Posted on: July 10, 2010 2:34 am

Dan Gilbert: What Were You Thinking?

Ever wanted to tell your boss to go bang rocks? Ever written an email that could've gotten you fired from your next three jobs? If the answer is yes, hopefully you had enough common sense to think twice and keep your mouth shut or hit delete. The same couldn't be said for Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert. 
Approximately three minutes after LeBron James announced to the world that he would be joining the Miami Heat, Dan-man fired up his laptop and composed one of the most lethal messages in recent memory. And by the time LeBron's joke of press conference (by the way, that was one of the lamest shams for a good cause that I've ever seen) was over, the letter to the fans of Cleveland was complete and in on its way. 
 Dan Gilbert's common sense and good judgment fell way to anger and disappointment. Years of planning and preparation gone. His plans for the future were destroyed by a young, selfish superstar. And after punching a hole in a wall and kicking his cat, Dan did the only thing that would make him feel better. He wrote a letter. A letter that may have been as big of a mistake as trusting "The King" himself. 
 Do I blame Gilbert? Not at all. Would I have done the same thing? Probably. But here's the thing: how do you attract millionaire basketball players to come to Cleveland in the middle of winter? You can't. And now Dan Gilbert comes off as a lunatic owner with an itchy email finger. No one in their right mind would play for the Cavs if given the choice. Players need to be pampered and coddled. Gilbert just proved that if you disappoint him, he will turn his back on you. That's not exactly the message that you want to send to the league after being devastated by Hurricane James.
Posted on: July 10, 2010 12:21 am

LeBron James: A Small Town Fraud

LeBron James proved what many refused to believe; he is a small town fraud.  Growing up in Akron,  Ohio, James idolized the 1990s New York Yankees and the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls.  So wrap up in his desire to someday be a superstar, LeBron emulated the best by choosing to wear Jordan’s number 23 in high school and donning Derek Jeter's New York Yankees baseball caps around town.  And as James' legend grew, so did his make believe world.  The King?  He couldn’t even handle being the King of Akron, Ohio.  
With the attraction of bright lights and big city dreams, James privately wanted to be a native New Yorker.  When in Chicago, LeBron discovered Michael Jordan’s favorite table at his favorite steakhouse.  Perhaps he thought that doing these things made him the man.  Unfortunately, he didn’t want to be the man…he wanted to act like the man. 
So few athletes have the ability to put a city on his/her shoulders and carry them to a championship title.  Jordan did it. Magic did it.  Bird did it.  Kobe did it.  LeBron had the opportunity to do it and ran away.  Sprinted away.  Climbed onto the first thing smoking and flew away.  
Up until a few days ago when Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade announced their decision to play together in Florida, James was stuck.  He desperately wanted to be away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, so his decision had to be based on winning.  Could he win a championship immediately with the Bulls?  Probably not.  Could he win a championship with the Knicks or Nets?  Definitely not.  So it was back to Cleveland where he’d be stuck in a role that he was clearly uncomfortable with.  Showing some stones and being the man. 
So now LeBron has the opportunity to win multiple championships with the Miami Heat.  He has the opportunity to duplicate the success of the Chicago Bulls in the 90’s.  He has the chance to live up to the hype and become one of the greatest to ever play the game. Not Michael Jordan, but Scottie Pippen.  You heard it because I said it.  Scottie Pippen.  LeBron James will become one of the most glorified wingmen as helps Dwayne Wade win championships.  In LeBron James’ make believe world, championship rings guarantees his greatness.  In the real world, they don’t.  Former NBA player Robert Horry has seven championship rings and one more than Michael Jordan.  Does this make Robert Horry better than Michael Jordan?  
Let’s flash back to LeBron’s final days with the Cavs.  You remember them.  The games where he disappeared and cried about his elbow.  Shooting free throw shots left handed.  Who does that?  Not Michael Jordan.  Not Derek Jeter.  Only a small town fraud without the bongos to be the man. 
Posted on: October 16, 2009 3:47 pm

A Chameleon Named Tennessee Titan

I give up. I’ve had it.  I have tried using crystal balls, magic 8 balls, troll dolls, monkey bones, bat wings, psychic friend hotlines, and even abducted an unusually small man who resembled a leprechaun to help figure out the Tennessee Titans.  This team either overachieves to the point where they tease us with Super Bowl hopes or leave us wondering if every player should be traded for the second stringers on the Tennessee State Prison for Women’s football team.  Granted the Titans are plagued with injuries on defense this year and have lost coordinators.  I get that.  What I don’t understand is how a team that went 13-3 in 2008 and is 0-5 in 2009.  The Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns each have a win and their players don’t even realize that this isn’t professional flag football.    

I guess this is what I should expect from the Titans when they signed the Pittsburgh Steeler’s fourth receiving option from the previous year to be their starter.  I guess I should expect opposing teams to put 8 in the box to stop the Titans running game and only offensive threat.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Vince Young will never be ready to go into a game late because he is always too busy playing a mental games of Tetris (and losing) in his head. 

And as much as I respect Jeff Fisher as a coach, he deserves most of the blame.  His players are extremely undisciplined and they cost the team each week by committing stupid penalties.   How do you give Peyton Manning an extra 30 free yards during a last minute drive to end the half?   Fisher's coordinators are responsible for the horrendous offensive play calling and pitiful defensive secondary play.  Guys are breaking arms to avoid embarrassment.  By the way, I hear they’re holding tryouts at the local WalMart down by the hunting and tackle department.  Big women with speed, good down field coverage skills, and facial hair are welcome. 

So at the end of the year when the dust settles and another year is in the books, think of all of good times the Titans have provided us in 2009.  I will think back to the day I placed my first wager predicting that the Titans would lose in the final seconds of their next game due to water boy interference.  I will think back to the day I dusted off my Miggle electronic football game and watched my team’s vibrating imitation of the Tennessee Titans as my players ran in the wrong direction, fell down for no apparent reason, and lost yet another blow out game.  So let’s give three cheers for the boys in the light blue.  My liver and increasing desire to drink more beer thanks you for another wonderful year.  You guys are the best.

Posted on: October 1, 2009 2:50 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2009 3:58 pm

Michael Vick: When Will the Hating Stop?

Before you throw a rock at your computer, spit on the screen, and appoint me the official spokesperson for village idiots everywhere, hear me out.  Michael Vick’s involvement in dog fighting was cruel, barbaric, and inhumane.  Choosing to participate in activities that threaten the loss wealth, fame, and the license to live life comfortably over common sense should result in a minimum two year jail sentence for the criminally stupid.   In fact he is a first ballot inductee into my Bonehead Bongo-Brain Hall of Fame (see OJ Simpson, Rae Carruth, Plaxico Burress).


So why are people so upset that Michael Vick is back in the NFL?  Did Vick serve his required prison sentence?  Yes.  Did Vick lose his million dollar contracts and luxuries?  Yes.  Did Vick satisfy the terms of his NFL suspension?  Yes.  So I ask again, why are people so upset with that Michael Vick is back in the NFL?  Some will say that Michael Vick lost his right to earn millions to play in the National Football League.  Others will claim that he is a role model and is bad example for children.  Both may be true, but is it Michael Vick’s fault that he is playing football again?  Absolutely, positively not.


Michael Vick wanted to play the NFL again.  He wanted to make millions of dollars again.  Hell, I want to play in the NFL and make millions too.  Unfortunately I do not have his God-given talent, so there goes that pipe dream.  The solution was simple.  Somebody wanted Michael Vick back in the NFL for Michael Vick to be back in the NFL.  Somebody wanted to pay Michael Vick millions of dollars for Michael Vick to make millions of dollars again.  I don’t blame him one bit for signing on the dotted line.  I would have done the exact same thing (minus the dog fighting and jail sentence for the criminally stupid). 


Before we hate Michael Vick for being back in the National Football League, consider this:  Vick’s jersey is the fourth highest selling jersey in the NFL.  And for those dog lovers, you can buy your very own NFL authorized Michael Vick dog jersey.  WTF?  Isn't he the self-proclaimed original “Wildcat” and third string quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles?  I can’t name the third string quarterback on my favorite NFL team.  I can’t even name the third string quarterback on my high school football team.  He is nothing more than a background dancer for Shakira or a Megan Fox stunt double.  Don’t know their names?  Who cares!  I’m still trying to figure out why Beyonce’s rear end still jiggles three dance moves later.  I could care less who the background dancers, stunt doubles, or third string quarterbacks are.


Bottom line, Michael Vick is not the only problem.  He is an extremely talented athlete, but astronomically overrated quarterback (he couldn't hit the side of a blimp while standing inside of a blimp).  We blame Vick for making millions of dollars and being negative role model.  It takes more than one party to complete that equation. And for those still clinging to the role model argument…grow a sack and teach your kids right from wrong.  Don’t be lazy and let the television do your job for you.  If you want to use Vick as an example of wrong, go for it.  Otherwise, children should be inspired by parents, guardians, and teachers and not some wacknut sports figure with zero sense of reality.  Our society never runs out of athletes to put on a pedestal.  Just remember who put them there the next time an athlete screws up.  Hate the game and not the player.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or