enough for Cavs fans, ESPN is throwing another gut punch…Scene two, labeled “Unamazing Cavaliers” and “King James no more!,” carries an image of LeBron James in a Miami Heat uniform walking away from his crumpled number 23 Cavs jersey in the garbage can.  The Cavs are the only team in the preview issue not illustrated by an image of a current player or owner.  Gary Belsky, ESPN the Magazine’s editor in chief, said his staff was sympathetic to Cavs fans, but when ESPN writers and editors presented story lines for the season to Marvel artists, they decided this was the way to tell it.  ‘Honestly,’ he said, ‘we talked a lot about that and we didn’t see it as kicking the city and Cavs fans while they’re down.’  In fact, Belsky promised a special-edition image if the Cavs surpass ESPN’s expectations.  ‘Nothing would make us happier if that would be the case,” he said. “If they get past 40 wins, I will go back to Marvel and say, ‘Dudes, we were wrong.'” [Bill Lubinger/Cleveland.com]

Optimism for this Sunday: “Pity is the predominant emotion when it comes to rookie Colt McCoy making his NFL debut tomorrow at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Know who doesn’t feel sorry, though? That would be Colt McCoy.  And why should he doubt himself, or feel bad for his situation? The guy’s been a winner his whole life – on and off the field – whose always made the most of his opportunities…So enough feeling sorry for this guy, because  I’m sure he doesn’t mind the way his life has played out up to this point. Instead, let’s focus on 5 things that could alleviate some of the pressure off Colt’s shoulders when he takes on the Steelers and their 4th ranked defense.” [Bernie Dawkins/Dawg Pound Daily]

Looking at some of the advanced statistics for today’s game: “We’ve been told (and told and told) that the Steelers O-Line has improved.  Well, last year they were 29th in adjusted sack rate- giving up a sack or intentional grounding on 8.5% of all drop backs.  This year? they are 26th in adjusted sack rate- giving up a sack or intentional grounding on 9.3% of all drop backs.  Now, the sample is small because they haven’t thrown the ball all that much.  However, Roethlisberger is a lot of things (e.g., a tool, a creep), but I don’t think anyone would argue that he will improve his team’s sack rate.  The Browns are 8th in sack rate.  Simply, the Browns must get pressure on Roethlisberger. Because the corners have been the weakness for the Browns.  They are 31st in defending passes against #1’s and 20th against #2 WRs.  And the Steelers have a solid 1-2 combo in Mike Wallace and Hines Ward.” [Ryan Kelsey/Dawgs by Nature]

Some Week 6 NFL Picks, with more Brownie optimism. [BT/WhatZgonnahappen]

Coach Scott still bouncing around different rotations:  “He likes how Jamario Moon can run and believes he’s an underrated outside shooter, but is concerned about his ball-handling … and also thinks Moon needs to do a better job with team defense. Of the small forwards, Moon is having the best preseason, averaging 6.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and shooting 50 percent in 25 minutes a game. In 2008-09, he started 60 games between Miami/Toronto, averaging 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and shooting 47 percent in 28 minutes…Jawad Williams can shoot a stationary jumper with some success and is decent on defense, but it’s hard to picture the St. Edward product as a starter. Joey Graham can defend, but really can’t shoot. ‘We are looking at some kind of committee approach, but I’m not sure how it will work,’ said Scott, adding that he’d like to get 15 points from whatever combination becomes the small forward.” [Terry Pluto/Plain Dealer]

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “[…] we talked a lot about that and we didn’t see it as kicking the city and Cavs fans while they’re down.”

    Status quo based on everything else ESPN does with Cleveland. Business as usual, I guess.

  • http://gooddoctorzeus.blogspot.com DocZeus

    It’s b.s. like this is the reason I want the Cavs to make the playoffs this season. I want our day in court.

  • boogeyman

    That ESPN stuff is bush league but really, it’s played out. Be honest did or would you expect anything else from them? To me they have proven what a joke they are so anything they say or write is a joke. If the Cavaliers or for that matter any Cleveland sports team starts to win again you best believe good ‘ol ESPN will be right there sucking at the teet of success. It’s what they do.

    On another note I’m just hoping Colt can keep his head, literally. I’m eagerly waiting for 1 PM to watch what I expect will be carnage. I should get a notepad to keep track of how many pass plays 1. Go for less then 10 yeards and 2. How many of those pass plays are actually completed.

  • Dave

    The ESPN story line on the Cavs for the last 6 years has been “LeBron + scrubs”. It doesn’t matter what evidence exists to the contrary. My guess is that in large part this has to do with not being able to heavily market Mo, Andy, or Antawn.