Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

  1. With all the news that made the rounds this week, the best was undoubtedly the fact that Cleveland Browns team president Alec Scheiner will be stepping down on March 31st. Scheiner was supposedly in charge of the business decisions and oversaw the recent renovations to the stadium, but for some reason he needed to be included in how to conduct film study, which was baffling to say the least. Scheiner was also one of the many behind the scene voices demanding that the undersized frat boy got on the field, regardless or not if he was ready.

 

  1. Speaking of the spoiled, undersized frat boy, he was in Vegas this weekend taking in the UFC fights and who was with him, none other than the Browns other often troubled player, wide-receiver Josh Gordon.

 

  1. Gordon, currently suspended by the NFL due to drugs, is trying to regain the Browns trust. While he hasn’t had any mishaps during his current time away, hanging with the troubled quarterback should be the last thing on his priority list. Gordon, unlike the frat boy, doesn’t come from oil money and needs NFL paychecks to live the life of luxury he so desires.

josh-gordon-porsche-panamera

 

  1. Is anyone else growing tired of the cryptic messages Lebron James continues to tweet out?

 

  1. I mean, just say what you mean already or just stay silent. All this does is bring unwanted and unneeded attention to an underachieving team that consistently plays to the level of their opposition while finishing 2-5 against the Warriors, Spurs, and Raptors.

 

  1. Speaking of the Cavaliers and Lebron, maybe being the underdog is just what they need. Then again, they were the underdog against the Spurs in 2007 and against the Warriors last year after Kyrie went down and we all know how those series turned out, with both winning the deciding game at the Q. Ouch.

spurs warriors

 

  1. Spring training has begun which means baseball season is right around the corner. Opening day is less than a month away as the Indians will take on the Boston Red Sox. The pitching matchup will be fantastic with former Cy Young winners facing off in Cleveland’s Korey “KluBot” Kluber taking on David Price. Sure the Tribe didn’t sign a major name to help with its lack of power in the lineup, but I, for one, am looking forward to the development of shortstop Francisco Lindor, who just missed out on being named the American League rookie of the year last season. Lindor is a future star that the city will no doubt get behind.

 

  1. It will take some longer than others when it comes to watching soccer, but it is growing significantly both in terms of involvement and television ratings. And why wouldn’t it be? With all the rule changes, player antics, as well as 2.5-3.5 hours of game time from the “Big 3” sports, soccer games last a mere 2 hours and provide plenty of excitement. Plus there is a major league team just two hours away from us. Pipo Higuain, who plays for the nearby Columbus Crew, had the early contender for goal of the year on the season’s opening day!

 

  1. Sure there was a big time UFC pay-per-view this weekend, but let’s not forget about the great knockouts that boxing provides. Here’s what this weekend brought us in the squared circle of the “sweet science.”

 

 

 

 

  1. Speaking of boxing, on this day, March 6th in 1976, future Hall of Famer Wilfred Benitez became the youngest World Champion in history at just 17 years old when he defeated Antonio Cervantes for the WBA Super Lightweight championship of the World.
  1. Also on this day in boxing history, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker became the WBC Welterweight Champion of the World after defeating James Buddy McGirt in 1993.

 

  1. Speaking of Pernell Whitaker, he will be one of many retired boxers that will be in attendance during the Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend June 9th thru the 12th. If you have never been, I recommend taking the easy drive to Canastota, NY. You can find all the information you need here: http://www.ibhof.com/index.html

 

  1. Living in northeast Ohio, I try to take advantage of every clear and warm day. I came across this waterfall right by my house in South Lorain just last week. Never knew one was so close.

waterfall

Advertisements

1. In last week’s column I wrote that the Cavaliers would bring the city Cleveland its first championship in 50 years. I should of prefaced that by adding, ‘barring injury.’ Now that Kevin Love is done for what appears to be the remainder of the season, the Cavs will more than likely get beaten by the Chicago Bulls in the next round (Yes, the Bulls will get by the Bucks). Fans and media alike have ‘loved’ to pile on Love this season unnecessarily, as those that truly understand the game of basketball were aware of his importance and what his role was with this team.  In his absence, the Cavaliers won’t be able to space the floor as they had been doing, and the open lanes that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had been accustomed to will be gone. Tristan Thompson was valuable in his role coming off the bench, but his flaws will become much more glaring now that he will be forced to play more minutes. To use a phrase that my former colleague Kenny Roda coined long ago, OIC (only in Cleveland).

2. It’s truly a shame that Kevin Love was taken out by a dude that cannot even grow facial hair, instead opting for the peach fuzz look. In hockey there’s a term for mediocre players that are just put on the ice to get physical with the opposition. They’re called a goon. That’s exactly what Kelly Olynyk is. There’s a difference between setting a hard screen with a push like what Kendrick Perkins did to Jae Crowder and putting a guy in an arm bar and pulling his shoulder out of its socket. Truly a bush league play.

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

3. For those that are worried about reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber, don’t be. Kluber AKA Klubot will be just fine. Here is a look at his numbers from last April compared to this April.

2014: 2 W, 3 L, 37 IP, 35 K, 10 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.14 ERA, 1.51 WHIP

2015: 0 W, 3 L, 34 IP, 36 K, 7 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.24 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Nearly an identical start from last season, look for Kluber to start dominating hitters in the near future and hopefully the Tribe will start giving him some run support.

4. One player who could help the Indians with their hitting woes is their top prospect, Francisco Lindor. Current starting shortstop Jose Ramirez is hitting a paltry .186 and the Indians as a team are hitting just .234 which is third worst in the American League. Lindor recently went on a 10-16 stretch and appears to have come out of his own early season slump. He’s hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games. The time is right for Lindor to get promoted to the ‘Big Show.’

5. The NFL draft is here which means it’s the time of year that the Cleveland Browns usually waste their picks on garbage players. There’s a report that the Browns are attempting to move up in the draft to take Oregon quarterback Marcus Marriota. That would be a mistake. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was a great college quarterback, but his talents favor that game, not of the NFL variety. Marriota ran an up-tempo, no huddle, spread option offense taking snaps from the shotgun in college. In the NFL he will be huddling every play, taking snaps from under center, and won’t be able to leave the pocket as frequently as he did at Oregon. He was also injury prone, and while he was never hurt in a major way, that’s sure to change when he’s hit game in and game out by NFL players. This guy has bust written all over him.

6. A lot of Browns fans want to take a wide receiver in the first round. This is another foolish option. The rules in the NFL so highly favor receivers now that an average receiver can be a good receiver while a good receiver can become a great receiver. This was proven just last year when two of the Browns undersized receivers (Andrew Hawkins & Taylor Gabriel) both had successful seasons and proved that they could make plays despite their physical appearance.  There are an abundance of receivers in the college game nowadays that enter the NFL much more ready than previously due to the spread offenses that are being run. The Browns shouldn’t take a receiver in the first or second round when they can still find value in that position later in the draft. It would be a waste of a pick to do so early. Besides, take a look at this years Super Bowl combatants. Neither the Patriots nor the Seahawks have what you would call a playmaking wide receiver. The fact is, you don’t need one to succeed in this day’s NFL. If the Browns are smart (a HUGE if there) and stay where they’re currently sloted to pick in the first round (numbers 12 and 19) they should get NT Danny Shelton, who should be there for them at twelve and if DE Shane Ray falls to them at 19, they should run to the podium and take him.

7. Speaking of Shane Ray, yeah I know he just got pulled over and the officer found weed on him. So what? Marijuana is now legal in over 30 states and will soon be legal in all 50. The majority of NFL players smoke it and it’s really not a big deal. Hell, I’m sure more than half the people reading this column are doing so while puffing on a joint right now. If Ray were a QB, that would be different. You don’t want your quarterback smoking out. But a defensive player that partakes is fine by me. There have been plenty of NFL players that were busted for weed that were among the games elite. Ray has the talent to be among the best DE’s in the league and if other GM’s are afraid to draft him, hopefully Browns GM Ray Farmer won’t be.

8. Another name being thrown out there for the Browns is running back Todd Gurley. That is an absolute joke. If the Browns would draft him, or any other RB in the first or second round, I would seriously consider jumping off the 480 bridge. The NFL is a passing league. The rules are set up for the quarterbacks and receivers to succeed. Running backs are a dime a dozen. There are no ‘featured’ backs anymore with the exception of maybe a few guys. Nearly every team has a RB by committee approach and the Browns should be no different. Why should the browns take a RB that may carry the ball 10-15 times a game in the first or second round? That makes absolutely no sense! And I didn’t even get into the fact that Gurley was hurt twice getting hit by pimple faced college kids. What’s going to happen when he gets hit by grown men? I’ll pass on that option. Besides, the Browns already have two young running backs that complement each other very well.

9. It’s fight week for one of the most anticipated boxing matches in years. Floyd Mayweather is taking on Manny Pacquiao in a fight that is five years in the making. Some people are discouraged that the fight took so long to take place but the fact of the matter is that the fight will be much more competitive and entertaining now then it would have been had they fought five years ago. Mayweather is a defensive wizard, and he’s spent the majority of his career as a ‘hit and not get hit’ defensive minded fighter. Many of his fights have been lackluster due to the fact that he has simply outboxed his foes with tremendous hand speed and perfect foot work to escape without taking any real damage. Mayweather would have taken Pacquiao to school five years ago. Now though, Mayweather isn’t as fleet a foot as he once was and has taken more and more punches in the ring over the last two years. Pacquiao still has that blazing hand speed and with his non stop aggression and constant punches coming from a variety of angles, has a chance to land some shots on Mayweather. I don’t anticipate an upset here (Mayweather is a heavy betting favorite in Vegas) but I do think these two will offer an entertaining fight that will give the fans their money’s worth ($99 on PPV).

10. My dude Casey Kulas has made it official. It’s the ‘Summer of Brisket!’

I’m up for the challenge. If you start to smell the smoke in South Lorain, just follow your nose to La Casa De Castro. I’ll probably have enough to share.

11. There are just 126 days until the college football season begins! Pre-order the Phil Steele College Football Preview aka the College football Bible here:

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

12. Shoe pick of the week. I don’t have these but word on the street is these are the shoes that Manny Pacquiao will be wearing during the Mayweather fight.

pac shoes

13. I know most of you reading this don’t like soccer but so what. This is my column and I do. The Columbus Crew are on fire as they’ve outscored their last two opponents by a 7-1 margin! That’s like 118-3 if you were watching football lol. Oh and Kei Kamara is tied for the lead with the most goals in the MLS this season!

1.  I told you last week, to take a Cleveland Browns win, no matter how ugly it is or was.  Memo to Browns offensive coordinator Brian Dabol, when you are facing the worst rush defense in the entire NFL, like you were last week, Peyton Hillis has to have more than 21 carries.  I know, Hillis had three fumbles, but I’d much rather take my chances feeding Hillis the rock, then relying on Jake Dellhome and his three yard passes.  There were two different drives in the second half, in which the Browns went three and out, that drove me freaking nuts.  Can you guess what the play calls were for those drives?  I’ll fill you in.  First down – Pass.  Second down – Pass.  Third down – Pass.  I’ll just fill you in on what happened on fourth down.  Punt. 

2.  Has anyone regresses more rapidly than JJ Hickson of the Cleveland Cavaliers?  I mean, at the beginning of the season he was one of the few bright spots on the team.  He seemed like a guy that was “untouchable” when talking about players to trade.  Now, the guy seems lost on the court and isn’t even making plays on the offensive end.  I don’t think the Cavs should give up on him just yet, however.  He’s still a young player that is learning a new system.  I think he can still be a solid offensive NBA player.

3.  Bernard Hopkins will become the oldest boxer to ever win a true championship when he defeats Jean Pascal this weekend for the Lineal Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.  The odds are stacked against Hopkins; He’s nearly 46 years old, will be fighting on Pascal’s home Canadian turf, and is coming off a lackluster performance over Roy Jones Jr in April.  It doesn’t matter.  Hopkins is at his best when people start counting him out.  I think this will be his last great performance in the ring.  Showtime is televising it.   

4.  It’s funny that Terrelle Pryor said that if he were playing in the spread offense, he would “dominate.”  Here’s an idea Terrelle, stop shot putting the ball, make better decisions, and dominate in a pro-style offense so you can improve your draft status.  And while you’re at it, give another Rose Bowl type performance against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.  Do that, and many of the “Haters” will start supporting you again.

5.  We will get to see just how good Cleveland State is when they go on the road to take on West Virginia on Saturday.  This will be the best team that Cleveland State will have played this season and it is on the road.  Head coach Gary Waters will have his team ready and in years past, where Cleveland State has sometimes gone into games like this with “Big Eyes,” I don’t think that will be the case.  The most significant matchup will be in the paint between Aaron Pogue and Kevin Jones.  If Pogue can control that matchup, CSU will remain unbeaten.

6.  When Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball great Bob Feller was taken into hospice care last week, I knew the time was coming, but didn’t want to think about it.  After learning of Fellers passing last night I was in shock.  This is a man that I’ve personally spoken to before and is a living legend.  Please go and read all of the articles on this great man.  Go to every major sports website and read about him.  He’s an all time great who lost nearly four years of his prime while serving America during World War II.  A great pitcher, but an even greater American.  And he had to pass away while Larry Dolan owned the Indians.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

There isn't a better player that will ever put on a Cleveland Indians uniform

7.  I still think it’s crazy that freshman are for the most part the best players in college basketball.  Ohio State’s Fabulous Frosh Jared Sullinger earned his second Big Ten Player of the week award in the first four weeks of the season.  He leads the second ranked team in the nation in scoring and doesn’t seem to mind the adjustment from high school to college ball.  He will win the Big Ten Player of the Year award.

8.  Arrive to Christmas concerts and recitals early.  If you are just a tad late, you are stuck in the back and won’t see anything.  My son had his Christmas concert last night at St. Anthony’s and I got there about 5 minutes before it started.  I was stuck in a pew in the back of the cathedral and missed out.  Couldn’t even see him. 

9.  Colt McCoy should be the starter for the rest of the season and I’m happy to see that Eric Mangini has listed his as such.  Despite improvement in the team, it appears that Mangini is going to be on the outside looking in when the coaching reviews happen after the season. Mangini should be coaching the Cleveland Browns after this season.  The team is headed in the right direction and this organization needs some stability in the worst way.

10.  There are some Cleveland Boxers in action.  Raynell Williams and Terrell Gausha are fighting tonight in World Series of Boxing matches.  Both won their first bouts two weeks ago.  Heavyweight Ray Austin is going up against former Olympic Gold medalist Odlanier Solis from Cuba on Saturday in Miami.  The winner gets a shot at titlist Vitali Klitschko.  Michael Moore improved to 6-0, 4 KO’s after a first round knockout Tuesday night in Texas.   

11.  Go see “The Fighter” which hits theatres this week.  It’s the true story about “Irish” Mickey Ward and the struggles he had to endure while also being a damn good professional prizefighter.  You will be amazed if you don’t know the story behind this man.  The only bad thing about it is it doesn’t go into the epic trilogy that Ward had with the late Arturo Gatti.  SMDH.  Why are you still reading this?  Go see it!! 

12.  Amir Kahn and Marcos Maidana put on what essentially will be voted as the fight of the year this past Saturday on HBO.  What an epic back and forth battle featuring everything you look for in a prizefight; knockdowns, drama, blood, and of course excitement!  If you missed it and have HBO, go check it out on the HBO On Demand channel.  Hopefully it will turn you into a boxing fan, if you aren’t one already.

13.  Congrats to The University of Akron Zips soccer team as they won the College Cup and were crowned National Champs!!  Ohio featured the High School National and College National Champions in Soccer this year!!  If you have kids, you understand my excitement for soccer.

1.  When the Cleveland Browns win a game, no matter what it looked like, take it.  Don’t complain about it.  Don’t say they didn’t deserve it.  Don’t say they were lucky.  Again, take it.  The Browns have lost so many games over the years that left us fans in disbelief so just take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that the Cleveland Browns won a game. 

2.  The Cleveland Cavalier fans have more heart than any of the players that play on the squad.  What a bunch of bitches those players are.  Every single one of them.  Instead of playing grab ass with players on the opposing team, mix in a physical foul once in a while.  The Cavs are obviously one of the less talented teams in the NBA, so they have to make up for it in heart and playing physical.  The problem is they have no heart, and the players don’t know how to be physical.  There is a difference between being physical and being dirty.  I’m saying to play physical.

3.  Wladimir Klitschko was set to defend the Heavyweight Championship of the World this weekend.  That was until he tore a pectoral muscle earlier this week.  Reports say he tore it while working the punching mitts.  I don’t buy it.  I’m going to say that he and his girlfriend Hayden Panettiere were practicing cheers to revive her Hollywood career and he hurt himself after they did some crazy acrobatic maneuver. 

These two don't look akward together do they?

4.  The biggest surprise players on The Ohio State University Buckeyes this football season were Boom Herron and Brian Rolle.  Sure, both players were well-known coming into the season, but had underachieved in prior years.  Herron proved to be a tough player inside the tackles and was the most consistent offensive player of the season.  Rolle, an undersized linebacker, stepped up and showed the playmaking abilities that the Buckeyes were looking for when they recruited him out of Florida.  Herron will be one of the top running backs in the country next season.  The most disapointing players?  Terrelle Pryor and Cameron Hayward.  Pryor continued to be inconsistent as a quarterback and didn’t capitalize on his near perfect Rose Bowl game from last year.  Heading into the season he was the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, however, he failed to even make first or second team quarterback in his own conference.  Cameron Hayward passed up first round riches to play in the NFL last year to come back and play his senior year.  A commendable act no doubt, but he should have dominated this year.  There were games when you didn’t even hear the announcers mention his name.  Sure, he was double and triple teamed much of the year, but if your Cameron Hayward, you’ve gotta find a way to make plays.  I’m being extremely critical here, because Heyward still had a solid year, but a player of his stature didn’t have the type of dominating season that was expected.

5.  I’ve said it before, and i’m going to continue to preach it.  THE BEST BASKETBALL IN THE CITY CONTINUES TO BE PLAYED BY THE CLEVELAND STATE VIKINGS!  They are 11-0 and are on the cusp of being ranked in the top 25.  Don’t get caught up in their ranking.  Just know that head coach Gary Waters and his staff are concentrating on getting them ready for postseason play.  Also Norris Cole, who has already been named athlete of the week twice in the Horizon League this season, is more fun to watch than anyone on the Cleveland Cavalier roster.

http://www.horizonleague.org/blog/cole-collects-second-horizon-league-mens-basketball-player-of-the-week-accolade-of-season.html?types[]=2&sport_id=2

6.  It’s great to be a Cleveland Indians fan right now.  I mean, while Boston is picking up Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, and the Yankees on the verge of signing Cliff Lee, the Indians are promoting Snow Days at progressive field and getting close to signing Nick Punto.  Nick Punto!!  Punto is a stud at 33 years old and coming off a monster year in which injuries limited him to playing 48 games, but he hit an astounding .238!!  I’m camping out for my Tribe tickets already.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  While Jared Sullinger, Jon Diebler, and William Buford get most of the attention and accolades for The Ohio State University Buckeye basketball team, the heart and soul of the team is David Lighty.  The Cleveland native leads the team in scoring, and is averaging career highs in assists and steals.  What you won’t see in the box score is the defensive intensity he brings as well as the hustle plays that he makes on the court by tipping balls and frustrating opposing players.

8.  If you have a bad lower back like I do, get an inversion table.  The thing works wonders. Takes every ounce of pressure and removes it from your back.  Simply amazing. 

9.  I know its early, but TJ Ward and Joe Haden remind me an awful lot of the Frank Minnifield and Felix Wright combination.  What a backfield.  Keep it up guys.

10.  There are two Cleveland boxers that are participating in the World Series of Boxing.  For those that don’t know, the World Series of Boxing is an amateur boxing league that follows professional rules.  There is no headgear, no shirts, and rounds are scored on a ten point must system.  The fights last five rounds.  The two Cleveland boxers are Raynell Williams and Terrell Gausha.  They both participate on the Team from Memphis called the Memphis Force.  Both were victorious in their opening bouts.  The bouts are televised on Versus. 

Raynell Williams during his first bout with Memphis.

11.  I heard that there is going to be a new Top Gun movie coming out.  Please say it isn’t so!!  First The Karate Kid was remade, and now Top Gun?  SMDH.

12.  There is excellent boxing on this weekend.  Both Showtime and HBO are giving fans their money’s worth.  Showtime is showing its Bantamweight tournament bouts, featuring four of the top six bantamweights in the World against each other, while HBO is focusing on the Jr Welterweight division, with three of the top ten Jr Welterweights in action.

13.  The University of Akron Zips soccer team has made it to the Final Four of the College Cup.  They are on their way to back-to-back National Championships!

1.  I’m getting tired of every so called “expert” talk about second half adjustments and play calling every time the Cleveland Browns lose a game.  I’ve got an idea, how about the other team just made more plays at more crucial moments? 

2.  If no one showed up to the Q to witness “Quitness” on Thursday, wouldn’t that be the ultimate bitch slap back?  I mean, I don’t want to be anywhere near that Arena during the game.  If everyone followed suit, LePrick would notice just how important he really is.

3.  There isn’t a classier boxer in the world than Ring Magazine number 1 ranked Super Middleweight and former USA Olympic Gold Medal winner Andre Ward.  He wore trunks dedicated to Showtime blow-by-blow announcer Nick Charles as he battled cancer earlier this year, and after his hard fought decision over Sakio Bika on Saturday, he gave a shout out to North East Ohio Native Kelly Pavlik to let him know that he was in Ward’s prayers as the former Middleweight Champion is undergoing alcohol rehabilitation.   

4.  Certain things in life are undeniable.  Death.  Taxes.  And of course The Ohio State University Buckeyes beating Michigan while winning another Big Ten Championship and securing another BCS Bowl bid.

5.  The best basketball in the City continues to be played by the Cleveland State Vikings and it’s not even close.  They are off to the best start in School history at 8-0, and begin Horizon League play this week.  I’m shocked that the Wolstein Center crowds have been non-exhistant.  Truly embarrassing if you ask me.

6.  I’m dropping down $25 to play in the snow at Progressive Field.  There will be more sounds of joy this winter in that ballpark then what was heard all year during the baseball season.   Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  Jared Sullinger has continued to impress me despite being double and triple teamed continuously down on the block.  He has three double-doubles already, which is the second most by a Freshman behind UK’s Terrence Jones.  Can I get a Buckeye versus Wildcat matchup in the tourney this year??

8.  It’s simply not worth staking out overnight to get Black Friday deals.  Wait it out and you will find deals that are just as good on Cyber Monday from the comforts of your own home. 

9.  Jake Delhomme should put the football down and pick the clipboard back up.  As much of a veteran as he is, I’m still astonished at the decision he makes with the football.  INT after INT.  He’s like a poor man’s JaMarcus Russell.

10.  Kelly Pavlik was reportedly in rehab ten days before his fight with Sergio Mora.  Ten days.  Pavlik was winning the fight before suffering his second cut over his eye and therefore, unable to see punch’s coming his way.  This is astonishing given how much Martinez’s stock has risen.  Had Pavlik been on the straight and narrow, he would have destroyed Martinez and would be on everyone’s pound for pound list.  Sad story about Pavlik.  Knowing him personally makes it even more difficult for me.  I wish him the best and hope he comes back. 

11.  The biggest pet peeve in the world is getting ready to park in a parking space at the grocery store and when you’re just about to pull in, there’s a empty shopping cart in the way.  SMDH.

12.  Manny Pacquiao isn’t fighting Juan Manuel Marquez again.  At least not next.  The reason?  Marquez will beat him.

13.  Despite not scoring a goal in Barcelona’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid, my boy Lio Messi set up David Villa for two perfect goals and was the Man of the Match, drawing six fouls and controlling the middle of the pitch

<iframe src=”http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=ID)); ?>&layout=standard&show_faces=false&width=450&action=like&colorscheme=light” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true” style=”border:none; overflow:hidden; width:450px; height:60px;”></iframe>

1.  Running back Peyton Hillis, left tackle Joe Thomas, and center Alex Mack will make the Pro Bowl this season.  I don’t see anyone making it from the defensive side of the ball, as the Cleveland Browns defense tends to be more of a team defense playing together as one unit, rather than relying on a few playmakers on that side of the ball to control opposing offenses.    

2.  Cavaliers point guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson deserves props.  Not only for his play on the basketball court, but for his charity in the Browns team shop during the team’s loss to the Jets on Sunday.  Gibson tweeted during the game, which he was attending, “headed to the team shop..Free gear on me if you here!!  He’s must follow status now!!

3.  I’m much happier that Antonio Margacheato sustained a prolonged beating for 12 rounds against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, rather than suffering an early knockout loss.  Margacheato should of been banned from the sport forever after he attempted to enter the ring with loaded gloves when he took on Shane Mosley in 2009.  He will suffer more long term damage from that beating, and he deserves whatever health issues he will be dealt with.     

4.  Terrell Pryor is going to have a big time game on Saturday in Iowa.  Mark it down.  Take my word for it.  He’s too much of a competitor and the fact that people are counting him out right now will feed into his hunger. 

5.  Cleveland State’s Norris Cole is the most exciting basketball player in the city.  He is the Horizon League Athlete of the week and his Vikings are 4-0, matching the best start in school history.  Cole is a senior, and was a first team All-Horizon League selection last season.  He is averaging 22.3 points/game this season.

6.  It’s the offseason for the Indians and the GM winter meetings are underway.  That means the Tribe is in the market for a pitcher that is coming off an injury.  Brandon Webb anyone?  My bet is he will be wearing a Cleveland uniform next year.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  The best basketball player in the state of Ohio is Jared Sullinger.  He’s already convinced me that he can eat whatever he wants and it won’t matter.  I was comparing his weight to that of “Tractor” Traylor last week, but the bottom line is he has accomplished more in two games than Traylor ever did in his entire college and professional basketball career.

8.  Don’t text and drive.  Please.  Don’t text and drive.

9.  I’m not saying that Eric Mangini had a good draft class in 2009, and the Massaquoi and Robiskie apparent busts really stick out, but what about the Alex Mack pick?  I’d take a Pro Bowl player in any draft.  Also, it was Mangini who brought up bringing Peyton Hillis to Cleveland, after watching him as a member of the Broncos. 

10.  I, like everyone else, want to see Pacquiao and Mayweather square off in the ring.  I do, however, find it astonishing that despite adding over 50 pounds since turning pro, Pacquiao is as fast and as powerful as ever.  The whispers about steroids have been out there, and if Mayweather is going to go through the Olympic style drug testing to prove he is clean, then Pacquiao should as well.

11.  I was going to call out my kids for not letting me get the proper amount of sleep I need to be a productive member of society, but I was afraid my words would get taken out of context.  I feel you Leboob.  I understand.  SMDH.

12.  There are already too many weight classes in boxing, and now we are getting more with all the catch weight fights.  The Pacquiao/Margacheato fight was at a catch weight, and this week’s big fight is also at a catch weight.  Martinez is the middleweight champion of the World.  If Williams wants the title, the fight should be at the 160 pound middleweight limit.  When will the madness end?

13.  Ohio is the Soccer capital of the World!!  No, just kidding, but Ohio just may be the soccer capital of the USA.  Cleveland St. Ignatius was named the National Champions after their perfect 23-0 season, and Akron has a chance to become back to back national champions as they are currently participating in the College Cup.

1.  Colt McCoy will be the starting quarterback for the rest of the year, barring injury.  I know, I know, this is a gimee.  Bottom line is this, McCoy gives the Cleveland Browns a better chance to win on Sunday’s than either Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace.  No way I thought I would say this at the beginning of the season.  Plus, hopefully, the TV camera’s will show his wife on the screen some more:

All she needs is a kids sized McCoy Jersey!

2.  Despite the Cavaliers starting the season relatively well, they won’t win 40 games.  Look at the roster folks.  They just don’t have enough talented players to compete night in and night out in the NBA.  Outside of JJ and Andy, name me one other player that really jumps out at you…..I’m still waiting.

3.  Juan Manuel Lopez wouldn’t stand a chance against Rafael Marquez if they were both in their prime.  Lopez was able to stop Marquez last Saturday, but Marquez is an “old” 35 in boxing years.  He’s been in some wars, and he still was able to land some remarkable shots on Lopez, who is in his prime as I write this.  As good as Lopez is, Marquez was GREAT!

4.  The Ohio State football Buckeyes will be going to another BCS Bowl this season.  They have three games left, Penn State in C-Bus, at Iowa, and SCum in C-Bus.  Penn State doesn’t stand a chance.  Just not a good team this year.  The Hawkeyes will give the Bucks a game, but TP2 will be the difference, and SCum, well, let me think.  All I have to say is it’s been 2,545 days since that team has beaten my beloved Buckeyes.  ‘Nuff said.

5.  The Cleveland State Vikings will be a force to be reckoned with in the Horizon League this season.  I cannot wait to see this team in action come conference time.  Head Coach Gary Waters has an incredible basketball IQ, and when DeAundrey “I Hustle like Andy Varejao” Brown comes back from injury, the Vikings will have all five starters back from last seasons squad.

6.  Tobogganing and sledding at Progressive Field this winter with my kids will give me fonder memories then the Cleveland Indians did with their AAA brand of baseball.  It’s truly horrendous what has happened to my baseball team.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  Jared Sullinger better watch his weight or he might end up like Robert “Tractor” Traylor.  Remember when “Tractor” was supposed to take over college basketball?  I do.  Then I saw this fat, sloppy looking dope on the court and thought, “what the hell is that?”  He looked like a black Pillsbury doughboy.  And I’m being nice to Mr. Pillsbury. 

Is this how Sullinger wants to end up looking like?

8.  If you like pasta as much as I do, find an Italian and have them show you how to make real sauce.  Thanks to my brother-in-law, who has just enough “Pizon” left in him to know what he is doing in the kitchen; I will now be overweight for the rest of my life.  I really don’t care.  What can I say?  I LOVE to eat.

9.  Eric Mangini is a legit coach.  You don’t end up on Bill Belichick’s coaching staff by accident people.  As long as he can get NFL players to buy into his “team” coaching concepts, this guy will win.  He was unjustly fired by the Jets, and on Sunday, they will feel his wrath.

10.  Manny Pacquiao is going to dominate Antonio Margacheato on Saturday.  I don’t care how big Margacheato is, do people realize that he has done nothing in the last 24 months to justify him getting into the ring with the most explosive man in boxing?  The last time Margacheato was declared a winner against a legit opponent was in July of 2008, when he and his plaster loaded gloves knocked out Miguel Cotto.  Oh wait, allegedly plaster loaded gloves.  SMDH.

11.   The NBA is pure garbage, outside of a few big matchups, before March.  Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how teams are going to pan out right now, it simply isn’t worth it.  The teams that belong in the playoffs, will be in the playoffs, and the players will really start playing as the season wears down.

12.  Major League Baseball gives out gold gloves like the WBC gives out boxing belts.  This is not good news.  Derek Jeter a gold glover?  Really?  Really…..? 

13.  Lionel Messi will turn you into a soccer fan if you give him a chance.  Trust me.