The great heist. You’ve seen the movies. An all-star cast gets together to pull off one big job. Along the way there are hi-jinx and laughs. Plot twists force our gang to change plans or everyone gets caught. It’s a great concept.
So I was thinking what if we made a team with Cleveland athletes?
I proposed the question twitter and took in some responses.
— rick grayshock (@RickWFNY) March 26, 2013
I asked for five on twitter due to the brevity of the medium. For our heist, we will employ the full compliment. Cleveland’s Eleven.
Even for an fantasy heist, we have to have a target. What would be worth stealing? What would be worth laying lives on the line for? A title of course. So I settled on a pair of items. Baltimore’s two Vince Lombardi trophies. I don’t even think we need to discuss why.
I didn’t go all crazy and lay out a bunch of rules. I wanted to see what suggestions came in. The athletes could be past or present. Doesn’t matter to me, but you can’t say Jim Brown in his prime. We’re pulling this job this year, so if you want Brown, you get 77 year old Jim Brown.
So without further adieu, here are the individuals I’m recruiting for my team. My Cleveland’s Eleven-
Chris Grant: The Mastermind. Every heist team needs someone with his skill set. Grant turned Mo Williams and Jamario Moon into Baron Davis and eventually Kyrie Irving. He flipped Jon Leuer for Speights, Ellington AND a first found pick. If that isn’t a master thief, I don’t know what is. Not everything he has touched has turned to championship gold though, and that gives him the drive to make this mission happen.
Dan Gilbert: The Bank. Every job needs bankrolled. Gilbert has been bankrolling Grant’s thefts for a while. He has some business savvy of his own. Plus he owns the Cleveland casino. Let’s face it, that’s where the team meetings are going to be held. Casinos make heist movies better.
Kenny Lofton: The Grease Man. Lofton was a master of stealing bases, and home runs. While he may not have the same speed as in his prime, I’m sure he can get the job done. The under-valued part of his game was how he studied pitchers and knew their moves. He can apply the same skill-set to our team.
Jason Grimsley: The Lackey. Because, well isn’t it obvious? Can you image how that conversation went down? “Jason, we need you to climb through the ceiling and go get Albert’s bat back.” That’s a guy you need on a mission like this. Doesn’t question, just goes and gets it done.
Brian Brennan: The Dual Threat. Brennan was the ultimate team guy, dependable and clutch. Plus he’s a pretty smart cookie. We see time and time again athletes that end their careers and squander everything. Not this guy. He’s an all star in business. He’s in.
Jason Kipnis: The Dirtbag. Kipnis was suggested several times on twitter. Mostly because of his ‘dirtbag’ reputation. By that we mean he isn’t afraid to get dirty to get the job done. Not that he’s a jerk or anything.
Omar Vizquel: The Glove. A magician with his hands. And he speaks Spanish. I don’t know why that’s valuable exactly in Baltimore, but who knows. Omar is a guy that will keep the gang loose as well.
Manny Ramirez: The Wild Card. As twitter user Brandon Ennett put it- “Every heist team has a guy you just know is going to mess up something simple.” Fantastic point. Manny gets in for upside and comedic potential. Plus, you can have one guy who may just jump ship for more money somewhere else. But only one.
Andy Varejao: The Brazilian. I like the addition of the Wild Thing. Guys that are willing to get completely run over on purpose to exploit a rule seem like the kind you need on a team like this. Give him a role and forget it. He’ll get the job done.
Phil Taylor: The Beast. Suggested by several as ‘The Muscle’ for the group. Taylor is a big guy. He is an intimidating guy. He tore a muscle lifting weights, and came back to play that season. I like. You’re in.
Nick Swisher: The Newbie. I was hesitant to include Swish, mostly because he’s new. Too many people had him on their list though. As our own Kirk pointed out, he’s a charmer. He’s a great clubhouse guy. He’s a cheerleader. He’ll pick the group up in the dark moments of the heist. Ok. You sold me. You’re in Swish. (Plus, that’s a great nickname for a thief isn’t it? Swish.)
For a little clarity, Boozer and LeBron not included. Initially I thought Boozer was a shoe-in because he was willing to dupe a blind guy. LeBron stole the heart of the city and then slit it open on national television. Both would seem like perfect choices to be on a heist team. Then I remembered- you don’t break rule number one.
That’s my team. My Cleveland’s Eleven. How about you? Let us know your changes or completely new squad in the comments.