Monday Musings and Mutterings

Blog/site newsCavaliersOSU LogoOSU Footballgholstonbicep.jpgIn an attempt to make a weekly brain dump, I’m going to try to do this on a regular basis.

  • I know it’s only been one game, but the new Cavs have me excited. Even though Ben Wallace is the headliner of this trade, I think the player I’m most excited about is Joe Smith. Everytime Drew Gooden dropped back to hit a jumper outside of 10 feet, I held my breath and closed my eyes. Joe Smith, on the other hand, has a smooth stroke. I’m looking forward to watching more of the new look Cavs team.
  • I don’t remember where I heard it (it may have been during an OSU basketball game on ESPN or CBS) but supposedly Jon Diebler averaged 40 points in high school. I guess he’s the Ohio all-time scorer in high school basketball or some-such. He scored more points than LeBron James! Has anyone else heard this? Did I miss-hear something? They just mentioned it in passing, if I remember correctly.
  • Terrel Pryor watch: 19 days and counting. My guess? He’s a Buckeye by the end of the month.
  • New blogs of the week: Old Columbus Town and Waiting for Next Year.
  • No surprises here, but Vernon Gholston impressed the butchers at the annual NFL meat market. (h/t Old Columbus Town) He hit 37 reps of 225 on the bench. He scored the highest “Personal Gravity Field” test out of all other participants. Oh, and Darren McFaddens 4.33 40? Someone whispered in his ear that Gholston was after him.
  • Dads: Let your boys grow up to be long-snappers. Thanks to the Monkey for that link, which he sent along to me. As a former long-snapper myself, it warms my heart to see the most important player on special teams get the love he deserves.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Ohio – Year of the #2

2007 was the year of the “Almost!!” for teams that hail from the State of Ohio.

There were eight sports teams from Ohio that either lost a championship game or had the coveted #1 ranking elude them in 2007. Never before have so many teams from a single state reached within inches of the promised land, only to fail at accomplishing the utmost feat.

The following teams from Ohio finished #2 in their respective sports in 2007:

OSU Football Ohio State Buckeyes Football – BCS Title Game
On Janurary 8, 2007, one of the best OSU teams in history waltzed into the BCS title game cocky and overconfident. The Buckeyes had breezed undefeated through their schedule, including playing in two #1 vs #2 games and winning both convincingly.

History shows that the team never took its BCS opponent seriously, and after a 50-day layoff came to the stadium overweight, flat, and uninspired – and was promptly dispatched by a tough Florida team that had grown weary of hearing about its underdog status.

OSU Logo Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s Basketball – NCAA Title Game
In some ways, the men’s basketball team was the antithesis to their counterparts who played in the ‘Shoe. Where Tressel had a team loaded with experienced seniors and veterans, Thad Matta would have to work with a group of highly-rated young freshmen and first-year starters, including the superstar Greg Oden, who was unavailable for the first half of the season.

The Buckeyes survived a tough playoff bracket and matched up against Florida in the championship game. Despite a career game for Oden, the Buckeyes simply couldn’t match up with a Gator team full of talented, experienced veterans.

Cavaliers Cleveland Cavaliers – NBA Finals
In June, the Cavs made it to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history. Down by two games in the semifinals, LeBron James led the Cavs to four straight wins and a berth in the championship series against the Spurs.

San Antonio then swept the series, 4-0.

Columbus Destroyers Columbus Destroyers – ArenaBowl XXI
The Columbus Destroyers were the AFL’s Cinderella story in 2007. The Destroyers made it to the ArenaBowl with momentous upsets of Dallas and Georgia in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

They lost the championship to the San Jose Sabercats, 55-33.

Columbus Comets Football – NWFA Championship Game
What? You’ve never heard of them? Too bad. Columbus’ own women’s professional football franchise (full-contact, none of this powder-puff stuff) dominated the competition in 2007.

The women won the Southern Conference and made it to the NWFA Championship game — where they were beaten 32-0 by the Pittsburgh Passion.

Indians Cleveland Indians – American League Championship Series
The Indians capped a fine regular season by tying Boston for the best record in baseball. Behind Cy Young winner CC Sebathia, they upset the Yankees in the AL division series in four games.

Cleveland then took a 3-1 lead against Boston in the ALCS, but then lost the pennant with three straight losses to the Red Sox.

Football Saint Xavier Bombers – HS Final Rankings
Cincinnati’s legendary Saint X squad made it to 15-0 and the state title, but was given the #2 spot in the final national high school composite rankings.

The Bombers came in only four points behind Northwestern of Miami Florida. The two did not play against one another.

Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s Soccer – NCAA Title Game
OSU entered the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Playing as a five seed, they outworked their opponents though the playoffs, and met Wake Forest in the championship game.

The Buckeyes played a dominant first half, but Wake Forest came from behind late in the game on a controversial goal. The Demon Deacons went on to win.

So, what say you? Is this list an example of Ohio superiority in athletics, or weakness?

2008 starts off well, with another Ohio team competing for a championship as the football Buckeyes get a chance to redeem themselves in the Bourbon Bowl. Let’s hope that this pattern of #2 ends on January 7th.

Hug it out!

CavaliersLeBron and Z

This is my favorite image from the celebration on the floor of the “Q” after the Cavs Game 6 victory. If you’ve been a fan of the Cavaliers over the past 15+ years, this is exactly how you feel.


CavaliersA few thoughts after The Cleveland Cavaliers’ 109-107 double overtime victory:

“Air Apparent,” thy name is LeBron James. And you never looked so good.

I guess Rasheed didn’t want to “play a little harder.” How much harder will they play if McDyess is suspended for game 6?

Is it really a jump shot when Z shoots that 18-footer? I never see his feet leave the ground.

I hope someone snapped a picture of Tayshaun Prince on LeBron’s penultimate dunk in the fourth quarter. He was cowering like a little girl. What a sissy! It was beautiful.

I swear LeBron broke his back in overtime after that foul by Maxiell. He then scored like 71 points in overtime. He healed it with his King powers. I’m a witness.

It’s not just the Buckeyes that owns the team from the state up North right now. The Cavaliers are just embarassing the Pistons, the Tigers have become the Indians’ whipping boys and, in case you forgot, Michigan hasn’t tasted victory against the Buckeyes in years. It’s a great time to be a sports fan in Ohio.

Would someone on the Cavs please drive the lane?

CavaliersIn the third quarter?

I’ve been watching the Cavs all season, listening to the critics knock The King as the Cavs stumbled through the regular season. They could never find an identity and it could be painful at times to watch them play. Then things seemed to come together near the end of the season and I was optimistic going into the playoffs. I kept thinking, “just wait for the playoffs. LeBron will silence all the critics and go NUTS.” He really didn’t need to do anything special against the Wizards and, against the Nets, Vince Carter helped out the Cavs’ cause plenty. So finally, LeBron has been given his chance to shine against Detroit. The final seconds of the first two games looked shakey. Should he have passed in Game 1? (Probably. Marshall was open, afterall.) Was he fouled in Game 2? (Yes, he was). Down 0-2, things were getting ugly.

Then Games 3 and 4 happened and The King has taken over, especially in the fourth quarter. He has gotten to the rim whenever he wants (that dunk over ‘Sheed was NASTY). Players are stepping up when they’ve had to: Drew Gooden has been big when it counts and Daniel Gibson is turning into an excellent player before our eyes (just like they pointed out over at Burnt Orange Nation). I get nervous when they have Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall (Old Man Donyell, if you will) in the lineup at the same time, but the Cavs have managed not to blow it when the “shooter lineup” is in the game. It still makes me nervous, but it isn’t not working, so I’ll go with the flow.

On the Detroit side, Chauncey has been playing unChauncey-like and Tayshaun Prince has been a scrub. Rasheed has been unstoppable and I don’t know why they haven’t been feeding him in the post with regularity, but I still don’t see him as a threat. He’s still got three games to get kicked out of, so I still have faith he’ll do it. And when is Chris Webber going to quit it with the faux snarl? Just let it go, man. Your wheels are getting old and it doesn’t scare anyone any more.

It really boils down to this: if the Cavs can play a competitive third quarter, they can steal Game 5. It’s no secret what the Pistons have been doing — bottle up LeBron at all costs and let the other four beat you. Unfortunately the Cavs have gone cold in the third and the Pistons’ third quarter gameplan is working. If Z can find his jumper or Sasha can hit a perimeter shot or someone other than LeBron can get into the paint, I think the Cavs can shock everyone and win Game 5. Someone just needs to drive the lane!

LeBron over Rasheed

Kinda like this

(Bonus points to the first reader to name the song with the reworded lyrics I used for the title of this post)