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While We’re Waiting… Kyrie Irving and Steve Bartman

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Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“The Browns have some legitimate talent on the offensive side of the ball. Thomas is as good as there is in the NFL at what he does, Mack is a consistently good pivot, Cameron has blossomed into a huge playmaker and Gordon has all the potential in the world to be a great player for the Browns for a long time as long as he can stay out of trouble. Bess is a great complementary option like Joe Jurevicious was when he was here and the Browns have some players that can be solid if need be with some of their linemen and Ogbannaya, but they have a lot of issues that need to be addressed in addition to the quarterback position.

The good news is the Browns are well equipped to do the job. Not only do they have the picks, but the positions do not all need to be addressed in the first round and they can use some of those mid to late round picks to hopefully address find some contributors. It also remains to be seen how they will approach free agency this year. Much will depend on the analysis the Browns make on what they have and how good they feel about certain players both now and going into the future. They are going to put a significant focus on the offense; who and how remains to be seen. Done well, they could potentially have an offense just as potent as the defense they have put together and give whoever is under center next year a great foundation from which to operate.” [Smith/Dawg Pound Daily]

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Interview with Kyrie Irving. “That standard was evident post game as Brown railed on his team’s coasting through the first half on defense, in fact in what was maybe 15 minutes with the media Brown had little to say about his team’s offensive production, focusing solely on the miscues and effort on defense.

The plan is to change the mindset in Cleveland and that’s been the focus in camp.

“There is a lot more attention to detail,” Irving said. “A lot more long days, to say the least, we’re all getting used to it. It’s a mental grind for our training camp, but we’re all getting through it together.”

The Cavaliers have worked very little on offense, mainly because the defensive side has required the most work in camp. Not working on offense in camp doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Cavs.” [Kyler/Hoopsworld]

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“It didn’t matter that other fans reached out for the ball, too. And the rest of us practically ignored the mistakes that followed on the field. The Cubs had the Curse of the Billy Goat and now the team had its scapegoat. That night, during my walk back to our house off Michigan State’s campus, I physically tore my Cubs hat apart in frustration.

One of my professors actually sent out an e-mail to our journalism class with the subject line: “Jordan needs a hug.”

I wasn’t angry at Bartman, specifically. Bartman just provided the moment, the moment after which everything fell apart. I was frustrated for my grandfather. I used to lie on my belly, feet up in the air, chin in my hands, watching Cubs games on WGN while my grandpa sat quietly in his recliner. There was a silent bond there, and I felt pain for him and the rest of Chicago’s fans that night. It seems fitting that I’d wind up a baseball writer in Cleveland, which hasn’t had a World Series winner since 1948. Believe me, Tribe fans. I can reach back to my days as a fan and relate.” [Bastian/MLB.com]

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“Before the internet, young writers just starting out had only one reliable way to get published: their college newspaper or magazine. Starting your own site was a new option. One of the most successful of these early-days sites, at least in terms of launching careers, was The Black Table, founded by Leitch, Daulerio, Eric Gillin, and Aileen Gallagher in 2003 (the same year Nick Denton launched Gawker Media).

The foursome, along with many of their contributors, held jobs more traditional forms of media and wrote for The Black Table at night. “We started the Black Table to keep our sanity and, hopefully, so something would catch on and we could write for publications that people had heard of,” says Daulerio, now 39. “That was a two- or three-year process. But working for the Black Table was the best job you could ever have, even though it wasn’t a job.”

While no one I talked to said they had a plan, in retrospect, it’s clear that the route worked. “It was a way to show off my work. It’s easier to look back now and say, ‘Yeah, there was a path to becoming mainstream.’ But I just wanted people to read my stuff,” Leitch, 37, says.” [Askmen.com]

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