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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The word “rivalry” is a sacred one in sports, used to invoke a specific and powerful bond between two adversaries. It’s also used haphazardly to leech off the appeal of the real; rivalries are so enjoyed and so coveted that we tend to look for them everywhere. Players selected in the same draft class, playoff opponents who grow a bit testy, any similarly skilled players at the same position — all are tabbed as budding rivals. It’s an understandable urge to label them as such, given the rush that comes with that particular dynamic, but in an NBA world where rivalries are increasingly rare (if they still exist at all), the inclination seems a bit silly.” [Mahoney/Point Forward]
“All that said, it’s worth remembering how successful Fickell was prior to becoming interim head coach. His official bio on the university’s web site summarized it well: Ohio State has had some outstanding defenses during Fickell’s time with the team. In 2005 the unit was fifth in the NCAA in total defense and first in rushing defense. In 2006 it was 12th in total defense. In 2007 the Buckeyes were first nationally in total defense, in addition to being first in scoring and pass defense. The team was 14th in total defense in 2008 and, in 2009 and 2010, the Buckeyes were fifth and fourth, respectively, in total defense.
Was his previous success due to the mentorship of his co-defensive coordinator Jim Heacock?” [Beale/Eleven Warriors]
“Colon has been in the league so long that he was a rookie the year that interleague play began. He’s 40 years old. He’s played 16 seasons with seven teams, but only once has he played for an NL team. He has 10 hits in his career, which isn’t bad for a pitcher considering he only has 96 career at-bats. But he doesn’t have a hit since 2005. Five of his hits came in 2002 when he played for the Montreal Expos. He actually only has on hit since then.
In other words: The last time he had more than one hit in a season, he was 30.” [Oz/Big League Stew]
“Aqib Talib is a big cornerback. At 6’1 and over 200lbs, there aren’t many receivers that can dominate him physically, but Gordon did exactly that, terrorizing Talib with his combination of size, strength and speed all game, and actually making him look small on the field. Talib was in man coverage against Gordon most of the game and by the end of it wanted nothing much to do with a battle he was on the losing end of. Of Gordon’s 151 receiving yards, 141 of them came against Talib. He was thrown at five times covered by New England’s best corner and caught all five, with Talib also drawing three holding penalties as he tried desperately to live with Gordon. To be fair to Talib one of those calls was extremely harsh, with both players grabbing hold of each other and wrestling to the floor with only Talib drawing the flag against him, but that particular penalty was the least of his worries overall.” [Monson/Pro Football Focus]
!!! “Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was hit with a shocking diagnosis during his lone season with the Los Angeles Lakers last year. According to a physician working with the team’s medical staff, Howard was consuming “the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars a day” because of all the candy and glucose-rich carbonated soda he was drinking.” [Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie]