Wednesday, September 23

The Downtown Report: Midweek Edition

Only one other person will get the inside joke in the title, but it makes me laugh, and that's all that matters in the end. With the Indians floundering towards the finish, the Browns positioning themselves for a terrible season, and the Cavaliers, I don't know, practicing, I think it's a good time for me to fill the void with a few sports thoughts.

- I loved, loved, loved reading about Michael Jordan's Basketball Hall of Fame acceptance speech. His talk was uniformly criticized as petty, selfish, and mean-spirited, in contrast to the heartfelt, gracious words from John Stockton, David Robinson, Jerry Sloan, and that woman who got in. Apparently, Jordan just spent the entire time ripping on people, slamming anyone who he ever beat or who ever slighted him in his career. Perfect for a legendarily unclassy guy.

I've made it clear in the past that I don't care for Jordan, and it bugs me that he's not regarded as more of a nemesis than he is by fans of, well, every team except for Chicago and that there's still this ongoing lovefest happening for him. Everyone gives him a free pass on any criticism just because he was super-good at basketball - I'm enjoying a bit of schadenfreude because he let his true colors fly and embarrassed himself at his HOF induction.

- Speaking of players embarrassing themselves, how about Milton Bradley? What a guy! Now he's been suspended for the rest of the season by the Cubs after trashing the organization and their fans in a local newspaper. I wonder how many of these incidents it will take for Bradley to realize that he's the problem. Seriously, how many teams do you have to be kicked off of a team to think, "hey, maybe it's me"?

- Go ahead, Michael Crabtree, keep holding out. The 49ers are 2-0 without you! I hope he misses the whole year and loses millions. I have no respect whatsoever for players who hold out, and I love to see it backfiring on them, as it usually does in the long term.

- Rooting for the Cavaliers is going to be difficult this season, but not in the same way that it is for the Browns or Indians. Those teams are tough to support because of how soul-crushingly bad they are; the Cavs fall on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of ability. The tough part will be trying to maintain some patience over a long season. We already know they're going to win a lot of games and get a high seed in the East, and at least make the conference semis. After where we got last year, I know fans are ready to fast-forward ahead to that point and go for it again, but we'll just have to wait. I feel kinda like Cartman waiting to get a Nintendo Wii, only it's not cold enough outside yet to freeze myself.

- According to an ESPN story, a lockout of the NBA's referees by the owners is "imminent." The story had this to say:
But their training camp is scheduled to begin Sunday in New Jersey, and McMorris said the 57 current referees would not attend if they do not have an agreement in principle to replace the labor agreement that expired Sept. 1.
Oh no! What will the NBA do without its awesome referees??? Help us!

- I've realized something this year: baseball is now my fourth-favorite sport. It wasn't always this way, but now it is. Don't get me wrong: I'm still a die-hard Indians fan, I still love going to major and minor league games, and I think it's a wonderful, terrific game. But it's simply been eclipsed for me by the other games I enjoy. This dawned on me as I reflected on how I approach each sports' playoff season. Football has to be my #1 now. I watch the Browns every week no matter how bad they are, try to catch the other NFL games, watch the Buckeyes every week, and absolutely try not to miss an NFL playoff game. The last time I saw a baseball playoff game was 2007, when the Indians made it to the ALCS.

Same goes for basketball - the NBA playoffs and NCAA tournament are must-see sports, even if I don't have a horse in the race. Granted, it's been easier with the Cavaliers in contention, but even without them I'm very into the NBA playoffs.

I don't feel like rewriting those two sentences only with slighty different phrasing, so just read them again and put hockey terms in, OK?

So, baseball, don't take it too hard - I still think you're a great game, and I always will. You're just not quite on the same level as the other guys anymore. Look on the bright side - you're a hell of a lot better than soccer!

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