Etan Thomas and the 99%

With it looking more and more likely that the NBA players will reject the owners’ latest offerEtan Thomas took to the pages of ESPN to explain the players’ side. I found the piece very interesting, especially how Thomas chose characterize the debate.

Thomas deliberately uses phrases from the Occupy Wall Street movement to make his case for the players’ side. He’s not wrong exactly, but I’m not sure it’s the right move for the players.

Continue reading

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On Penn State

It’s really a shame (in every sense) what’s going on at Penn State right now. I really like that school. One of my best friends went to that school. Watching Ohio State lose there in 2003(?) was one of the most fun sporting events I ever attended (plus, I mooned an entire Taco Bell full of PSU kids on the walk home. I miss college).

There’s a lot of interesting articles out there about this tragedy that I wanted to share:

College sports can warp values.

An open letter from a Buckeye fan to Penn State fans.

The original district attorney in the Sandusky case has been missing for 6 years.

The predator, Jerry Sandusky wrote an autobiography called “Touched.”

There’s probably going to be most ugliness coming out.

Joe Posnanski has an excellent piece on Joe Paterno.

Jerry Sandusky’s son, Jon, works for the Browns.

I don’t have much to add on the Joe Paterno mess, other than the kids who rioted on Wednesday night were being dumb kids and rallying around their school, rather than, you know, supporting child rape. When you’re young, bored and drunk, you do stupid shit. Plus, after this OSU mess, I completely get the bunker mentality and the “us vs the world” state of mind. Doesn’t make it right, but I get it.

Also, kinda getting sick of OSU fans preening “now THIS is a REAL scandal” bullshit not to mention “how come ESPN took so long to lay into PSU, they went after OSU right away!!” If what you take away from this Paterno mess is that ESPN hates Ohio State, you need to reevaluate some things.

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Hey! Look over there!

In case you didn’t read the post directly below this, I’ve been writing over at all weekend. Some NBA, some Buckeyes, some NFL and some interesting links. Go check it out.

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Cavs hire new announcer, I’m still alive and other news you don’t care about

First things first, I know there are at least three of you who still check this site to see what I have to say. I thank you for that and I’m sorry I haven’t updated recently. Normally, I take my summer blogging fairly slow; I take some trips, see some shows, play some disc golf and then post about whatever ill-advised moves the Cavs make. But when you combine the NBA lockout with my love for Twitter (follow me, @BenCox83!) and my general laziness, well, things have been pretty sparse around here.

So if you’re itching for more Ben blogging, I have some good news.

The fine folks over at saw my lack of blogging and thought to themselves, “hey, let’s hire that guy!” and offered me a gig at their site. And of course I said yes. So it is with great joy that I announce that I’ll be joining the boys over at WFNY as a weekend blogger, starting this very weekend.

In all seriousness, I’m pretty pumped about this opportunity. If you’re not familiar with WFNY, well, I dunno what to tell ya. They’re the biggest and best Cleveland sports blog around and pretty much a daily read for the online savvy Cleveland fan. I’ll be over there once or twice a month, keeping things updated and posting various ramblings throughout the weekend.

Finally, in actual news, the Cleveland Cavaliers have decided who will replace Hall of Famer Joe Tait as the radio voice of the Cavs.


John Michael.

Ya. I dunno who he is either, but apparently he was the radio voice of the Lake Erie Monsters. Now, there’s two ways of looking at this: either A) Dan Gilbert hired a young (just 39), up-and-coming talent over some more experienced guys or B) Dan Gilbert hired a guy from down the hall (Gilbert owns the Monsters too, lest you forget) with no basketball experience.

Since I haven’t exactly been tuning in to Monsters games (to put it kindly), I have a hard time forming an opinion on John Michael (he’ll be calling games with Jim Chones, who I do enjoy). Michael could be good, he could suck, or most likely he’ll be somewhere in between; we won’t know until the games start (it’s exactly this type of sterling insight I’ll be bringing to WFNY). But it’s not like I had a specific guy that I wanted to replace Tait. I’m okay with the hire.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to judge John Michael’s work sooner rather than later.

Posted in Cavaliers, Explanations for Lack of Updates, Hockey?, My Ego, NBA | Leave a comment

Or like literally any phoenix.

In a article about how the Indians were built:

The 2011 Indians are like Fawkes, the phoenix of Harry Potter fame — they’ve sprung back to life from the ashes of their previous incarnation.


The rest of the article is interesting, if a bit depressing:

The Indians’ performance in the draft has been every bit as bad as their trade record has been sterling. In 1998, the Indians selected Sabathia with their first pick. Cleveland hasn’t signed an above-average draft pick since.

Quick: Who are Will Hartley, Corey Smith, Dan Denham, Jeremy Guthrie, Michael Aubrey, Jeremy Sowers, Trevor Crowe, David Huff, and Beau Mills? They are the Indians’ first picks in every draft from 1999 to 2007. If you recognized them, you must be a Tribe fan. Also, you need to put down the Xanax.

The best player in that crop was Guthrie and Luke Scott, who was 28 by the time he established himself in the majors.. By then, the Indians had long given up on them. For nearly a decade, the Indians have received hardly any help from their farm system. When you look at the franchise from that perspective, it’s no wonder they had to hustle on the trade market to survive. What is a wonder is that they’ve been so competitive.

As the author goes on to note, things look to be changing on the draft front with Alex White, Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis progressing quite nicely through the Tribe’s system.

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Now this, I can get behind

Sam Amico, if he ran the NBA:

• Anyone who played AAU ball would be ineligible to enter the draft until they turned 21. Anyone who didn’t play AAU ball could enter the draft straight out of high school.

• Trust me, most of the NBA’s problems aren’t because of what takes place in the NBA. Most are because of the butt-kissing buddy system at the lower levels. It’s why guys constantly shrug during interviews (losing is no big deal when you receive a pair of free Nikes at 15), and why LeBron James left Cleveland to play with his friends. Under my plan, the system producing such evils would be squeezed to its knees.

• Every player drafted outside the lottery would be forced to spend his rookie season in the D-League. Not only would it aid player development, but it would give fans a reason to pay attention and increase revenue in the NBA’s farm system.

Of all the various proposals by writers, this is the first I remember that brought up the AAU.  Not that Sam’s idea will have any bearing on reality, but it’s a nice thought.

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The Canton Cavaliers?

Not quite, but the Cavs are bringing a D-League team to Canton:

As the NBA lockout enters its second week, the Cavaliers are keeping themselves busy with their new, as yet unnamed NBA Development League team that will play in the Memorial Civic Center here.

The team acquired the former New Mexico Thunderbirds franchise, which folded, and moved it here, about 45 minutes south of the Cavs’ practice facility in Independence.

This could be interesting. The Cavs have a bunch of young guys that could benefit from D-League minutes (Alonzo Gee, Manny Harris, Luke Harongody, Christian Eyenga, etc) and having a Cavaliers-run team in Canton might make the roster movement a bit more fluid. It’s one thing to send a guy down to the D-League, it’s another thing when you can send him to a team just 40 minutes away staffed with YOUR coaches teaching YOUR philosophy.

In other news, it was a year ago today that LeBron made The Decision. If you’re a Cleveland fan reading this (and if you aren’t, why are you here?), do yourself a favor and don’t turn on ESPN today (I highly recommend this WFNY post). You’ll save yourself a lot of angst and frustration.

(Note: I’m not saying that ESPN shouldn’t be doing anything for it. The Decision was a huge deal. It set the tone for the entire NBA season last year…. which just happened to be one of the best seasons ever. I still think he should’ve stayed and that bringing one of his buddies to the Cavs makes them a better team than the bare bones Miami squad and you can go on and on. But if you can’t see how The Decision galvanized the entire NBA last year, you’re kidding yourself).

So instead watching ESPN, do something that won’t piss you off. Read about monkeys stealing some dude’s camera and taking self portraits or watch this amazing lipsnycing video and try not to smile just a little.

Or you can watch this 600 times. Goosebumps.

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