The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to do something for the city that hasn’t been done since 1964 and that is win a world championship.The Cleveland Browns of the National Football League were the last team to do it,beating the then Baltimore Colts 27-0.I actually saw that game on television in 1964 when CBS had the NFL and the AFL was getting started on NBC.There was no such thing as a Super Bowl back then.I remember watching Browns quarterback Frank Ryan throwing three touchdown passes to wide receiver Gary Collins and legendary running back Jim Brown retiring after that championship to pursue a movie career.The Cleveland Indians made the World Series in 1997 but lost to the Florida Marlins.Now Cleveland is by no means alone in waiting for a championship.The Chicago Cubs haven’t won since 1918.As a Knicks fan I’ve been waiting since 1973 for them to win another championship.Teams that go through these long droughts without a championship usually have bad decision makers at the top who either don’t know what they’re doing or pick players that just aren’t good enough.The fans pay some ridiculously expensive price for tickets but year after year they’re left wanting.The teams that are constantly near or at the top have a good organization from the owner down to the coach or manager.Also what can’t be overlooked is leadership from the players on the team.LeBron James is proving to be a great leader by his inspiring play.I remember Willis Reed limping on to the court at Madison Square Garden for game seven of the 1970 NBA finals and what an inspiration it was to the rest of the Knicks as they went on to beat the Lakers and capture New York’s first NBA title.LeBron is inspiring the Cavaliers and the city.If they do win it the city of Cleveland will cherish this championship forever.That’s my opinion.
When a team is considered the best in any sport,there is great pressure for them to prove it by winning the championship.The N.Y.Rangers were considered the best team and favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season but lost at home in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning.Last season the Rangers were not expected to go anywhere in the playoffs and therefore with little or no pressure made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to the L.A.Kings in 5 games.This season they were expected to win and even had a picture in their locker room of the Cup and after every playoff game they won they put a little piece on it as a building block to their ultimate goal.The pressure was to great and consequently they played one of the worst game 7’s at home in a long time.I’ve been watching sports since the sixties and in that time I have seen teams in all sports cave in to the pressure and expectation to win when they’re the favorite.The New England Patriots were 18-0 entering Super Bowl XLll and were being looked at as the best of all time but lost to the Giants.The Seattle Mariners won 116 games in 2000 and set a new American League record but lost to the Yankees.The Denver Broncos set the NFL record for points in 2013 but lost to the Seahawks 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVlll.The Jets beat the Colts in Super Bowl lll as the biggest underdog (18 points)in Super Bowl history.In all sports the pressure to win when you’re supposed to is unique and the Teams that can accomplish that feat,like the 1998 Yankees or the 1996 Chicago Bulls,who were clearly the best in their sport that year,won it all.It takes more than just talent to win a championship when you are expected to and those teams that ultimately do it are remembered forever and the ones that don’t are quickly forgotten.That’s my opinion.
LeBron James is not only the NBA’s best player but he is also the best leader around.The Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Atlanta Hawks to get to the NBA finals in LeBron’s first season back in his hometown.He has made a knucklehead player like J.R.Smith more accountable to the team instead of the selfish stupidity he displayed in his time with the Knicks.James has the ability,like Michael Jordan did,to take players who were bums with another team like Smith and Iman Shumpert and turn them into valuable contributors.His will and determination to win is contagious to the rest of the team and makes them elevate their play to a higher level.Besides that he is a great clutch player which all the great leaders have.How many big games did Michael Jordan excel in leading the Chicago Bulls to six titles? Derek Jeter made that famous flip in the playoffs and hit a game winning homer in the World Series.Mark Messier guaranteed a Rangers victory in game six against New Jersey in 1994 and went out and scored a hat trick in the win and ultimately led the Rangers to Stanley Cup glory.It’s one thing to be a great player but it’s totally different to make players follow you,to get them to raise their game and be willing to put aside selfish goals for the good of the team.All the people I mentioned had that quality and now you’re looking at another one who has not only put a team on his back but a whole city as well.He is King James.That’s my opinion.
The NBA draft lottery is a colossal joke and needs to be done away with asap.I’m saying this not only because my team,the New York Knicks,got penalized for actually winning a couple of games towards the end of the season,but it’s ridiculous that if a team has the worst record they may not get the top draft pick because some ping pong balls didn’t fall their way.This is totally assinine.The NFL draft is by far the most popular because if your team had the worst record they picked first,plain and simple.All this talk about tanking,tanking,tanking and the Knicks had the second worst record behind the Minnesota Timberwolves but wound up being fourth in the draft order.Minnesota did win and will pick first but the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers,who both had better records than the Knicks,will pick second and third respectively.When the Knicks won the lottery in 1985 and got the right to draft Patrick Ewing,there was all this talk that the lottery was fixed so New York would win.Yet the Cleveland Cavaliers have won the lottery 3 times in the last 5 years but I haven’t heard one word about fix or conspiracy and they didn’t always have the worst record.One year they had a 1.7% chance of winning and did.How the hell is that possible? I don’t remember who had the worst record that season but it’s totally unfair.With their draft haul the Cavaliers have drafted LeBron James and Kyrie Irving with two of the wins and drafted Andrew Wiggins,whom they traded to Minnesota for Kevin Love,with the third.If New York had won that many times can you imagine what would be said?I’m convinced the Knicks will never win the lottery again because the NBA doesn’t want to hear any conspiracy theories.The NBA needs stop this ridiculous and unfair way of determining draft order.Ping pong balls should be for picking numbers,not players.That’s my opinion.
Tom Brady,Super Bowl Champion this past season and one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history,has been suspended 4 games for his role in deflategate.The Patriots organization has been fined one million dollars and have had their first round draft pick in 2016 and their fourth round draft pick in 2017 taken away.Let me say that I agree with the punishment the league has handed out.The investigation done by Ted Wells indicates that Brady knew what was going on.Text messages from the two men involved with Brady,McNally(known as the deflator)and Jastremski mention Brady and McNally in particular uses profanity in saying what he thinks of Tom and the task he has to perform on the footballs.But in light of this preponderance of evidence I’m amazed at the people who think Brady should receive no more than a fine.I expect Patriots fans to be upset because they see their season going down the drain with Brady out.But the media commentary has been just plain ridiculous.Some say it didn’t matter because they beat the Colts 45-7.Others say it’s not a big deal,it’s gamesmanship.Then you have my favorite,the Boston Herald has a picture of the 4 super bowl trophies with the title”why do they hate us” suggesting everyone is jealous of the Patriots success.Owner Robert Kraft has defiantly defended Brady and insists they have done nothing wrong.Don Yee,Brady’s agent,has called the Wells investigation a sting operation.The Patriots had not won a Super Bowl since 2004 and many think those were tainted because of spygate.Now they win the Super Bowl and we have deflategate.I do believe that history has played a role in why the punishment has been so harsh but there seems to be a culture around this team that it ain’t cheating if you can get away with it.The problem is that they have been caught again and have gotten the punishment they deserve,especially the man named Brady.That’s my opinion.
Suckers!! That’s what all of you are if you paid $100 dollars to watch Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight or whatever you call they were doing last Saturday night in Las Vegas.Now word comes out that Pacquiao had injured his shoulder two weeks before the fight and it was kept secret so as not to spoil the huge payday both fighters harvested.Let me just say that I didn’t buy the fight,not because I couldn’t afford it,but I knew it wasn’t going to be a good fight.This fight should have taken place 5-7 years ago when both fighters were younger and more determined,especially Pacquiao.The hype for this fight was beyond ridiculous because it took so long that everyone just had to see it either in person or on pay per view.Now there is talk from Mayweather that he would fight Pacquiao again after saying he was relinquishing his belts and not fighting anymore.Are you kidding me? I guess the reported 180-200 million he’s getting for this rip off job isn’t enough.People who saw this travesty are now filing lawsuits citing that since Pacquiao’s shoulder injury was not made public before the fight,a case can be made that the public was deceived.The word defrauded is also being bandied about.All I can say is if anyone doles out any money to watch these two fight again,then you never heard that old saying”fool me once,shame on you.Fool me twice,shame on me”.Sucker!!
The Yankees and Mets just completed the latest edition of the Subway Series Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.The Yankees won the game 6-4 there by taking two out of three from their Queens counterparts.The excitement this series generated has fans and the media wondering what it could be like when these teams meet again in September at Citi field.It’s been a long time since both teams have been in first place in their respective divisions at the same time as they are now.If they can both be healthy(the Mets are currently dealing with a lot of injuries)through the dog days of summer,there is a good chance that the series in September could have not only wild card but division titles at stake.I’ve said before that you need to play at least 50 games and then see where your team is at.With 112 games left you can figure how many games your team needs to make the playoffs as a wild card or win the division.In the Yankees and Mets case,can you imagine what the atmosphere would be like in September with so much to play for? It would be the first time in Subway Series history that these teams would play each other so late in the regular season.It would be like 2000 when they met in the World Series and this city was turned upside down with excitement.It’s only April and there’s a long way to go but it’s not too early to let yourself dream of a series in September in Flushing Queens that will make it feel like October 2000 all over again.That’s my opinion.