Posted on: November 13, 2009 12:18 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2009 10:09 pm

Wade Dunks on Varejao

Every so often, a moment in sports occurs which transcends life and enters the halls of immortality.

During Cleveland's 111-104 victory over the Miami Heat, we bore witness to such a moment.

During the first quarter of the game, Dwyane Wade grabbed a rebound off a LeBron James miss and started on a fast break. The Cavs were in transition defense and everything appeared to be going fine, that is, until Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao decided to be a hero.

Varejao stepped in front of Wade to contest his shot and...well...


...that happened.

Now I'm not sure what Anderson Varejao said to Wade before the game started, but no one deserves that. Varejao has a family. He has an image. He has...feelings.

Varejao should sue Wade for defamation of character.

Dwyane Wade needs to apologize for taking such reckless actions with the basketball. Such a dunk was irresponsible and the league should put measures in place to prevent such things from happening in the future.

Posted on: June 25, 2009 4:43 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

He’s been known as “the Big Diesel.”

He’s been called “Superman,” “Shaq-Daddy,” and most recently “the Big Shaqtus.”

Now that former Suns center Shaquille O’Neal has been officially traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, fans can add another nickname to his growing list of many:

"The Big Crutch."

Whether he chooses to acknowledges this or not, Shaquille O’Neal will be forever remembered as a great big man who can only win with the help of a bona-fides superstar.

Dating back to his early years with the Orlando Magic, Shaq has never won anything by himself. He won three rings with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles and another with Dwayne Wade in Miami.

Of course in today’s self-serving world of professional sports, Shaq won’t be remembered as the man who needed a superstar help him win a ring.

Shaq will be remembered as the man who helps superstars win rings.

Which brings us to an all-world superstar in LeBron James.

Yes LeBron James – the man who desperately needs a championship to solidify himself among the games’ greats. The man who has single-handedly carried a franchise on his shoulders in pursuit of NBA glory.

The man, who has never played with a comparable NBA star.

All that has seemingly changed with the arrival of the Big Aristotle.

Now LeBron is paired with Shaq, he will be expected to win an NBA title. There will be no more excuses, complaints, or long stories. James finally has that elusive big man that helped Dwayne Wade and Kobe Bryant win championships, so James should have no problem winning a ring of his own.

There’s just one problem: this isn’t the same Shaq.

“LA Shaq” is different from “Miami Shaq” who was slightly better than “Pheonix Shaq” who looks nothing like “LeBron’s Shaq.”

Shaquille O’Neal, who will turn 38 before next years’ playoff series, is exactly what he is – a 38-year-old NBA center. As great as he has been over the years, neither Cleveland or LeBron James should realistically expect a 38-year-old center to take them where they could not go before,

For James and the Cavaliers, Shaq’s arrival creates a two-sided dilemma.

If by some change a healthy and motivated Shaq does help LeBron James win a championship, he will immediately receive the Kobe Bryant treatment. Shaq will be forever associated with LeBron as the crutch James used to attain the greatness he could not achieve on his own.

There will be talk of LeBron “never winning the big one” by himself, which will tarnish his image and further talks of his inferiority to one Kobe Bryant.

If LeBron is not able to win a ring with Shaq, he will be viewed as the lone superstar who couldn’t get the job done with a hall of fame center in Shaquille O’Neal.

There will be talk of LeBron’s failing where others have succeeded, which will tarnish his image and further talks of his inferiority to one Kobe Bryant.

Regardless of how next season turns out, LeBron James will face criticism. Win or lose, James will forever be associated with Shaquille O’Neal, and his legacy will be forever tainted because of it.

By asking management to go after Shaq, LeBron has sealed his fate for the next few years.

An that in and of itself is a “Big Mistake”.

Posted on: September 2, 2008 5:07 pm

Cleveland versus Detroit - A Rivalry?

This one has been in the makings since 1952.

Cleveland and Detroit are two cities intertwined in a brutal sports grudge match that has been in the works for over 60 years. The past and present of these two cities only leads me to believe that we as sports fans are on the cusp of a fierce rivalry - the likes of which no one has ever seen.

In order to break down a potentially competitive rivalry, it is necessary to understand the two things that make any rivalry truly bitter: history and similarity.

I'll start with the latter.

Cleveland and Detroit are eerily similar to one another. Both are lakefront cities, both have all three major sports team (NFL, NBA, and MLB), and both cities claim a strong tie to Rock & Roll, music, and fatty foods. In addition to their passion for the respective collegiate programs, these two cities share in social problems such as poverty, education, schooling, and obesity.

For a closer look at the two contenders, I present the tale of the tape:

Cleveland, Ohio

  • Age: 212 years old
  • Weight: State Ranked 17th in TheCalorieLab's most obese state poll in 2008
  • Famous Food: Cleveland Roast Beef Sandwich
  • Rulership: Monarchy (King LeBron James I )
  • MLB: Cleveland Indians
  • NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • NFL: Cleveland Browns
  • NHL: (none)
  • Total Championships: 10 (8 Browns, Cavs 0, 2 Indians)
Detroit, Michigan
  • Age: 307 years old
  • Weight: State Ranked 10th in TheCalorieLab's most obese state poll in 2008
  • Famous Food: Cooney Island Dogs, Detroit Square Pizza
  • Rulership: Democracy (?) (President George Bush)
  • MLB: Detroit Tigers
  • NBA: Detroit Pistons
  • NFL: Detroit Lions
  • NHL: Detroit Red Wings
  • Total Championships: 29 (9 Lions, Red Wings 11, Pistons 5, Tigers 4)

As you can see, both cities have significant achievements over each other - with Cleveland holding the edge in rulership and Detroit countering with total number of championships. The battle is close enough that we need to look to the second category to find out who holds the edge in this most heated rivalry - history.

Cleveland Browns versus Detroit Lions

The Browns and Lions might actually have the most bitter historical feud of the contrasting teams. Buried away a long time ago in the history books is arguably one of the most intense competitions in pro-sports.

During the early 1950s, when soul patches and top hats were the order of the day, the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns stood atop the football universe. The Cleveland Browns from the AAFC (All-American Football Conference) were the juggernauts of their league and finally merged into the NFL. Awaiting the Browns were none other than the heavyweights of NFL at the time, you guessed it, the Detroit Lions.

These two franchises met for the first time in the 1952 title game, which resulted in a 17-7 Detroit victory for the 1952 NFL Championship. A year later, the two teams clashed once again - the outcome closer with a similar result, a 17-16 Lions victory.

Cleveland won NFL championships in 1954 and 1955 - to go along with the one they achieved in their inaugural season in 1950. Had the Browns defeated the Lions in '52 and '53, it would have marked the single greatest championship run in sports - with the Browns capturing the league title 5 times in a 6 year span.

Currently, this particular rivalry has lost steam due to confrontations limited to at least one preseason game per year and the general poor play of the two teams. The Browns and Lions have clashed this off-season with the Browns sending a 3rd round draft choice and Leigh Bodden to the Motor City in exchange for former Lions first round pick Shaun Rogers.

Also, Cleveland superstar Braylon Edwards is a Michigan native and attended the University of Michigan where he excelled as one of the best players in school history.

Cleveland Indians versus Detroit Tigers

Indians/Tigers is intense. The rivalry here stems from the fact that both teams normally contend for the AL Central Division Crown. Each series draws a significant amount of passion, as something normally is at stake for the winner. With baseball's American League being what it is with the big-market powerhouses to the east, the best chance either team has of winning is through the divisional title.

The past few years have seen the Indians and the Tigers flip flop for divisional superiority. Since each city has a passionate baseball fanbase, it can be argued that the brewing resentment is just waiting to erupt into full-blown hatred.

Cleveland Cavaliers versus Detroit Pistons

To my knowledge, this one is by far the most physical. Previous seasons are marred with hard fouls, clutch performances, and embarrassing dunks. With the Cavs still searching for their first NBA title, the Pistons' success in 2004 over the Cavs in route to their 5th NBA Championship only adds fuel to an already ferocious fire.

Cavaliers' management took the Detroit rivalry a step further by printing and advertising Crimson "Beat Detroit" shirts that were used in '06 in support of the Cavs and the Indians who were locked in a fierce race for the Central Crown.

Michigan versus Ohio State

Two main cities with a football hatred dating back to 1897. I think this one speaks for itself.

So there you have it.

Two cities, multiple teams spanning all along the sports and history universe. While few make anything of it now, don't be surprised if the Cleveland-Detroit feud escalates into one of the most heated rivalries in all of professional sports.
Posted on: August 21, 2008 3:39 pm
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