A Very Cleveland Sports June

I’ll be totally honest with you: I haven’t written in weeks because I’ve been busy, and nothing in the sports world caught my attention. I was off Twitter & Facebook for the month of June and I was having too many beers and hot dogs to care about sports. Don’t be offended. I’m back. Since nothing still has caught my eye I’ll give a recap on what I thought of June's Cleveland Sports shenanigans through the eyes of twitterless observer. Obviously the two biggest non-sports stories in June were Paula Deen and the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Voting Rights Act, but since y’all don’t care about my politics, I’ll move on to sports. There have only been a handful of things to talk about, so let’s dive in.

Aaron Hernandez

What a douchenozzle. Look, I’ve been pretty angry with some people in life, which is why James (@j_cynic) calls me #AngryDamien, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never wanted to kill anyone. If I were going to kill someone, I’d contact OJ and Ray Lewis and get advice from them on killing someone and getting away with it. I’d guess their first piece of advice would be to, I dunno, have someone else do it? Yeah, you could get just as much time in prison for conspiracy, but at least you aren’t a murderer.

And dude, you’re on camera with a gun you own, then you claim you have no idea where it is, but they found a clip for the gun? I don’t predict this ends well for you, and you know what, you deserve everything you have coming to you.

The best thing that happened to you was passing on UConn for Florida, even though most players under Meyer at Florida were thugs, and the worst was signing for the Patriots. Tim Tebow thanks you for opening the door for him. Either way, you give credence to my post earlier this year that athletes shouldn’t be role models for children.

Kraft and Belichick were smart to cut you the day you were arrested. Yeah, they could have saved millions by waiting until camp started, but the bottom line is they don’t want your kind of garbage associated with their team, and even if fans don’t like Kraft and Belichick, they did what many college coaches wont do: distance themselves from idiots who are ungrateful for what they have and commit crimes.

Nothing like throwing away millions of dollars in income and a fiancé because some semi-pro football player pissed in your Cornflakes.

p.s. – good luck on those other two murders you thought wouldn’t come up either.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians are playing quite well. They played terribly for a stretch in June, but teams go through slumps all season. There’s a lot to like about this team. I personally don’t think they’ll make the playoffs this year, but for your sake I hope they do. Let me go on record by saying that securing one of two wild-card slots and being bounced in a one-game playoff doesn’t count as making the playoffs, although Indians front office personnel and many amateur writers will say it does.

It doesn’t. Nice try.

Also, last week the dudes over at Waiting for Next Year wrote up a whole big thing about the Indians ticket pricing structure and how this was and wasn’t fair. I dunno, I had to read it 10 times to figure out. Here’s the bottom line: if the weekend games are too expensive for you, then go during the week.

Your kids are out of school, so take the plunge and go on a Tuesday night. If the only time you can afford to go is on $1 dog night, how about you eat before you go to the game and go on a different night? If everyone who bitched about the price of tickets went to to ONE game during the season, attendance would likely increase by an average of 3-4,000 each night. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s better than having a team in first place and only having 12,000 show up.

For the record, I’ve probably been to 10 games this year. I like baseball, so I go…even if it requires me to suffer through Brohio (worst promotion ever) and $1 dogs (second worse promotion ever) with Hayden.

Cleveland Cavaliers

I don’t watch the NBA. The product is generally terrible, and I’m not a fan of the draft system they use. It’s unneeded drama in so many ways. All that said, I have no idea who Anthony Bennett is, but I can tell you he isn’t worthy of a #1 overall pick. How do I know he isn’t worthy? Because I’ve never heard of him. You can continue to give Gilbert and Grant a pass (like Aaron did Tuesday), but the work those two have done with the team has been shittastic since they took over.

Oh, and stop blaming the departure of LeBron James.

If the Cavaliers don’t make the playoffs this season, then Dan Gilbert is the new Larry Dolan. Argue with me. I’ll wait.

Cleveland Browns

Can we call Chudzinski, Chudzinski? Jesus Christ. How old is this dude, and people are calling him Chud? H

How many people at the Plain Dealer, WTAM, WKNR, WKRK, etc are blowing the people in Berea to where they can’t act like reporters? If someone on MSNBC referred to President Obama with some stupid nickname y’all would be hanging them by his testicles. His name is Rob Chudzinski.

Use it.

I don’t know what’s going on with Jimmy Haslam, but when your company makes about $40 billion a year and you have $4 billion in debt, you don’t have a cash flow problem. Companies have debt, you have debt, and I have debt. If I make $120,000 per year and have $10,000 in debt, you certainly wouldn’t tell me the sky is falling, so why are you doing the same for Haslam?

Things aren’t well for him, and he’ll probably end up selling the team. I hope he doesn’t because I think he’s a decent dude, and not because he’s from Tennessee (#RockyTop), but because he’s better than the alternative. What’s the alternative? No one knows, and we all know the devil you don’t know is worse than the devil you do know.

If Haslam has to sell, will it go back to Lerner? Anyone know, because I don’t.

As far as Haslam’s background check, he had already been vetted by the NFL when he owned part of the Steelers, and I’m guessing this FBI thing started well after that. No offense to anyone in the NFL, but the FBI generally doesn’t care about you, so they probably aren’t willing to share the details of an active investigation. His potential crimes with his family’s business are a much bigger deal than the Cleveland Browns.

Did I miss anything? Of course I did, so I’ll try and pump out more words for you later this week on the other stuff I missed. Let me know what you think of what I wrote here.

Email me at Damien@morethanafan.net and follow me on Twitter @DamienBowman

The Time Has Come for the Lakers to Walk Away From Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard It’s obvious the relationship between Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers needs to end. Howard made it very clear in Game 4 that he doesn’t have the ability or the character to lead a team with the stature of the Lakers. Early in the game he threw an elbow, and in the fourth quarter talked himself into a second technical foul and automatic ejection.

Did I mention it was game four of a series in which the Lakers were down 0-3? The elimination game, and the teams biggest (active) star is acting like a baby because he isn’t getting what he wants. Parents: don’t let your children grow up to be like Dwight Howard.

I don’t know where Howard will end up next year, but he’s proven he isn’t worth the potential $118 million dollars he may get from any team. He continues to prove that he can’t lead a team to the next level and win a championship. We knew this in Orlando and it’s become apparent in L.A.

Some are suggesting that Pau Gasol would be let go to make room for Dwight Howard, but if you watched Sunday’s beat down you’d think Gasol was the one in line to make that $118 million. Gasol was basically ordered to leave the game, and the Lakers faithful rewarded Gasol’s dedication with an extended ovation, one only outdone when injured star Kobe Bryant showed up after the Howard ejection.

Howard’s long walk through to tunnel to the Lakers locker room should be his last. He doesn’t deserve to play in a city as great as LA with an attitude a third-grader thinks is terrible. Yeah, he’ll get paid a lot of money, but if he keeps his antics up, there isn’t a scenario in which he’ll win a championship.

During a post game interview aired on ESPN, Howard said, "I've got to do a better job of keeping my cool. It's very tough, you're out there playing most of the game, I don't want to lose, and sometimes when things don't go your way, sometimes you react the wrong way and I just got to keep my cool."

No kidding. You should try and play at least half of the game. He managed to only play 20 minutes of the 48-minute game.

Bottom line; if Howard’s goal is to become a champion, he needs to turn his attitude around by 180 degrees. This change won’t happen overnight, but he can make great strides between now and fall camp.

I don’t think he should re-sign with the Lakers, but I’m not sure what coach would be able to keep his attitude in check. Everything about his situation is self-inflicted, and he’s the only person who can correct it.

Direct Message to @Cavsdan, Shut Up and Improve Your Team

Thursday, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, known as @Cavsdan from here on out, told Detroit Pistons owner Tom Groves he should move his team to downtown Detroit. His apparent rationale: even if your team sucks you’ll still draw about 15,000 people. Cute.

Since @Cavsdan has so much freakin’ time on his hands to give advice to other owners, perhaps he can explain to the 15,000 fans who religiously attend Cavs games why their own team sucks; or maybe he can explain why the team has done virtually nothing to improve itself in the past three seasons?

You mean to tell me there hasn’t been ANYONE available in the past three years other than Kyrie Irving that would have significantly improved this team? Not one single player?

Honestly, I’m not even sure if @Cavsdan knows he owns a NBA franchise anymore. @Isley23 wrote this morning that @Cavsdan was a little too jovial during Mike Brown’s introductory news conference, and while I initially thought Ryan was crazy (he is) he’s right on about this.

This guy has pulled the wool over the eyes of Clevelanders and Cavs fans by buying its basketball franchise but instead of making it a contender, he’s instead put it into a holding pattern hoping @KingJames returns in 2014. Please explain to me why @Cavsdan thinks the best solution to his floundering franchise is to act like a furloughed air traffic controller and not make any moves that will direct this team into a winning position.

He says, “It’s an experience…let’s face it, (arenas) don’t belong in a farm field in the suburbs.” Which translated means, “please move downtown so I can make millions off your fans in my casino.”

It appears that @Cavsdan at this point only cares about buying and building more casino’s, and while I’m all about making as much money as humanly possible, he could at least pretend like he cares about the Cavs or the thousands of Cavalier fans that make the trek from Quicken Loans Arena to Horseshoe Casino.

So please, instead of worrying about whatever the hell the Pistons are doing could you maybe sign a few quality free agents and maybe put a winning team on the floor for the first time since @KingJames left? The committed fans that have been around since @KingJames left are waiting for you to show them the same type of commitment.

The Focus Now Needs To Be on Gilbert, Grant

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired Head Coach Byron Scott today; that is no surprise to anyone. What is a surprise though, is how it seems fans are giving a pass to General Manager Chris Grant and Owner Dan Gilbert. It’s time for fans of the wine and gold to hold those two accountable for their actions. As of this writing, I don’t know exactly why Scott was fired, but if it was for anything other than losing the respect of his players then his firing was wrong. There’s no doubt the team lost a lot of games during Scott’s tenure, but how many of those losses is Scott personally responsible for? I can’t say, and management likely won’t give us their count of those losses.

A few quick takeaways about Byron Scott from a person who doesn’t watch a lot of NBA action: I think expectations for him were too high when he was hired. Many thought he would become Cleveland’s Phil Jackson (no, Jackson won’t be coaching here), and thought he’d be able to mold the team into a contender. In fairness to Scott, his tenure was effected by significant injuries every season. Also, the team featured a lot of young players who hadn’t found their way in the NBA.

Is it Scott’s job as a former player to try to help them make the transition to the NBA? Of course it is, but he can’t do it alone. The lack of veteran leadership on the team is appalling, and that falls directly on the shoulders of Chris Grant. Many accused the team of tanking this and the previous season to improve draft status. While that may be an effective strategy to get quality draft picks, if that’s what the team intended to do, what’s the point of firing Scott?

Are there no potential free agents that are willing to play in Cleveland or for Scott? Is he that poor of a coach?

I appreciate that Scott was fired now instead of allowing him to start the season only to fire him a few games into the 2013-2014 campaign. That would have been a huge mistake for Gilbert and company.

Speaking of Dan Gilbert, why is no one upset with how he’s managed this team since LeBron James left? Not only did he embarrass himself and the city with the comical suggestion that the Cavs would win a title before James, but he allows its current superstar, Kyrie Irving, to disrespect the fans on fan appreciation night without penalty.

Gilbert and his PR department allowed Irving to walk off the floor after a tough loss to Miami and then lied about a non-existent injury. Irving showed his appreciation of Cavaliers PR department by mocking and calling them out. Why? Do not baby Kyrie Irving.

If there’s an owner in town that knows their fans would support public shaming an athlete for being a baby, it’s Gilbert. Gilbert should have apologized for the indiscretion by his PR department and made Irving an example of how Cavalier players aren’t bigger than the organization or more important than fans.

If Gilbert’s shaming causes Irving to leave when his contract expires, so be it. I’d rather the owner represent the fans than baby some kid who isn’t appreciative of what he has and the love the city shows him.

Byron Scott isn’t the reason the Cavaliers performed bad over the past three seasons; blame injuries and lack of support from the front office.

Ineffective moves in the off-season and being more supportive of underachieving “superstars” should put Chris Grant on the hot seat. If I could put owners on the hot seat, Gilbert would be there.

I understand Gilbert needs to make money, but it feels like he’s spending too much time building and buying casinos instead of managing the property that was his gateway into the casino business.

It’s time for Cavalier fans to hold Grant and Gilbert as accountable as they held Scott. Until those two become better managers, good luck signing free agents or a successful head coach. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

More Than a Fan Sports Calendar

What time does Ohio State play? What channel are the Browns on? What day is the Daytona 500 next year? Yeah, I cannot keep up with the times or places of most sporting events without looking them up online. So, we created a calendar that you can view on your phone or e-mail client.

We’ll keep the calendar up to date, and you enjoy the games.


ICS: Import into another calendar application Subscribe with your phone using the above link

[google-calendar-events id="1"]