First Four, Dayton, and a Gas Leak

There are certain sporting events that every guy should go to. Things that don’t require being a fan of either team to enjoy. The NCAA First Four in Dayton is one.

My buddy and I drove down for Day two of the First Four and took in the city of Dayton. We managed to stuff our faces in food ranging from poutine to pizza. We visited five breweries. Lock 27, Dayton Beer Company, Warped Wing, Carillon and Toxic City are all doing really good things with beer. Dayton Beer Company had a great stout. I really enjoyed Lock 27 as the best of the bunch though. Really nice location next to the Dayton minor league baseball team. I imagine that makes for a great summer night.

Then, there is the First Four. We saw two games with the second one being a great one. Syracuse vs Arizona State came down to the end. The crowd was dyed orange as this was clearly a Cuse home game. Really not a bad seat in that arena. I can see why they play those games there in this small midwestern city. Just pure hoops fans in Dayton as we saw people wearing shirts ranging from Ohio State to South Dakota State. First Four does not disappoint.

Now, I have to say I’ve never had and issue with AirBnB and credit to the company and our hosts for refunding our money. See we couldn’t stay in the house because not only was the furnace broken, which they told us as we arrived but we walked into the place and it clearly smelled of a gas leak. If you lit up a cig, I’d imagine that placing blowing up like a fireworks display. So after a day of drinking and right as the hangover hit due to no alcohol in the First Four, we drove home at midnight. Three hours back to Cleveland made for a late night but it was a hell of a day. Dayton didn’t disappoint.

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I’m a Stoolie and the Sun is Cold

Have to say, I’m fairly late to the game at becoming a self proclaimed “Stoolie”. I️ probably first learned about Barstool back in 2010 as a college freshman and over the next 5 years dabbled in their content. I️ experienced serious FOMO over never going to a Barstool Blackout Party, perused the Smokeshow pages back as 20 year old college guy in the dorms and laughed at all the absurd videos. Sometime in late 2015 or 2016 I️ became a full fledged Stoolie. Yes, the sun is cold.

Barstool has been all over the news circuit since the cancellation of their show on ESPN after one episode and then the New York Times wrote this piece here https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/magazine/spurned-by-espn-barstool-sports-is-staying-on-offense.html. Like many of my friends, Barstool appeals because it is not PC. We are not racists or homophobes. Many of us have libertarian type leanings. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal. We really don’t give a fuck what you do. Just don’t tell us what to do either. And that’s where barstool appeals. It doesn’t try to be a moral compass, it doesn’t shove its views down my throat and it never takes itself too seriously. We don’t think any joke is off limits because in comedy it shouldn’t be. Barstool offends people and make them uncomfortable because it isn’t afraid to. I️ can’t watch ESPN talk shows anymore. I️ use to love Around the Horn but wouldn’t waste five minutes on it anymore. Instead, I️ look forward to Michael Rapaport calling people out for being sick fucks and want to know who Pardon My Take will name Football Guy of the week. I️ enjoy drinking and sports and comedy. I’m your average 25 year old male. Barstool gets me. Do I️ always agree with everything they say or post? Hell no, but I️ don’t get caught up in it. I️ laugh and move on like countless other Stoolies.

The PC world wonders how this media outlet rose to prominence and can’t believe people enjoy it. But I️ ask how can you not enjoy it? I️ know someone will think I’m a prick or misogynistic asshole for calling myself a Stoolie. Yet, there in lies the beauty of Barstool and its followers. We really don’t give a fuck what you think.

Wade, Durant, and the Crazed Events Surrounding NBA Free Agency

NBA Free Agency has started up and caused a plethora of tweets, thoughts and hot takes. Every white guy with an average jump shot now gets pad $10 Million a year in the new NBA. I am pretty sure I am due a 4 year/$6 Million deal shortly. My solid celebrations and hustle can at least earn me that.

But really, these contracts are not that absurd. In fact, when the cap goes up again next year they will seem like bargains. Maybe I should sign a 2 year deal with a player option? My value is sure to sky-rocket.

With Kevin Durant bolting for Golden State and proving how much of a choke job he really is, the NBA is really a battle between 3-4 teams…at most. Sorry everyone else it is July 5th and your season is over. Time to play for the lottery. It also has started a series of Wade to the Cavs rumors. Would I love to see Wade in a Cavs jersey next season? Yes, of course. He can still average 16 points in the Cavs lineup and help retain the title in Believeland. But that is just not realistic. Cavs don’t have the money. I could see this  as Lebron’s ploy to get his buddy his money and also get the Cavs another player. Could this force a team to dump a player in a trade with the Cavs that fits into one of their trade exceptions in order for a team to sign Wade? Yes, and I think that is what will happen. Wade will get paid more than the 2 year deal worth $40 Million. Lebron  will get another body to help defend the land and everyone will go home happy…. Well except Thunder fans. Sucks to be them.

Why Cleveland?

I can’t tell you what its like to win a championship. Personally, I have come close but never won one. I see myself in this city that longs for a title.

I have always hated fans referring to the team as “We”. We didn’t practice, we didn’t play, we didn’t coach. Most of the time there is no we. However, in Cleveland it’s different this time. This team and this city are connected.

Tonight, June 19, 2016, could be the greatest night in Cleveland history. No other city has been waiting for this day quite like Cleveland has.We have  waited and waited. Sat through heart-break after heart break. For years Cleveland has been the mistake by the lake. The city no one wants to visit. Our nightlife sucks, our teams suck, our city sucks. Our players leave, our people move out and our best players bail on us because you can’t win in Cleveland. This is the narrative everyone wants you to think. Yet, the narrative has slowly been changing. Travel magazines and blogs say we are the place to visit, people rave about our homegrown chefs and dining scene and even the republicans think Cleveland is important politically. Our teams returned, our people moved back and even our players come back like a prodigal son. Maybe, the old narrative isn’t true.

We know Golden State is the best team in regular season history. Curry and Klay are the best shooters ever. Everyone knew we didn’t stand a chance epitomized by the 3-1 series start. The season was going up in flames like our river once did. Lebron couldn’t handle pressure, Kyrie was not  fit to be a superstar and Cleveland sports once again will come up short.  But we don’t believe that narrative about Cleveland. We never did.

Slowly, the impossible seems to be occurring. It’s cool to be from Cleveland. The flats are back, old neighborhoods are rising and young people are flocking to Cleveland in waves this town has never seen. This  is the new Cleveland narrative.

Outside this city there was little hope. The Warriors were about to complete the greatest season. Then the Cavs stole game 5 on the road. Lebron showed why he is the true MVP in game 6 and suddenly the Cavs forced game 7 against the best team ever. The Cavs are writing a new chapter..

My earliest sports memory was the 97 world series. It’s just one of many famed Cleveland sports failures. And like any young kid I didn’t realize I would have to wait 10 years to see the city have another chance. Only to see any hope come crumbling down with “The Decision”. Yet, Lebron came back. The city came back. The Cavs came back. WE came back. .

And come tonight the Warriors could find their jumper. Lebron could lose his and Kyrie could disappear and all would return to normal in the eyes of the outside world. Cleveland would again let one slip and the city would remain without a title. Yet, the narrative seems different. The city is different. This team is different. We are different. We know  it won’t be easy. It won’t be given to us. Like everything we have in this city, it will be earned.  This title will need to be earned.  In North East Ohio, we know nothing is given, everything is earned. #AllIn216 #Believeland

An Open Letter to Lebron

Dear Lebron,

I know, I know you’re the greatest player in the world. We are lucky you came back. We should appreciate that we have you. You could go at any time. But really you can’t leave. You care more about what people think of you than any player in the league. You have a desire to be loved. If you leave Cleveland again, no one will love you. Trust me, you thought it was bad in 2010. That was nothing.

I know it is hard having an entire city counting on you. But it is time. Time to man up. Time to be a leader. Time to show some mental toughness. This is your team. You have been given everything you wanted. The Cavs fired the coach when you didn’t like him, they gave you the contract you wanted, gave you the teammates you wanted. No more excuses.

I know you have friends in the NBA. Dwayne Wade is your buddy. Social media shouldn’t matter but it does matter who you follow because people will notice. You should know that. You’re better than that.

I know winning 50 games is an accomplishment Cleveland should be proud of. Hey it was not too long ago the Cavs were picking in the lottery every year. We get it. You’re a franchise changing player. And hey come playoffs you guys will turn it on right? It’s just a matter of time. You’re bored right now, I get it.

I know  you’re on the wrong side of 30. The window is closing. The  pieces are not fitting exactly as they should. It takes time to gel. San Antonio and Golden State have set unrealistic expectation. But didn’t you say ” In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.” It is time accept the challenge Lebron. Best players in the world don’t make excuses. Best players in the world don’t need sidekicks. Best players in the world get it done. You know how you cement a legacy Lebron? You bring a championship to a a hungry city waiting for a savior. Be the savior. Will it. Grab it. Take it. Hell “Just Do It.”

Signed,

Cavs Fan