Okay Cleveland...You had your fun...You had your excitement...Now it's time for your friendly wake up call...It's time to relax Cleveland...
Hey...Listen up...I said relax!
What part of relax don't you understand...Well maybe you two can have a few more minutes....
So why am I telling Cleveland to relax...Because this city went bat-shit crazy over LeBron James deciding to sign with the Cavaliers...And him and his sweet, well thought-out essay he co-wrote with a Sports Illustrated hack...Yeah, it was well written...It was good...But these dopes in the media act like he woke up Friday morning and did that shit...He had been working with this SI guy, Lee Jenkins for a couple weeks...Seriously, dude said so in an interview on Mad Dag Radio...All last week, the sports media world was talking about 2 things...Johnny Manziel possibly doing blow...and "Where will LeBron sign?" James played the media last week as well as he plays basketball...
And Cleveland...This is my hometown...As much as I rag on it, I love this bitch...But this city disappointed me with their begging for James to come back...Just 4 years earlier so many of them were mother-fucking him...Me, I had been trashing him for a good 3 years before that...But it was nice to not be alone anymore...But last week, they were swinging on his nuts again...And those dopes on WKNR....Go find that audio...These two clowns, when the news broke, you could hear them cumming and crying while they squealed like little school girls...I wanted to puke in my cheerios...
So Cleveland was thrilled with the news...People who burned jerseys 4 years ago were heading to the store to get a new one...Whatever tool-bag...But I finally was completely sickened, and embarrassed by my city, when multiple people in the local media, besides the average joe idiots said, "This is one of the greatest days, possibly the greatest in Cleveland Sports History!"
Are you for fucking real? Seriously, you cover sports in this city and you said that Jim Donavan? Oh he wasn't alone...A fuck-ton of his fellow media members said this shit...How about you idiots read a fucking book! Shit, Google something other then LeBron James!
I know the Browns have sucked balls for ages, but they were the shit many years ago...8 League Championships...AAFC Championships (4) 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949...NFL Championships (4) 1950, 1954, 1955, and 1964...Jesus Christ, one of your "Journalism" brothers that this area loves so much, Terry Pluto wrote a book titled "When All the World was Browns Town"
What the hell is the matter with you assholes?
Yeah, the Indians have only won two Worlds Series, but shit that 1948 team was stellar...And I think Larry Doby being the first black player in the AL, just a couple months after Jackie Robinson broke in, would rank higher then James signing with the Cavs...What about Frank Robinson being the first black manager in baseball...With the Indians...Oh, and in his first at-bat as player manager, he just hit a HR...Thats' not fucking sweet at all right...
If you really think a player signing to your local team is the greatest sports moment ever, then you need to walk away from sports...
Cleveland fans for years have patted themselves on the back for being such loyal and devoted fans...(I would consider the 455 straight sellouts at Jacobs Field to be a bigger deal)...The national media also from time to time talk about the great fans in Cleveland...What made Clevelanders so tough and loyal?
It was all the downs...Not the few and far between ups...Not the highs, but the lows...The fucking Drive...The fumble, that made me cry...Jordan's jumper over Ehlo...Red-Right-88...The '95 Indians losing to the Braves...The Braves who couldn't even sellout for their playoff games...The '97 Indians, a cock-strong team, one out away...Beaten by a Marlins team that was rented, and sold off weeks later...Yeah, that one hurt like a bitch...How about my Dad seeing the '54 Indians, one of Baseball's best teams ever, lose it to the Giants...
It's those painful moments, that made Clevelanders tough...After those defeats, Cleveland came back to the respective stadiums, and rooted for their teams...Clevelanders didn't take off Chief Wahoo cap...They didn't say fuck it, and throw away there Browns gear and sell their season tickets...They were right back there next year with that stupid dag mask on, throwing dog biscuits at opposing players...
In my opinion, those losses are great Cleveland Sports moments, because we didn't burn the city down and riot like Vancouver...We took it on the chin, and came back for more...The Cleveland that I love would have never begged a guy to come back, and wouldn't have acted so insane if he did...The Cleveland I love would not be going crazy for an egotistical rookie QB who parties constantly and acts like an ass...I understand...Clevelanders are thirsty for a winner...Thirsty for positive coverage in this town...I hope we see it...But we're better than this...
While trying to comprehend how the Emmy Awards failed to nominate Tatiana Maslany for her performance as the lead in multiple roles on Orphan Black...
Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @TheOneTrueJay
A bit of sad news to report this week as a former player I helped coach back in the 97-98 season was killed in a motorcycle crash on Wednesday. RIP, Ryan.
Ryan was a great kid to coach from what I remember even though that season wasn't great in terms of overall success.
My buddy Brian coached Ryan a few times and has always said that Ryan was the best kid he ever coached because he was talented AND coachable.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox haven't raised the white flag on the season officially, but this past week did bring about one move that showed they are on their way to acknowledging they likely won't be defending their World Series championship.
Boston designated catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment. This move was made instead of the expected trade of pitcher Jake Peavy. Since Pierzynski was found wanting in a number of statistical categories, the Red Sox let him go and promoted Christian Vazquez from the minors. Reportedly, they fast tracked him by only 6 months since the club had planned/hoped to bring him up next season.
But then you had the an article released on Thursday that had anonymous players going to management and making it known they didn't want Pierzynski (pictured below) in the locker room anymore. He was, according to what is said in the article, a dark cloud that didn't really fit in.
This couldn't have been surprising to management or the players though, could it? Pierzynski has a kind of SOB reputation around the majors. But I guess if you combine that and lack of production, they decided half a season was enough. You can check out the article HERE.
By the way, though this ripping of a player comes from other teammates this time, one has to wonder if anyone leaves the Red Sox these days without being victimized by bad press put out by the team.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Now that LeBron James has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the rest of the free agent dominos should fall into place pretty quickly. This makes me rather happy as it was nearly as annoying trying to watch any sports broadcast on ESPN this time around as it was for "The Decision."
The brother of a friend of mine works for the Cavs organization, so I'm sure he'll be pretty excited about his return. As for my friend Chad (born in Ohio, lives in Massachusetts but retains a die-hard Cleveland sports fandom), he's got to be ecstatic that LeBron is back in town.
The Cleveland fans are likely ecstatic that King James is coming back, but acceptance of their happiness has to be tempered by what they did when he left.
Probably the most excited has to be new Cavs coach David Blatt. Talk about walking into a great situation. Before the announcement, getting an NBA job was a great thing for Blatt but you kind of knew he was getting a job that was going to come with a lot of challenges. But with LeBron back in the fold, his job may not be easy, but it sure got EASIER.
Boston Celtics - The Celtics closed out the Orlando Summer League with a 3-2 record to finish in fourth place. While you always want to win when you lace up the sneakers, winning these summer leagues is usually a bit of a secondary consideration because you are trying to get a look at your new draftees and those players looking for a training camp invite or to stick with the team.
Mike Moser did well enough to earn a training camp invite from the Celtics. But the two players I was most interested in seeing how they did were Phil Pressey and Chris Johnson. Both played for Boston last season but are in the precarious position of having to fight for limited roster spots after draft picks and free agent signings have occured.
Pressey's fate will be known pretty soon as his contract for this upcoming season will be guaranteed by July 15th. Johnson has a longer wait before finding out if he still has a home with the Celtics. I really hope both stick around. I know the team was bad last year, but both players displayed good hustle and earned their spots.
I know it is a business and both might actually have to seek employment elsewhere but it doesn't mean I necessarily have to like that notion.
The New York Liberty continued their mini win streak to start off the week with a surprise 87-80 victory over the Minnesota Lynx. A photo of assistant coach Katie Smith from the game is below (taken from Getty Images).
But the Liberty came back down to earth when the San Antonio Stars beat them 80-66 and the LA Sparks knocked them off 68-54. The two losses dropped New York to 7-13 on the season.
The Liberty were also involved in a trade this week. For my money it has to be one of the more surprising trades given two of the parties involved. For those that follow the WNBA, you know that Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer is also the team's GM.
He traded Delisha Milton-Jones to the Atlanta Dream and in return got Swin Cash. So why is that surprising? Well, Cash played for Laimbeer during the Detroit Shock Bad Girls glory days, but the success was marred when Cash left the team after a falling out with Laimbeer. There was no love lost on either side. So while Cash's playing skills have eroded over the time they've been apart, seeing her and Laimbeer back together is a rather stunning development.
One more thing. You can check out a video story on how Katie Smith is transitioning from a player to a coach HERE.
HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER BASKETBALL
I attended my first high school girls summer basketball league game of the season on Thursday night. The Wareham girls were playing against New Bedford. It seemed kind of a mismatch from the tip as Wareham (a Division 3 school) raced out to an early lead against New Bedford (a Division 1 school).
The lead just seemed to keep growing as only 5 girls showed up for New Bedford. Wareham had 9 girls and they played well for most of the game. They ended up winning 53-29 to raise their record to 2-3 on the season. Of the 9 girls that showed up for Wareham, I had a hand in coaching 6 of them so it was nice to see them play a decent game.
As for the Upper Cape girls basketball team, apparently they are content to rest on their laurels. After playing in a summer league the past two years, it paid off for the team as they finished this past season with a 21-3 record (best in team history) and a state vocational school title.
So naturally you'd expect that they'd be back at it this summer to keep their game sharp during the offseason and hopefully developing their skills to try and get even better for the winter. And you'd be wrong.
Apparently no one bothered to organize a team until it was too late and they couldn't get into a league. And I didn't see any of the girls that would be returning to the team talking about playing either. A couple of them are playing on a travel softball team, so they could be excused for not playing basketball. But what about the other girls, most of whom will provide the bulk of the offense next year?
While I know my opinion doesn't matter to any one at UCT, I think not playing in a summer league this year is a huge wasted opportunity to build upon last year's success.
BOSTON COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Men's Team - The non-conference schedule for the men's team was released this week and I had to let my buddy Brian know that his team, Providence College, would be playing AT Boston College on December 5th. His response to me was that it was great news because he likes to go to Conte Forum and watch it resemble a game at the Dunkin Donuts Center (where PC plays their home games).
And while there wasn't a date given yet, the ACC home schedule for BC will include a visit from Louisville. Depending on when that game is supposed to take place, it might be a game I want to go see.
Women's Team - The Twitter feed for the women's team has been pretty active during the offseason as they've been posting photos and tweets about the team working out in preparation for the season. They also had pics from the BC basketball camp as well.
Oh and you can check out an interview with Karima Gabriel HERE.
A couple weeks back I wrote a brief little rant about how badly the new website design/layout for SI.com was. Two weeks into the redesign, nothing has changed and Sports Illustrated has issued zero response to readers complaints. And now they've taken that deafening silence to a new and utterly cowardly low.
Their Facebook page had been inundated with people complaining about the new site. Post after post complained about things not working, being unable to easily navigate the site and calling for the return of the old site. And yet nothing was done or responded to by the company.
And now I discovered yesterday that the SI Facebook page has been redone so that users can't post anything on their own to the page. They can only respond to articles posted by the magazine. That little box that says "Write something"....GONE. As are the posts that had been there under the "Posts to Page".
I can't definitively say it was because of the ceasless complaints but the circumstantial proof is in the pudding, don't you think? Utter cowards is what they are, they can't stand to see that their new design for the site is akin to New Coke and so they ignore people who tell them so.
SPORTS LOGO CLOTHING
The local clothing outlet store is having their big yearly Pro Sports tent sale over these next two weekends. I made my trip yesterday and came home with 5 new T-shirts. And managed to represent all four MAJOR sports teams with my purchases.
I picked up logo shirts for the Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics. I also grabbed a Tom Brady #12 and Vince Wilfork #75 Patriot T shirts as well. Not a bad haul for less than 35 bucks.
Food - My buddy J.D. takes a taste of some summer seasonal beers and tells you his thoughts in this article.
Movies - This week I watched the movie 300: Rise of an Empire. I was rather unimpressed by it. It felt like more of the same as the original 300 movie. It has the same "been there done that" feel as The Hobbit movies do in relation to the Lord of the Rings movies.
Oh, and if you haven't checked out the new Transformers movie yet, you can read the Pop-topia.com review of it HERE.
TV - My recap of the next to last episode of 24: Live Another Day can be read HERE. The season finale is tomorrow night and it will need to cover a heck of a lot of ground.
At the beginning of the season, Kiefer Sutherland said that this would be his last go-round as Jack Bauer. But fans of the show got a tad bit excited when news broke that the show would be holding a panel at San Diego Comic Con on July 24th. That news led rise to the rumors that they'd announce they were doing another event series.
But I think the chances of another series being announced is 50-50 at best. Depending on what happens in the finale, the panel could simply be a wrap up and thank you to the fans.
On August 1st, Netflix will premiere the six episode final season of the crime series The Killing. The first three seasons aired on AMC. I'm bummed that I'll have to wait for this to come out on DVD to see it since I don't have or plan to get Netflix but going by the trailer for the season (which you can see below), this looks like it could be one hell of a conclusion to the series.
Books - I finished the Robert K. Tanenbaum legal thriller Tragic this week. While a lot of the books in the series feature out of the court room action, this book stayed focused mainly on criminal trials. It meant for less blood and bullets overall, but it was still a really good read.
Music - My KNAC.com review of the new Ronny Munroe solo album Electric Wake can be seen HERE. I posted the link on his Facebook page and the page for his record label. Both hit the like button and Munroe shared the link himself.
The video for the song "United" is below.
I also picked up the deluxe edition of the new Judas Priest album Redeemer of Souls this week. This particular version of the album comes with 5 bonus tracks so I spent the extra few bucks to pick it up. A review will be forthcoming.
I've got one final music note. Classic Rock Magazine gave away the debut album of a band in a recent issue. As near as I can tell, the CD hasn't been officially released in the U.S. yet. The self-titled CD from the Australia-based band The Dead Daisies turned out to be a heck of a straight ahead rock and roll record. I'm planning to do a review of it at some point but I really enjoyed it. I'm a bit bummed out because I found out the band was playing last night as the opening act on the Lynyrd Skynyrd/Bad Company tour that was in my area. I was trying to go but couldn't swing the finances. But you can check out the band via their video for the song "Lock and Load" below. Oh, and this particular track features a guest appearance by Slash.
Locally it is another week closer to another epic meltdown by the Boston Red Sox who have decided to copy the San Francisco Giants with their “win one year, crash the next” strategy. The Boston Bruins lost top line veteran sniper Jarome Iginla and are struggling to find a way to replace him. The Boston Celtics are jumping in on trades to...well, who the heck knows what they are doing? Football is two weeks away as in just two weeks training camps will open and it will be all football news all the time until January as the Patriots try to get back to the Super Bowl.
Nationally in the MLB, the Baltimore Orioles have taken over the American League East, Detroit looks strong in the Central, and the Texas Rangers inexplicably have crashed harder than the Red Sox as Anaheim and Oakland duke it out in the AL West. Over in the Senior Circuit Miami and the Mets won’t die in the National League East as Atlanta and Washington remain bunched up, the Central is bunched up as well with St. Louis charging (and losing Yadier Molina for 8 to 12 weeks...Ouch!) and Cincinnati and Pittsburgh close enough to strike behind Milwaukee, and finally in the West the Dodgers and Giants are deadlocked echoing an epic battle for the summer played out initially in baseball history in New York and after the 1960s out west.
Basketball is all about free agency in the NBA and waiting for the dominoes to fall. Dwyane Wade is likely returning to Miami but will LeBron James follow? Is Chris Bosh too insecure to take the big bucks in Houston and form a Big Three with Superman (Dwight Howard) and the Beard (James Harden)? Carmelo Anthony SHOULD go to Chicago, but is there enough cash and glamour for him? Would he interact with Kobe in L.A.? Come back to the Knicks? LeBron to Cleveland? Now that would cause the Internet to explode.
The big news in the NHL is that the Blackhawks locked up their two top players signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to matching $84 million deals. Both are young (25 and 26 years old) and dynamic players on a squad that has established themselves as the elite franchise in the NHL. Having these two locked up for another another eight years puts the franchise on a winning track for the future. The ‘Hawks have two Stanley Cup wins with the duo and Kane has won the Calder (2008) and Conn Smythe (2013) while Toews has won the Conn Smythe (2010) and Selke (2013). Now they are in Chicago together through 2022-23. Wow. That is called winning an offseason!
Finally, the NFL is quiet with camps so close and the last weeks of time off for the players and coaches (and beat writers!). The NFL had the supplemental draft come and go without a team wasting a draft pick for the second consecutive year. The last pick? 2012 when Cleveland got Josh Gordon for a second round pick. Of course, Gordon is in the news for all the wrong reasons having already been reported to be facing a season-long suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. This time he was arrested and charged with a DWI last weekend.
Gordon is supposed to have a hearing for his suspension for the substance abuse test failure later this month to request a reduced suspension. With his suspension last year (two games and two games with no pay) and now a DWI and speeding ticket last month (with his passenger cited for possession of marijuana) the supremely talented player is doing himself no favors.
It seems the NFL Players Union has hurt their own players by negotiating all this time off in the offseason and limits on time working with teams. With more time off players have more time to get into trouble. Aaron Hernandez was the poster child for too much time away from the team last year, and now Gordon is finding more ways to sabotage his career. Some players seem to need the structure of team control all year long to keep themselves out of trouble, but the Players Union has decreed it is not in the best interest of their constituents to have them spend the offseason with the team getting better and putting out a better product and stuff like that. Sad.
Finally, from the NFL’s only publicly traded team--the Green Bay Packers--having to release revenue numbers comes news that all that money going to the NFL teams...oh, yeah, there is more than anyone imagined. NFL teams divided more than $6 billion last season. Revenue rose almost 5% from the year prior and just continuing to grow. The DirecTV deal is up and being negotiated...the NFL Network got another big chunk of cash for CBS to take over half of the Thursday Night lineup, and the money keeps rolling in. With no signs of slowing, the league continues to pile up the profits.
Fresh back from multiple vacations and my daughter’ discharge from active duty USMC and I find that we are in the middle of the early summer sports lull.
two of my sons at 30mph...not easy on a tube
I am not a soccer fan. The Germany 7-1 beating of faux favorite and host Brazil was the thing that could draw fans from the dark side. The NFL equivalent would be 49-7 and that’s what we are talkin’ bout.
MLB The home town team is in the position of seller because they are much closer to the AL East cellar then the top spot.
Training camps are just a few weeks away for the NFL.
Summer leagues are playing for the NBA, actually better B ball than the regular season for the most part, at least more watchable.
Sully had a question of the day I saw when I got back to the gab, that’s me sitting in the corner table at the posh “Mo’s Bar”
Who was your first concert and who opened for them.
I went to HS in the 1960’s
Rock and Roll
I went to as many concerts at every venue available as I could possibly fit into my schedule.
Hence my hearing loss.
I saw the Stones at Boston Garden in 1969, I think November.
BB King was one of the opening acts and that’s when I fell for the Blues.
I was 17 at the time.
I saw Pink Floyd at the old Providence Civic Center (now known as the Dunk) in 1973
Great live show.
Boston had a load of small venues in town and it was a regular thing to stop at the Jazz Workshop, Paul’s Mall, Katies or the Paradise in Kenmore Square to see the likes of James Taylor, Muddy Waters, Myles Davis, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Captain Beefheart and George Benson. These small venues were a great place to see a good show at a reasonable price and you just never knew that one of these artists could make it big.
One of my old favorites from those recreational days was
Captain Beefheart , ( Don Van Vliet 1941-2010) played from time to time with Frank Zappa and the Mothers along with a career with his own band. Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band had several albums with some success and his shows were very entertaining as he invited audience participation.
His most successful venture was the album Trout Mask Replica with is # 58 on Rolling Stones 300 best rock albums of all time list. Take the time to check out this unique artist and poet.
Two Trains…two railroad tracks
One going and the other coming back
The black paper between the mirror makes me said that I can’t go