Happy Tuesday folks! I had a weird thought this weekend as the calendar turned to June already. I realized that we are basically a month away from the 4th of July, which I always consider the halfway point of summer. Because after the 4th, it’s just a month until August, which means the start of training camps for football, both college and pros, which thus means the start of the NFL season and autumn is just around the corner.
So yeah, on the first day of June, I found myself reflecting on how summer is basically over already. Anyway, we are 22 days away from the NBA draft. We are less than 100 days (93, to be exact) from the start of the NFL season. It’s a bittersweet realization because while I’m more excited for this Browns season than I have been for any in a long time, it also will mark the end of summer. Life can be funny like that sometimes. But the beautiful thing about sports is that they always give us something to look forward to. The only downside is that it seems like they always make the seasons pass on by so much quicker, because we are always looking forward to the next big event.
Hey does anyone remember Kaz Tadano?
For those who don’t, he was a Japanese pitcher who played a couple seasons for the Indians back in 2004-05. He was known for his ability to throw some of the craziest pitches you would ever see, until he became known for something different. It led to one of the more awkward and unfortunate press conferences you could ever see. It may have only been ten years ago, but society was a lot different just ten years ago, and nobody seemed to quite know how to handle the situation.
Anyway, this isn’t about that. Tadano has since moved on and is back pitching in Japan. And man can he still throw some of the most bizarre pitches imaginable:
I realize the ump is caught off guard by it, but how is that not a strike?
What to make of Vinny Del Negro?
The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to interview candidates for the vacant coaching seat. Last week the Cavaliers interviewed Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue, and apparently it went well.
From every account, Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue's interview for Cleveland's head coaching job left a strong impression on team officials.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 31, 2014
The Cavaliers followed that up with a talk with Alvin Gentry. The also talked with Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin, and apparently that one went well too.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) May 29, 2014
This weekend the Cavaliers also interviewed Vinny Del Negro. I haven’t seen any tweets saying how that one went, but VDN is an interesting case study. He sometimes seems like one of the most star crossed coaches in the NBA. He began his career with the Chicago Bulls. In his first year the Bulls improved from 33 wins to 41 wins. It was Derrick Rose’s rookie season and in the playoffs, the Bulls came incredibly close to knocking off the juggernaut Celtics. They lost in a seven game series that featured four overtime games.
In his second season, even though the Bulls once again finished 41-41, Derrick Rose was blossoming into a superstar and the Bulls played LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. The Cavs won, but the Bulls gave the Cavaliers all they could handle, with LeBron having to work extremely hard to help the Cavs gut out the four wins needed to move on. But it wasn’t enough for Chicago, and VDN was fired.
He was quickly hired by the Clippers, who went 29-53 the year before his arrival. In VDN’s three seasons he the Clippers won 32, 40 (in the 66-game lockout shortened season), and 56 games. Despite the Clippers having the best record in their entire franchise history in his third season there, VDN wasn’t offered a new contract.
He would be an incredibly unpopular hire with the fans in Cleveland, but there’s no denying he’s had some regular season success. He has a 210-184 record in five seasons. But he’s also coached Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul. Despite having some success, he’s been widely criticized for his coaching wherever he’s been. There’s a perception that his teams win games in spite of him thanks to the star players his teams have had. He clashed with Chris Paul in LA and it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t also clash with Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.
VDN is one of those coaches that look good on paper. You can look at his successes and how tough his teams play, and you can convince yourself he’s the right guy to turn around the Cavaliers. But there’s a reason he has the reputation he has and why the thought of VDN coaching the team makes so many of us uneasy. Hopefully David Griffin can resist VDN’s siren song.
Sometimes a silly segment can spark a serious thought
I’ve mentioned this before here, but I am a huge fan of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”. The show is topical, witty, sharp, and downright hilarious. John Oliver is absolutely killing it in this new platform.
On this week’s episode he dedicated the meat of his show talking about Net Neutrality. As Oliver points out, we’ve all heard of Net Neutrality, but how many of us really know what it is and what the repercussions of it are? So in the way only he can, Oliver brings everyone up to speed with a brilliant 13 minute rant about the future of the internet.
**Please note, the video contains NSFW language**
Again, WFNY does not have a singular editorial voice, so I am only speaking for myself here, but as someone who co-owns a moderately successful website, the issue of Net Neutrality has long been important to me.
What if ISPs relegate WFNY to a slower speed unless we pay a premium to get access to the faster service? We certainly don’t have the revenue to pay for it. And while I know that small sites like this aren’t the target of this issue, I’m worried about someday becoming collateral damage.
But as users and consumers, I hope we all realize that while the likes of Comcast and Time Warner will insist to us that this isn’t about charging us more money, it’s about charging the likes of streaming services like Netflix more money, the reality is that Netflix’s increased costs will be passed on to us, the consumers. Once again, there are enormous companies in Washington spending millions of dollars to influence legislation that will eventually force the average American citizens to have to pay more money.
If you don’t care about this issue, or if you are against Net Neutrality, I’m not necessarily trying to change your mind. But if you support Net Neutrality and want to see the Open Internet protected going forward into the future, I would only ask that you consider filing a comment with the FCC in support of Neutrality and the Open Internet by going here: http://www.fcc.gov/comments and clicking on Proceeding 14-28.
Finally, the new music releases of the week
After an off week, some really, really great music comes out today for fans of punk-influenced rock.
Bob Mould – Beauty & Ruin
Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
The Orwells – Disgraceland
F*cked Up – Glass Boys
Soundgarden – Superunknown 20th Anniversary Edition
Have a great rest of the week everyone, see you next Tuesday!