Jun 28, 2011

New Website

We have finally made the change and moved to a dot com. Our new website still has the same name. Please continue reading our blog on www.ClevelandsRocks.com 

Thank you and keep rooting for Cleveland sports.

Jun 21, 2011

Browns Looking Into Terrelle Pryor

Ahhhhhh!!!!!! Just when you thought you had enough of Terrelle Pryor for what he did to the OSU Buckeyes, it has been reported that the Cleveland Browns are looking into the infamous former QB. As Mary Kay Cabot wrote in today's Plain Dealer, the Browns are doing their "due diligence" on Pryor for the upcoming supplemental draft.

The shocking thing is that I have seen a decent amount of Cleveland support for the addition of Pryor. Am I the only one who thinks getting Pryor is a terrible idea?

Jun 20, 2011

UFL Fantasy Football

Okay, with the lockout continuing, normal Fantasy Football may not be an option. Whether the NFL season gets completely canceled or just delayed, this could make NFL FF a difficult option. I myself am a huge FF enthusiast and need my FF fix. Therefore, I am about to start a website that can run free UFL FF leagues on it for you and your friends. Even if the NFL season comes back it could be a quick and easy side league just for fun and for something different.

I was wondering how many other people would be interested in this idea. 

Because the UFL is so small, leagues would be limited to 6 teams. 

Starting lineups would be standard with the following: 
QB: 1
RB: 2
WR: 2
TE: 1
Def: 1
K: 1

Basically it would be the same as normal with smaller leagues and obviously a smaller schedule. We all need our FF fix somehow. This may have to be our answer. Plus, how funny would it be bragging to your office buddies that you beat them in UFL FF. 

PS: This gives us a reason to start rooting for Clarrett again. 

What Do You Want The Cavs To Do This Draft?

Okay, today we found out that the Cavs are committed to Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick of this upcoming draft. Not that the news was any surprise, but there were some talks that they may go a different way. Now that all of those are done, the question is what to do with the 4th pick. Trade rumors are still swirling out there with the second pick from Minnesota. If teh Cavs do not have to give up too much, I think that would be the best move to get Kyrie and Williams. But it seems as though that trade may be too hard to pull off.

Anyways, there are still many options with the 4th pick. Enes Kanter seems like a good option. The big man from Turkey sat the last year on Kentucky's bench, but has proved that he can be a solid big guy. Jan Vesely is also a big guy option who may be like Dirk; or may be a bust. He seems to be more of a risk in the top five.

So Cleveland fans, (or the few people who read my blog), what do you want to see the Cavs do with this draft. If you disagree with Kyrie let me know. If you want a certain player or a trade let me know. Please voice your opinions as I am interested to see where Cleveland stands on this huge draft for the Cavs.

Is Rory The New Tiger?

Is Rory McIlroy the next Tiger Woods? If you haven’t flipped it over to ESPN this morning, that just about all they are talking about over there. If you missed it, McIlroy absolutely pooped on the rest of the field in the US Open. Though very impressive, I still don’t put it above Tiger’s performance in the 2000 US Open where he won by 15 strokes and was the only one under par.
The most impressive part of Rory’s performance had to be how he bounced back from his choke job on the final round of the Masters. For a 22 year old to come back from that like it was nothing was amazing. 
With another major without Tiger, ESPN had to grab their hands on something. Rory is the perfect fit as a replacement. The 22-year-old sensation has been in contention in the past 5 majors. If he didn’t choke down the stretch of the Masters, he would have comfortably won the past two majors. All of these traits can only compare to Tiger.
There is no question that without Tiger, the PGA and ESPN have been hurting. Tiger’s brief revival in the Masters showed to be one of the greatest recent days of golf. However, people on ESPN are already trying to replace Tiger and have a new “king”. Is it too early to crown Rory as the next?
He has the skill set but does he have the moxy? He showed a lot with the ability to come back from the Masters but is still light years away from Tiger’s stats. PGA and ESPN need someone to step in as soon as possible. The best possible situation for gold is that Tiger can come back at an elite level, and be placed against Rory. Think of a Sunday twosome with Tiger and Rory. Who do you have on that one?

Indians Needed That Sweep More Than Anything

There aren’t too many weekend series where you go into saying we need to win all of these games. That’s what the Indians needed this past weekend against the Pirates. Not just a 2-1 win of the series; but a clean 3-game sweep. And surprisingly enough they delivered. The Pirates came into the series above .500 for the first time this late in a season since 1999 (wow). They have been playing good ball of late and could have been pesky. Nonetheless, they are still the Pirates. We needed to win all of those games the way the Tribe has been playing. With Detroit all caught up, a winning streak was needed to get back on the right track.

Many put this team down and already gave up on this year since the losing streak started. People need to realize that it’s a long season. There will be ups and downs. Whether this sweep was easier than others doesn’t matter at all. This can get the Tribe back on the feeling of winning that they need badly.
Another plus from the weekend was the attendance. Solid attendance of over 30,000 each game for Father’s Day weekend proves that with better weather and winning, these fans want to be there. If we can stay in the thick of things at the All-Star break, the second half of the season will be very interesting and I can bet there will be some sell outs. This may be there first trading deadline in a few years where we wont ship out a stud.

Well see where the Indians are at the break and what they can do to take the Central and get to the playoff for the first time since 2007. Don’t give up on this young team yet. The Pirates may have just been our break to get things rolling again.

Jun 10, 2011

Pryor, The NCAA, And Why Paying Players Is NOT The Option

The other day, Ohio State Quarterback Terrelle Pryor said via his lawyer that he was not going to return for his senior season. While it may have shocked some, the fact was it was bound to happen eventually. The NCAA investigation is only going to dig up more dirt on Pryor. Even if only half of the alleged violations are true, he will have broken more than enough rules to warrant a longer suspension. 
His selfish actions will likely cause a USC like crackdown on Ohio State. They received a two-year postseason ban, loss of 30 scholarships over three years, and were forced to vacate many wins including the 2004 BCS National Championship. Expect an even more serious punishment on OSU. The USC issues were solely on the hands of Reggie Bush. OJ Mayo also broke rules, which is why the NCAA issued a lack of institutional control. But the football punishment was only because of Bush.
In Ohio State’s case, the root of the issue is much more deeper than just Pryor. There were other players that allegedly broke rules. And then there was head coach Jim Tressel. He knowingly lied to the NCAA. Whether you like it or not that is a big no-no.
However, this article is not about Tressel. It is about Pryor, and how these college super-stars think they are above the law. Lets run down a quick list of the allegations recently thrown on Pryor.
He allegedly took free or cut-rate cars when he should not have gotten those deals. He sold his Big Ten championship ring, other trophies and jerseys for tattoos. And worst of all, sold autographs for hundreds, and at times thousands of dollars, repeatedly. We all have read the reports into how much he was supposedly making a year from these deals so I won’t go into details about that. 
The problem is that many fans out there think his actions are OK. I have heard so many people, not just OSU fans, giving justification to these elite players taking cash for things. As the saying goes, “rules are rules.” Why should these few elite players be able to sell their autographs and other things for cash? It’s not fair to the others who obey the rules.
The next point people make to defend this is that it’s hard for college players to get by. This folks is complete BS. I am aware that many of these top athletes come from lower to middle class families and do not have a lot of spending cash. The fact is that football players on scholarship can easily make it by.
Scholarships include free tuition, room and board, plus a stipend for away games as well as off campus living. This is already greater than most academic scholarships that high school kids work their ass off for. Next, they receive enough free clothes to have a few extra closets. Sure, they aren’t clothes you would want to go out in but they can easily survive with them. 
The list of ‘NCAA legal’ perks only continues. Free books, tutors, and study sessions, first class treatment from the professors, and extended deadlines. It makes you wonder why so many of them are majoring in pottery.
Then, there’s the off-the-field football perks. These include state of the art facilities, weight rooms, trainers, coaches, and training gear. This would add up to thousands for the average Joe. Also including top-level meal plans, along with team meals, which usually consist of buffets by high end catering companies.(same thing re-write this fragment) 
You can see why so many kids dream of playing college football. It’s clearly a life different from that of a normal college student. This begs the question why are the players selling everything they can for cash? How selfish are Terrelle Pryor and the other players out there that cannot understand what they have gotten handed to them? Do they really need this cash to get by?
The only excuse that could work is that they need/want it for spending money. Every college student likes to have some cash on the side to go out or buy some nice things. However, the NCAA prohibits those on athletic scholarships to hold a job. This is the one problem I have with the NCAA. Allowing them to have a simple summer job would end any possible excuse for wanting cash.
Nonetheless, NCAA athletes have no excuse for selling stuff for cash. Another popular response to what the players are doing is blaming the NCAA. People are asking why if the NCAA is making so much money, cant they compensate the players better. Basically, why can’t you pay the athletes?
Paying college athletes is a terrible idea.
Paying players is a slippery slope towards disaster. It will lead to the demise of the NCAA and screw up most, if not all, universities.
Here’s why:
People think these schools are making millions and millions of dollars off these student athletes. The fact is they are making millions of dollars. However, the schools see very little of that, if any. After most expenses there are only a dozen or so schools that actually make a profit. According to information from 2009, only 14 schools were able to make a profit without support from the university. Only 14! That alone should end any argument about paying student athletes.
Athletic departments also have to share their income. A large portion comes from bowl games and TV contracts. However, that gets split up evenly amongst the conference members. Then, with whatever profit you have left thanks to your football team, you have to support all the other sports. OSU has one of, if not the largest, athletic department in the NCAA. With over 36 varsity teams and over 1,000 student athletes, it can be a pricy task. It cost over $126 million to run OSU’s athletic department last year. The fact is there is not enough money to support paying them.
Also, how would you base your pay? Would it be for revenue producing sports? That would only consist of football and men’s basketball. Not really fair to the other sports is it? Even if you don’t want to be fair and give the other sports scholarships and pay football and basketball, you would have to fight the federal government who instituted Title IX about 40 years ago. It forces all athletic spending to be equal for both sexes. Well see how many universities pay their women’s lacrosse team the same as football.
Also, how would you start paying them? Would it be performance based? Would it be a set amount? How about the differences in conferences? The logistics of starting to pay student athletes would be impossible. The money would run out and tuition for normal students would rise. Then, the schools would ask for more money from the states. This would raise taxes. You can see the domino effect.
Sure the NCAA is a broken system. When the rules were established, they did not expect the NCAA to be a multi-billion dollar industry. They didn’t think they would be making millions of dollars off the student athletes. However, inflation has made it impossible for other sports to survive if football doesn’t continue to make millions of dollars. If players want to make money off what the school makes on them, other sports will crumble. Then, football will eventually crumble from lack of money. People need to look at both sides of the ledger when they think the schools are making a quick buck off these kids.
As for the athletes, why cant’ you be patient? Rules are broken everywhere and Pryor is not the only one. But it is only by the very few that will one-day make money off their God given talents. Can’t they realize how much they have already been handed to in life? Every other student idolizes them and wishes they were in their shoes. If you cant be patient enough to wait three to four years to start making millions of dollars then you don’t deserve too. 

Jun 6, 2011

NFL Steroid Use During Lockout

There is not much NFL stuff to talk about during the lockout days. But the other day, I had a a thought about something the players may be doing. Steroids. In lockout rules, there are no rules. The NFL can't put forth any regulations or restrictions to the players. The NFLPA can not even make them stop since they went inactive during the lockout.

Players normally have decently strict regulations on steroids for obvious reasons. They also have NFL punishments for off the field disciplinary reasons. The players are already taking full advantage of that as many have already sustained DUI's and other arrests.

With no rules, who's not to say they are all juicing?

I fear that a large number are. Unlike baseball, there has been no steroid era in the NFL. But that does not mean football players are not juicing. Not even by a long-shot. It wasn't until 1989 that the NFL added steroids to the list of banned substances. It has been in the culture ever since.

With the lockout dragging on into the summer, players have had a longer time to use them. If you are wondering what will happen to players when the lockout is lifted the answer is not very clear. It will probably be a provision in the CBA assuming they keep most of the current NFL rules. But whenever the lockout is over, there are tons of more pressing issues the NFL and the NFLPA have to deal with than drug testing. It could be even more time until the normal cycle of drug tests resume.

The lockout started in March. Even if the lockout continues on to just before the season starts, that gives the players 5 to 6 months of no tests or penalties. That gives plenty of time to take almost any type of banned substance.

Think about it. Without team supervision, these millionaire athletes are working out with their own out of pocket trainers, at random gyms across America. They are spending more time with their high school and college friends and their shady agents. They are in the perfect environment for steroid use.

After a little research (it seems far too easy to get steroids online) I found out that the average steroid cycle is around 6-8 months. However, that is for pure body building. For more sports related workouts, steroid cycles can consist of only 2 months. There are some drugs that even take 3 weeks to have an effect and be out of your system (it was mentioned that this drug is already used frequently since players are notified of upcoming tests).

Your telling me that NFL players just looking for an edge are not going to use these? They are not looking to get huge like body builders. Just a few more pounds of muscle and a faster 40 time. That can all be accomplished over a summer of no drug tests.

My concern is how much is this really happening. Are we going to have a steroid skewed season like the 90's for baseball? Is there going to be a player or two who go overboard and seriously hurt themselves somehow? Maybe there will not be any issues. Who knows?

I'm just surprised that nobody else brought this up. Am I the only one who thought of this? Or am I missing something?

Honestly, it may account for one of the more exciting seasons of late. Or it may be the exact opposite.

Indians Draft SS Lindor With Top Pick

With the 8th pick in this years MLB Amateur draft, the Cleveland Indians went with 17 year old SS Francisco Lindor. The youngster out of Montverde Academy in Florida, will eventually add a fine switch hitting bat in the middle infield. Although many experts had predicted a pitcher as the Indians' first selection, the thought of Lindor in the future was too much to pass up.

The Tribe currently has Asdrubal Cabrera at SS, but his fielding is below average and would be a better fit at second. Lindor brings great fielding along with great speed and could end up stealing between 15 and 20 bases a year. However, moving Cabrera back to second impedes the progress of minor league star Jason Kipnis. But, this is an issue that wont be faced till about four years from now. I wouldn't mind that problem if all three are producing well in four years.

Our farm system is already packed with pitching depth and Lindor adds a bat to the mix. With many of our other bats projected to be called up later this year or next, Lindor could be the cornerstone of our farm system. Some experts had him pegged as a top-5 pick. I look forward to watch his progress along the minor league system and hopefully becomes a stud down the line.

Jun 2, 2011

ESPN Questions Colt McCoy's Arm Strength for the 10,985,346th Time

I'm sure many of you follow ESPN.com's AFC North blogger, James Walker. I can't speak for the majority of Rockers (I'm coining that shit now for the 10-12 people that read our blog), but whenever I read Walker I feel like I'm reading a 13 year old analyzing football. There are hypothetical who-would-win-in-a-boxing-match posts, Dancing with the Stars updates, and ridiculous posts like did Mike Brown spill the beans by implying Andy Dalton would start for Cincy (news flash James: Andy Dalton was a second round pick, and they are usually brought in to make an impact).

Regardless, it has been a very slow offseason for football because of the lockout, and I understand Walker has to blog about something so I try to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, Walker wrote up a lengthy piece about Colt McCoy and cold weather that I tend to take issue with. I, for one, am sick and tired of Tony Grossi and the media bashing McCoy for his play in the cold weather. All you ever
hear about McCoy is lack of arm strength, yada yada yada. Listen, I'm not saying the kid is the second-coming of Bernie "Jesus Christ" Kosar. But the kid has played in 3 cold weather games in his career! Against Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincy! Do you ever stop and think, hmmm maybe these three awesome defensive coordinators finally got a look of McCoy, a rookie quarterback, on tape. It's natural for a rookie to experience a slump after defenses and opposing coaches get some tape on them.

I for one, was pleasantly surprised at how McCoy played in 2010. I didn't get to see much of the Baltimore game at the end of the year, at least I don't remember seeing too much of it, but that's what happens when we Cleveland fans try to drink ourselves out of depression. But that's neither here nor there.

The point is, give the kid a chance. He was incredibly successful in college, grows a fine mustache, and is taking a leadership role we haven't seen since the Brownies came back into town in '99. Oh yeah, one more note. Don't give me this bullshit about never playing in cold weather before. A couple of names never did so in thier college years either: Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe, Vinny Testaverde. Just kidding, fuck Vinny Testaverde.

Jun 1, 2011

My Last Anti-LeBron Article

Since the Decision, I like many of Clevelanders have had my share of hating towards LeBron James. I personally think he is a self-righteous coward, who ran to where he knew he could win. However, recently, I have had many comments on this blog and via Twitter that I need to stop whining about James. I never thought once I was whining, but whatever. Also, judging by the mass amount of Cleveland fans I also follow on Twitter, I would say I am the only one against the man.

Nevertheless, this will be my last anti-LeBron post I will write. I feel like I am over him...for the most part. Enough at least to stop writing about his every move. There are however, a few amendments to my above statement. I will still actively root against the Heat as long as they have this super-team assembled. I will continue tweeting for the most part against the Heat. And I never-ever-ever plan to stop making fun of Chris Bosh. Who doesn't like making fun of the third wheel? Aside from all of those provisions, I really do plan to stop writing about LeBron. So here are my final thoughts.

--- The Heat will win the Finals. I know, I know how dare I say that. Well, i've rooted against them all this way and it doesn't seem to work. Plus, its so blatantly obvious that Davis Stern and the NBA want the Heat to win. And that folks, is all it takes. I'm not suggesting that Stern is fixing these games. I'm saying its so blatantly obvious to fans its hard not to believe it. Hey Mr. Stern, when "refs" are trending multiple times on Twitter during your playoff games, its time to fix things. Also, would you expect anything different for Cleveland. Just add another chapter to the most tortured sports cities ever.

--- On the topic of David Stern, I hope he realizes that these super-teams will ruin the NBA. We have already seen this trend spread with the Knicks and their offseason plans. Players collaborating in the off-season to decide where to go will destroy the league. Ya it is very hard to control, but Stern didn't even try, he enabled it. He saw the huge TV ratings he would get even by the teams rooting against them. He is right there, but he did not take in account the long term affects. Of the 30 NBA teams i'd say there are only about six teams with big markets, history, and a location good enough for these super-teams. LA, Chicago, New York, New Jersey/Brooklyn, Boston, and Miami. That leaves 24 teams susceptible to losing their stars. Put even 15 or 20 teams in that position and the league falls. Smaller market teams are going to have no match competing with those locations when their star players wants to play with another. Its already happening to Utah and Denver. They did everything they could to stop it but it wasn't good enough. Paul will leave New Orleans to join a building super-team. Its a plague that will kill the league in ten years if nothing is done. But its okay Mr Stern, you'll have great TV ratings.

--- Back to the Decision. I can understand why LeBron left. He wanted to play with his friend (and Bosh  tagged along like always). As much as Cleveland built him up as this loyal guy from Akron, that's not who he was. He didn't give two shits about Cleveland just himself. He also hated the pressure. You can say he lives for it as much as you want but it was clearly too much for him in Cleveland. He took to the finals in '07 because there were no expectations. Once there were, he faltered every year. With Wade to hide behind, he can play when he wants and also take the weight off his shoulders. Who would blame the guy for wanting to go play for that team? Easiest road to a ring ever.

--- On Scottie Pippen's comments, I think the media took them a bit out of context. At least I hope they were. I mean, Jordan made the guy into a Hall of Famer. He did jack shit in Portland without him. He was more a Robin than LBJ is. So if he really meant it than that was one of the biggest backhands to a great player/friend I have ever seen. There is absolutely no way LeBron can ever be compared to Jordan.  MJ would have won championships with the Cavs teams of the past few years. He probably would have won against the Spurs in '07 or at least won some games. The fact LeBron left immediately killed the comparison. There is a thing called a Killer Instinct. One of them had it. It wasn't LeBron. Don't get me wrong, LeBron is the most gifted athlete ever. His physical skill set is most likely greater than Jordan's was back then. Nobody will ever Michael Jordan. I think LeBron will win some rings. But will never be MJ.

There you have it. My last rant about LeBron. Unless of course something funny happens.