April 24, 2014

While Y’all Are Waiting: A Jeremiad of Sorts

[Editor's Note: With Craig being out today, we thought it would be awesome to have Denny Mayo return and do WWW today in Craig's place. For those who are new to the site and may not know who Denny is, he was one of the original weekend editors at WFNY and he gave this site a unique and interesting voice that we lacked before and have never quite been able to replace. But a lot has changed in Denny's life in recent years since he left WFNY to focus on his doctorate. Because he's touching on some hot button topics below, we are of course obligated to say that his opinions are his own. There is no unified stance from WFNY, as we are made up of many different voices and opinions. Some of us stand with Denny, while others disagree. But no matter where you stand, whether you agree or disagree with his opinions, this piece is incredibly well thought out and well written and, well, it's just awesome to have Denny back at WFNY, even if it is only for one day and for one piece. -- Andrew Schnitkey]

Dr StrangeloveGood morning. Craig is out today; the inmates have offered to run the asylum in his absence. Management acquiesced to our request.

It has been 1344 days since I last wrote words here. It’s nice to see you all. Things have changed, but you haven’t aged a day. When I decided to stop writing here to focus on graduate school, the NBA had just died a young death, never to rise from its ashes. Craig and I have talked about this on the podcast, but as I’m growing older, I’m finding it difficult to enjoy sports as much as I used to. At this point, I very well may like making esoteric jokes about sports more than I actually like sports. So it goes.

There are a number of reasons why I’m not digging on sports so hard anymore, and I’m writing whatever I want to write, so let’s get into them:

1) It really bothers me that Chief Wahoo is still a thing. Not the ‘debate’ about Chief Wahoo, mind you, but that the actual logo is still in use—and that any semblance of a ‘debate’ among the Cleveland fan base continues. The logo is racist dreck from a (mostly) bygone era and is generally condemned by the National Congress of American Indians. Yet we annually drudge up a ‘debate’ that begins and ends up with mouth-breathing talk radio hosts denying any evidence that Native Americans oppose the use of Native American likenesses as athletic logos, in order to get radio listeners to call in to their show so that they can convince advertisers to keep paying them. This debate is an auroboros of stupid.

I know that this topic is 1) stale and 2) not a lot of fun to discuss, but this is not an issue where there is much nuance, yet it is treated as such by many who cover it in order to frame the ‘two sides of the debate’ with a wonderful veneer of false equivalence, as though there should be equal weight given to each side. The AV Club review of the excellent series premiere of Neil Degrasse-Tyson’s COSMOS reboot (which you should be watching this show, by the way, because science is wonderful) gets to the heart of the matter of the show, but also the issue at hand here as well:

“The show is also unabashed in its commitment to truth—it matter-of-factly presents what we know about the universe, what we’re pretty sure about, and what we don’t know yet. Cosmos doesn’t hedge: You won’t hear the narrator, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, neuter any of his statements with a gratuitous “some people believe…” counterpoint. … In a media environment where truth has to compete with a “balance” designed to prevent hurt feelings, Cosmos’ straightforward tack is quaint—laudably so.”

There are facts about the history of America’s treatment of American Indians that are not pretty and that are not touched on during our primary education (probably because they are not pretty!). But they are facts, and they are ever-relevant when discussing the ongoing plight of the American Indian.

Sports should be fun, harmless, and inclusive. Chief Wahoo is none of these things—enough so that I refuse to put onesies with Chief Wahoo on my infant daughter that were given to us as gifts. To gloss over the nasty nature of the logo because [a largely non-Native American base of] fans want to keep using a Samboface logo because it reminds the fans of the halcyon days of their youth, or because the logo is ’tradition’, or because ‘only whiny white people don’t like the logo’, or because ‘it doesn’t matter because it’s only a logo’ are reasons that are at best selfish and juvenile and at worst come from a place far, far more pernicious.

2) It’s increasingly difficult to enjoy tackle football in its current incarnation. I’ve never been a huge Browns fan (cf.), but the NFL’s—and Roger Goodell’s—staggering ability to whistle past the graveyard and spread false information regarding the effects of brain injury does not sit particularly well with me. The tried-and-true delay tactics of pointing out that ‘the science is not conclusive’ and ‘more studies are needed before taking action’ are especially pernicious when you realize that every season that involves a delay in instituting some sort of acknowledgment and subsequent change to the game is another season in which 1) the powers-that-be profit wildly at the expense of other humans’ lives, while marketing their business as safe and humane and 2) another cohort of impressionable (and brain-capable!) children put on their Pop Warner helmets and start crashing into each other.

3) Add the labor issues involved in collegiate athletics on top of brain injury seriousness, and it’s even becoming hard to enjoy my beloved Ohio State Football Team. This does not mean that I do not watch, nor does it mean that I do not cheer for my team. But a lot of the fun is gone knowing that every time the crowd is cheering a big hit, the man who made the hit likely did so at the expense of a part of his life—and that he will go pro in something other than sports™ after being subject to the capricious gaze of the “Non-Profit” Arbiters of Amateurism.

4) Sports franchises aggressively hold their host cities hostage for absurd tax breaks in order to renovate perfectly good (yet highly land-inefficient) facilities, and will move if their deal isn’t sweet enough. This is no different from plenty of other businesses, except that sports teams are viewed as some sort of public trust—that just happen to be banned by law from being publicly-owned. And the leagues are non-profit entities.

So what we end up with are carpet-bagging team owners who come in, run roughshod over any semblance of tradition that the fan base is proud of, and then contribute little, if any, to the actual community where they make their sportsball happen. Immediately upon purchasing the team, we are inundated with PR blasts that tell us how we’ve turned a corner and that Everything is now Coming Up Cleveland, and This Owner Totally Gets It!

And then down the line these owners whose arrival and general existence has been lauded at every opportunity may even decide to build a casino and have their sportsmen happily remind stadium-goers to remember to vote for the casino referendum. And then after that, a land bridge to hermetically seal the casino-goers from the public. But if you hesitate to give them everything they want in terms of land and infrastructure, you’d better watch it—they’ll be gone before you know it.

5) That sports fandom seems to requires some caveman-like viewpoint of masculinity. This doesn’t manifest so much in dealing with actual sports, but often creeps in when sports and culture collide such as to allow the real men in the crowd to step forward and assert KNOWN KNOWNS, such as: the inability for a grown human adult to effectively play sportsball because of who they happen to be romantically involved with; that using statistics as a lens through which one can evaluate sports is invalid; or that Richie Incognito is anything but a racist bully.

Many of these collisions involve spectacular non-sequiturs, such as but not limited to: ‘WHY IS THIS NEWS?!’; or ‘I JUST KNOW A GOOD PLAYER WHEN I SEE ONE’; or ‘WHY CAN BLACK PEOPLE USE THE N-WORD BUT WHITE PEOPLE CANNOT?’ (For answers to these questions, you could do far worse than reading Ta-Nehisi Coates on two of these topics. Seriously, go do so. I’ll wait.) These questions reek of desperation and deflection from the issue at hand: that it is indeed possible that people of differing backgrounds can all participate in sport effectively, and that masculinity and personal background have little to do with it.

It’s also increasingly difficult for me to stomach the ‘suck it up and play’ aspect of fan culture. This is particularly bad with respect to hockey fans but happens across all fanbases. It’s not our place to demand injury upon others, or that someone over-expose themselves to the risk of further injury because we want their team to win at a sports.

Sports are an extension of humanity. It’d be nice if fandom were more humane.

6) I don’t like that I don’t like sports as much because of these reasons. This is much more inward-gazing and meta, but even with all of these issues I still do like sports. I enjoy going to Nationals games and DC United games, and I’m ecstatic that the Buckeyes will be playing in Baltimore and College Park this fall and I’ll be able to take a short train ride to go see my alma mater play tackle football. But I don’t view sports fandom as a very significant facet of my life at this point, and that’s weird and off-putting because it’s a pretty big shift relative to the majority of my life. It’s going to take a long time to come to grips with this, and I’ve only recently begun to really acknowledge it.

Falling out of love with sports has been a change that has been slowly developing, the sort of thing that’s been hard to track the evolution of. It’s been like watching a puppy grow, where suddenly three years later you look back at a picture and realize ‘wow, our St Bernard used to be tiny‘. The changes have been incremental and additive, and now I’m to a point nearly four years removed from writing about sports frequently where I can’t imagine trying to write about sports with any sort of frequency. Though I’m firm on the points above, please don’t read them as value judgements—not long ago I cared a whole lot about Cleveland sports, and I may care about them again at some point. Most of my good friends love them some sports, and I continue to make good friends with whom sports fandom (or, maybe more accurately, making sports jokes) is our initial common thread. I want to love sports again. I really do.

But part of growing up is realizing that life doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to view sports in a vacuum anymore. So it goes.

So rather than link to actual sports things that are happening as is customary in these pieces, I thought I’d point out some cool stuff that I’ve been learning about in lieu of learning about sports rosters and statistics (and if you guys have other fun things to talk about, bring them up, because quite honestly the community aspect of sports fandom is like its most positive aspect and why I still do hang around from time to time).

*One place I make time to visit every time I’m visiting family in Canton is the I-76 Antique Mall. It is wonderful. I am not joking.

*Cooking is something that I’ve been trying to learn more about. This came up somewhat frequently in discussions with Craig when we were doing the Casual Friday podcast, but I thought I’d point out some things that I’ve taken to recently:

*I’ve read Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue twice and started reading Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio. Serious BBQ is a hefty book with a whole lot of recipes, but it lays out some broadly useful stuff at the front end and includes a lot of tips that are quite interesting (like using an herb bundle to butter-baste meats during cooking). Ratio strips back recipes to their foundational bases, based solely on ingredient ratios and the order of ingredient addition. For me, this is hugely useful, because it’s easy to follow a recipe, but far more difficult to be able to grab a bunch of things off of a shelf and throw together a meal. Both books are super, super insightful and I recommend both if BBQ/cooking are things you like.

*The tri-tip is a fantastic cut of beef that I’ve recently gotten familiar with. So is eye round. Pork shoulder remains the meat of the gods. Bourbon is still king of spirits (I’ve recently been enjoying Weller Reserve).

*Internet Friend Sarah Sprague’s 2014 Chili Roundup is well worth your time. In brief: never, ever use store-bought chili powder in any dish ever again. But you already knew this, you smart devil, you.

*You should be reading everything that Kenji Lopez-Alt writes at The Food Lab. The chocolate chip cookie recipe is sublime (sea salt on cookies = advanced move) and the tacos al pastor recipe is absolutely worth the work (I made this last Friday and used leftover meat for nachos).

*Successfully growing vegetables and herbs is not trivial.

*Freshly-roasted coffee is sublime and remarkably inexpensive.

*If you want to find old pictures to make prints, the Library of Congress’ website is amazing. For instance: this old picture of Municipal Stadium during construction is incredible, and is free for download. Seriously. I printed, matted and framed a copy for my father-in-law this year for Christmas. There are lots of pictures of Olde Cleveland (and old WPA posters as well). Use this information to your advantage.

*As I haven’t been in Ohio this calendar year, I thought I’d ask a friend who has been to Cleveland this year about his experience. His response:

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport – I’m assuming it’s named for Sir Anthony – is entirely successful from a functional perspective: planes land there, and then they take off again. It gets a solid A for Being An Airport, and that shouldn’t be ignored; there are still delayed flights from 1994 in Dallas-Fort Worth, for instance. Beyond that? It’s the airport you would design if you were too cheap to pay for an architect and just downloaded the first “airport_plans_eminem_freestyle.jpg” file you found on LimeWire, a choice reinforced by the fact that the dining/shopping options are places you think you’ve heard of maybe once. Look: the Chili’s Too people wanted a crazy franchise fee. You’ll eat at Burgers of Calais and like it. (Burgers of Calais is not actually a restaurant in Cleveland Airport, and if you steal that name I’ll sue.) This is an airport designed to be forgotten quickly. I was there six weeks ago and already it feels like a particularly unremarkable dream.

That friend is Celebrity Hot Tub, and he was stuck in Hopkins for something like 22 hours. It sounds like y’all wow’d him.

*Home organization is an incredibly difficult and never-ending process. Case-in-point: I lined the wall under my basement stairs with pegboard and spend ten minutes or so a week wondering if I could better-arrange my tools. The same goes for kitchen organization and wall-mounting of frequently-used items. These things do not matter, yet they matter.

*Babies: really cool, and quite anxiety-inducing. I’m gonna take my kid to go meet Brendan’s kid today, which is kind of weird, but also pretty awesome. Hooray Internet.

I’ve come a long way from photoshopping Kelvin Sampson’s head onto Bruce Willis, y’all. Growing up is weird.

OK, it’s been fun. Go sports.

A Confiscated Letter from Kanye West to Dan Gilbert

Don’t believe me? Look closer.

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These Bears Are Riding Horses. Let’s Smile About That, At Least Briefly.

I don’t write out of character often, but I think I owe it to you all to sit down and be as bare and honest with you as I can because of the turd-rito that we just got served at Señor Yames’ Cafe. I can be bare and honest because I’m sitting on my couch naked, and I want you to know that I’m determined to get through this even if my laptop burns a hole through my thigh. It doesn’t help that I keep getting emotional and stopping because this is my last post here*.

Very often sports and our favorite teams are a diversion for us. Though we have athletes who represent our city, we more or less are aware that they are just guys who are really good at what they do and happen to play in the city that they happen to play in. Even when they sign multi-year deals and do charity work around the city, we kind of know that they’re more or less mercenaries or sorts, playing for our team because we pay their bills.

There are times when the players that we cheer for transcend that. [Read more...]

Friday World Cup Quarterfinal Recap

So, many of us like the footy. A few don’t. Cool. Those of us who watched today, let’s discuss. There’s some video at the end for those who don’t like to read lots of words.

Brazil v. The Netherlands:

Brazil played a beautiful first half which displayed their fantastic footskills. While the lone goal occurred on a brilliant through ball to Robinho, the entire first half was a steady wave of Brazilian offense, occasionally broken up by a dive by a Dutch player. Going into the half, the Dutch looked broken. [Read more...]

NBA Free Agency Report: Anonymous Exec Thinks LeBron To Bulls A “Done Deal” (UPDATED)

To borrow from Frowns, it’s Stupid Time. So, we get to hear a report every day or so about LeBron and things happening (even when nobody really knows what’s happening, except for LeBron). Today’s story du-jour comes from The New York Times (the Times!). While the Times were careful with their wording, ESPN Chicago has run with it and used much more absolute language.

Since I’m a bigger fan of quoting the less sensational, here’s what The Times had to say:

[T]he meetings might not be much more than a formality. The executive, who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow N.B.A.executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors. [Read more...]

Hey Let’s All Be Twitter Buddies

Twitter can be a very useful tool. I enjoy it to gather information about sports, politics, news, science, and also jokes (mostly jokes). It’s also a great way to interact. I realize that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a tool that a lot of folks that are part of this community use.

With that in mind, I thought it would be good to let folks leave their Twitter handles in the comments on a post in order to further the interaction between folks. I know this isn’t going to be for everyone, but hey – it’s a slow day. [Read more...]

Matt LaPorta Called Up, To Start Today at 1B

Following last night’s trade of Russell Branyan to Seattle for prospects Juan Diaz and Ezequiel Carrera, the Tribe are seemingly without a first baseman. To remedy this, Matt LaPorta has been recalled from AAA Columbus, where he has been hitting .353 since being sent down. According to Terry Pluto, LaPorta has fixed his swing while in Columbus to remedy issues that lingered following surgery for turf toe and a bad hip.

LaPorta should be playing every day at first base, getting experience at the major league level. Hopefully now that the team’s gone all-in as a “rebuilding” team we’ll see the young guys contributing and growing as they get every day play in Cleveland.

Photo Credit: Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com

Reds Hand Tribe Seventh Straight Loss

Before last night’s exciting Branyan news came out, the Tribe played a baseball game in Cincinnati. Justin Masterson started the game with a solid first four innings, but made an error on a comebacker in the fifth that allowed the Reds to tie the game at 3-3. Masterson took the mound again in the sixth, giving up a single, advancing the runner on a wild pitch, then giving up an RBI double and a single. By the time Masterson left the game, he’d fully earned the loss and had two more runs charged to him, as David Herrmann gave up two sacrifice flies to the Reds.

Offensively, the Tribe opened the game with a nice first inning, as Shin-Soo Choo walked, stole second, and scored on a Carlos Santana double. The Tribe capitalized again in the fourth, starting the inning single-double-double to score two runs. Following a strikeout, a Trevor Crowe walk loaded the bases, but Choo grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Tribe managed to manufacture one more run in the top of the ninth, but could not climb back into the lead.

The Tribe will be playing in Cincy one last game today at 1:40 to close out interleague play for the season. As things currently stand, the Tribe are 4-13 against NL teams this season.

While We’re Waiting: LeBron’s Decision, John Simon, Midfield Woes, and Hardesty

While We’re Waiting is a place to sulk and recover from saddening/maddening losses. If you’ve got some linkage for us, pass it along. We certainly appreciate the help.

LeBron’s gonna decide for LeBron: “Has this process sometimes led to mistakes? Of course it has. But James has no qualms with his belief system. One of his favorite things to say is that he doesn’t have any regrets about his major decisions. If he stays true to himself, he won’t have any regrets about this huge decision, either. Because he’s going to be the one to make it.” [Windhorst, PD]

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America Needs You Open Thread

Guys, I’m not gonna fuddle around with this. The USA is in the elimination round of the World Cup. Awesome, awesome things happened at the end of the Algeria game to make this a possibility. Bro Biden would say that today’s game is a big [something] deal. Chill Clinton stayed in South Africa just for this game. I’m out at the bar with Eli (Pour House, Penn Ave SE DC – Steelers bar yes, but today we’re AMERICANS, folks). Those of you who are around, leave your thoughts here as the game progresses – and even afterwards!

And get pumped. You know, for ‘Merica.

Photo Credit: (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Is this our Armageddon?

One of you guys said yesterday that Kelvin Sampson as coach of the Cavs is our Armageddon scenario. This is the mental image I got. Don’t blame me. Blame the fine folks at Pabst.


<A phone rings>

Kelvin Sampson answers his phone. It is Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, calling him back. “No”, Gilbert says. He hasn’t heard from LeBron. Quite frankly, nobody has. Even the great Tom Izzo could not get a hold of LeBron, Gilbert tells Sampson.

Furiously pacing, Sampson tries to think of a way to reach out to LeBron. Even a one-way dialogue is better than no dialogue, he thinks. He thinks “what would Bruce Willis do?” and it hits him. Pen comes to paper. Things finally come together.

<Strings, some piano, and a little bit of love> [Read more...]

Indians 3, Reds 10

The Indians opened a weekend series in Cincinnati last night, and came away losing the 9th of their last 10. While managing 9 hits, the Tribe only managed to produce 3 runs which come off of home runs from Carlos Santana (2-run) and Jhonny Peralta.

Pitching-wise, the Aaron Laffy got hit early and often by the Reds. Laffey went 4 innings, giving up 5 runs. Reliever Joe Smith did the team no favors, giving up 4 more runs in 2 innings of work. In a sharp contrast, Cincy starter Aaron Harang went 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting: Zone Blocking, End of an Era?, Footy Fun, and Burnin’ Stones

While We’re Waiting is where we chill every morning. If you guys see things that are proper chillin’ and want us to share, send them to our tips email address. If you want to proper chill with me today, I’ll be at the Pour House on Capitol Hill watching America go all America in Ghana’s faces. To the links!

Dawgs By Nature is running very thoroughly through Zone Run Blocking schemes for Joe Thomas et. al. I don’t know what it all means, but I like abstract art, and it resembles that. [Rufio, Dawgs By Nature]

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This Week In Sports: Furthering Our ADHD

Quite a week, yes? There were some Izzo-to-the-Cavs rumors. Stephen Strasburg made his first start, and now Carlos Santana has finally been called up. The MLB Draft occured. The NBA Finals are on, with a random role player from one of the two teams stepping up to help win every game. College football is looking to change significantly on the horizon. USC got hit extremely hard with sanctions by the NCAA. Somewhere in the footnotes of the week, you’ll see that Oregon’s starting quarterback was kicked off the team. Lord Stanley’s Cup was just awarded to the delegates from Chicago. Oh, and the World Cup kicked off this morning.

With all those things being listed, I’m gonna go all Buddy The Elf on you guys. What’s your favorite sports story of the week?

Some Clarification On The Izzo Story

To borrow from Brian Cook, “apologies to the locals: this is pure meta”. Disclaimer up front: I am not trying to be self-congratulatory or shower ourselves with praise. I want to put things out there so that we can all be on the same page.

Earlier today, we broke the news that Tom Izzo told his team he is going to take the Cavaliers’ coaching job. We have since been bandied about as ‘some blog’, had our credibility denounced, and been generally cast aside. There are numerous people who claim contrary to our reports. We stand by what we have reported. This post isn’t about the rumors in specific, but a look at what transpired today, and how it all fits into journalism, bloggery, and where we fit into all of this.

All of this began over the weekend, when we got a report that Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is pushing very hard to get Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. I published this information Sunday afternoon along with other rumors that had been covered elsewhere. At this point, Izzo had been rumored but we had the first report that things really were picking up. Soon afterwards, Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski put out tweets that solidified our story that talks were picking up. [Read more...]

Is LeBron James the Apple Inc. of Sports?

I really like sports. I also really like technology, and more specifically Apple products. My Macbook, though held together by duct tape due to my own stupidity, is my baby. My iPhone is indispensable. I’m looking forward to the day when I can change my setup to desktop + iPad for my computing. So this is an article that will likely interest me and no one else. It’s either one of the most lucid comparisons I’ve ever drawn, or it’s completely contrived. OK, the disclaimers have happened. Read away.

Two (non-political) things that impossible to avoid over the past few weeks in the media have been LeBron’s impending free agency and Apple’s newest devices – the iPad and the likely-to-be-announced-Monday new iPhone. In thinking about the two parties involved (LeBron and Apple) I’ve come to the conclusion that the two are extraordinarily similar in many aspects. I’ve listed a number of areas they’re similar and drawn examples of each so that it’s clear.

Hype: [Read more...]

NBA Rumors – Izzo, Mo, Delonte, Toronto

Note: there is a Finals game today. OK – got that out of the way. As Brian Windhorst pointed out in a recent column, this is the time of year where NBA trade talks start to gain traction. Most teams prefer their trades made before the draft, which is on June 24th. In addition, many teams hire their new coaches prior to the draft. The Cavs are one such team that needs a coach, and is likely to look at trade scenarios.

Touching on the coach rumors first, sources close to WFNY have let told us that talks between the Cavs and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo are picking up steam. While Izzo is a Michigan guy, so is Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. It’s quite apparent that Gilbert is not afraid to throw money around, and though Izzo has passed up the chance at NBA jobs before, the money offered may be so much that it would be very difficult for Izzo to turn down. [Read more...]

Tribe Pitching Shuts Down Chicago Once Again

The Indians took the field last night in Chicago coming off of Justin Masterson’s first win of the season, with The Fury facing off against Jake Peavy. The Indians got a superb performance from Talbot, who guided the Tribe through seven innings, allowing one run on six hits. Talbot was supported by two runs off of Peavy, who went seven innings as well.

The Indians scored two in the fourth frame, off of singles from Trevor Crowe, Shin-Soo Choo, and Austin Kearns. Kearns drove in Crowe, and eventually scored after a passed ball and a subsequent balk by Peavey. The White Sox got one run back in the bottom of the fourth after a two-out RBI single by Ramon Castro.
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While We’re Waiting: Enabling LeBron, The Bulls’ New Coach, and Predicting the Tribe Firesale

While We’re Waiting is a page that sometimes I forget to write the header for, and when that happens you guys don’t realize it’s a place where we round up nifty net articles and present them to you for your use. If you see something you like on the net, send it our way.

“Most of all, Gilbert had become the biggest enabler of LeBron James and his inner circle, and that only promises to get worse. Ferry never loved the players’ pregame skits, the hiring of James’ buddies, the associates’ riding on the team plane, but Gilbert seldom said no to anything. He behaved like the permissive parent who believed his kid would love him more if he spoiled him rotten. And it got the Cavs a superstar, James, who never respected anyone and a cast of associates who had the run of the place. Had James wanted Ferry to still be the GM, Gilbert would’ve backed down and Ferry would have a new contract.” [Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo]

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Absolutely Important Things: Madden Team Ratings

Some of you folks out there like to play video games. Many believe in silly Madden Curses (no worry, folks – Breesus is on the cover, not a Cleveland Football Brown). What people believe in most of all, though, is the validity of the rankings of players and teams. Why they do this, I do not know.

Gamespot has the breakdown of the NFL rankings based on Madden team score. As contrived as “power rankings”, to be sure – but this has artificial intelligence! The Browns moved up one point overall in their ranking from 2009, from a 69 overall score to a 70. THIS IS ABSOLUTE PROOF THAT THE BROWNS ARE BETTER WITH MIKE HOLMGREN IN THE FRONT OFFICE. The Browns are ranked 28th overall (haters gon’ hate), and fourth in the division.

Division ranks are as follows: [Read more...]