Posts Tagged ‘Notre Dame’

1. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals for the second time in team history and I’ve got one piece of advice for everyone out there. Enjoy it! No matter the outcome. Enjoy it! Sure I want to see them bring a championship to my city, but in the process of doing so, I’m going to soak in the entire atmosphere that being in the Finals bring. Most of you aren’t going to pay the steep price for playoff tickets (myself included) so do what I’m going to do. Buy a $5 ticket and go watch one of the road games at the Q with 20,000 other fans. While you won’t actually ‘be’ at the game, it’ll create a memory that you won’t forget. And it’s much more affordable!

2. Speaking of the Cavaliers, you know it’s a good thing when President Lincoln is also #AllinCle

3. I shared a video about Cavalier’s center Timofey Mozgov in an earlier blog and now here is a video about JR Smith. Grab a cigar and some cognac.


4. The MLB All-Star game is six weeks away and there are two Cleveland Indian position players that are worthy of All-Star consideration.

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis is coming off one of the greatest months in not just team history, but also MLB history and his .340 batting average is second best in the entire American League. He is in the top 10 in the AL in the following categories: Hits (2nd), runs (4th), doubles (3rd), triples (2nd), total bases (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (9th) and OPS (6th). When it comes to the All-Star voting, however, Kipnis ranks a distant 4th, over 1.5 million votes behind the leader, Jose Altuve, of the Houston Astros.

Left fielder Michael Brantley, who finished third in last years MVP voting, is hitting .302, fifth best among AL outfielders. He is in the top 10 among outfielders in the following categories: Hits (5th), doubles (1st), RBI (4th), walks (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (7th), and OPS (5th). Brantley is currently 7th in the All-Star voting  among outfielders, over 1 million votes behind 3rd place Alex Gordon of the Royals.

Do what I did and vote for these two as they both deserve to be on the team.

5. Speaking of the Tribe, remember when I said that reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber would be just fine? Over his last four starts, Kluber is 3-0 with 50 strikeouts and  miniscule 1.41 ERA. He’s looking every bit like the Cy Young winner that we saw last season.

6. I recently heard there is a remake of one of my all time favorite movies, ‘Point Break.’  No, I’m not joking. Patrick Swayze has to be turning in his grave over this one. Why redo a movie that was already a classic and featured an ex Ohio State quarterback turned FBI agent chasing a group of bank robbing surfers? Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis says in this scene, “That would be a waste of time.”


7. The latest addition to my guilty pleasure.


8. I’m still a beginning smoker but I’m really enjoying it. The latest thing I smoked was St. Louis style ribs. The difference between these and baby backs are the St Louis style has more fat, which provides more flavor. I used apple wood to smoke and they turned out pretty good. I went 5 hours at 250 degrees, which was just a little too long, so I’m going to shorten them up next time.


9. Okay, back to sports. The College football season is less than 100 days away and the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season according to the Vegas odds is Ohio State Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliot. He’s even got his own hype video. Check it out.


10. Speaking of college football, we recently wrapped up the 2015 Phil Steele College Football Preview magazine, AKA the college football bible. That also means we’ve released our pre-season All-American teams. Notre Dame led the way with three 1st team All-Americans. To see the entire four team list click the link below.

11. Floyd Mayweather is expected to return to the ring in September and many are wondering who his next opponent or vitctim will be. There has been plenty of talk about England’s Amir Khan getting the next shot at the pound for pound king but after his lackluster performance last week against Chris Algieri, he’ll likely be removed from the discussion. Why not give Miguel Cotto, who fights this weekend on HBO, a rematch? He gave Mayweather a good fight when the two shared the ring in 2012. Here’s his greatest hits for those that aren’t aware of what he brings to the table.


12. I haven’t written since the NFL draft took place and heading into the draft I was worried about the incompetence that the Cleveland Browns were likely going to show. Well I was relieved during the first round as I turned to my cousin and brother-in-law, who were with me at the Cleveland Convention Center for the draft party, and told them that this draft proves the team is trying to win games and not sell jersey’s like last season. I think the Browns hit a home run with this draft and will start seeing immediate dividends on the field.

13. Speaking of the Browns, the odds in Vegas have the Browns over/under at 6 1/2 wins. The Browns will win more than six games this season. Those that know me know first hand that I am not a homer in any way, shape, or form so for me to come out and write this is a change in the way that I’ve thought about my hometown team for some time. They won seven games last season, have improved every position group on the roster, and competed with every team in their division last year. Yes, I know the schedule is tougher, but splitting with our division isn’t out of the question and the Browns should be able to beat teams qb’d by the Geno Smith (Jets) and Marcus Mariota/Zach Mettenberger (Titans) while also getting past the 49ers at home in December. That’s seven wins right there.


Getty images

Getty images

Safety Jamoris Slaughter didn’t expect to hear his name called during the NFL draft. The Browns made the surprising pick of drafting the Notre Dame product with the 175th pick. The reason the pick was surprising was because Slaughter only played in 3 1/2 games last year after tearing his Achilles tendon.

Working for one of the best college football companies, Phil Steele Publications, allows me access to great information on every player. Here is our “player card” on the Cleveland Browns newest DB, Jamoris Slaughter.

Slaughter entered college as a very highly touted recruit out of Georgia. Phil Steele ranked him as the #35 overall DB coming out of high school. He ran a 4.5 40 as a prep player.

After redshirting his true frosh year, Slaughter played in all 12 of Notre Dames games as a redshirt frosh, starting one of them (CB). He played both FS & CB and was noted as one of the better tacklers on the team, finishing with 14 of them.

Slaughter came into his Sophomore season needing to impress new head coach Brian Kelly. A lot of times new coaches want to play their own guys, but Slaughter gained 10 pounds over the offseason and did indeed impress Kelly in the spring practices with his downhill tackling ability. He played in 11 games, starting 5 of them at free safety, but was hampered by heel and ankle injuries, which cost him his starting job. Slaughter finished with 31 tackles, 3 pass break ups, and 1 interception.

In the offseason entering his Junior season, Slaughter had surgery due to bone spurs in his ankle. He was declared the starter after summer practices and played in all 13 games, starting 9 as a free safety. Slaughter finished with 45 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 2 pass break ups, and 1 interception.

Slaughter entered his Senior season with Notre Dame realizing how important it was for him to be on the field. He got some work at CB during spring practices and was getting work as an OLB in certain packages in the summer. He stared the first three games at safety before tearing his Achilles tendon on the first snap of the 2nd half against Michigan State. He finished with 8 tackles and 1 pass break up.

The NCAA denied Slaughters request for a 6th of eligibility in February.

Obviously it remains to be seen how Slaughter will respond after his season ending injury from a year ago, but when on the field, he’s a versatile player and a steady tackler.