Friday Ramblilngs Oct 31, 2014: LeBron Flops, Bosh Moves Up, A-Rod’s Back, Raiders Pain and the Pete Carroll Factor

“I’m keeping my talents in C-Town” are the exact words all 390,000-plus Cleveland residents expected to hear from Lebron back in 2010 on his ESPN special “The Decision”. Instead he informed them he was moving south and the jersey burning began. Move ahead four years and the biggest, most shocking reunion took place last night as King James re-made his regular season debut in a Cavs jersey (going back to the infamous #23 that was burned in the streets). The return was…not triumphant. James shot 5 for 15 with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 43 minutes. Not exactly what the doctor ordered. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving both looked solid but James looked flat and out of sync and from what I saw, is no longer the darling of NBA refs. I was amazed at some of the pundits for writing the Cavs off after 1 game since there’s still 81 to go. I wouldn’t be too worried since the 2010-11 Miami Heat started 9-8 but went on to win 58 games and lost in the Finals. It’s a long season so don’t burn those jerseys just yet.

For those of you who haven’t heard (get out from under that rock), Chris Bosh is now the primary scoring option in Miami. With Lebron gone and Dwayne Wade playing on knees made of Lego, Bosh has been promoted to “the man”. I hope they have kept expectations low. For those who forget, Bosh was “the man” for the Raptors from 2004 (after Vince Carter was traded) until he walked away after the 2009-10 season. In that stretch, the Raptors only had a winning record once and only made the playoffs twice (they got in with a 41-41 record in 2007-08). Now you can argue that he didn’t have the right supporting cast but then-GM Bryan Colangelo tried desperately to bring in players (Jermaine O’Neal, Shawn Marion, Hedo Turkoglu) and nothing worked (see: Hedo Turkoglu) for the simple reason that Bosh is predictable, slow footed and only has one move. Not to mention he’s soft (Shaq once called him the “RuPaul of big men”). He may have started off this season nicely with 26 points and 15 rebounds but there is no way that will last and when it starts to falter he is not the type of guy to put a team on his back. Lebron James he’s not (apparently I’m now Yoda).

Did you hear that sound after the final out of Game 7 of the World Series? It sounded like screams. Not cheers from the Giants fans but screams 2,000 miles away in New York. With that final out, Alex Rodriguez is officially a Yankee again! His suspension is over, his contract is valid (3 years and $61-million) and the only thing that can keep him from getting paid is failing the team physical. Had this happened back in the 70s or 80s, George Steinbrenner would have found a “doctor” to pronounce A-Rod unfit but that’s a little trickier these days. I am very happy about this because seeing the Yankees struggle last season and now have this huge distraction coming into 2015 can only make it tougher to win for them. No word from A-Rod’s camp yet but once it starts, just sit back and watch the fireworks.

As a Detroit Lions fan I know the pain that came in 2008. They were the first team in the 16-game era to go winless in a season (that’s 0-16 for you non-academics). It was a horrendous season that caused me to lose a lot of interest in football for a while. But the thing is that when you bottom out, you can only go up. They drafted Stafford and Pettigrew the next spring, Suh in 2010 and Fairley in 2011 as they made it back to the playoffs for the first time in a decade. I am telling this to all the Raiders fans out there. Hang in there. They have been the opposite of a model franchise for the past 5 years and watching them this season (currently 0-7) I don’t think there is any doubt that they are going 0-16. They are the worst team in the league. But, with that comes redemption…now that Al Davis is gone. Yes, this is the team who drafted JaMarcus Russell 1st overall ahead of Calvin Johnson (your pain is my absolute happiness) but that was then and this is now…right? Come on, it’s better than…okay, I see your point…Jameis Winston in silver and black? Possible but he has to be better than JaMarcus Russell right?

The Seattle Seahawks have been the most melo-dramatic Superbowl champs in recent memory. First it was Richard Sherman chirping during the playoffs, then Percy Harvin sent packing to the Jets and now the likely scenario that Marshawn Lynch is on his way out. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Dysfunction is what Pete Carroll brings to every team he coaches. This is the same guy who dominated at USC for 9 years and then all of a sudden quit to take the Seahawks job. Unsurprisingly, shortly after he left USC was slapped with a number of violations banning them from bowls for two years, loss of 30 scholarships and stripped of wins (as well as Reggie Bush having his Heisman forfeited). But Carroll could not be punished because he had already quit. In the years since, he has denied having any knowledge of the allegations which is an absolute cop-out. His years of college coaching made him a better talent evaluator (see: Russell Wilson) but you can’t change the inner workings of a person and as we see now, he is destined to ruin teams from the inside-out. There will be no dynasty in Seattle as long as Pete Carroll is the coach so if the Seahawks want to save face, they should find a way to brush him out the door before the shit hits the fan.

Thought I would leave on a high note so here is another photo of my new favorite obsession, British opera singer Laura Wright. Enjoy!

Laura Wright


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