Joe Tait recently had a long meeting with Scott. The broadcaster said: "I really liked him. The minute he referred to the stuff at the arena away from the game as 'all that crap,' I yelled, 'You are my man!' He has a sense of humor, but you can see that he's all business. He's what the team needs at this point."I've written about this before, but I don't particularly care for all of the in arena entertainment stuff (though I'm fully aware it's not for me. I'm a hardcore fan). I hope Scott can convince Gilbert to tone it down just a tad (fire breathing scoreboard!!!) but I worry that without LeBron, we could see an increase of that stuff.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Danny Ferry lands in San Antonio.
Ohio State-Michigan game could be moved to mid-season.
The Cavs's Chinese investors have backed out.
The OSU basketball team is finally getting a legit cheering section.
Go check 'em out. Gracias.
On a slightly different note, I'd like to inform everyone that a couple of my friends are guest bartending at Caddyshack in downtown Cleveland. Another friend's band, Falling into Fire, will be providing the entertainment. And for some reason, they're letting yours truly go on stage between FiF sets and allowing me to play some songs. Should be a fun time. Come on out!
Friday, August 27, 2010
The 27th will be my first go round, so bear with me (but I think you'll enjoy 'em. Come comment!)
So come check it out: LandLoyalty.com
Thursday, August 26, 2010
former University of Texas standout Colt McCoy might need to prove himself in the Browns’ final two preseason games to make their roster.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, McCoy, a third-round pick in April, is among one of eight players “on the bubble” for Eric Mangini’s team. That includes fellow QB Brett Ratliff, and two young running backs, James Davis and Chris Jennings.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Cee-Lo - Fuck You
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The Brafman's writing is approachable (nothing too jargony) and the book is a fairly quick read (it clocks in at just under 200 pages). In fact, I wish Sway was a little longer and more fleshed out. Brafman tends to jump around ("to better understand problem X, we must first learn about some seemingly unrelated study") and I could've gone for some more info.
Brafman discusses a study which found that NBA's players playing time depends on his draft status (don't tell Adam Morrison):
Staw and Hoang found that the variable most responsible for an NBA player's time on the court - "above and beyond any effects of a player's performance , injury, or trade status" - was his draft selection. Even after controlling for all other factors, in a given season "every increment in the draft number [e.g., getting drafted ninth instead of eighth] decreased playing time by as much as 23 minutes." Incredibly, draft order continued to perdict playing time all the way through a player's fifth yaer in the NBA, the final year measured in the study.
But draft order had even deeper inplications. Being picked late in the draft increased a player's likelihood of getting traded to another team and ultimately affected the longevity of his career. "A first-round draft pick," found Staw and Hoang, "stayed in teh league approximately 3.3 years logner than a p layer drafted in the second round."
Now remember, Staw and Hoang had isolated draft order from all the other variables. That means that if you have two players with the exact same toughness, scoring and quickness record, the one in picked earlier in the draft would get more playing time, be much less likely to be traded, and have a longer career than his counterpart, who-although he turned out to be just as good-had the misfortune of being picked later in the draft.
Let's pause here. Are Staw and Hoang saying what we think they're saying? If we think aobut this rationally, once a player is picked, his draft order shouldn't matter. After all, coaches and mangers should only be interested in a player's level of productivity on the court and his overall fit within the team. Once the draft is over, the draft number becomes an arbitrary statistic that gives no indication of how he'll actually perform on his new team.
But here's where value attribution meets up with a sway called diagnosis bias-our propensity to label people, ideas, or things based on our intial opinions of them-and our inability to reconsider those judgments once we've made them. In other words, once a player is tagged as a "low pick," most coaches let that diagnosis cloud their entire perception of him. It's as if each athlete wears a permanent price tag on his jersey. [Pages 69-70 in the hardcover]
This seems crazy but it kinda makes sense. I'd imagine that a player drafted in the first round is going to get more chances to prove himself or figure it out because he's been deemed to have "first round talent" (and who knows, maybe he can get even better!). I wonder if draft status affects NFL players in the same way (I imagine it does, but not quite to the same degree).
The book is filled with a whole bunch of examples like this. Another interesting idea is that we have the tendency to follow the group, even if we think/know the group is wrong unless someone else speaks up. The thing is, the someone else speaking up doesn't even have to be right themselves, they just have to speak out against the group (basically make it OK to contradict the masses) and then we feel comfortable doing the same.
Anyways, Sway was a fun, quick, read and I highly recommend it. The examples were quite interesting and it really makes you think.
Friday, August 20, 2010
The Cavaliers aren't terribly concerned about a right ankle injury Anderson Varejao suffered on Wednesday while playing for Brazil in Spain during a warm-up game for the world championship.
"We have been in contact," Cavs General Manager Chris Grant said via email. "Doesn't sound serious, but we are still gathering info."
Varejao, who could start at center or power forward for the Cavs this season, had to leave the game against Spain in Logrono, Spain, when former Magic draft pick Fran Vazquez fell on his right ankle.
Andy already has a bulky back, now he's tweaking his ankle. Sweet. Varejao is banged up before the season even starts. No way that comes back to bite the Cavs.
For what it's worth, the Cavaliers are saying it's not that badly hurt. So that's good. Andy is one of the Cavs prime assets. He's a great defender and rebounder (great, I say!) and while his contract isn't great (he makes between $8 and $9 million per year until 2014/15), there are worse contracts out there. A healthy Varejao is a valuable thing.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
What Digby said:
All afternoon I've been listening to reporter after reporter reassure the audience that Republican strategists are very upset about all this Muslim trash talk and that they really just wish everyone could get back to an elevated discussion of the economy.Ugh. I don't disagree. Shit like this is why people get turned off to politics. The endless outrage. Meanwhile, these folks (the Obama's, the Republicans, the Deans, the Palins) are allegedly the people who are running the country (or want to). This is a distraction.
That's very convenient, don't you think? Their lunatics are out there fanning the flames of racism and xenophobia for the neanderthal base, while they tut-tut on TV about civility. I think they are quite happy to have it both ways. Right now they are dominating the news cycle with this ugly nonsense, which is all they care about.
August hissy fits usually fade once they've done their job, which is gin up the GOP base with red meat politics (swiftboats, death panels, Ground Zero Mosque) and turn the Democrats into pretzels, making them look like they don't know their assess from their elbows.
Meanwhile, this cracks me up:
PLANS to build a state-of-the-art library next to Republican catastrophe Sarah Palin are causing outrage across mainstream America.and that's not The Onion (via Balloon-Juice).
Campaigners have described the project as insensitive and a deliberate act of provocation by people with brains.
The issue is forming a dividing line in advance of November's mid-term congressional elections with candidates being forced to declare whether they have ever been to a library or spoken to someone who has books in their home.
Meanwhile President Obama has caused unease within his own Democratic party by endorsing the library and claiming that not everyone who reads books is responsible for calling Mrs Palin a fuckwit nutjob nightmare of a human being.
But Bill McKay, a leading member of the right-wing Teapot movement, said: "Sarah Palin is a hallowed place for Americans who can't read.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So LeBron has said some stuff in GQ; he hated Cleveland growing up (shocking!), he spoke in third person (keep that up, buddy!) and he doesn't agree with Charles Barkley criticism (again, shocking!). The best part is that he hasn't even played a game for the Heat and he's already speculating about coming back to the Cavaliers ("If there was an opportunity for me to return and those fans welcome me back, that'd be a great story.").
This is why I'm critical of all the Never Retire LeBron's Number EVER talks. That's such a long time from now. Could I see a future in which LeBron returns to the Cavaliers? Maybe, it's not totally out of the question. It all depends on how good the Cavs are when LeBron reaches his ring chasing years (wait, maybe not the best example... they were a 60 win team and he went chasing rings in Miami. But you get my point). If a 34 year old LeBron signs on with a pretty solid Cavs team, I believe most fans would welcome him back. But maybe I'm weird.
With regards to him returning, LeBron says this about the fans: "Maybe the ones burning my jersey were never LeBron fans anyway." Here's the thing. I'm a Cavs fan. Yes, I like certain players more than others and yes, I even enjoy watching players for another team. Maybe LeBron doesn't get this, being a Bulls, Cowboys and Yankee fan, but most people (I assume) root for their home team regardless of the players. I certainly considered myself a LeBron fan during his time in Cleveland (all those Kobe vs LeBron arguments sure seem dumb now, huh?) but I was a Cavs fan first and a LBJ fan second. I don't think I'm odd in that respect. Team before players, right?
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I became a Cavs fan because of Mark Price. Because man, that guy was awesome (via Stephien Rules).
I cannot wait for the season to start. I'm sick of LeBron and his drama. I care but I don't. I just want the games to start. I want to see how the Cavs do sans James (J.J. Hickson time!!!). Hell, I miss the NBA so much that today my friend and I discussed getting courtside seats to a preseason game (in Pittsburgh, no less). Preseason! Pittsburgh!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Shockingly, I really enjoyed The Daily Show's take:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
I'd like to say I couldn't care less about the mosque/community center but that's not quite true (since, well, I am writing about it). I care about the people trying to make hay out of it. As for the actual mosque itself... meh. It doesn't really affect me.
To me, this is fairly straightforward. The local New York zoning boards have all signed off on it, the group, Park51, seems to have jumped through all the requisite hoops, we still have religious freedom in this country, the Bush Administration used this group in the past to promote tolerance, there's another mosque near to Ground Zero already and the World Trade Center site isn't exactly "hallowed ground" (there's going to be a mall in the new site!!). Let these non-Al Queda affiliated Muslims build their community center and leave 'em alone (and god forbid we'd talk to a Muslim about this).
But of course that won't happen. This is an election year.
One of my biggest pet peeves with politics and the media is the idea that everything must be balanced and "both sides do it". That's how you show that you're unbiased; you point out that both sides suck. See, you didn't choose a side or a political party! You're above the fray and principled. Both Democrats and Republicans are awful and that's that (and I don't disagree. I just think they suck for different reasons).
Hell, sometimes this is even true. But other times, notsomuch.
A political football from both parties? Spare me. Republicans, and the right more generally, have spent weeks demonizing the proposed mosque. They've painted it as treacherous, insensitive, and a menace to American values. Fox News has been been running the outrage machine 24/7. A-list pundits and top elected officials have joined in. But when, finally, Barack Obama steps in with a modest statement of support for religious freedom, both parties are now equally inclined to demagoguery? Give me a break.Yup. It's fairly obvious that the Democrats want nothing to do with this but the Republicans are flogging it for all it's worth (could you imagine how they'd freak out if Obama told a church congregation where they could or couldn't build a church?).
What kills me is, in the grand scheme of things, this isn't important. Whether or not a mosque or mosque-like-thing is built near to Ground Zero isn't really a pressing issue. The country is at 9.5% unemployment, there's immigration reform, financial reform and a host of other pressing issues and all our media can focus on is the political fall-out from the mosque that isn't a mosque.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
On Wednesday, the Giving Pledge -- a movement spearheaded by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates -- revealed the names of 40 individuals and families who are taking up the challenge to give away at least half of their net worth during their lifetime or at death. Along with a commitment, the philanthropists all posted a letter explaining why they were taking the plunge. Analyzing their remarks offers a rare glimpse into the minds of the richest of the rich: how they view their fortunes and where they think their money should go after they die.
The most common philosophy: That a life of monetary excess can be an empty life if the wealth does nothing to advance a greater cause.
This seems pretty neat right? And I certainly don't disagree with the rich donating their money to charity.
And right now, with the economy the way it is (and state governments hemorrhaging money and Congress fighting over how to pay for unemployment extenstions) it's certainly not a bad idea for the wealthy to be donating their money (and it's certainly good PR).
Salute Buffett who says his children won't inherit "a significant proportion" of his wealth. The filthy rich, or some of them, have shown they have a heart.
But let's be clear. Money paid to charity is exempt from tax; the US treasury already loses at least $40bn (£25bn) a year from tax breaks for donations. So billionaires, not the democratically elected and (at least theoretically) accountable representatives of the people, get to decide on the good causes.
we should welcome the Gates-Buffett initiative and applaud those who have joined it. Generous, public-spirited billionaires are preferable to mean ones. But remember that two-thirds of US corporations contrive to pay no federal income tax at all and that transfer pricing alone – a legal device, used, for instance, by Ellison's Oracle Corp, that converts sales in one country to profits in another where tax liabilities are low – deprives the US treasury of $60bn annually. Such sums, which pile more taxes on the poor and reduce funds for government projects that advance the public good, dwarf what the 40 billionaires propose to give away.
If the rich really wish to create a better world, they can sign another pledge: to pay their taxes on time and in full; to stop lobbying against taxation and regulation; to avoid creating monopolies; to give their employees better wages, pensions, job protection and working conditions; to make goods and use production methods that don't kill or maim or damage the environment or make people ill. When they put their names to that, there will be occasion not just for applause but for street parties.
Exactly. With the government trying to figure out how to pay for school teachers, cops and firefighters (and their pensions) and California looking to (gasp!) legalize pot, the billionaires could help a lot by just paying their taxes. (I dunno, if these guys can afford to give away have their money, I'm pretty sure they can afford higher taxes).
I know, it's weird. But taxes pay for stuff. Like bridges (remember that bridge that collapsed in Minnesota? There's 756 more that received the same grade) and libraries and schools and a whole bunch of things that are important. Unfortunately, we seem to be going the other way.
And sure, it's easy for me to say "hey, just tax the rich" but ya know what? They're fucking rich. Tax them at 90% and they're still be way richer than myself. They can still be rich and we can have pensions for teachers.
Devices were judged on a variety criteria to see how each functioned given a set of circumstances. The criteria themselves were weighted for the final score; individual and final grades were assigned on a curve.
Each device had its strengths. For some it was speed; for others it was capacity. Some were better with shorter articles; others with longer works. And cost, as always, was a factor. But in the end, one e-reader stood out.
The most obvious advantage of The Newspaper was the size of its display, which outclassed its rivals both in terms of size and elasticity. The Newspaper display could be read at full size or, when flipped open, twice its normal width. We also had no trouble reading copy when the display was flipped to half or even quarter size. One of our engineers even figured out how to make a hat.
I do love newspapers. There's something about finding an article serendipitously in a paper that you just can't replicate online with keywords ("if you like this, you may also like this"). Simply by it's physical layout, you can find something interesting that you'd never have known about otherwise. (I feel the same way about visiting a library. Yes, you can search a library catalog and order a bunch of books. But if you browse the shelves, you're likely to find books that your search missed).
I try to read the Plain Dealer everyday (either before work or on my breaks) but the paper has been getting thinner and thinner as the years go on (and the Akron Beacon Journal has gotten quite tiny). Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly cranky, I write letters to the editor (I'm secretly an old man).
People still read newspapers, they just do it online. That's the issue. It's the same content as the actual paper... but free. The papers don't make nearly enough money from online ads (shocking, I know) and Craigslist killed one of their big revenue streams so eventually the content will suffer (hence the thin paper). The internet is awesome but no one really knows how to make money off it.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Also, after last week's solar storm, I was hoping to see some sweet Northern Lights pics and I was not disappointed. These are awesome.
I've always wanted to see the aurora borealis in person but it's never really worked out (though, to be fair, I've never tried all that hard). The pictures alone look awe inspiring, I'd can't imagine witnessing them live would be like. Whenever I see pics of the Northern Lights, I can't help but imagine what seeing these colors would've meant to people 100 (or 1,000 or 10,000) years ago.
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is always worth a visit. Great pics plus good explanations of what the hell you're looking at.
As was expected, the Cavs were massively demoted from the national scene when the NBA's entire schedule was released on Tuesday. After averaging more than 30 national TV dates on ESPN and TNT over the last four years, the Cavs will have just two games on those networks this year. Their total national television guarantee is three games, with one game set for NBA TV.
For comparison sake, the lowly and annual bottom-dwelling Los Angeles Clippers were scheduled for 12 national television appearances based on excitement over the return of Blake Griffin from injury.
James' new team, the Miami Heat, are scheduled for 29 national TV games -- including James first game in Cleveland since leaving in free agency. As The Plain Dealer reported last week, it will be Dec. 2 at The Q.
It is what it is. I live in the Cleveland/Akron area so I'll get all the Cavs games, no problem. But if you lived out of state and followed the Cavs, you could get away without having NBA League Pass since LeBron and company were on TNT seemingly every other week.
Windhorst does a nice job of breaking the scheduling quirks (more back-to-backs, a long home stand, etc) and I recommend reading the whole thing.
However, Windy writes this in his notes: The Brazilian National team won its Super Four Tournament, a warmup tournament for the FIBA World Championship, over the weekend in Brasilia. But Cavs big man Anderson Varejao didn't play over concerns with his back.
Varejao suffered from back spasms on and off for the last six weeks of the Cavs' season and was limited in the playoff series with the Celtics because of the injury. According to a source, Brazil held Varejao out mostly as a precaution. Brazil is scheduled to start the World Championships in Turkey in two weeks.
This scares me. You could make a pretty strong case* that Andy's back is what hurt the Cavs the most against the Celtics in last years second round matchup. The fact that his back is still bothering him has to be a concern (though I wonder how active Andy has been if he's with the Brazillian national team).
* If Andy is healthy, he's A) take some of Antawn Jamison's minutes, B) take some of Shaq's minutes and C) be able to run (and finish) the pick and roll with James. Without Andy's defense and young legs, the Cavs were pretty limited with regards to their bigs (especially since Coach Mike refused to play J.J. Hickson for some unknown reason).
Sunday, August 08, 2010
I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system.
Friday, August 06, 2010
Despite the fallout over the past month, the Cavaliers' front office must have done at least a few things right over the past five years. Because teams keep hiring their executives away.
The latest was Cavs assistant general manager Lance Blanks, who was hired as the Phoenix Suns' general manager on Thursday. Blanks, who arrived with former GM Danny Ferry from the San Antonio Spurs in 2005, is the second executive to be hired away in the past week.
Team legal counsel and salary-cap specialist Mike Winger was hired by the Oklahoma City Thunder for a higher-level management position last week. Ferry, who resigned in June, interviewed for the Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets general manager jobs after leaving the Cavs.
The Cavs front office has taken a lot of heat these past few weeks for what they didn't do for LeBron James. Criticism include (but not limited to): not surrounding LeBron with young talent, not trading Wally Szczerbiak's expiring contract at the deadline two years ago, and being too short sighted with some of their moves. (I've addressed these in the past here, here and here, respectively).
Now members of the front office are getting hired elsewhere. That means they had to have done something right, no?
As for Lance Banks, I don't really have an opinion of the guy. How would I know what he's worked on these past few years? Same goes for Mike Winger. I guess it's a good sign that Dan Gilbert is hiring people who other teams value but that's really all I got.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
LeBron James has taken out a full-page ad in his hometown paper in which he thanks the people of Akron for supporting him -- and doesn't mention the city where he played basketball the last seven years.