The King is back – where he belongs, in Northeast Ohio.
Friday afternoon’s announcement that LeBron James was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers was Earth-shattering, but it really should not have come as a surprise. In fact, the only reason it was a shock was because of the inept and biased reporting at ESPN, which did everything in its’ power to belittle the Cleveland franchise. Every piece of evidence that LeBron wanted to return to the Cavs was met with an avalanche of attacks.
This, coupled with the “we’re used to crushing disappointment” attitude that we Clevelanders have grown accustomed to, were the biggest reasons that doubt crept in as The Decision 2.0 was being made.
Me? Never had a doubt. Read More
Thanks for popping by on a Wednesday morning, even if the news for today probably won’t be as exciting as it was seven days ago. Thanks, too, for your patience with the website this week… the people responsible for the tech glitches have been appropriately dealt with. Given our lead bullet point today, here’s your Wednesday Musical Distraction.
You know you’ve hit it big when your own article becomes a mere initial-ism, and of course I am the one that did it so heap the praise here! Sometimes writing Rumblin’, Stumblin’, Bumblin’ can be a chore, and sometimes . . . people make it too darn easy! Let’s get rollin’ by catching up with some Buckeyes who have been going through their first OTA workouts with their respective teams. Let’s get going with the good and great!
I honestly probably haven’t wrote about Ryan Shazier here very much and I am baffled as to why. The only answer I could come up with is how much a did write about Carlos Hyde during the good this past season. Shazier is making some noise and already giving a good indication as to why the Steelers drafted him where they did. Fact is, he would have been taken in the next two picks as well.
The new #50 for the black and gold has settled in with a group that needed some immediate help at LB and that’s exactly what they’re getting. During the first day of OTA’s he was thrust into the ones and met up with Maurkice Pouncey and they had some words and a good little tussle. The direction he received was to maybe bring it down a notch and become a sponge. Learn as much as you can learn it get better. Shazier admits he has a long way to go but is enjoying the process already.
It was good going out there learning with the older guys, trying to get my feet wet,” Shazier said. “I feel like I did a pretty good job. I have to do a little better communicating, calling out some of the stuff and just talking in general. I did a pretty good job today. I just have to learn and do better. I just got to keep showing the coaches I know what I’m doing and I know this defense and I can go out there and play.
Shazier will find himself in a good position to contribute as a rookie and maybe start and become a ROTY candidate, he is in the right place to do it. He will continue to do as he has done in scarlet and gray, and will be the pride of the Buckeyes which several have done in Pittsburgh. Read More
As we arrived in Columbus, the anticipation for kickoff was almost unbearable and we were a mere five hours away. It’s become a yearly ritual that a group of us attend the Ohio State/Wisconsin game every year and we were all giddy with excitement to reunite once again for this rivalry.
After a little tailgating and shopping, we made our way over to the skull session but watched from the entrance where the band and the team would enter in St John’s arena. I met the mom of a bass drummer who was participating in his first ramp entrance that evening. It’s stories like this that adds to the mystique of going to games in Columbus. As Urban Meyer and daughter Nikki entered through the old doors of the aging arena, a tall dark figure appeared behind them and it clicked, it was none other than two-time NBA champion LeBron James. After everyone filed in, I heard the King was greeted by a good mixture of boos and cheers as he gave the annual speech to the Buckeye faithful.
Welcome to Monday Musings, glad that you decided to stop in. Grab your beverage of choice and let’s get to this. If it’s early enough in the day, coffee will suffice. If the sun is over the yardarm, I’ll trust you can handle it from there.
This week’s photo pays homage to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” references from last week. We’re often multi-dimensional here, even if it’s by accident.
I have a couple of items regarding the James/Wexner this week. The first one is an update on the new facility construction, with a good interview with Dr. David Schuller. The feature was prepared by Channel 4. Th folks doing the segment are justifiably proud of the investment in Ohio State, the medical community and the Columbus area. We all should be.
The next items is a heads up about an upcoming fundraiser in the Columbus area, “Steps for Sarcoma”, a 5K/1 mile event. This is the 4th year for the event, and through the 1st three years, $66,000 has been raised for research, $37,000 last year alone.
Proceeds from this event will benefit the Orthopaedic Sarcoma Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Sarcomas represent a family of rare cancers that originate in the connective tissues, which includes fat, muscle, bone, cartilage, nerve, fibrous tissue, and blood vessels.
As you can see, sarcoma is one of the nastier cancers around. And, as you can see by the fundraising momentum, the Columbus community has been stepping up and Paying It Forward. Well done, folks, thank you.
Things were kind of ‘doldrum-ish’ while we bided our time until game week. So, I’m sure influenced by some good basketball news from the women’s and men’s OSU programs, and some offbeat Twitter notification (see, I warned you guys about social media, but nooo), our staff at tBBC, or some of us, got into a lively and spirited email exchange about LeBron James; his time with the Cavs, the circumstances around his departure, the Miami Heat, etc., etc. Read More
Some weekend, eh? Grab your coffee and let’s get right to it.
A week that started out fairly well, then crashed and burned. In the NCAA’s, they’ve managed to dust Iowa State 78-75, Arizona 73-70 and then fell flat against Wichita State 66-70. I don’t have much to add to the fine recaps, above, however you can bet that after some musing on my part, I’ll have something to say next week. It seemed that Thad was pushing the right buttons and the team responded in the first two games. On Saturday, things were pretty disjointed. I’d hoped the 2nd half effort against Arizona would carry into the WSU game, but alas, no. Although the offense gott significant points from
senior junior DeShaun Thomas and LQR, that was it, unfortunately.
I hate to do this, but let’s start with a definition: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy. Read More
Hypothetical scenario: Jim Tressel’s contract with Ohio State is set to expire, and he elects not to sign an extension. Rather, he decides to “test the waters” and look at other opportunities on the college football landscape. After rampant speculation about his leanings, Tressel finally calls a press conference (obviously televised on ESPN) to inform the public that he has decided to take his coaching prowess to that state up north, which he feels will be a better fit for him as he continues his coaching career.
While the above-outlined scenario is a poor parallel to the Lebron James fiasco, not to mention utterly absurd, it is the only parallel that comes to mind as a Columbus resident, where Ohio State football is our featured sport, and an Ohio State fan, where Tressel is our most beloved figure. Being outside the immediate Cleveland area and only a casual observer of Cavs basketball, assessment of the James situation can be done without the emotional involvement, and a number of questions arise related to the furor he has caused.
While I understand and subscribe to the idea that an individual has the right to choose where they work, it seems that Cavs fans also understand this angle. The fact that James chose to play in another city is not the issue. Rather, it is the manner in which he communicated his decision that is irksome to so many. However, are there underlying factors at play here that make it so un-palatable?
First, was James’ conduct in Cleveland already questionable, making the announcement the proverbial “cherry on top?” Probably not. One can easily find a variety of links about his work in the community which, while not uncommon among professional athletes, does represent some consciousness of important issues outside of sports. Furthermore, the primary “scandals” that come to mind related to James are his acknowledgment that he was not well informed about the situation in Darfur and his directive to confiscate video of himself being dunked on at one of his basketball camps. Contrast this with any number of stories about professional athletes being in trouble with the law, and the criticisms of James may take on a bit of perspective.
Second, does the fact that James chose Miami make it worse? Again, the manner of communication rather than the decision to relocate is the key issue, but would the press conference (well, make that awkwardly staged-interview) have seemed more legitimate somehow if James had said “I’m going to New York” instead of “I’m taking my game to South Beach?” The NBA greats are now coming out to criticize James’ decision, and perhaps it is especially bothersome to Cavs fans that all the hype only led up to an announcement that James would be going to sunny Miami to hang with his friends. Maybe the words “New York City” would have made the announcement seem more appropriate by creating an impression that James wasn’t in it just for fun, but rather was using a big stage as a prelude to playing on the biggest stage in the foremost of sports cities.
To come full circle, another hypothetical scenario for consideration: It’s 2010, James and the Cavs have emerged victorious from a hard-fought NBA Championship series against the Los Angeles Lakers, bringing Cleveland its first NBA title. Several weeks later, after a ridiculous amount of hype, James announces his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami on a one-hour ESPN special titled “The Decision.” Given the different outcome in the playoffs, does this make things different? Is the rage replaced with gratitude? If Dwyane Wade was the athlete in question – same hype, same show, but Wade is coming to Cleveland to play with James – does Miami have the same reaction considering that Wade won a championship in Miami? Probably not. Then again, Miami is a different animal than Cleveland.
The point is this: From a non-Cavs fan perspective, it seems that much of the angst is tied to a mindset of “James was our ticket.” But is this mindset valid? Popular belief gaining steam now is that James might not be the ticket, for Cleveland or any city. He’s not the Jordan-esque player who refuses to be denied in his relentless pursuit of winning. So if the perspective that James screwed Cleveland is contingent upon a belief that he was the guarantee of an eventual championship, then the perspective loses credibility.
Assuming that a one-hour ESPN special titled “The Apology” isn’t in the works, James will surely be booed vehemently upon his return to Quicken Loans Arena. But Cavs fans may do well to boo softly, because otherwise James may turn into the professional basketball assassin of legend, stopping at nothing to prove those wrong who said he didn’t care about winning. Rather than steeling James’ resolve, Cavs fans must steel their own. Because that creates the potential for the most interesting scenario of all: James’ decision to leave Cleveland fueling a united, determined Cavs team to the championship, making James the one who brought a title to Cleveland afterall. Just in a way nobody expected.