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by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Apr 14 2014 12:16PM

The 2014 Buckeyes Spring Football Game has come and went….and once again, I was in attendance. Strangely, none of my sports loving (and even Buckeye loving) friends chose to tag along. Usually when I ask others if they want to go I hear responses like, "Why would I want to go to a scrimmage?" or "I would rather watch the Reds or Indians than a practice". For myself though, the Spring Game is tradition for me. I love the opportunity to sit in The Shoe on a nice spring day in a GOOD SEAT to watch the Buckeyes take the field and to watch "The Best Damn Band in the Land" entertain. 61,058 of my 'closest friends' decided to do the same thing.

If it weren't for an error in judgement by the Ohio State Athletic Office, the crowd on a beautiful Saturday would have been larger. Tickets originally were sold for $20 for club seats and $12 for general admission. After a tepid sales response and a forecast for wonderful weather, the 'powers that be' relented and discounted ticket prices the day before. Even Urban Meyer's wife thought Spring Game ticket prices were too high to start. A great walk-up crowd showed up….but it did not rival previous years when upwards of 80,000 attended the spring scrimmage.

spring game 2 Sure the Spring Game is an opportunity to see how Cardale Jones or Ezekiel Elliott have progressed since the end of last season; but more importantly the Spring Game is for the fans. It is for that family of eight who cannot afford to pay almost $80 a ticket to attend a regular season game at The Shoe. It is for those rapid Buckeyes fans who support the team at home, but just can't pay the cost to see the pageantry and passion in person. It is for the church youth group who packs up the van and heads over for a fun day of football and cheering. It is for "Bobby & Jo Buckeyefan" from Portsmouth or Findlay who are unable to afford to make the trek to Columbus six times a year. It is an opportunity for those who normally wouldn't be in a position to see Urban Meyer or Dontre Wilson up close to do so. THAT is what the Buckeyes Spring Game is truly about and I love it.

Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : ColumbusPortsmouth
by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Apr 8 2014 12:38PM

Wrestlemania 30 recently occurred and once again, the topic cropped up of why do people (mainly men) watch Professional 'Rasslin'? I watch, and NO, I DO NOT believe 'rasslin' is real. Of course, nowadays, I don't think anyone truly believes the 'competition' is real. Hell, the WWE calls itself 'sports entertainment'. I normally will get pulled in by the 'story lines' and 'pomp & circumstance' of Monday Night RAW and the WWE in the gap between the end of Monday Night Football & the beginning of the Major League Baseball season. I do not purchase the monthly Pay-Per-Views and will not purchase the newly created WWE Network even with it's promise of offering PPVs for $9.99 a month.

Here is my 'take' on professional 'rasslin…yes, it's goofy…yes, it's a 'soap opera' for guys…but how is watching it any different from watching any scripted sitcom or drama? It's the same damn thing. So, if I am entertained by The Rock or Daniel Bryan fighting or by their 'microphone skills' as opposed to Jennifer Lopez or Harry Connick Jr. passing judgement on karaoke singers, what does it matter? It is all entertainment….something to take our minds off of our daily grind.

by Michael Butcher posted Apr 6 2014 3:27PM

March 31st, 2008 was the last time the Cleveland Indians had won a game on Opening Day, from there the Indians had a 6 year losing streak (note, I am only talking about the home openers). I was there, and after each loss as I was driving back to Columbus I would tell myself, it is only one game, there are plenty more to be played before the season is over. After 2 years of losing the game on the opener, I would just tell myself that as long as there was a first pitch strike, everything would be ok for the rest of the season. Sometimes it's the little things.

Yet we all know, Opening Day is that magical day of baseball, the Day everyone believes their team has a chance. A chance to go all the way, to win it all. A win on Opening Day allows you to continue that dream of winning if only just one more day. Let's be honest, no team is going to win all the games, baseball is a long season after all. However, baseball is also about superstition, just one more reason the win needs to happen on Opening Day.

Something different happened this year for the Cleveland Indians home opener, for the first time since 2008 the Tribe actually won the game. They won that game 10 - 8 against the Chicago White Sox, some interesting things to note about that March 31st game. Some kid from Ohio was playing left field for the Sox and Sabathia was still pitching for the Tribe. The only person left from that Opening Day roster for the Indians is Asdrubal Cabrera, he was playing second base back then. Mark Buehrle was the starting pitcher for Chicago and only lasted 1 ⅔ innings, giving up 7 of those 10 runs the Indians scored that day.

This year was different, this year they won 7 - 2 over the Minnesota Twins. Danny Salazar was the starting pitcher, and even though he was not credited with the win, he pitched a great game, going 5 ⅔ innings with 7 hits, 4 strikeouts, 3 walks and 2 earned runs (1 of those runs being a home run). Tribe catcher Yan Gomes got the Indians their first run with a solo home run in the 6th and Nick Swisher pushed the Tribe ahead with a 2 run homer later that same inning. Cleveland added 4 more runs in the 7th inning insuring that fans will have to wait to hear John Axford's winning walk up music for another day.

Oh, and that starting left fielder for the Chicago White Sox is now playing first base for our Cleveland Indians, Nick Swisher.

Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : ChicagoClevelandColumbusOhio
by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Apr 3 2014 11:03PM

In the bottom of the third inning of Thursday's (4/3) Reds game vs. the Cardinals, St. Louis 1st Baseman Matt Adams reached into the first base stands and this happened…..

Yes, Adams did shove the Reds fan who made the catch, probably in frustration….though Matt said differently after the game. The shove was a bit of 'jackassery' from Adams, but the reaction from the Reds fan afterward was also classless. After the 'shove' occurred many Cincy fans on social media said they thought the Cardinals 1st Baseman should be suspended and/or fined. Get over yourselves, this was a minor incident that got blown way out of proportion. If it weren't a Cardinals player, such a big deal wouldn't be made of it. Many Reds fans like to call the team from St. Louis "Whinybirds" because of their tendency to whine and make excuses when things don't go their way. Don't copy that behavior, Redlegs fans…..just let this 'incident' go. Adams should neither be suspended or fined.

Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : St. Louis
People : Matt Adams
by Michael Butcher posted Mar 31 2014 4:31PM
Despite the fact the MLB baseball season officially opened a week ago in Australia, this is the official Opening Day for the Cleveland Indians, who open on the west coast against the Oakland Athletics at 10:05 pm EST.
 
The Tribe lost starters Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir during the off season to free agency, Ubaldo went to Baltimore and Kazmir will pitch against the team who gave him his first start in the majors since 2010 tomorrow night. The Starting 5 for the 2014 Cleveland Indians consist of Justin Masterson, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco.

This years motto has already been defined as “Unfinished Business” when Tribe first baseman Nick Swisher handed out red shirts during spring training bearing the slogan. Apparently Swisher is not a fan of Star Trek because every Trekkie knows that wearing a red shirt ensures a certain death.  That’s okay Nick, I’m more of a Star Wars fan anyways.
 
May the Force be with you.


 
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Mar 27 2014 12:08AM

Let’s get ready for the 2014 MLB Season with a “quick hit” preview and predictions…

NATIONAL LEAGUE
NL EAST

1) Washington Nationals- I really think this team bounces back from a lackluster 2013 Season and wins this division.  I don’t think its ‘clownish’ to see OF Bryce Harper as a MVP Candidate. P  Stephen Strasburg will be part of that ‘bounce back’ and also look for a good season from P Jordan Zimmerman.  The addition of P Doug Fister also will make a difference.

2) Atlanta Braves- The Braves will always challenge for a division crown; their front office is too solid to let the team take a major slide.  Losing C Brian McCann & P Tim Hudson will hurt, but RF Jason Heyward, C Evan Gattis & a decent, but not flashy pitching rotation will keep them in it.  One anchor that weighs them down is 2B Dan Uggla…a horrible major league player.  I see them taking a NL Wild Card.

3) New York Mets-  This team will challenge for the division…….some day.  3B David Wright is a great player and solid clubhouse presence.  The addition of LF Curtis Granderson also will make a difference, but a lousy bullpen and batting order (other than Wright & Granderson) will kill them. Remember P Matt Harvey is out for the 2014 Season.  I hope Manager Terry Collins survives 2014, he is a good leader with little to lead.

4) Philadelphia Phillies-  Old team that has no chance.  The Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley of 2011 are gone, the Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley are more like the “Golden Girls of the MLB”, except Blanche got more ‘hits’.

5) Miami Marlins-  Horrible team that is even more disgraceful when you consider how ownership (Jeffrey Loria) misled the residents of Miami to get his new ballpark.  Look for star RF Giancarlo Stanton to be moved by mid-season.

NL CENTRAL

1) St. Louis Cardinals- Still the class of the division talent and team wise.  Reynoldsburg’s Mike Matheny has proved to be a more than capable Manager.  But when you have C Yadier Molina, LF Matt Holliday and a solid rotation led by Adam Wainwright, you probably don’t have to worry much about leadership.  One question though, can Jason Motte return from ligament replacement surgery last season?  Is RHP Trevor Rosenthal really going to be the Cardinals’ closer?

2) Pittsburgh Pirates- Solid club that is on the rise.  Clint Hurdle is a very underrated manager and he gets the most out of his roster.  CF Andrew McCutchen is a superstar and while the batting order around him isn’t that impressive on paper, I think 3B Pedro Alvarez has a ‘breakout’ season batting average wise and the addition of C Russell Martin adds a lot.  How big is losing P A.J. Burnett though?

3) Cincinnati Reds- Those who know me know that I am a big Reds fan.  But I have to be realistic.  The ‘window of opportunity’ closed on this team last season.  The losses of P Bronson Arroyo and CF Shin-Soo Choo will hurt, a lot.  Rising star CF Billy Hamilton should help, but won’t match Choo’s impact, at least for this season.  Plus, there is the case of 2B Brandon Phillips…a great player but one with a chip on his shoulder after learning the Reds tried to unload him on the Yankees during the offseason.  Also, injuries have hit hard in Spring Training….closer Aroldis Chapman was seriously injured by a batted ball and rotation stalwarts Mat Latos, Homer Bailey & Johnny Cueto are also battling injuries. Relievers Sean Marshall & Jonathan Broxton will start the season on the DL.  No playoffs for my Redlegs.

4) Milwaukee Brewers-  I have actually heard some pundits predict the 2014 Brewers will contend for the NL Central crown.  They are fools.  This is a team that is a shell of what it once was a few years ago.  RF Ryan Braun is a disgrace that should be booed everywhere he goes.  I do not see him having any semblance of a decent season.  3B  Aramis Ramirez and CF Carlos Gomez are decent players, but they can’t save this moribund franchise.  The pitching rotation other than Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse is atrocious.

5) Chicago Cubs-  No.  Wait till next decade.

NL WEST

1) LA Dodgers- Class of the division, and possibly the NL itself.  Yes, RF Yasiel Puig is a headcase, but Manager Don Mattingly should thank him every day for saving his job in 2013.  Puig is the reason this team went as far as it did in 2013, no question.  LHP Clayton Kershaw is worth every penny of his outrageous contract.  Look for him to keep up his stellar numbers.  CF Matt Kemp returns after a injury plagued 2013…even though he is still a little ‘ouchy’ in Spring Training, look for him to rebound with a vengeance.

2) Arizona Diamondbacks- Lots of pundits and publications have the DBacks finishing last in their division.  I don’t see it.  Kurt Gibson is a manager who like Clint Hurdle gets a lot out of his roster.  This is a team that has a lot of decent players who ‘fly under the radar’.  Even NL MVP Candidate 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.302, 36 HRs, 125 RBIs) is someone that most casual baseball fans have no clue about.  Look for LHP Wade Miley to have a good season.  I think they win a NL Wild Card.

3) San Diego Padres- This is what most people refer to as a ‘nice club’.  Not flashy, no superstars, but a collection of gritty, decent players that can be fun to watch.  3B Chase Headley suffered a disappointing 2013 after a stellar 2012 (.286, 31 HRs, 115 RBIs).  I think he has a good season in 2014.  1B Yonder Alonso, LF Carlos Quentin and SS Everth Cabrera once again are not stars, but solid.  Major drawback- a horrific bullpen.

4) San Francisco Giants- Similar team to the Philadelphia Phillies.  Lots of names that attract attention, but names that are growing old.  RF Hunter Pence,  3B Pablo Sandoval , 2B Marco Scutaro & P Tim Lincecum aren’t getting younger and in my opinion, aren’t getting any better.  C Buster Posey is solid, but he can’t carry this team.  P Tim Hudson, nice addition….but once again, old.

5) Colorado Rockies-  CF Carlos Gonzalez, SS Troy Tulowitzki & 1B Justin Morneau are great players…but they can’t overcome a horrible pitching rotation and bullpen.  Coors Field is not a place for bad pitching.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPION- Washington Nationals

AMERICAN LEAGUE
AL EAST

1) New York Yankees-  Ok, I know a lot of you out there are saying, “Oh, no…you are picking the Evil Empire!?” Yes, I am.  The Yankees stole CF Jacoby Ellsbury from their arch-rival Red Sox.  A bold and outstanding move to make up for the loss of Curtis Granderson.  Yes, the loss of 2B Robinson Cano will hurt.  But the additions of C Brian McCann & RF Carlos Beltran will make up for it.  I also have no doubt “The Captain” Derek Jeter will end his career on a high note.  Drawback- A very shaky bullpen.

2) Boston Red Sox-  The loss of Ellsbury will hurt, but only in the fact that the Red Sox will finish 2nd in the division.  They still will claim a wild card.  This is a solid club and DH David Ortiz, RF Shane Victorino and LF Jonny Gomes won’t let a slide happen.  The addition of C A.J. Pierzynski is a solid move.  The rotation is still a force with LHP Jon Lester, RHP Clay Buchholz & RHP John Lackey.

3) Toronto Blue Jays-  A team that was a MAJOR disappointment in 2013.  This team was built to win it all with RHP Josh Johnson, RHP R.A. Dickey, SS Jose Reyes & RHP Mark Buehrle added.  That being said, I think this team bounces back.  Johnson is gone, but I think pride takes over and the Jays get decent seasons from the other three.  Plus, the batting order is solid….remember they have this guy named Jose Bautista in RF.  I hate that ‘roider Melky Cabrera gets big money after being a cheater, but I think even he has a decent season in LF and at the plate.  The Jays also have a very good bullpen.

4) Tampa Bay Rays-  Manager Joe Maddon’s magic runs out.  Joe is a great manager who is a genius but a bad batting order finally gets the best of him.  I love 3B Evan Longoria….but the bats surrounding him are not strong.  1B James Loney is solid, but not someone who strikes fear.  RF Wil Myers will be a star….some day, just not in 2014.  Adding C Ryan Hanigan from the Reds is a good move though.

5) Baltimore Orioles-  I love Buck Showalter as a manager…but the Orioles’ pitching staff is bad….no, really….its bad.  Chris Tillman is a stud (16-7, 3.71 ERA), but after that? Bud Norris? Uh, no.  C Matt Wieters, 1B Chris Davis & CF Adam Jones are very good MLB players, but they won’t overcome that horrible pitching rotation and a bullpen that may be worse.

AL CENTRAL

1) Detroit Tigers-  Prince Fielder goes to Texas?  So what?  This team is still loaded and wins the Central again.  Miguel Cabrera moves to 1B and that should make things easier for the superstar.  2B Ian Kinsler is a very good addition to offset the Fielder loss.  Pitching?  Yeah, this team’s got it.  RHP Justin Verlander is in another universe…but RHPs Max Scherzer & Rick Porcello are not ones to sleep on.  The bullpen? It’s not strong, but this team will overcome it.

2) Kansas City Royals-  I am sold on the Royals.  This team is on the rise and I think 2014 will be a good year for them.  I see 1B Eric Hosmer building on his 2013 season (.302, 17 HRs, 79 RBIs) and DH Billy “Country Breakfast” Butler should keep mashing in the middle of the batting order.  The pitching?  It’s not the most intimidating rotation, but RHP James Shields should be solid and don’t overlook RHP Jeremy Guthrie (15-12, 4.04 ERA).

3) Cleveland Indians-  If the Indians proved one thing, it’s that Terry Francona is a DAMN GOOD manager.  This is not the most stellar roster of players, but ‘Tito’ got them to grind and make it into the Wild Card Playoff.  CF Michael Bourn though, is starting 2014 on the DL and while 1B Nick Swisher brings a lot of energy, his line (.246, 22 HRs, 63 RBIs) does not impress.  Plus, C Carlos Santana is moving to 3B.  His play recently has been ok at the ‘hot corner’, but it started miserably in Spring Training.  I am not sold on him being a good 3B, but when Lonnie Chisenhall is the other option, you got to do what you got to do.  The pitching staff and bullpen, with the exception of RHP Justin Masterson, are both potential ‘dumpster fires’.

4) Chicago White Sox-  A team in flux.  Can 1B Cuban phenom Jose Dariel Abreu help them contend? No, not this year.  The Sox were in such shambles that they brought back their captain Paul Konerko.  Where does he play?  Who the hell knows?  Plus, DH Adam Dunn returns to swing and miss for another season.

5) Minnesota Twins-  I feel for Manager Ron Gardenhire.  12 years of service to the Twins; he deserves better than this AAA team Minnesota will put on the field.  The only fun Twins fans will have in 2014 is watching Joe Mauer at 1B.

AL WEST

1) LA Angels-  Here is my ‘long shot’ prediction.  I believe 1B Albert Pujols and  LF Josh Hamilton will rebound and have monster years in 2014.  Add them to MVP Candidate CF Mike Trout and I think the Angels’ offense will crush opposing pitching.  The pitching rotation also isn’t that bad. RHP Jared Weaver (11-8. 3.27 ERA) & LHP C.J. Wilson (17-7, 3.39 ERA) will benefit from the revived offense.  The bullpen?  Ehhhh, let’s not talk about that.

2) Texas Rangers-  Ok, I admit it.  A ‘sane person’ would pick this team to win the AL West.  I mean, look at them, they added 1B Prince Fielder and CF Shin-Soo Choo.  But 2B phenom Jurickson Profar and stud RHP Yu Darvish start the 2014 season on the DL and LHP & Newark, Ohio native Derek Holland is out for awhile due to torn cartilage on his left knee, which he said he hurt tripping over his dog, Wrigley.  Hmmmm……  Even with that, I do think the Rangers win a Wild Card.

3) Seattle Mariners-  The addition of 2B Robinson Cano to the team was a bold move, but at what cost?  The Mariners are not a ‘big budget’ team and as years go by, his 10 year, $240 million contract will kill this team.  The 2014 Mariners are really not that impressive a team once you get past Cano and RHP “King” Felix Hernandez.

4) Oakland Athletics-  ”Moneyball” will become bankrupt in 2014.  The A’s pitching rotation has been decimated by injuries.  So badly that RHP Sonny Gray (5-3, 2.67 ERA in 10 games started) will be the Opening Day Pitcher.  And while Cuban Sensation LF Yoenis Cespedes made a big splash during in 2012, his average fell in 2013 to .240 from .292.  Ouch.

5) Houston Astros-  A team that is building for 2017.  Let’s get real, this team lost 111 games in 2013.  Let’s move on.

AL CHAMPIONS- Detroit Tigers.
2014 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS- Detroit Tigers

by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Mar 19 2014 9:34PM
"March Madness" is a most sacred time of year...I always take Thursday and Friday off for the beginning of the Tournament (screw the so-called "First Four").  Usually on that Sunday or Monday night before, I fill out my brackets for the "Big Dance".  MY ONE BRACKET, FROM THE NEWSPAPER OR PRINTED OFF!!!!  I have NO RESPECT for those who do 'multiple brackets'...for those who like to "hedge their bets".  Real "March Madness" fans and Americans, in my opinion, FILL OUT ONE BRACKET....and that is THE Bracket you 'live or die' with throughout the tournament.  To do otherwise is just shameful.


For those who care,
here is my ONE BRACKET for the 2014 edition of "March Madness"----



 
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Mar 13 2014 10:09PM

‘trident gum 0′ of YouTube & The BIG Show would like to pay tribute to now departed Browns QB Brandon Weeden.  Try to hold back the tears as you watch this…

Filed Under :
People : Brandon Weeden
by The BIG Show posted Mar 12 2014 8:31PM
The "World Wide Web" celebrated it's 25th Birthday on March 12th, 2014.
What better way to celebrate than with the HOTTEST NFL Cheerleaders on the Web!?
Ohhhhhhh Yeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!

                            

                            
            
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Mar 7 2014 10:15PM

In 1947,  Cleveland Indians' brass decided they needed a new logo/mascot to “convey a spirit of pure joy and unbridled enthusiasm”.  Out of that decision, “Chief Wahoo” was born.  The “Chief” has been a part of Indians’ marketing and uniforms ever since.  From 1962 through 1994, a 28-foot-tall, neon-lit sign of “Chief Wahoo” at bat stood above Gate D of the Indians’ former home, Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

wahoo Yes, “Chief Wahoo” has been a storied part of Indians’ history.  Fans of the Tribe seem to be, for the most part, very supportive of the logo.  The call has arose again though to ‘eject’ “Chief Wahoo” from the team and the game.  Cleveland’s newspaper, The Plain Dealer, has called for the Indians to retire the logo.  Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed has called for the removal of “Chief Wahoo”.

I am a baseball fan.  I am a sports fan.  I understand the ties to a team’s history and tradition.  But do I think the Indians should get rid of “Chief Wahoo”?  Yes, I do.  Just look at the caricature; a smiling, toothy red-skinned cartoon.  Of course that is offensive.  If a team today were to adopt a similar logo/mascot of another race for marketing purposes, the outrage would be rightfully huge.  So yes, the Cleveland Indians should retire the character for good.  What say you?

Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : ClevelandCleveland City
People : WahooZack Reed
by Batista Jones posted Mar 5 2014 9:24PM
Back Back....gimme 50 yards?? The NFL Competition Committee is discussing changing the position of the ball from the 2-yard line as far back as the 25-yard line. Why you ask? Answer this in your heads folks, whenever a team scores and decide to go for the extra point, do you "A", yawn? "B", get something to drink? or "C", you're too distracted by figuring what you're going to eat during the commercial that you don't care?  My personal answer was "C" as were about 25 people I've asked in the last hour.  Commissioner Roger Goddell suggested getting rid of the extra point altogether because "the assumption is that the point is made before attempted." Moving the kick back to the 25 yard line would make every extra point attempt a HUGE 43 yards.  Needing 24 of 32 votes from owners to change the rules, some NFL kickers spoke out about the rule change.:

"...it will make a more dangerous play...guys will defend harder." Jay Feely of the Arizona Cardinals said Tuesday to Fox Sports News. While other players like Mike Nugent of the Cincinnati Bengals seem to be embracing the change, " However you can spice it up a little bit and make certain things more relevane, I think it's great!"

In up and coming months, this rule will be voted on and the league will speak. Making the extra point extra tough might be exactly what the league needs to keep things competitive. 
Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Mar 2 2014 8:50AM

I have lived in Columbus since birth and for all of my 48 years (yes Sabie, I am THAT old) of life, I had never had the privilege of attending an Arnold Classic, Arnold Challenge, Arnold Fitness Event or whatever the hell they call it these days.  Thanks to a facebook friend, that changed.  I will admit some trepidation about heading down to the “Arnold”.  I am horribly out of shape and feared I would stand out like Roseanne Barr at the Playboy Mansion.  Those fears were unfounded.  Never at one time did I feel out of place.  It was a very ‘cool hang’; all attendees, athletes and exhibitors seemed genuinely happy to be there.
arnold First of all, the event is so packed with people you have no chance of sticking out.  Vendors of  all types of bodybuilding and fitness products fill every square inch of the Columbus Convention Center.  It is a trade show on steroids….oops, wrong choice of words.  It all isn’t centered around bodybuilding either.  Sports and fitness activities of all sorts are on display.  From painting (yes, art work) to fencing to rope jumping to even table tennis.
DSCN5498
Of course, there are ‘celebrity appearances’ throughout the weekend to get fans excited.  And of course, I couldn’t resist.
Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle & World Famous Bodybuilder Andy Haman were on hand.  I did a ‘before & after’ photo with Andy….
DSCN5508                                                                                            DSCN5511
The emphasis though is on fitness….and there are lots of attractive, physically fit people on hand.  I did some ‘research’ with these two very physically fit specimens….(ok, I creepily asked for a picture and then got nervous being around such attractive women….)
DSCN5512
I also was asked to ‘compete’ at the Arnold Fitness Classic….as you can see, my ‘posing and form’ won much applause and many medals….
sorry ladies, if I took my shirt off, you couldn’t handle it.  Arnold was so impressed, I was asked to ‘pose’ with him….

DSCN5518              DSCN5520               DSCN5514

So, as you can see, even a morbidly obese man can have fun at the Arnold Fitness Classic.  I celebrated my day of fun with some ‘furry friends’.  The “Arnold” brings out all types…and looking at these final pictures, I really need to ‘get a life’.
DSCN5503                             arnold2

Filed Under :
Location : Columbus
People : Roseanne Barr
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Mar 1 2014 12:45PM

Major League Baseball Spring Training has begun and the Reds have returned to Goodyear, Arizona to get ready for it. The Queen City Redlegs began 2013 with a lot of optimism.  They added Shin Soo Choo to play CF and looked forward to full, healthy seasons from perennial MVP Candidate Joey Votto and pitching staff ace Johnny Cueto.  Quite frankly, 2013 was a “World Series or Bust” year for them.  Unfortunately, it was a bust.  Votto played a full season at 1B, but seemed to change his approach at the plate and on the field after dealing with a injured left knee in 2012.  Joey hit .305, but dipped to 24 HRs and 73 RBIs, numbers that don’t warrant $25 million a year.  Another blow was suffered as LF and five hole hitter Ryan Ludwick tore the labrum lining in his right shoulder on a slide Opening Day.  Cueto continued to struggle as well with muscle issues.  Still, the Reds remained in contention and finished with a 90-72 record even with a dismal end to the regular season that saw them totally flame out against the Mets and division rival Pittsburgh.  A third place finish in the NL Central gave them a Wild Card playoff berth vs. the Pirates at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.  That game was an epic fail as the hungry Pirates and a rowdy Bucs crowd put an end to the Reds’ season.

price  Owner Bob Castellini decided change needed to be made at the top.  Manager Dusty Baker was great at getting the Reds to the playoffs but just was unable to rally the team any further.  Pitching Coach Bryan Price was chosen to take the helm and bring accountability to the clubhouse.  Shin Soo Choo parlayed his .285, 21 HR, 54 RBI season into a huge payday with the Texas Rangers, C Ryan Hanigan became a Tampa Bay Ray and rock solid P Bronson Arroyo was not offered a new contract and moved on to the Diamondbacks.  GM Walt Jocketty took a lot of criticism over the winter as he made no moves of significance to counter those losses.  P Homer Bailey was resigned to a 6 year, $105 million contract; a move that caused some head shaking but needed to be made in today’s MLB salary world.  To risk losing Bailey would severely impact the pitching staff in the future.

billyFor the Reds to reach the playoffs again in 2014 and move past the first round, a lot needs to come from the current roster and a newcomer.  Speedster Billy Hamilton has been tabbed to take over duties in CF and the leadoff spot.  There is no doubt Billy can run.  He stole 13 bases in 13 games during a late call-up to Cincy and provided energy every time he entered a game.  But you can’t steal first base.  Billy hit .256 at AAA Louisville last season.  Joey Votto needs to quit trying to be John Olerud (google the name, kids) and return to his 2010 MVP numbers (.324, 37  HRs, 113 RBIs).  RF Jay Bruce also needs to finally take the next step to stardom.  Jay is a solid player, but like the team, seems unable to take the ‘next step’.  And what type of season should Reds fans expect of “Dat Dude” Brandon Phillips?  BP once again played stellar defense at 2B and had a decent season at the plate (.261, 18 HRs, 103 RBIs), but seems to have become a disruptive force in the clubhouse.  He has questioned ownership’s truthfulness regarding finances, had a well publicized blow up on Cincinnati Enquirer sportswriter C. Trent Rosecrans and became even more disgruntled after news surfaced the Reds shopped him to the Yankees for a trade.  Plus, a disturbing profile came out this winter about closer Aroldis Chapman.  Will that be a distraction?
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The starting pitching staff of Johnny Cueto (barring further injury), Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Tony Cingrani and Mike Leake should be more than solid and the Reds bullpen is also a plus.  But with the lack of moves during the offseason, Joey Votto’s new approach at the plate, the almost certain drop off in production for CF/leadoff spot and change in leadership, I see an 84-78 finish which will lead to 3rd place and no playoffs for the 2014 Reds.  The ‘window of opportunity’ has closed for this team.

by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Feb 22 2014 12:16PM

As we headed into the turn of the millennium, NASCAR was at an all time high.  It turned the corner of being just for ‘good old boys’ and had became second only to the NFL in terms of ratings and national attention on the sports scene. Fans took to the fast action on the track and the stories behind each individual driver.   Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Sr. & Jr. among others became superstars.  The stands were ‘stacked and packed’, ratings were high, sponsorships were being snapped up for the various teams and the TV money was rolling in.
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Then on February 18, 2001 the unthinkable happened….NASCAR’s biggest star, Dale Earnhardt, died in what seemed like an uneventful wreck.  That it happened on NASCAR’s biggest stage, the Daytona 500, made it even more painful for fans.

NASCAR began to fade.  The economy crippled sponsorships and drivers who normally seemed safe scrambled for money to keep their teams afloat.  And of course, greed reared its ugly head, the cost of going to a NASCAR race skyrocketed, making it nearly impossible for the ‘average fan’ to attend.  The circuit also made the decision to take races away from smaller, traditional facilities like Rockingham and Darlington to larger 1.5 mile, newer tracks  that make for boring racing.  Races became longer as ‘suspicious caution flags’ came out to allow for more commercials.  NASCAR also began to constantly tinker with car set-ups,  race formats and rules (Who can forget NASCAR’s shoehorning of Jeff Gordon into last year’s Chase?) to try to appease fans and larger teams.  Plus, going to a NASCAR race seems to have become a big hassle.  I witnessed first hand the traffic nightmare that has killed the Sprint Cup race at the Kentucky Speedway.  The argument can also be made that the season is way too long.  Where as NASCAR may have held its own against the NFL 14 or so years ago, that is no longer the case.  King Football will not be defeated.  TV ratings are plummeting and it is no secret, just watch a race, attendance is significantly down.
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The question of whether NASCAR is ‘fixed’ also has crept up more often as of late.  Even I, as a fan, have to question rookie Austin Dillon’s winning of the 2014 Daytona 500 pole, in the #3 car Dale Sr. used to drive!  It also seemed like a “PR job” when “The Savior”, Danica Patrick won the Daytona 500 pole last year.  Beautiful, sweet Danica…yes, she brings marketing dollars to NASCAR, but let’s be honest…she is not a good driver, she was average in Indy Car from where she came.  And for all of the ‘hype’ surrounding the “Queen of NASCAR” she has not helped sagging ratings and attendance.  Quite honestly, the ‘spat’ between her and “The King” Richard Petty has turned NASCAR into ‘clown show’ territory.
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Add to all of this the news that ESPN and NASCAR will soon part ways.  Say what you will about the “Worldwide Leader” (I am not their biggest fan), but once you are out of their ‘good graces’, it is a tough road to ride.  Just look at how national attention for the NHL has slipped since they and ESPN parted.  You can kiss shows like “NASCAR Now” and all of the segments airing on a constant loop on SportsCenter goodbye.

What happened to NASCAR?  It was a shooting star that captured our attention.  It will always be there on Sundays in the spring and summer for four or so hours, but it will never regain the popularity it had during the early 2000s.

by Russ Wight posted Feb 19 2014 8:46PM
The Reds have once again proven that the "small market" label used by many sports teams is nothing more than an excuse. In 2012, fans were preparing for the worst, fearing that two of their stars would skip town for a long-term contract and bag o' cash.  Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto were outgrowing Cincinnati and the small-town Reds.  Could the Reds possibly scrape up the money to sign one of them?  After Votto agreed to the biggest contract in club history, Phillips signed a six-year deal for big money. The Reds have inked Homer Bailey to a six-year, $105 million contract.  The 27-year old has developed into the pitcher that the club and fans have been waiting on.  I really like this deal.  Bailey has his moments, but he is a workhorse with immense talent.
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Location : Cincinnati
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Feb 16 2014 9:05PM

It was an amazing scene this past Saturday (2/15) as throngs of Columbus Hockey fans converged en masse on the Arena District packing the R Bar and Three Legged Mare to watch the USA vs. Russia Olympic Hockey game.  The lines to get into both places began forming around 5am to get a decent spot to watch the game.
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I had the privilege of making it into the R Bar to be part of the festivities.  The atmosphere was electric for such an early hour….and yes, the beer was flowing.  The Blue Jackets made it even more special by having emcee Mike Todd, fan favorites Jody Shelley and Fredrik Modin on hand along with some great prize giveaways.
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The R Bar was at capacity and beyond.  Those who were unable to make it in watched outside on large monitors from windows lining the patio while waiting for people to leave.  The game itself was amazing….a hard fought affair that honestly at times seemed as if Team Russia was going to take control of.  But Team USA kept fighting and when Fedor Tyutin’s late goal was disallowed, the energy in the room increased tenfold.  You could tell you were part of something special and those watching didn’t want it to end.  Of course, the issue of five Blue Jackets on the Russian team cropped up during the morning…but it didn’t matter, everyone in attendance was pulling for Team America (with the exception of two Russian hotties standing near me who cheered every time Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made a save, which wasn’t all bad).  National Pride was at a fevered pitch as we were united for all of America, except Michigan, of course.
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Near the end of the game I spotted Dispatch sports columnist Bob Hunter standing a few people away.  I couldn’t help but remark, “I guess Columbus is a hockey town, huh?”  He laughed and expressed his amazement at how so many turned out so early on such a cold morning to watch Olympic Hockey.  I also kind of felt bad as Bob tried to take pictures of the crowd with his smartphone.  Bob is not the tallest person in the world.  I wanted to ask him if he would like to get up on my shoulders to take pictures.

So the game ended in a tie, the overtime was scoreless and of course most of you know how it ended….TJ Oshie of the St. Louis Blues in epic fashion with not one, not two, not three but four shootout goals.  After that what happened at the R Bar?  Let’s let the video do the talking……

So you still don’t think Columbus is a Hockey Town?  I have seen many sporting events in person, on tv and with gatherings like this.  Watching Buster Douglas knock out Mike Tyson almost 25 years ago at a campus bar will always be number one on my list of sports moments viewed…but what happened this past Saturday is a very close second.  Columbus Hockey Fans are truly amazing.

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Location : ColumbusMichigan
by Batista Jones posted Feb 13 2014 8:36PM
Co-SEC Defensive End of the year Michael Sam came out of the closet on February 9, 2014, and the NASDAQ is down! Since his big announcement, CBS Sports Draft has dropped Sam 70 points in their prospect ranking.  On NFLDRAFTSCOUT.COM, he went from #110 overall dropping to a meager #160. The question seems to be, how the NFL will welcome its new openly gay player.  This could be the first time an openly gay football player would be active in the NFL. 
Sam led the SEC in sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (18.0) during the regular season his senior year and was unanimously voted All-American.   Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel told the young prospect that “the Mammoth in the room is about to awake!” Teammates on his Tiger team knew of his “secret” and chose to let him tell the world on his own terms.  University of Missouri coaching staff praised Sam saying, “We are inspired and proud!”

Even first lady Michelle Obama Tweeted:
“You're an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball. We couldn't be prouder of your courage both on and off the field. -mo,”

What makes an NFL player? 
At 6’2” and 260 lbs, NFL Scouts thinks he’s a wee bit short to be a full on DE but would place well as a OLB raising his draft prospect to 2nd or 3rd round. Sam has his work cut out for him, not only on the field, but convincing league organizations to see beyond his personal preference.  Thursday May 8th can’t get here fast enough.
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Location : Missouri
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Feb 11 2014 1:44PM

You have seen them at sporting events, especially Ohio State games here in CBus, and that are the so-called “SuperFans”.  Guys like Buck-I-Guy, the Big Nut, the Woody Hayes impersonator, etc.  It seems like coming in and out of every commercial break during a game there they are, pointing at the camera….waving their arms like they are a bird trying to fly or grooving wildly to the band.  Recently, we had an incident between a “SuperFan” and a player.  Texas Tech “SuperFan” Jeff Orr and Oklahoma State player Marcus Smart got into an altercation during a game.  Now, I am not saying that Buck-I-Guy and the other Buckeye “SuperFans” are yelling, screaming or making obscene gestures at opposing players…but with that recent incident, “SuperFans” came back into the spotlight, which they probably enjoy.

big nut  Buckeye “SuperFan” Big Nut was been spotted in the student section of Buckeye Basketball Games early in February.  That drew the ire of many Buckeye fans and followers such as Buckeye Sports Bulletin’s Ben Axelrod, who tweeted (@BenAxelrod) his dismay at Big Nut being courtside with the students.  Due (Thanks?) to the complaints of students, Big Nut was no longer allowed in the student section beginning with the game at The Schott vs. Michigan.  Now, I will give the "SuperFans" credit in the fact that they have used their ‘celebrity’ to help with fundraisers for charities and scholarship programs.  But I wonder what causes these guys to become “SuperFans”?   What causes a grown man to paint his face or wear a tablecloth as a cape or wear a full body of pom poms?

Is it because they are truly passionate fans for their team or because they want the attention for themselves?

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Location : Michigan
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Feb 6 2014 3:52PM

I have had enough…it is time to no longer recognize the corruption, exploitation and outright criminal activity of the International Olympic Committee.   The IOC is so corrupt that even Boxing Federations think it should clean up it’s act.  For many years, Juan Antonio Samaranch lined his pockets as the leader of the IOC and current leader Jacques Rogge, who is about to retire, is probably following suit.

Just look at the chaos and horrific conditions in Sochi, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  To subject visitors, athletes and journalists to such inhumane conditions because Russia had the highest bid is INEXCUSABLE!  It is time to stop this corruption and greed and time to ABOLISH THE OLYMPIC GAMES ONCE AND FOR ALL!

Ok, you busted me….can we just abolish the Olympics so I don’t have to sit and watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies every 2 to 4 years with my wife?

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by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Feb 4 2014 4:10PM

 So with Seattle’s blow out of Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII, football has ended for another year…..or so.  Yes, I am a ‘baseball guy’; I love “America’s Pastime”….but it always makes me cringe when I see my fellow baseball fans cheer the end of a football season or bad mouth the NFL or College Football.  I mean, can’t you make time for both?  Are you unable of ‘multi-tasking’?  I LOVE Baseball, but I also love Football. (See what I did there with the capital letters?  Ain’t I clever?) Opening Day is unequaled for me when it comes to days on the ‘sports calendar’, but damn it, an early fall Saturday on THE Ohio State University Campus with a football game about to kickoff at Ohio Stadium is pretty darn close.

And while I love a beautiful summer day at the ballpark, a Sunday at home with two different NFL games going on multiple TVs and the NFL RedZone Channel on the laptop comes pretty damn close as well.  So, fans of baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey and croquet, etc….allow us football fans this time of mourning.  Don’t be disrespectful.

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Location : DenverSeattle
by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Jan 31 2014 11:58AM

Yes, Tim Tebow IS in Super Bowl XLVIII….courtesy of a cell phone company……

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People : Tim Tebow
by Russ Wight posted Jan 30 2014 9:40PM
In case you haven't heard, the Super Bowl is this Sunday. Talking heads from across the country have flocked to New York and set up camp on what is know as "radio row". Turn on just about any nationally syndicated sports radio show this week and you will hear some version of the following...
  1. Host recaps guests from earlier in the week
  2. Host says the exact time that the next "big" guest will be on the air
  3. Host will recite every impressive statistic that the guest ever compiled and verify what a good guy the guest is
  4. The guest will not be there on time, allowing the host to fill a few minutes before repeating every statistic and accolade that was mentioned 2 minutes before
  5. The guest is introduced, which includes the customary exchange of pleasantries ("Bro" and "My Man" are always popular choices)
  6. 3 basic topics - Discuss guest's playing career, how guest would fare in today's NFL and, finally, the guest will pitch their new, revolutionary product
That's pretty much it. We have one more day. Tomorrow will be more of the same along everyone's prediction for the big game. It may sound like I am making fun of the process. Maybe I am? However, Monday will mark the beginning of the absolute worst time of the year - the dark period between the end of the football season and Spring Training. Ugh...
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Location : New York
by Harry Yeprem Jr. posted Jan 29 2014 2:39PM

Budweiser leaked its Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial Today….we can’t decide if it is the cutest thing we ever saw or an ‘ode’ to Inter-Species Animal Love…..

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by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Jan 25 2014 9:49PM
With the recent run of success the Columbus Blue Jackets have had; a lot of finger pointing has been done at so-called ‘bandwagon jumpers’.  Is Columbus a ‘Hockey Town’ or is it just full of people wanting to ‘get in’ on the new, shiny, fun toy?  I am sure there are a lot of people who don’t know a cross check from a bad check.  But yes, I do believe Columbus is truly a ‘hockey town’.  There are many youth leagues in the city of Columbus now….and we even boast 5 Chiller facilities that host public skating and hockey for youth & adults.  Plus, Ohio State Men’s & Women’s Hockey has good support.  But more than anything that proved that Columbus is a Hockey Town was the great success of the Columbus Chill.  If not for the Chill, the Columbus Blue Jackets would not exist.

From 1991-1999, the Columbus Chill packed them into the Coliseum at the State Fairgrounds.  Thanks to hilarious marketing by GM David Paitson and the Chill front office they were unparalleled when it came to minor league promotions.  They won over Columbus sports fans with wild fun, cheap beer and yes, some bare knuckled brawling.

This video captures in great detail the essence of the Chill and rebirth of Pro Hockey in Columbus—

Yes, the Blue Jackets have captured Columbus’ minds and hearts with their fantastic streak (which unfortunately ended on Saturday Night)….but none of this would be possible without a tip of the cap to the Columbus Chill.

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Location : Columbus
People : David Paitson
by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Jan 21 2014 3:50PM

Full  disclosure…I am not a Browns fan…never have been, never will be…I am a Cincinnati guy when it comes to Professional Sports; but the Browns search for a Head Coach has become such an embarrassment that even I can’t help to comment.  The news broke that Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase, a 35 year old who never has been anything but a position coach had turned down the Browns inquiries for their top job.  This means not one, not two, but THREE assistant coaches in the NFL have said “NO” to the Browns- Arizona Cardinals Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles and Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was at one time considered the front runner for the job.

First of all, the Browns made a huge mistake in firing Rob Chudzinski.  Yes, the Browns finished 4-12, but they were hampered by countless injuries, especially at QB.  Plus they were distracted by such nonsense as their owner’s trucker ripoff scandal and the trading of former #1 Pick Trent Richardson.  But that ship has sailed and only one man has expressed interest in the Browns’ Head Coaching position, a man who Ohioians and Ohio State fans know all well is a success, one Jim Tressel.
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Tressel has stated in the past that the job is his ‘Dream Job’ but the Browns Front Office seems very cool to the idea.  As far as anyone knows, the Browns have not extended any invitation to Tress.  This is disturbing…the Browns are at one of the lowest points in their franchise’s history.  They could really build up some goodwill from their disgruntled fan base, many of which were still behind “Chud” even after the past season.  So what if the Browns were to ‘flame out’ under Tressel’s leadership?  WHAT HAVE THEY LOST?  HOW MUCH FURTHER DOWN CAN THEY GO?  Think of the flip side…what if the Browns were to flourish under Tressel?  What if they actually finished above .500?  What if they actually won some playoff games?  What if they actually had some sustained success under Tressel?  What if, God Forbid, they won a Super Bowl under Tressel’s guidance?  Ok, I went a little far with the last question…it is the Browns after all.

But just think about it…what if Jim Tressel were to write the final chapter of his coaching career as THE MAN who brought the Browns back to glory?  Why, even a Bengals (and Ohio State) fan like myself couldn’t help by have his heart warmed by such a thing.

by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Jan 16 2014 12:59PM

Yes, its the middle of January….yes, its colder than a well digger’s ass (How do we really know that?)….yes, its grey and gloomy…but what better time to think about….Baseball!  Yes, baseball, and more specifically as far as I am concerned, Reds Baseball.  Don’t get me wrong….I love the AFC & NFC Championship Games, I love Blue Jackets Hockey, I love Buckeyes Basketball….but I am a baseball guy through and through.  That’s why I am excited and thrilled that the Reds Winter Caravan is about to begin!!!!

Many get excited about the Reds Winter Caravan because it gives them an opportunity to get an autograph or picture with their favorite player, coach or broadcaster.  I am excited about it because it give me an opportunity to just talk baseball again with my baseball friends.  It also gives me hope….hope that the cold is about to break, the grass is about to grow again and the sun is about to break through the clouds and warm us up on a beautiful day at the ballpark.
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I look forward to the opportunity to join fellow baseball friends and say ‘Hey’ to Jeff Brantley, Billy Hamilton, Tom Browning and yes, even Jim Kelch….why don’t you join us as well as 95.5 The Game welcomes the Cincinnati Reds Winter Caravan to Central Ohio!

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Location : Central OhioOhio
by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Jan 14 2014 10:44AM

Well, well, well….look who is back in the NHL Playoff Hunt and back in the hearts and minds of Columbus sports fans.  The Columbus Blue Jackets or more socially media known as the #CBJ.  After a tremendous push to end the 2012-13 season left them just short of the playoffs, this season started out very slow and very troubling.  The team looked sluggish, the locker room seemed splintered; Todd Richards, the Blue Jackets’ man in charge, seemed puzzled.  Add to that an injury to star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and a delayed beginning to Nathan Horton’s Blue Jacket career and many casual Blue Jackets fans responded with a “here we go again”.

But lo and behold, Horton finally made his debut and Sergei was able to get healthy and rested thanks to good fill-in work from backups Curtis McElhinney & Mike McKenna.  All of a sudden, the team didn’t look so sluggish, the locker room seemed to come together and Todd Richards didn’t seem so puzzled.  With the current four game winning streak, casual Blue Jacket fans and Columbus residents in general are interested and excited by Blue Jacket hockey again.

Let’s be honest, there are a core group of CBJ fans that live and die with the team…attend most games (many from the upper tank), and wear their Blue Jacket sweaters win or lose.  But for this team to thrive and survive, they must capture the hearts and minds of the casual fan.  Buckeye football and basketball rules the Capital City, no one can argue that…but if the Blue Jackets can build on this current run of four wins in a row and continue to play winning hockey, they can capture  Columbus.  Let’s be honest, everybody loves a winner.   Can the CBJ go all…..the……way?  Ok, let’s not get crazy…but if they could at least make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and win a first round series, it would go a LONG WAY.

Excited by the Blue Jackets current run or just a die-hard CBJ fan? Or do you just like beer?  Join us for the 95.5 The Game/Columbus Blue Jackets Celebrity Bartender Event!  It’s a great way to hang with your fellow Blue Jackets fans or meet some new ones!

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Location : Columbus
by Russ Wight posted Jan 10 2014 9:13PM
The sadness/bitterness/anger that has swept across the Bengals fanbase this week is not showing any signs of letting up.  On the team's official Facebook page, a question was posted asking fans to list their favorite memory of the 2013 season.

Here are a few...
  • When Gruden accepted the Redskins job
  • When they fired Marvin Lewis!  Oh wait...
  • That one time Andy Dalton didn't throw 3 interceptions a game
  • When the Chargers embarrassed us at home, nullified the entire season
  • Getting let down yet once again in the playoffs, I love it!!
  • When Marvin Lewis was fired.  Oh, that's right that was only a pleasant dream.
  • When we were teased with a contender.
  • Still waiting on it...the firing of Marvin Lewis.
  • Watching us choke in the playoffs again
  • When Dalton triumphed over pressure and adversity.  Oh wait, that didn't happen.
  • This is too soon.  I am still mourning.
  • Well it sure wasn't the playoff game I went to.
Read it for yourself.  It goes on and on and on...

 
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by Harry Yeprem Jr/The Sports Bus posted Jan 7 2014 3:51PM

marvin So, the Bengals lost in the first round of the NFL Playoffs AGAIN.  Are you really surprised?  Did the outcome Sunday really shock you?  It was obvious “Who Dey Nation” was skeptical about the game…you did hear about how hard it was to sell the game out, didn’t you?  Another ‘Big’ Game under a national spotlight and once again, the Bengals laid a big egg….or turd, depending on how angry you may be.

I have made the comparison lately that Marvin Lewis has become the ‘new’ Dusty Baker.  Some have dismissed it, others have at least considered it.  Hear me out…obviously Marvin is a good coach…of course, he knows the game and has been successful enough to reach a level many strive for; head coach of a NFL team.  But it has become glaringly apparent he has no ‘effect’ on the Bengals players anymore…no passion, no enthusiasm, no accountability and yes, no ‘sense of urgency’ is being conveyed upon the squad.  Just like the Reds, the Bengals are a VERY talented team and yes, that does include Andy Dalton.  But when it comes time to ‘step up’, time to take that ‘next step’, they fail…..miserably.  And just like the Reds, rumor has it that Bengals brass is trying to hang onto a ‘second in charge’, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, to eventually supplant Lewis as the ‘man in charge’.

Some in the Queen City have called it being “Bungalized”, being assimilated into the acceptance of mediocrity that the Bengals and even to an extent, Reds have acquired.  Hopefully, for Cincy fans like myself, Bryan Price can get the Reds over that ‘hump’…and yes, I also believe it is time for the Bengals to take similar action and make a change at Head Coach. 

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by Harry Yeprem Jr/The Sports Bus posted Jan 2 2014 8:54PM

Ok, if you are looking for a blog about what the Buckeyes need to do to defend Tajh Boyd or one about how they will make up for the loss of Bradley Roby and Noah Spence…keep on surfing.  No, this blog is about what we all as Buckeye fans know damn good and well, this Orange Bowl appearance is a freaking disappointment.  Come on, be honest…are you really all ‘geared up’ for this game?  Did you plunk down a grand for a trip to Miami?  Did you put the finishing touches today on your ‘Orange Bowl Party’?  I think the answer for most of us is no.

This season was National Championship or Bust.  No arguing that fact.  The game against that “Team Up North” put a scare into Buckeye Nation…but still expectations were high—take care of Sparty and its time to PARTY!  Time to make those travel plans to Pasadena…time to put together plans for that sweeeeet National Championship soiree.  That all came crashing to a halt on that sad Saturday night in Indy as Michigan State showed THEY were the dominant Big Ten team…which they backed up in the Rose Bowl vs. Stanford….man, that was a hard hitting game.
urban pizzaSo, yes, we will watch the Orange Bowl game….yes, we will get together with friends….yes, we will hit our neighborhood Roosters…but still, this Orange Bowl will taste more like a lemon for most Buckeye fans.  

P. S.  But still, if you want to talk about the Orange Bowl and the Buckeyes IMMEDIATELY after the game….guess what, “The Sports Bus” has you covered.  Now, shhhhhh, don’t say it too loud to our 95.5 The Game friends (Don’t know if it’s ‘kosher’ to promote another radio show, lol)…but we will be your place to sound off! Details here– Sports Bus Buckeyes PostGame/Bengals PreGame

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Location : MiamiPasadena
by Adam Sabie posted Jan 2 2014 4:02PM
Frustrating. 
 That’s all I can muster up at this point.   

 It took me about an hour for that word to hit my brain and me start writing.   

In all honesty, that’s how I describe the Cavaliers at this point.  I haven’t gotten a chance to blog about the Cavs as much as I should, but now that I have moved to Columbus, hopefully I will have more time.   

 Even though I have been gone a while, I haven’t stopped paying attention to our Cavs. At this point in the season, we are thirty one games in and face an Orlando squad with the same record as us tonight, January 2nd.  In case you didn’t know, the Cavs are 10-21 at this moment in the NBA season.  The crazy thing? They are still only three games out of the 8th seed in the playoffs. 

 A few things i’ve picked up over the past few weeks: 
 1.  Kyrie Irving - My man is doing all that he can.  Could it be that Cleveland is relying on him too much?  Irving provides the scoring, assisting, and runs the offense each game.  SOMEONE on that team has to help him.  If we continue to be a “one trick pony”, we run the risk of missing the playoffs and losing Kyrie to free agency eventually. 

2. Mike Brown - My Mother gave me the best advice I ever had.  It went like this, “Adam, if it doesn’t work while you’re dating, it won’t work when you’re married.”  In other words, she was accurately pinpointing a reason why I should not get back with my ex-girlfriend.  Well, long story short, I got back with my ex and it did’t work out.  CAVS TAKE NOTICE.  Mike Brown isn’t working.  You can’t break up with someone, then get back together with them, and magically think things will be better the second time around.  What was the front office thinking? That’s all I have to say about that. 

 3. Andrew Bynum -HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!! Headcase.  Ship em out.  Oh, and if the rumors are true about what he did to one of the assistant coaches, then he can’t leave soon enough.  I mean, did we think Bynum would get better? After all, when you search him on Google Images one of his first pictures is this.  Although we had clearly made a mistake, I think all of us were hoping Bynum could reemerge as the second best center in the league again. 

 The playoffs are still a viable route if the Cavs can solve some issues.  Until then, frustration is the only term I can use to describe what was once high hopes for the 2013-14 Cavaliers. 

 —Sabie
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by Russ Wight posted Jan 1 2014 3:01PM
As Cincinnati returns to the playoffs this weekend, I decided to take a trip down memory lane.  The last time the Bengals won a playoff game was January 6, 1991 against the Houston Oilers.  It was also the first Bengals game I ever attended.

My family had been to Riverfront Stadium many times to see the Cincinnati Reds.  It was really weird to see the field transformed into a football field.  The lower level of seats, or "blue seats", had been shifted around to make the playing area more suitable for football.  At the time, I had no idea those sections of seats could even move.  The white paint on the Astroturf had changed from baselines to yard lines.  Dad and I made our way to the upper deck or "red seats".  We were right under the scoreboard, just a few rows from the very top.

I learned very quickly that the atmosphere for a football game was quite different than baseball.  The intensity and excitement was incredible!  I can remember a guy sitting near us screaming, "Holman! Holman!" as Tight End Rodney Holman raced down the sideline.  Quarterback Boomer Esiason complied with the fan's wishes and connected with his tight end for a big gain and the rout was on.  The Bengals jumped out to a 34-0 lead in the third quarter en route to a 41-14 victory.  Esiason, running backs Ickey Woods and Eric Ball each rushed for a touchdown.  Kicker Jim Breech kicked two field goals.  Running Back Harold Green and Tight End/Wide Receiver Eric Kattus each caught a touchdown pass from Esiason.  

The Bengals ended up losing the following week against the Raiders, but the experience I had caused me to frequent Riverfront Stadium a lot more after the baseball season ended.

I have no idea how many Bengals games I have attended. I've even made road trips to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit.  My family and I are able to make it to Paul Brown Stadium at least once a year.  However, I will never forget the excitement of my first Bengals game.  Hopefully, the fans lucky enough to be in the seats on Sunday will be able to experience a playoff victory too.  It's been long enough.
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by Russ Wight posted Dec 31 2013 4:35PM
Fans of the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals can always share one thing - an absolute hatred for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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by Harry Yeprem posted Dec 30 2013 9:24PM

walt Once the final out was recorded in Pittsburgh against the Reds in their Wild Card Playoff Game, speculation swirled—would Dusty Baker be shown the door?  Would Brandon Phillips be traded? Would the Reds be able to retain Shin Soo Choo? Could there be a chance Bronson Arroyo would stick around?  Is Homer Bailey or Aroldis Chapman about to be dealt for a big bat?  Would Chuck D remain the Reds #1 Fan?
chuck dOk, scratch that last question….but other than Dusty being fired, no real moves have been made.  Yes, Arroyo probably won’t be retained, Ryan Hanigan was dealt to the Rays to make room for Devin Mesoraco to become the Reds’ #1 catcher and no real offer was made for Choo….but those moves were expected.  As far as Brandon Phillips being dealt….yes, a lot of smoke occurred regarding a trade to the Yankees, but that’s all it was, smoke and no fire.  Anyway, would the Reds be better off without “Dat Dude BP”?  The answer is a resounding “NO”!  Yes, Brandon had an off second half of 2013, but he still-hands down-is one of the best second basemen in all of Major League Baseball.

“Uncle Walt” (GM Walt Jocketty) said he tried to make some moves during the recent Winter Meetings, but was stymied.  That is not very encouraging when you consider the losses the Reds have made personnel wise…there is no way logically you can expect the Redlegs to overtake the Pirates or Cardinals by standing pat.  Yes, speedster Billy Hamilton is the ‘heir apparent’ in CF, but as they say—you can’t steal first base, and Billy’s AAA performance in 2013 wasn’t that encouraging.  Word is that Billy will work on bunting in Spring Training.  Hopefully that ‘on the job training’ will take.

Also, I still have nagging doubts about the change made at the managerial position.  Yes, Bryan Price came off very well during his initial press conference and subsequent media interviews…but I still have doubts about making someone who was part of Dusty’s staff the ‘man in charge’.  Hopefully I am wrong.

I sure hope Walt is able to make some impactful moves or else Simon & Garfunkel will be singing on Reds’ Opening Day 2014.  

by Russ Wight posted Dec 29 2013 2:01PM
Ladies and gentlemen, why I hate the Baltimore Ravens...

Joe Flacco. His name reminds me of Shane Falco, the quarterback of the Washington Sentinels in The Replacements. The Sentinels' head coach was played by Gene Hackman, who played Norman Dale in Hoosiers. He would have never won that state championship without Jimmy Chitwood.

History. I will admit that I didn't exactly lose any sleep when the Browns packed up and moved to Baltimore. However, Art Modell flipping the bird (pun intended) at one of the league's most loyal fan bases was an absolute tragedy. I was at the last game in Cleveland Stadium and it was really sad.

Team Name. Ravens? I can't help but think of Raven-Seymone, who played Olivia on The Cosby Show 20 years ago. The problem is I remember her being on the show, which shows how old I am getting.

Logo and Colors. I always think something is wrong with my television when I see the red blocks on their logo at midfield. Purple and black were the same colors as my college baseball team and I always thought they were stupid. Besides, watching a man dressed in Barney colors flapping his arms like a bird after making a tackle is just disturbing.
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Location : Baltimore
by Mark Seymour posted Dec 25 2013 6:25PM
It's Christmas, so im not going to dance around what I want to say. Arrieta signed a new contract with the club and I would like to see more out of him this next season. He was out a lot on international duty, i know, but with him being our number one man up top he should be putting more in the net. He sure had the opportunities. That being said; id say my crewmas wish of the year is to see Oduro in a more direct attacking role. He beats defenders with ease and i think he would offer some relief to Arrieta. Not to mention the fact that you still have good ole Pipa at attacking mid to round out the trifecta. I do not, however, want to get caught up in all of my "wants". Lets change our focus to someone new to the squad, Daniel Paladini. Paladini just joined on from Chicago in exchange for that 2014 Fourth Round SuperDraft pick. He isnt a massive goalscorer, which is perfectly fine. He has great vision on the pitch and he has superb passing skills, making him a good candidate for a leadership role. Things are still slowly changing in crewville, you just have to give it some time
Happy Holidays
Columbus till i die
- Mark
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Location : ChicagoColumbus
by Harry Yeprem Jr/The Sports Bus posted Dec 24 2013 8:16PM

Hello and welcome to the first annual (wait, can it be an annual if it is the first?) 95..5 The Game/Sports Bus Holiday Spectacular!
Some of the biggest names in sports will be stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

First NFL Superstar Randy Moss would like to show you his Christmas Sweater!
Just lovely, Randy!
randy moss

Now for your entertainment….the Cincinnati Reds Broadcasting Team (Marty, Thom, The Cowboy and Jim Kelch) have a wonderful Christmas Dance for you!

Of course, 95.5 The Game is the “Home of the Browns”, so here is A Very Angry Browns Fan singing Cleveland Browns Christmas Carols!!!!  Enjoy!

And now….meet the Mets who will sing you a beautiful rendition of “Sleigh Ride”!

Last, but not least….here is NFL Legend Joe Namath to put ‘something down your stocking’!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from 95.5 The Game and The Sports Bus (www.twitter.com/TheSportsBus)!!!

by Russ Wight posted Dec 22 2013 10:08PM
The Bengals continued their home field domination today with a 42-14 destruction of the Minnesota Vikings. Couple that with the Patriots beating the Ravens and the Bengals are AFC North Champions!

Andy Dalton had a big day, completing 27 of 38 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns. He now has 31 touchdown passes for the season, one shy of Carson Palmer's single-season club record. Dalton is also just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to take his team to the playoffs in his first three seasons.

It has been a fun season in Cincinnati, but there is unfinished business. A division title means nothing with another one-and-done in the playoffs. The Bengals have surpassed the "happy to be here" phase and the players know it. This team is capable of more, a lot more.

With a win against the Ravens next Sunday, the Bengals will lock themselves in as the #2 seed and, hopefully, begin a run to the Super Bowl!
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Location : CincinnatiMinnesota
by The FNA Show posted Dec 21 2013 4:45PM
The Reds have announced report dates for Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers will report to Goodyear, Arizona on February 14 and will be followed by position players on February 19. There is also schedule, ticket and travel information on reds.com.

The group that heads to Goodyear in February will look a lot different than the one that finished last year in Cincinnati. Most notably, Billy Hamilton will enter camp as the centerfielder. He will replace Shin-Soo Choo, who agreed to a 7-year deal with the Texas Rangers.

Regardless of what changes may take place in the next month or so, Spring Training is always an exciting time. So, if you want to get me a Christmas present, how about speeding up the calendar?
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Location : ArizonaCincinnatiGoodyear
by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Dec 19 2013 11:28PM

keychain

Christmas is only a few days away…so what better time to review what NOT to get that sports fan on your Christmas list?  First of all, keychains—really, a keychain???  Unless it contains a key to a suite in my favorite team’s arena or stadium…stuff it, Grandpa.

magnet

Second, magnets and/or magnetic schedules…nothing says ‘classy’ like throwing magnets of your favorite sports team on your car or garage door.  The only acceptable sports team magnets are those which you use to pin up grocery lists or your child’s horrible art work on your refrigerator.

slippers

 

Third and last for now….slippers.  Nothing says “Hey, I couldn’t think of anything to buy you” or “I waited till the last minute and fished these out of the bin at WalMart” like a pair of team slippers.  You may as well just gave the gift recipient a bag of wadded up programs from their favorite team.

If you are thinking of buying a nice gift for the sports fan on your list, try some tickets or even a parking pass. Ok? Thanks.

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by Russ Wight posted Dec 19 2013 10:44AM
The Cincinnati Reds made a move, albeit a small one, signing Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league deal. Wang will be invited to Spring Training. If Wang can show he still has what it takes and makes the club, he will be surely be embraced by Reds fans as one of their own. A strong spring would make this Wang move seem rather large.

A team can never have enough pitching depth, so I hope Reds fans get their Wang and hold on to him. There may be a period of acclimation for people to familiarize themselves with this Wang, not to confused with Vera Wang, Alexander Wang or Wang Chung. You can always check Google for Wang information, pictures or even video. Please remember to protect yourselves and examine your Wang results before clicking. One should avoid messing around with an unknown or strange Wang.

The Reds’ Wang last performed at the highest level in July of 2013. He will need to show that he is able to return to that level without any performance enhancing drugs, which he has never used to my knowledge. Exercises will be encouraged. I would assume that many pitchers swim to strengthen their bodies. However, I am not sure which strokes the Reds’ Wang is familiar with.

He won’t get to work with Dusty Baker, but I think that is a positive thing. A Dusty-Wang combination wouldn’t have benefitted anyone. Wang will get time to work with bullpen coach, Mack Jenkins, who loves working with his pitchers. I am sure Mack will be all over his Wang early in the spring.

What do you think? Will we get to see the Reds’ Wang with a ball in 2014?
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by Mark Seymour posted Dec 18 2013 2:01PM
Wake up, Crew fans! As much as we want to forget the last few seasons as quickly as possible, there are a lot of changes going on in Crewville. If you haven’t been paying attention then you have missed quite a bit. Since the end of the season we have lost Chad Marshall and GK Andy Gruenebaum and picked up American GK Steve Clark who has spent the last three seasons with Norwegian side Honefoss BK. To go along with Steve Clark, the Black & Gold also received a 2015 Third Round SuperDraft pick, a 2014 Fourth Round SuperDraft pick, a 2016 Second Round SuperDraft pick, as well as allocation money. All in all, I would say new club manager, Gregg Berhalter, has my faith for now. The club really needed to shake things up a little bit and I would say we are off to a good start. We may be in a state of repair but we still have a shot at great things next year. So, quickly forget this past season and look forward to the future.
Columbus till I Die.

–Mark Seymour
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Location : ColumbusCrewville
by Harry Yeprem Jr./The Sports Bus posted Dec 18 2013 7:55AM
A lot of whining and crying has been happening on social media the past few days after the Steelers clobbered the Bengals Sunday in Pittsburgh- http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/gametracker/recap/NFL_20131215_CIN@PIT.  Of course, we all know about the horrific injury suffered by Bengals P Kevin Huber...but the Steelers pretty much turned the Bengals into a M*A*S*H unit--former Steeler LB James Harrison was sent off with a concussion, Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham left the game with a hip injury and the Bengals looked shaken after taking a full force fist in the mouth. 

Yes, it appeared heading into this 2013 NFL Season that the Bengals were the cream of a quite honestly weak AFC North Division; they were the young upstarts and the Steelers were the old team on the decline.  But, for one night, it appeared that the Steelers decided, "The Hell with it, we may not be going to the playoffs, but tonight is our Super Bowl." and administered "Season's Beatings" for the Holidays to the Tiger Stripes.  Couple that with a Ravens win Monday Night over Detroit and all of a sudden, a runaway division race has tightened up.  Marvin Lewis and the Cincy coaching staff has to make sure that the beatdown in Pittsburgh does not linger in the Bengals' helmets and that they are ready to play an outclassed Vikings team this Sunday and not lay an egg. (i.e. Miami and the first matchup vs. Cleveland.)  If the Bengals were to stumble the next two weeks, Marvin Lewis may finally be shown the door by Mike Brown.
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Location : ClevelandDetroitMiamiPittsburgh
by Michael Butcher posted Dec 6 2013 6:07PM

Tribe FestEvery year during the off season, the Cleveland Indians put together their annual press tour, whether it’s at a mall or a banquet hall. You could look forward to a nice 3 hour wait in line to meet your favorite player and maybe hear about how this year will be the year.

I’m not complaining, I have some fond memories of making that drive up north just to get that autographed baseball and to shake the hand of some baseball players.

 

Thankfully, those days are behind us now, and with the return of Tribe Fest fans have something almost as good as Opening Day to look forward to.

 

Fans cannot only participate in autograph sessions with past, present and future Indians, they can hang out in the visitors clubhouse, get some batting advice from current Indians players, and even take some swings in the players batting cage.  

 

Last year at the inaugural Tribe Fest, I saw Indians catcher Carlos Santana playing a videogame version of baseball with a young fan and I met John Adams with his drum. Finally, not only did I get a Jason Kipnis autographed baseball, I shook his hand as well.

 

Tribe Fest comes to Progressive Field on Jan. 25th and 26th. Tickets start at just $10.00 for more information, and to buy tickets, head over to http://mlb.mlb.com/cle/fan_forum/tribefest.jsp

 
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by Adam Sabie posted Dec 5 2013 6:00AM
Some numbers on the Cavs after their last win over the Chicago Bulls...

Based on the figures presented in the story above, the Cavs don't look that bad on paper. 

I understand that Cleveland needs to step it up in all aspects of their team.  However, the numbers do show some improvement. 

The two that stand out to me is that this is the second youngest team in the league.  You think that may play in to their early struggles this season?

The other number that is fairly appeasing is the fact that the Cavs are ranked 14 spots higher than last year in opponents field goal percentage.

As a whole, this team is very young and building.  Let's try not to expect too much of them too soon. 

Until the next time.  Stay humble, hungry, and BELIEVE!

Go Cavs...

--Sabie
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by Adam Sabie posted Dec 4 2013 7:00PM
So now this is happening....

After the Browns loss to the Jags last weekend, the seasonal life of Cleveland's football franchise has hit a new low for the year.  Due to Brandon Weeden suffering a concussion in last weeks game, we have a couple new starting QB's to choose from.

Option 1 - Caleb Hanie
Option 2 - Alex Tanney

While neither of these guys seems to be our future, I would rather go with the more respectable option.  

You know... Someone who has actually played in the NFL before...

I'm not trying to knock Alex Tanney, but in this situation, Hanie should start simply just because he actually started some NFL games.

However! This IS the Cleveland Browns... So anything could happen.

Either way, the QB situation has been a revolving door for years now.  There isn't a QB on the roster that will take us to the next level, so why does it matter who starts the rest of the year?

Let's just hope that when the Browns get a chance to draft a QB next year, they won't have to eventually add his name to this jersey.

Go Browns!

--Sabie



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by Adam Sabie posted Nov 27 2013 7:48PM
Okay okay okay....

The Cavs.... They aren't starting off too hot are they?

Let's take a breather before we dive into this because this could be a common theme to come for the blog this year.

Don't get down on what happened to Cleveland in San Antonio.  Yeah, the Cavs have been blown out a few games we all thought they would be competitive in.  Yeah, the Cavs may have whiffed on the first pick in the draft.  Yeah, the Cavs can't win on the road.  Yeah, Kyrie is all we have.

HOWEVER!
(I have no time to be negative)

The NBA knows the Cavs secret. Mike Brown during every game this year, "Kyrie, here is the ball.  Go make a play."  No, I am sure he really doesn't say that.  But Kyrie really is all we have if Mike Brown can't figure out how to balance the offense out.  Bynum is a proven threat in the post.  The Cavs need to give him the ball more in order to spread out the wings for Kyrie and the shooters.  Granted, the shooters actually have to make a shot.

There are many things the Cavs need to work on in order to get moving in the right direction. The offense needs to be more fluid with our low post scorers and outside slashers/shooters.  The defense needs to play "Mike Brown defense" (whatever that is)....

--- Side Note ---
When was the last time Brown had a really good defense?  If my memory serves me correctly, the last time Brown had a stingy defense was back when he was winning titles with the Spurs.  Was it all a fluke?  Did he just have better players on those Spurs teams?  I am not sure, but if he is this great defensive coach, we are going to need proof of that fairly soon.

..... and the coaching/locker room presence needs to be better!  Is Brown even building relationships with the players on this team?  The cohesiveness is lacking and so is the urgency.

The Cavs face the Miami Heat tonight and former Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James.  With the Cavs and their fans holding out hope to bring LeBron back in the future, they are going to have to turn this ship around quite a bit in order to appease the King.

Have faith Believelanders!
We have no time to be negative...

--Sabie
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by Adam Sabie posted Nov 27 2013 6:59PM
Well it wasn't too pretty for the Cleveland Browns last week. 

Especially when Brandon Weeden makes an appearance.

Ben Roethlisberger is now 16-1 against the Browns all time in his career.  "Big Ben" went 22/34 for 217 yards and two touchdowns against a pretty good Cleveland Browns defense at First Energy Stadium.  The Brownies allowed 302 yards overall, registered zero sacks, and only hit Roethlisberger twice.  Let's be honest, the Steelers defense isn't the best in the world, but if you're the Browns  If Cleveland want's to become relevant, they need more pressure on the quarterback.

As far as the offense for Cleveland, Jason Campbell threw for 124 yards until he was sacked out of the game in the third quarter.  Brandon Weeden replaced Campbell tallying 209 yards on 30 attempts.  Josh Gordon had another big day receiving 14 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown.

It's quite obvious that Cleveland and head coach Rob Chudzinski have much to work on in their first season.  Overall, I have been excited for this teams future despite the losses.  The defense is solid with Haden, Mingo, and Kruger (even though they had a bad last two games) and the offense could potentially be explosive with Gordon, Cameron, and hopefully a new, serviceable QB.

The Browns have a winable game this Sunday facing the Jacksonville Jaguars in Cleveland at First Energy Stadium.  Pregame starts at 11 on 95.5 The Game.

--Sabie
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by Adam Sabie posted Nov 21 2013 6:50PM
It started off so good!Dalton had thrown two interceptions, the defense was playing great, and Jason Campbell wasn't throwing interceptions!And then BOOM.The Bengals offense that had been in dismay over the past two weeks found itself early in the second quarter going on a 31-0 run.  Dalton went from throwing two interceptions, to throwing two touchdowns while Cincinnati's defense and special teams recorded a touchdown each.Jason Campbell threw the ball 56 times for a total of 248 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions.  We all hope that Campbell can right the ship next week facing the rival Steelers.  Without solid performances from the quarterback position, the Browns have no chance from the start of the game.With an overall record of 4-6, the Cleveland Browns will most likely have to win out to make it to the post season.  The Brownies take on Pittsburgh this Sunday at 1:00 PM EDT. Remember you can catch the broadcast starting at 11 AM on 95.5 The Game! --Sabie
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by Adam Sabie posted Nov 16 2013 9:46AM
So the Cavs are on a bit of a slide....

That's putting it lightly, too.  

Cleveland has lost five of their last six games.  Three of the losses were by double digits and the sole win was in double overtime at home against the 76ers.

I don't know where to start with this team.  Maybe we put too much pressure on them? As a Cavs fan, maybe we got ahead of ourselves.  We got excited seeing how Kyrie was progressing and the way Waiters and the rest of the team connected. Thus resulting in raising expectations for this season.

I won't lie.  I was a big correspondent for the Cavs being good this year.  Especially when they landed Andrew Bynum.  I thought, "If he could come back healthy enough to develop back into his dominant "Laker" form, the Cavs could make the playoffs."

It is still extremely early in the season, but at some point we need to see something we can look forward to.  We have seen flashes of a team that has potential, but we lack consistency.

Last night after leading in the third quarter the Bobcats stormed back to win in it on our home court in the fourth.  First off, we can't be losing to teams such as the CHARLOTTE BOBCATS.  Secondly, if we do, we can't be losing to them at HOME.

This Cavs team is going to have to find an identity, and fast. 

The Cavs are on the road to face John Wall and the 2-6 Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.  This will be a great opportunity for Kyrie to step up and help the Cavs get their first win on the road.  The Wizards aren't a very good team, Cleveland could potentially get two wins tonight and Wednesday against the Wiz before they hit a tough three game stretch featuring at the Pelicans (it's very weird writing that), at the Spurs, and then home against LeBron and the Heat.

If the Cavs can gain some momentum heading into the Pelicans game, maybe they can win a few games on this stretch.

Remain positive Believelanders! We "Ain't Got Time" to be negative!

-Sabie
Posted via Zocle
by Adam Sabie posted Nov 11 2013 7:14PM
Rivalry Week.

The term "Rivalry" is often used in sports to describe two teams that traditionally are competitive towards one another in some shape or fashion.  Whether those teams have history with each other, or continually beat one another, or are in the same conference/division.  Rivalries come in all shapes and sizes.

This Sunday, November 16th, the Cleveland Browns visit the Bengals in Cincinnati.  A rivalry that was born out of a tradition stemming from Cleveland.

Regardless of the history these teams hold with one another, the fact is, this year, the Bengals and Browns sit atop the AFC North. Cincinnati holds the lead with a record of six and four while Cleveland is two games back at four and five.  The game, this weekend could potentially swing the Browns right back into the race if they can sweep the Bengals for the first time in, well, a long ass time.

If Jason Campbell can stay consistent and the defense can pressure Bengals QB Andy Dalton, Cleveland has a chance to cut Cincinnati's division lead to one game.  

With that said, Clevelands receivers have to show up.  Devon Bess and Greg Little are too inconsistent to carry the Browns on a regular basis.  With NO running game, what so ever, I am mainly talking about JORDAN CAMERON and JOSH GORDON.  Not sure what happened to them last week, but think about the offense the Browns would have if the whole receiving core performed consistently! Jason Campbell may be an MVP candidate...

Okay maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but to be perfectly honest, Clevelands best weapons are their receivers.  If they can live up to their potential, the Browns would be a legit threat every single week.  

My prediction? The defense plays solid enough to keep Cleveland in the game.  If Campbell can connect on a few big plays and the Browns have very few penalties, Cleveland wins a close game.  

Remember you can catch all the action on 95.5 The Game.  Kickoff is at 1 PM EDT in Cincinnati, pregame starts at 11.  

Until the next time,

--Sabie

PS - I DONT HATE THE BENGALS AND I AM NOT A BROWNS HOMER.  I just don't trust Marvin Lewis OR Andy Dalton when the pressure is on.  It's getting to be late in the season where the Bengals have to perform, I don't see it happening with current leadership.  Until that is changed, look for Cincinnati to continually choke.
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Location : CincinnatiCleveland
by Adam Sabie posted Nov 7 2013 8:41PM
Oh snap!

You read that right! This is the NEW Cleveland Cavaliers blog starting up on 95.5 The Game.  If you know me at all, I am more of a hoops guy seeing as how I am from Kentucky where basketball is KING! 

So since this is the first of many Cavaliers blogs to come, lets start of with some expectations for this season.

The playoffs!

I know that may be coming off strong right out of the gates, but I really do think that the playoffs are a reasonable goal for this young Cavaliers team.

With Kyrie Irving and a healthy Andrew Bynum, you could potentially have one of the best PG/big man combo's in the league.  Not only that, but if Dion Waiters can pack a scoring punch and if Jarret Jack can provide offense coming off the bench, the Cavaliers may even be able to attain a seed higher than 8!

I know the season hasn't started out the way we intended.  The win against Brooklyn was awesome in game one, but if the Cavs want to be considered contenders, they can't lose to Charlotte the night after.  They have to win games against potential sub 500 teams on the road.  They have to beat teams such as the Bobcats, Timberwolves, and MILWAUKEE.  

The Bucks handed the Cavs their third loss of the season last night, November 6th pushing the record to 2-3.  Irving performed well recording 29 points, eight assists, and five rebounds.  Dion Waiters dropped 21 while CJ Miles provided the spark off the bench with 14 points and the go ahead three pointer in the fourth quarter.  Unfortunately, the Cavs couldn't hang on suffering their third loss of the season.  Final score? 109-104.

Let's get one thing clear.  When was the last time we saw a Mike Brown defense allow over 100 points? Besides the times he coached the old, busted Lakers.

The Cavs can't afford to let that be a regularity if they have any hopes of taking a step forward this season.

Cleveland faces upstart rookie Michael Carter-Williams and the 3-2 76ers tomorrow night at 7 in Philly.  You can catch coverage of the game on 95.5 starting at 6:30!

For now, the mishaps on defense and the slow moving offense is okay.  But if we make it to game 25 and are still not showing up on the road or are displaying a lack of urgency, there might be some problems...

Until the next time, stay positive and remain faithful Believelanders!

-Sabie  
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by Adam Sabie posted Nov 7 2013 8:04PM
Have you ever had an obstacle in your life that you just couldn't get over? Like that level in Super Mario Bros where you couldn't kill Bowser and help Mario and Luigi save Princess Peach?  

Remember the feeling when you finally got over the hump? When you finally dodged that ONE fireball that always seemed to get you?


This past Sunday, November 3rd, the Cleveland Browns defeated the Baltimore Ravens for the first time in eleven tries.  That feeling of utter elation and victory when you (in this case, the Browns) finally attain some positive momentum is one of the best feelings a person could ever feel.  

At last!  Jason Campbell and the Brownies provided that kind of feeling to all of Browns nation.

Campbell won the AFC player of the week award by going 23 for 35 for 262 yards and three touchdowns.  No, you didn't read that wrong.  Campbell is the only Browns QB since Brady Quinn in 2009 to throw for three touchdowns and NO interceptions.  Not only did the veteran perform well, but so did Devon Bess.  Bess broke out of his slump with 2 touchdown receptions and a filthy move on a Ravens defender who must not be named.

I think his shoes are still stuck in the mud...

The defense performed well by doing its job against a struggling Ravens offense.  Defensive back Joe Haden recorded six tackles and one interception while the team as a whole tallied five sacks.

It seems that the Browns have something going right for them on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball for the first time in years.  If Cleveland can heal up over the bye week then take care of business next week in Cincinnati, the year may turn out better than we all thought after the TRICH trade.

It remains to be seen, but this fan can't help but feel good about the Cleveland Browns upswing at the moment.
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by Adam Sabie posted Oct 30 2013 3:01PM
It's week 9! I understand that I took off week 8, but I figured it would be okay since Brandon Weeden took off week 8 at Green Bay as well.  

Maybe it wasn't the best idea to take that week off becuse Weeden was replaced in week 9..

ALAS! I am still here and about to break down both week 8 and 9 for you! From my point of view..

The way I see it, we (Browns fans) threw Weeden in the fire (Green Bay) and watched him burn.  It seemed like a natural way of sending Weeden and his career as a Brown off into obscurity. Our defense held up as well as it could at Lambeau Field against the lethal Aaron Rodgers and his Packers, but our offense couldn't keep us in it.  

I think at this point in the season we have realized the potential of this team for the year.  The defense is good enough to keep us in games, but the offense lacks what it takes to win games.  The Browns possess a few pieces to the puzzle in Gordon and Cameron, but that's it.  Besides those two, and Joe Thomas, in the following draft Cleveland needs to draft a quarterback, but it's going to be hard to decipher which one.

You're probably thinking, "Duh, Sabie.  Of course we need to get a quarterback."

I know that I am "Captain Obvious", but seeing as how the Browns have dropped the ball on draft picks in the past, it is essential that Cleveland does their homework and gets the right leader for this team.   Whether that be Bridgewater, Mariota, McCarron or Manziel. Cleveland and head coach Rob Chudzinski must find the right quarterback for this system.

Week 9 didn't turn out as bad as everyone thought it would.

Surprise!

Jason Campbell did a servicable job throwing for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns.  One of those touchdowns was received by Josh Gordon who also added 132 yards on the day.  Clevelands rushing attack was non existant, but the performance of Campbell kept us in it.

Maybe we stumbled upon something here...

Looking at Jason Campbell's career, he had a few decent years in Washington as a REDSKIN with the carousel of offensive coordinators every year.  He then performed in Oakland decently before he got hurt.  Once the Raiders passed on him, Campbell went to Chicago to back up Jay Cutler.  It was obvious that Campbell wouldn't get to start in Chicago so he moved on to Cleveland.  Campbell was ready to be the veteran QB to mentor rookies coming into the league, he was ready to be the old man in the room with all the advice, he was ready to be of service in dire need.  Well, the time is now Mr. Campbell.

Cleveland shouldn't expect Campbell to go out and win games.  Rather, the Browns just need the combination of Campbell and the defense to keep Cleveland close in crunch time.  At least that would give them a chance to win.  Maybe Campbell finally found his opportunity to show what he can do with a whole (or most of) a season in a system he is comfortable in.

Overall, I was happy with Clevelands performance last week and am looking for another solid performance from Campbell this Sunday against Baltimore.  If the Browns can win field position and consistantly gain yards on each offensive possession, Cleveland has a chance to get back on track.  Remember you can listen to the Browns on 95.5 The Game every Sunday.  Tune in at 2 EDT for the start of Browns coverage.
by Adam Sabie posted Oct 15 2013 10:50AM
The Cleveland Browns this past weekend, 10/13 started off their game against the Detroit Lions in solid fashion. The start by quarterback Brandon Weeden kicked off well when the QB led the team to a 17-7 lead in the first half. Weeden had thrown a touchdown pass to both Christian Ogbonnaya and Greg Little to make it 14 and then Billy Cundiff capped off the half by hitting a 40 yard field goal as time expired. After punts on the first two possesions and scores on three of the next four possesions, it looked as if Weeden and the Browns offense was finally coming around. 

Clevelands defense held the high powered Detroit Lions offense to only one touchdown in the first half. A Matthew Stafford one yard TD pass to Joseph Fauria stood to be the lone score for the Lions. The Browns D then stifled the Lions O forcing Detroit to punt on the rest of their drives going in to half time.

Then the second half started...

After the Browns punted on their first possesion, Matthew Stafford hit Reggie Bush for an 18 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 14-17. Three plays after the Lions TD, the Browns punted again.

An unsettled feeling swept across First Energy Stadium.

On the Lions second possession out of the half, Stafford was picked off by Tashaun Gipson. That unsettled feeling was lifted for mere moments until the Browns went three and out AGAIN. Stafford and the Lions rebounded by taking the lead with another TD pass to Joseph Fauria at the 10:35 mark in the fourth quarter. After a 51 yard field goal by David Akers, the game was still very much in hand with the Lions leading 24-17.

Brandon Weeden then reverted back to being being Brandon Weeden again when the QB threw the worst interception in NFL history. In an attempt to escape pressure in the pocket, #3 made a mistake that not even a high schooler would make. This play ultimately deflated the fans at First Energy Stadium as defeat was in sight and near.

The Lions defeated the Browns 31-17. The Browns didn't score in the second half. Weeden finished with 292 passing yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and ONE BAD TASTE in Cleveland Browns fans mouths.

In the end, if the Browns can sure up mistakes that don't need to happen and if the defense can keep playing tough games, this loss wont seem too bad. Next week, the Brownies take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin. You never like to go into a game thinking that it is an automatic loss, but it's hard to put out of ones mind when instances like the interception against the Lions seem to happen every week. Yeah Weeden had a tough game, yeah the defense let the Lions score too much, but to me it seems that head coach Rob Chudzinsky has this team going in the right direction. The league doesn't sleep on the Browns like they did last year, but they don't necessarily take them seriously either. Outside of the QB position, the Browns look solid. If Weeden can play to win the game instead of not lose it, Cleveland could possibly be taken to the next level.

It all remains to be seen as the road trip to Green Bay and then Kansas City is upon us. Don't forget to catch the broadcast of the Browns on 95.5 The Game when they kick it off at 4:25 PM on Sunday, October 20th against the Green Bay Packers.
by Adam Sabie posted Oct 7 2013 5:24PM
The Cleveland Browns added yet another impressive victory this past Thursday, October 3rd at FirstEnergy Stadium.  The win came against an emerging Buffalo Bills team with a excelling young quarterback.  After starting the season 0-2, the Cleveland Browns are now on a three game win streak and sit tied for fist atop the AFC North with the Bengals and Ravens.  
 
The Browns victory didn't come without a loss.  Quarterback Brian Hoyer, who has propelled Cleveland on this streak, was diagnosed with a torn ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering the injury sliding at the end of a play.  Not to worry though, former starting quarterback Brandon Weeden entered Thursdays game when Hoyer went down and didn't miss a beat providing 197 passing yards and one touchdown to Josh Gordon.  Gordon added four catches for 86 yards along with tight end Jordan Cameron and wide out Greg Little who each recorded three catches a piece.  Newly acquired running back Willis McGahee was much improved this week having 27 carries for 72 yards and one touchdown as well.
 
As for the D, Mingo's sack streak has ended, but the defense recorded four sacks overall and one interception provided by T.J. Ward.  D'Qwell Jackson led the team with 11 tackles and the pass defense was stellar only allowing 4.7 yards per attempt.  The Browns defense continues to be a strong point within the team as they look to stifle a high octane Detroit Lions team next Sunday, October 13th at 1 P.M EDT in Cleveland, OH.
 
The Detroit Lions are 6th in the NFL in passing at 291.6 yards per game.  The combination of Matthew Stafford and Calvin "Megatron" Johnson will arguably be the toughest test for the defense yet this season.  If the Browns can contain Detroit running back Reggie Bush by committee and if cornerback Joe Haden can lock down Megatron, Cleveland could be staring 4-2 right in the eye.
by Adam Sabie posted Sep 30 2013 10:39AM
On a roll!

With the emergence of Brian Hoyer and the Browns stout defense, Cleveland pulled out an impressive 17-6 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday.  The Bengals, who were averaging 327 yards per game, only registered 269 yards of total offense and had zero touchdowns on the day.  Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton had 206 passing yards with one interception and standout rookie Giovanni Bernard only had 37 yards rushing. 

For the Browns, Brian Hoyer recorded 269 yards in the air with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.  Jordan Cameron caught another touchdown and Chris Ogbonnaya received one as well.  Ogbonnaya also had five carries for 27 yards along with newly acquired veteran Willis McGahee who rushed 15 times for 46 yards.  

The Browns look to keep things rolling against the Buffalo Bills and rookie QB E.J. Manuel next Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.  Be sure to visit 955thegameonline.com or tune in to 95.5 FM to hear your Browns in Columbus. Only on 95.5 The Game! Your Columbus home for the Cleveland Browns!
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by Adam Sabie posted Sep 28 2013 12:19PM
Coming off a late win against the struggling Minnesota Vikings, the Cleveland Browns and starting quarterback Brian Hoyer will have their hands full.  The Cincinnati Bengals bring to town a 2-1 record that could easily be a 3-0 record if  they could have held on late in Chicago week 1,  With a prolific offense including all-star wide receiver A.J. Green, big time tight end Jermaine Gresham, and newly aquired rookie Giovanni Bernard, the Browns defense will have the opportunity to show the league how good they are.

It won't be easy though as third year quarterback for the Bengals Andy Dalton is starting to get his groove.  Dalton is averaging a 67% completion percentage and has a 92 passer efficiency rating overall.  Along with the weapons Dalton has in the skill positions, Cincinnati and it's offense could explode at any time.  

Brian Hoyer will have the chance to really shine as the hometown kid if he can pull out this victory.  Last week, Hoyer threw for 321 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.  Although Hoyer led the team to victory, he can't turn the ball over if the Browns want to win this week.  It's not out of the question for Cleveland to succeed but in order to do so they will have to play nearly mistake free football and ignite on offense.

With the combination of wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron, the Browns have the chance to sniff the end zone quite a bit.  Gordon exploded in his first game last week catching ten receptions for 146 yards and one touchdown.  Jordan Cameron didn't have a bad game either receiving six passes for 66 yards and three touchdowns.  If Hoyer can find these two early and often, the Browns have a chance to win "The Battle of Ohio."  

The battle between AFC North division foes kicks off at 1 P.M. EDT on CBS at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.  Don't forget, you can catch coverage of the Browns in Columbus on 95.5 The Game or on 955thegameonline.com. Go Browns!
by Adam Sabie posted Sep 23 2013 10:34AM
No Weeden, No Richardson, No problem?

It seems so as the Browns take a 31-27 victory over the struggling Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday, September 22nd.  Starting QB Brian Hoyer went 30/54 for 321 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions.  The Browns also welcomed back stud wide receiver Josh Gordon who had ten receptions for 146 yards and one touchdown.  Tight end Jordan Cameron showed out again posting six catches for 66 yards and three touchdowns.  

The offense was rolling and the defense held a push from the Viking late as D'Qwell Jackson led the team with ten tackles.  Rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo recorded another sack, his second in as many games as a Cleveland Brown.  This defense will have a tough test next week as the Browns host a high powered offense from the in state rival Cincinatti Bengals.

The "Battle for Ohio" will kick off at 1:00 P.M. EDT at FirstEnergy stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.  We will see if head coach Rob Chudzinsky can keep his team rolling.  Remember The Game Columbus is your home for the Cleveland Browns.  Tune into 95.5 on the radio,  955thegameonline.com, or download 955 The Game Columbus app to listen! 
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by Adam Sabie posted Sep 15 2013 8:54PM
The Cleveland Browns started off fast!

Kind of…

What seemed to start off as a good day for the Browns’ offense, panned out to be mediocre.  The first offensive play from scrimmage for Brandon Weeden and the Browns was a 53 yard bomb to emerging tight end Jordan Cameron.  At this moment in time, Browns fans are thinking, “Maybe Norv Turner knows what he’s doing.” Or, “Maybe Brandon Weeden can play and we have an offense now!” However, that was not the case.  Unfortunately for the Browns and the most loyal fans in the country, that 53 yard play turned out to be the biggest offensive play of the game.   After driving to the Baltimore seven yard line, former Raven Billy Cundiff capped off the drive with a 21 yard field goal.

Good start, right? At this moment. Yes.

The Browns defense was stout in the first half holding the defending super bowl champs to zero points and two missed field goals.  After another Cundiff score, Cleveland led 6-0 heading into the half.   That would be the last time the Browns score.  After a promising first drive, Brandon Weeden finished the game going 21 for 33 for 277 yards and zero touchdowns.  Trent Richardson was more involved with the offense this week, but didn’t sniff the end zone having 18 carries for only 58 yards.
 
Barkevious Mingo had an impressive start sacking super bowl MVP Joe Flacco on his first snap for a nine yard loss.  Mingo on his first play in the National Football League, “My dream scenario is getting one every play, but that one, it was a good feeling to start the game out. It gave me the confidence I needed to play and continue to make plays.”   While the Browns defense did not bend in the first half, it eventually broke losing the game 14-6.

“We just have to keep grinding.” Head coach Rob Chudzinski commented after the game, “We have to keep working at it. The plays are there. The things are there. We’re just off a little bit here. We’re there on some things. The guys are working at it. I feel like there’s improvement being made, but it’s not good enough. It needs to be better, and that’s what we’ll do.”
 
Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner have much to tweak heading into the Metrodome against the Minnesota Vikings next week.  It will be a “Battle of the Beatens” as both teams bring to the game an 0-2 record. While one team may have something to build off of, the other may be sent back to the drawing board.
by Adam Sabie posted Sep 12 2013 7:11PM
The Cleveland Browns visit the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, September 15th.  Both the Browns and last years Super Bowl champs are facing going 0-2 to start the season.  Last week, the Browns fell to the Miami Dolphins 23-10 in a game where quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 289 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. This week, Weeden will be facing a defense that allowed not one, not two, not three... (thanks LeBron) but SEVEN touchdown passes in the NFL's premier opening matchup of the season against Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos.

Let's look at the numbers...

Baltimores defense allowed 462 yards through the air, 65 on the ground, and 49 points total.  The Ravens D sacked Manning three times, but besides that, the Super Bowl Champs were a non factor.  This bodes will for Cleveland if they can get the offense moving in the right direction.  Offensive coordinator Norv Turner knows his offense needs to be more efficient this week against the Ravens, “To me, the biggest thing in that football game was third down. You can’t be one of 14 on third down. We’ve got to convert third downs. We’re working hard on third downs. If we convert third downs, you keep the game in more of a normal circumstance. We’re able to run the ball more and we’ll play better.”

The Browns hope to get Weeden, Trent Richardson and company rolling facing a new Ravens defense on Sunday at 1 P.M. EDT.  Be sure to tune in to 95.5 The Game on the radio or 955thegameonline.com for complete Browns coverage.
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by Adam Sabie posted Sep 3 2013 2:39PM
The Cleveland Browns open up this Sunday September 8th against the Miami Dolphins. Starting quarterback for the Browns will be Brandon Weeden.  Last year, Weeden went 297-517 for 3,385 yards and fourteen touchdowns.  Starting running back for the Browns will be Trent Richardson who had 267 carries for 950 yards and eleven touchdowns last season.  The receiving core will be mainly represented by Josh Gordon who last year posted fifty receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns.
The Browns will be facing the Miami Dolphins who posted a 7-9 record last season.  They will be represented by Ryan Tannehill who went 282-484 for 3,294 yards and twelve touchdowns.  Starting running back for the Dolphins was Reggie Bush, who is now playing for the Detroit Lions. Lastly, Brian Hartline will be the main receiver for the Fins who had 74 receptions for 1,083 yards and one touchdown last season.
The Browns look to get their season started off on the right foot with new head coach Rob Chudzinski.  Last season, the Browns posted a 5-11 record.  Chudzinski and company hope to improve from last season to this season.  The Browns had a decent preseason and look to build off of its success. Gametime starts at 1:00 P.M. Be sure to tune in to 95.5 The Game for complete Browns covereage.
by The FN'A Show posted Aug 14 2013 9:38AM

With the season only a few weeks away, we're all waist-deep in predictions about 2013. This week's Top 10 list: the teams with the best shot to run the table in the regular season.

1. Louisville: Charlie Strong's team is coming off a great performance in the Sugar Bowl win over Florida and has star QB Teddy Bridgewater back with a gifted receiving corps, and almost the entire starting D returning from 2012. The schedule, as has been pointed out about 1,000 times already, is cushy. Louisville will be a double-digit favorite in its first 11 games before visiting Tommy Tuberville's Cincinnati team in its finale on Dec. 5. If anyone will trip up Louisville before the bowl game, it's probably up to Tub, who does have a rep for upsetting top teams.

2. Alabama: The two-time defending champs play in what's been considered the toughest division in football, but the Tide may only have to get past two top 20 programs in the regular season, LSU at home and Texas A&M, which wouldn't seem anywhere near as tough if the NCAA investigation into Johnny Manziel keeps the Aggies star out of action. Beyond those two, the next toughest tests appear to be the opener against Va. Tech or road trips to Mississippi State and arch-rival Auburn. Given the talent Nick Saban has on defense, his proven winner at QB (AJ McCarron) and a great WR-RB combo in Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon, things are looking very promising in Tuscaloosa.

3. Ohio State: No one has beaten Urban Meyer since he got to Columbus and there's a decent chance it won't happen this fall. Braxton Miller is the most dynamic QB in the Big Ten, and he plays behind a seasoned O-line. OSU's front seven is young, but talented. The Buckeyes also have gotten faster since Meyer arrived (Hello,Dontre Wilson!) The nonconference slate is light, although a road trip to Cal shouldn't be overlooked. The Bears almost knocked off OSU last season and they should be better this fall. The two biggest tests will be road games at Northwestern and in Ann Arbor against a Michigan team should have star LB Jake Ryan back from injury by then.

4. Fresno State: Even though Boise State's the Mountain West program most folks know, keep an eye on Tim DeRuyter's club. They have a standout QB in Derek Carr, who merely won league player of the year honors despite playing the ENTIRE season with a torn abdominal muscle. He's terrific, as is NT Tyeler Davison, the league's best lineman. The Bulldogs open with a visit from Rutgers and visit Colorado before Boise comes to Fresno. Get through that and it's downhill till the season-finale at San Jose State. Two other potential hurdles: home against Nevada and at San Diego State.

5. Northern Illinois: Jordan Lynch is back and that's a great place to start. The old coaching staff felt like this team is more talented than the one that just went to the Orange Bowl. There are 16 starters back. The opener, at Iowa, may be the toughest test. At the end of September, they're on the road in the Big Ten again with a visit to Purdue. The preseason favorite from the East division, Ohio, isn't on the schedule. The toughest MAC test figures to be at a good Toledo team Nov. 20.

6. Stanford: The good news: David Shaw's team returns the best D on the West Coast. Maybe the best O-line too, and a good young QB in Kevin Hogan. Better still, the Cardinal get Oregon at Stanford Stadium this year. UCLA, Notre Dame and Washington have to visit too. The downside: road trips to USC and Oregon State.

7. Oregon: Mark Helfrich's debut season should really heat up in mid-October with a visit to Washington. Then in late October, UCLA comes to Eugene before the Ducks travel to Stanford for a Thursday night game. The regular season ends with Oregon State coming over to Autzen.

8. Boise State: The Broncos open at the revamped Husky Stadium against Washington. Three weeks later BSU visits Fresno State. There are also road trips to BYU and Utah State in October.

9. Western Kentucky: Bobby Petrino's back and don't be shocked if he knocks off two SEC teams to start the season. Kentucky's in major rebuilding mode as is Tennessee, which has good size but not much in terms of skill talent. WKU has the Sun Belt's best RB in Antonio Andrews and a defense led by linebacker Andrew Jackson, the league's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and Florida transfer Jonathan Dowling. In conference, WKU will get stiff tests from Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Lafayette.

10. Texas A&M: IF Johnny Manziel is on the field, the Aggies have a shot. He's that good and the talent around him on offense is too. The defense, though, is just average by SEC standards. Home against Alabama and at LSU in late November may be the only two games against ranked opponents.

by The FN'A Show posted Aug 14 2013 9:35AM
Jody Shelley in studio RIGHT NOW on 95.5 The Game, Talking to Fn'A this morning! Click here and learn more about Jody.
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by The FN'A Show posted Aug 13 2013 9:41AM
The Fn’A Show and BikeSource have teamed up to bring one lucky listener a brand new Specialized Sirrus Bike!  This is one serious bike, so enterbelow and send a picture of your beat up old bike and tell Arch and Matt why YOU deserve to take this bad boy home with you! The Fn’Awesome Bike is brought to you by BikeSource and Columbus’ Sports Station, 95.5 The Game!
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