“That’s a sad story. No one should have to be in Cleveland for 10 years.” – Mikel Jolsman, (my rugby friend), on the 3 girls held captive in a Cleveland home for 10 years.
EL BARIO, BRONX – The above joke was crude but made me laugh so hard I spilled my coffee. Where I spilled it is another joke… Bowen Antwell, my other friend (I only have two), is from Cleveland and glad to be be in Atlanta now. He responded to the above by adding that “at least those girls didn’t have to drive around and see the city on a daily basis – they can count themselves lucky!” So, bad taste intro aside, this week’s Sports Bully Pulpit will cover the surprising return of Lebron James to Cleveland, the FIFA World Cup semi-finals, and what the USA Soccer team’s performance means to the MLS. Oh, and a quick point about the WNBA.
Lebron James: Those not familiar with Cleveland can get a sense from the poor taste joking above? a general idea of the significance of Lebron James leaving Miami for Cleveland. It can’t be for lifestyle or weather or anything beyond on-the-court stuff because Miami runs circles around anywhere in Ohio, especially it’s armpit Why he chose to return, after he broke the city’s heart, in an hour-long special, which he later admitted was a bad idea, would he chose to return. People burned effigies of him and his jerseys (which now $eem$ like a bad idea) when he left. In the aftermath, the Cavs got a quality point guard in Kyrie Irving and recently drafted another No. 1 pick SG/SF in Andrew Wiggins, so he has a bit of help. However, it was a shock to see him come to a team that now has to make some deals (they are trying to move players to acquire Kevin Love)… James claims his love for Cleveland is beyond the game. And Ohio’s favorite son did stay local for college (essentially), played for the Cavs and is now back to build something. According to rumors, he is now calling old teammates Mike Miller and Ray Allen to join him in Cleveland.
Now that King James made his choice, everyone else can make theirs. Chris Bosh is apparently heading to Houston; Who are now saying sayonara Jeremy Lin As a result… Carmelo is yet to make his choice, so we will see how this shakes out. I guarantee this: By Sunday night there are going to be a lot of familiar names in different places.
FIFA World Cup: The German Nazi jokes were coming as fast and furious as the goals they scored against Brazil in their demolition of the Samba boys. My two favorite were, “The Germans haven’t had that fast of a start since 1939,” and “It was not shocking to see the Germans not let up, as they are not known for taking their foot of the gas pedal.” I must apologize to my Jewish friends/readers/colleagues for that last one, but it did make me laugh… Back to the soccer: Ghana issued a state investigation into what happened at the WC for their national team. What will Brazil do? The last time they lost a final, everyone – down to the physio – got fired. I can see it happening again for this team barring Julio Ceaser, Thiago Silva and Neymar. No one else on the team will be back. Luiz Felipe “Big Phil” Scolari may have to hide out in Portugal for a few decades.
In the other semi-final, the world’s greatest chokers, the Dutch, came up short in penalty kicks against Argentina. As both sides have hot fans, it was the viewers at home that won that match.
MLS: In a discussion about how to keep America interested in soccer the other 47 months when the World Cup is not going on, something struck me… as someone who got here in the 80s and had to watch his soccer on Spanish and Italian TV, it will continue to grow as long as ESPN has coverage. ESPN is America’s sports bible. If they don’t cover a sport, it is dead to them.
I also want to point out that ‘Merica has made every world cup since 1990. That is 24 years. There are kids on the team, 30 and under, that have always known a competitive USA team. Those 24 and under have always known the MLS existed. This new generation is going to propel the league into a small sense of legitimacy. The next step are for MLS teams to win the Concacaf Champions League and play in the World Club Championship. That will give the league even more legitimacy.
WNBA – Scrambling for sports news this week, someone said, “What about the WNBA?!” I froze and thought, ‘Big Baby Yeezus, the WNBA!?‘ After being labeled a sexist. I quickly countered with what my ex-wife put very succinctly: “Do you watch men’s gymnastics at the Olympics?” The person answered “No.” “And there you have it.” Watching the WNBA is like watching men’s gymnastics, all that skill and everything but you still feel cheated out of some extra umph! And here’s a WNBA factoid that may directly impact the Knicks and Phil Jackson: The New York Liberty went and got two-time WNBA coach (with Detroit) and GM Bill Lambeer and now are struggling. Omen? We’ll see.
That is it for now, hope you enjoyed by article and hope to hear from you below. Come back tomorrow for the one and only Cheesy Bruin.
P.s… If you want to read more of my ramblings as a Rugby Guy, you can find them on RugbyWrapUp.com and our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp and @JunoirBlaber, respectively