2. The pundits can fuck off. Ya, maybe Ohio State didn't look great this year. Maybe you don't want to see them in the title game after last season. I get that. Hell, I'm almost sympathetic. If I had to watch Notre Dame get reamed in a title game only to come back the next season with a weaker team, I'd be pissed too. But these are the rules we have.
3. And don't give me any of this 'the whole season is the playoffs' crap. No, it's not. Kansas only has one loss, same as Ohio State. Yet their loss hurts more. Hell, Hawaii hasn't even lost yet and they're ranked 12th. If the whole season counts as one big playoff, how can we decide which one loss team gets in? And if we're going to keep the illusion that all division 1-A conferences are created equal (at least no formal tiers) then how can you let a team that wins all of it's games not play for the title.
4. Obviously, again, we need a playoff system (thanks ESPN!). And not one of those bullshit "plus one" games either. That works out for some years but not others (why should 2002 Ohio State have to play another game?). Personally, I'd love to see a 32 team playoff, but 16 shouldn't be too much to ask, should it?
5. But we're probably going to have to start small. Sure, maybe a "plus one" or maybe a four team deal, whatever. But all I know is, at some point, once we have a playoff system, we're going to look back at the BCS and the bowls and wonder "what were we thinking".
6. That being said, West Virginia scares me. You mean a running quarterback? Like James Locker and Juice Williams? Really? The last thing I want to see is OSU get killed in the title game again, but the prospect of facing Pat White scares me just a tad.
7. So, is he the hotdog guy or the guy from Usual Suspects? Which one is it Cleveland sports bloggers? I think we need to come to a consensus before spring training.
8. Joking aside, I like the deal. Do we really know what we're going to see from him? Not really. But it's a cheap deal and it could really work out. But, as Terry Pluto says, we really don't know.
9. More Pluto. He also wants to trade Jhonny Peralta for a corner outfielder who can hit. I dunno, the fan in me likes Peralta a lot. He's been here for awhile now, he showed up in the playoffs and he always seems like the little brother to CC Sabathia, Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. However, the Tribe does need to shore up their outfield corners...
10. But let's not count our chickens before they've hatched. Like Pat at the DiaTribe says, Barfield and Cabrera aren't nearly established enough to simply hand them the middle infield.
11. I would like to see some rumors however. I love baseball rumors, they don't have to be even remotely credible and I'll eat 'em up. I want to open up the ABJ or PD and see the Tribe pursuing some big name pitcher that they'll have no chance at. Can we at least get the juices flowing?
12. The Browns look good, don't they? I'm not gonna lie, I did not see this coming. I had absolutely no faith in Derek Anderson (and he still scares me a bit). Hopping on this bandwagon doesn't seem like a bad plan.
13. I didn't hate that Livingston column as much as others did. Some people (*cough* Joel) just took it apart. Now, I'm not saying that it's a good column (it's not) but this one didn't piss me off nearly as much as half of his shit. Also, for the record, I like Dick Feagler.
14. Kellen Winslow is a beast. I've been holding off on buying a new Browns jersey for awhile (I have a personal one for a few years now) until I could figure out a player. Sgt. Winslow it is. The guy catches everything thrown his way and he plays hurt, what more can ask for (also, it takes roughly six guys to bring him down). There's a lot of balls that Anderson throws his way that are into double coverage but Winslow always manages to make the catch.
15. Oh Mistake by the Lake. The only place where you'll get recaps of Josh's Cribbs.
16. Leigh Bodden, Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald? The kid had a huge game (and it would've been a good day even without his late INT). The Browns haven't been that lucky in the late rounds of the draft (hell, they haven't been lucky in the early rounds) and it'd be great to find a gem.
17. Was I aware of this? It seems that Sean Taylor (RIP) was nearly a Brown. Part of me thinks I knew this, but the details don't seem all that familiar.
18. Did anyone not enjoy that Monday Night Football game? Sure, the final score was 3-0, but I loved watching everyone slip and fall in the mud. Reminded me of last Thursday morning....
19. Alright, about this Anderson Varejao business. The guy is an idiot. These aren't bad deals:
Several other teams told ESPN.com they would have offered Varejao their full midlevel exception (starting at $5.356 million per season), but Varejao has not been willing to sign for that amount because he believes (a) the Cavs would match, and (b) he's worth more.
The Cavs' popular forward wants considerably more than the team is offering. He turned down the Cavs' one-year, $1.2 million tender offer. (To retain a restricted free agent, a team must make a tender offer.) He also refused Cleveland's opening offer of five years, $20 million, and then its latest offer of five years, $32 million, with a starting salary slightly below the midlevel exception.
5 years, $32 million? Are you serious? How is that not a fair deal? As far as I'm concerned, that deal should the Cavs final offer.20. I mean, he's screwed himself. He's at the Cavs mercy here. If he goes to Europe and plays, he'll still be a restricted free agent when he returns. Him holding out is only making things worse. There's no way the Cavs will give him a 1-year deal at this point.
21. Windhorst smacks him down. This is ridiculous:
They are trying to put public pressure on the Cavs by angling in the media, first saying they’ll take a one-year, $5 million contract, then saying they’d bel willing to go to arbibitration, now saying they demand a sign-and-trade.
That’s all sounds so good, but no team in the NBA would give Varejao a one-year deal right now. Varejao would never give up position for a rebound, so why would the Cavs give up their refusal rights to an aribitrator? Nobody in the NBA would. As for a sign-and-trade now, who is fooling whom? The summer is for sign-and-trades, the summer is for doing contracts. You don’t think Fegan has been working on sign-and-trades since July? Of course he has and there is no deal to make. There one coming now just like there wasn’t then. See, so much of this is common NBA sense, which is why so much of this is nonsense.
By the way, Varejao trying to indict the Cleveland media saying he never asked for a contract averaging $10-$11 million a year is rich. One of the worst kept secrets in the NBA is that Fegan asked for six years and more than $60 million a few days before training camp. Executives all over the league have been taking to each other and to media members about that figure. It’s not even inside information anymore, everybody knows it. Maybe that is not what they are asking for now, but they asked for it then.
22. More BW. This entire situation blows my mind:
The real crazy thing about this is they all this agony is over a non-starter. A key bench player and a key player in the playoffs, but at the end of the day he is a complementary big man who is good at taking charges. He’s valuable to the Cavs, they want him back, and all that stuff. They have offered him a pile of money. They have said they will put incentives in there that will pay him millions more if he becomes an All-Star or First Team All-NBA or whatever. They just don’t think he’s worth more than the $6.4 million they are paying Drew Gooden, a player averaging a double-double, this year.
Exactly. There's no reason for the Cavs to pay Varejao more than Gooden. End of story. I like Varejai and I think the Cavs could use him but they don't need him.
23. BTW, fuck ESPN. Was Bill Simmons a part of this reporting?:
On each side, the frustration level has been rising the past few weeks, as Varejao is left in limbo in Brazil, and as the Cavs have struggled coming out of the gate in training camp and the regular season.
If anyone has had a problem with the Cavaliers start, they're an idiot. So far the only game that I would say they should've won was the Milwaukee game. The Orlando game... maybe (and if you include the refs...). But I don't think the Cavs have struggled at all this season. This team wasn't perfect last season either (despite their trip to the Finals).
25. It's great that LeBron supports Andy, but who cares? Is anyone really surprised by this:
What is LeBron supposed to say? "I agree with Ferry and there's no way that we should pay Andy $10 million a season, it'd kill our cap"? The Cavs' management has to do what's best for the team long term and short term. The threat of LeBron leaving hangs over them, but the last thing they should do is panic and overpay bad players just to show James that they're trying (see Hughes, Larry and Marshall, Donyell).
Varejao says that the Cavs' players support him, and that his conversations with James have been positive.
"He just says, 'We love you and we're waiting,'" Varejao said. "He keeps telling me he wants me back but to get the best deal I can and to take care of my family. He's a great teammate. He always supports us on and off the court."
That sentiment was confirmed by a source close to James, who said, "LeBron wants Andy back. He wants him to get a fair deal. I think his frustration isn't with Andy, it's with the fact that for the past two years, he's been waiting for more help and he hasn't gotten it. This is just a step in the wrong direction."
26. More LeBron. From Free Darko:
LeBron's silhouette started looming over the league a couple years ago, when NBA-pundits were begging and prodding Michael Redd to ditch his faithful Bucks to sign with the Cavs and be LeBron's hypeman. Since losing Carlos Boozer and failing to sign Redd, Cleveland has made a series of questionable front office moves that didn't seem to faze LeBron much last year ... but give him time. People are so concerned with LeBron's daily mood that certain Cleveland contract hold-ups have already generated a barrage of "OH MY GOD HOW COULD THE CAVS NOT THROW MILLIONS AWAY TO SASHA PAVLOVIC AND ANDERSON VAREJAO" stories. As good as LeBron has been playing, it's almost as though he is preemptively sticking it to the Cavs to say, "Man, you guys sure would love to see 30 and 12 and 12 for the next ten years wouldn't you ... Wouldn't you?"I'm all for the Cavs trying to improve. But there's making moves and making smart moves. The key is to not panic. If they can to a sign-and-trade with Varejao for Andre Miller? I do it. If the only deal is trading for Marko Jaric (and his terrible contract)... no thanks. If the Cavs have to sit on this roster for an entire season, I'm OK with that. It won't be great, but it will be better than making panic moves that will haunt them in two years.
27. BTW, LeBron is going to win the MVP. No loafing this year. Also, LeBron got player of the week.
28. Question my fanhood all you want. But when it comes to watching NBC's Monday lineup versus Monday Night Football... I'm choosing NBC 9 times out of 10. Chuck is quirky and fun, Heroes is finally improving and Journeyman is turning out to be really good.
29. Joke Line and FISA. Wow, this just keeps going and going...
30. Music thoughts. I saw Sondre Lerche at the House of Blues this past Wednesday and he was quite good. I'm really digging his music from the soundtrack to Dan in Real Life (which I have yet to see) and the songs worked really well live. Here's 'To Be Surprised' from Sondre's appearance on Letterman (though I like album version a little better).