Weekly SportsPod – Colin and Sow Talk About LeBron’s Return to Cleveland, Derek Jeter, and Europe vs. America

One of Cleveland's clever minds at work.

That’s right…I’m back. After a 41 day journey around Europe with my fiancee, I’m ready to get back into American Sport. The timing couldn’t have been better, as I got to “witness” LeBron‘s dismantling of the Cavs in his return. Who better to discuss it with than Ohio native and resident Josh Sowers, who has recently returned from Europe himself.

After LeBron, we discuss some baseball free agency, including Derek Jeter, the 2022 World Cup, and Sow and I each give our three biggest differences between Europe and America. I know Marc Sawyer our fan base has been eagerly anticipating our return, so enjoy.

Weekly SportsPod – Colin Talks to Sow About LeBron’s Return, Derek Jeter, and Europe vs. America


Cleveland Fans Could Learn Something From Hockey Fans

Tonight’s the big night for LeBron, but apparently there’s some hockey player named Dany Heatley (yes one “N”, that’s all his mom could afford) who pulled a similar move and will be making his return tonight as well. Heatley’s actions seem worse than LeBron, because at least LeBron was a free agent. Heatley demanded a trade and eventually had his request granted when the Ottawa Senators traded him to the San Jose Sharks.

Hockey fans are apparently much more creative than basketball fans. All Cleveland fans could come up with was “The Lyin’ King”…lame. Meanwhile Senators fans came up with this gem:

That’s officially the most I’ve ever written about hockey. Maybe all this time in Canada is starting to have an effect on me. Tune in next week for a retrospective on the career of Mats Sundin.


Newest Laker Steve Blake LOOOOOOOVES Johnny Rockets

Steve Blake is a scholar.

While Steve Blake may fit in perfectly with his new Los Angeles Lakers teammates on the court, off the court he may have some problems. You see, it seems as if Steve is beyond the video games and meaningless banter associated with the young folks of today’s NBA. Steve Blake is an intellectual.

I was lucky enough to come across one of Blake’s essay’s from the University of Maryland. While Blake is known for leading the Terps to a national championship in 2002, it seems we haven’t given him enough praise for his accomplishments in the classroom.

Take for example this essay, that Deadspin was kind enough to publish for our enjoyment. Click the link to see the whole essay, but essentially it is an edgy critique of one of our nation’s most prized establishments, Johnny Rockets.

Blake wisely begins his essay, entitled “Happy days at Johnny’s” as fiction, in an effort to draw the reader into a personal story about two young lovers going through a difficult time in their relationship. During an argument, the young lady wanders into a Johnny Rockets restaurant and her boyfriend follows her inside:

A young couple was walking down Main Street arguing with each other. The young lady got frustrated with her boyfriend and just walked away from him and went into a restaurant. He wanted to make up with her so he went in there after her…As they were sitting, they heard a song by Elvis being played throughout the whole restaurant. The couple looked at each other and smiled because they both really liked that song. The restaurant that this couple went to is in Florida and is called Johnny Rockets, a restaurant that brings people happiness.”

Quickly and unexpectedly, however, Blake abandons the two characters and begins his appraisal of the Johnny Rockets franchise, noting such things as:

  • The colors of the restaurant are red, white, and yellow.
  • There is also a straw holder that the waiter or waitress opens for you to get a straw as if you were a five-old kid.
  • By looking at Johnny Rockets you can tell it is resembling the 40s and 50s by the juke boxes.
  • With the friendly service of the waiters and waitresses and the singing and dancing they sometimes do makes this place just as fun as hanging out with your friends.
  • By having a restaurant like this, I think it shows how we haven’t forgotten about what has happened back in the 40’s and 50’s.

So far the essay may seem like a puff piece, like he was paid off by Johnny Rockets to write a positive review. But Blake is sure to show the drawbacks of the restaurant as well:

The only downfall of the restaurant is that you don’t get much food.

He even goes as far as to compare Johnny Rockets to its competitors:

The burgers are about the size of McDonalds but the taste of Johnny Rockets is much better. One thing I do like is that you get a good amount of a chocolate shake if you order one. The prices at Johnny Rockets are a little high compared to a McDonalds or Burger King but are average compared to a Fridays or Applebee’s.”

Finally, Blake concludes with the main argument of his essay. He tries to show why Johnny Rockets is just so special to him:

When I was younger, my mother would listen to oldies while I was in the car and I enjoyed listening to them then. So the only time I really get to hear oldies now is when I go to Johnny Rockets.”

Remember, this essay was written in the early 2000’s, before music downloading was rampant. So it is actually quite telling that visiting Johnny Rockets is the only way that Blake could listen to oldies and be reminded of his childhood and his mother.

It says on the Maryland website that Blake was a criminology and criminal justice major at Maryland. Well he needs to put his training to work because he has clearly been robbed of a Nobel Prize for Literature.

So if in the upcoming season Steve Blake hits a game winning shot and you’re hoping to find him out that night to congratulate him, look no further than the red, white, and chrome of Johnny Rockets. It will certainly bring you, your family, and Steve Blake happiness.


LeBron, Wade, Bosh, and…um…

So, who else we got on our team?

So, I don’t know if you heard, but LeBron James says he is going to play for the Miami Heat next season. I’m not going to get into the Dan Gilbert-fueled LeBron hatred— in fact I think LeBron made the smartest, if not safest, decision available.

Not only does he get to play with two studs, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but now if the Heat flounder next season, it’s not all on LeBron. Had he chosen to re-sign with the Cavs or go to the Knicks or Bulls, their success would be entirely dependent on LeBron and his ability to lead them to the promised land. But if in two years the Heat still haven’t won, Miami will have some other players to share the blame.

After the initial “Holy crap this is actually happening” thoughts, the first thing that went through my head was the Miami Heat roster. Sure, they have three unbelievable players, but then who?

They reportedly traded Michael Beasley last night to make room for LeBron, so that leaves them with Mario Chalmers, LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Not exactly the Dream Team.

It was also reported last night that Mike Miller will sign with them. Don’t get me wrong, Mike Miller is an excellent role player, but since they are supposedly paying him $30 million, that doesn’t leave much to fill out the rest of their roster.

The Heat situation reminds me of a video game in “Franchise Mode”. You select a team, in this case the Miami Heat. You put it on “League Draft” so that you get to choose your own team. You start out hot, choosing LeBron, Wade, and Bosh with your first three picks. “How did the computer let these guys fall to me!” you think to yourself, “I’m gonna be unstoppable!” With your fourth pick, you go to select another superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, but a dialog box with an exclamation point comes up on the screen: “Insufficient Funds. Please make another selection.”

Suddenly it dawns on you that you left the “Salary Cap” option on, and you don’t have enough money to draft any more players that you want. You go through trying to pick every player who you’ve heard of, but the dreaded “Insufficient Funds” box keeps bursting onto the screen. Finally you become so frustrated that you choose “let cpu finish draft” and you look at your final roster. It’s a dichotomy of the best players in the league and players who you thought had retired (or gone to the D-League) many years ago: LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Speedy Claxton, Kris Humphries, Aaron Williams, Ed O’Bannon, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, Travis Best, and three players that the computer clearly made up with mismatched names like Santiago Suzuki and Yao Richardson.

You play one game before you realize it’s not really that fun playing with three superstars and a bunch of scrubs.

I have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen this season in Miami. They’ll be able to fill out the roster, but it won’t be the right combination of players to take the Heat to the Finals. Not this season at least.

There are two reasons the “big three” worked with the Celtics: 1) they had immediate, unbelievable chemistry that only happens when two of the big three are slightly over the hill and have been floundering with miserable teams for the past couple seasons, and 2) they had a solid supporting cast and bench, led by a phenomenal young point guard.

It’s pretty obvious that it will take some time for the Heat to gain a supporting cast, so this season will be more about point #1. How long will it take for LeBron, Wade, and Bosh to gel? Will they be able to share the spotlight, or multiple spotlights as LeBron put it? It remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure. I can’t wait to watch this team play.

And I can’t wait to see Miami’s first game in Cleveland.


Podcast – Colin Talks to Sow About Lakers Championship and June 2010

It’s rapidly becoming one of the greatest months in sports history. From Armando Galarraga’s near no-hitter to the Lakers winning the NBA championship to the World Cup, June 2010 might just go down in history.

I brought on Josh Sowers to discuss the events and give us his take. Enjoy…

Colin talks to Sow about June 2010

YouTube Clip of the Day: Boom Goes the Dynamite

With the Sweet Sixteen starting tonight, we are sure to see some fantastic finishes. Along with those great finishes come legendary calls that will echo in our minds for sports eternity. Costas, Packer, Scully. These are the greats we associate with the great moments in sports history.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Brian Collins, also known as “The Dynamite Kid” (not to be confused with the second half of the 80s wrestling tandem, The British Bulldogs…easy mistake I know). I would hate to see him trying to order chinese food over the phone.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the clip, so pay attention to the following for some extra entertainment:

  • 0:20 – Collins realizes the train has come off the tracks and lets us know we’re in for a treat with the simplest of phrases: “Oh no.”
  • 0:44 – 1:00 – Collins going with the “less is more” approach, uttering nothing but a few stutters and moans for 16 seconds.
  • 2:16 – After finally seeing a player that he recognizes, Collins gives us the generic, “Reggie Miller lookin’ good”.
  • 2:25 – The now-legendary catchphrase spoken for the first time: “Passes it to the man, shoots it…and boom goes the dynamite.”
  • 3:05 – Collins pronounces “Wayne Simien” as “Wayne Summers”. Of all the things that go wrong for some reason I find this one the funniest.

Podcast #3 – Colin talks to The Life

After a big Laker win in game two, I called my high school point guard and current Los Angeles Clippers employee David Gale to get some insight.

Oh yeah, he worked out with Blake Griffin on Saturday…how’s that for credibility?

As always you can download here or find me on iTunes by typing Ward-Henninger, You’ve Got to be kidding me, or some combination of my name and the title…you’ll figure it out.

Podcast #3 – Colin talks to The Life

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