Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

Cavs on the brink of history

The Cavs can claim their place in the history books Friday night against the Clippers.

If they lose, the Cavs will stand alone among American sports teams with a 27-game losing streak, surpassing the NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucaneers, losers of 26 consecutive games in 1976-77.

While things are rough now for the Cavs, what with injuries and a roster of mostly not ready for the NBA players, coach Byron Scott is not worried for his job.

“I just have a lot of confidence in what I do,” Scott told The Plain Dealer. “I know I’m the right man for the job. We obviously need to keep improving as a basketball team, but I know I’m the right guy for the job.”We’re all unhappy when it comes to winning and losing, we’re all unhappy with the way things are going, but [there has been] no indication about job being in jeopardy or anything like that.”

It seems like an odd thing to even bring up to Scott. He’s halfway through his first season with a team that most people expected to be in a major rebuilding mode. If he was the right guy when he was hired six months ago, why would owner Dan Gilbert change his mind now?

Veteran Antawn Jamison knows where to lay the blame.

“I have no problems with what our coaching staff has been doing,” Jamison told The PD. “I think they’re going over and beyond. It’s hard now with certain guys injured and you’ve got a lot of young guys out there getting the opportunity to play. But our coaching staff has been phenomenal. They bring it every day, they expect us to do it and we’ve been doing it. They pick the right coverages, they talk about things we need to do. Sometimes it takes a while for us as a group and a unit to get to that point, but we get to it.”

The Cavs are going to get through this. Making a change at coach certainly isn’t going to accelerate the process.

No word on if members of that Buccaneers team will gather Friday night with bottles of champagne to celebrate if the Cavs lose.

***

While it seems as if NFL owners and players could figure out a way to split the $9 billion annual pie in a way that would leave both sides rolling on giant piles of money, that apparently may not be the case.

According to Dan Graziano, senior NFL writer at Fanhouse:

The likelihood that the NFL will lock out its players on March 4 now stands at an all-time high after Thursday’s scheduled negotiating session between the league and the players’ union was canceled. Multiple sources familiar with the talks said the owners’ side walked out of Wednesday’s meeting due to a disagreement over the talks’ most fundamental issue — the manner in which the players and owners will split the NFL’s approximately $9 billion revenue pie.

Having some kind of work stoppage obviously won’t be so bad in March and April, but if the labor problems carried over into the summer and the start of training camp, it will be a different story.

With the economy the way it still is in this country, we have to wonder how fans will react to a prolonged battle between millionaires and billionaires.

There’s still time to go and both sides have options to avoid a work stoppage. The owners can impose their “last, best offer” rather than lock the players out, as expected. According to The Huffington Post (h/t to Waiting for Next Year) that means:

After bargaining to impasse, labor law permits employers to unilaterally implement changes to the terms of the previous collective bargaining agreement. These changes must be “reasonably comprehended” within the employer’s pre-impasse proposals – in essence, this means that, after the impasse, the owners can implement their last, best offer as the new set of rules to govern the NFL and its relationship with the players. By implementing their last, best offer instead of locking the players out, it would force the players to either accept the terms while continuing to negotiate, strike, or decertify.

So while things may appear bleak right now, we’re going to remain optimistic.

Because the alternative, a year without Browns football, is just too depressing to even think about.

***

Speaking of big money, Saturday’s Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City will be the most expensive game – in terms of player salaries – in sports history.

According to The Wall Street Journal, based on analyst estimates, team statements and media reports, the players on the field and on the two benches in the Manchester Derby will have cost their teams roughly $850 million to acquire.

That top mark will fall next month when Manchester City and Chelsea meet – their combined salaries are about $900 million.

Now if we could just get a Russian oligarch to buy the Indians from the Dolans, we’d be all set. Unfortunately, we’ll have to settle for the Tribe signing 36-year-old Orlando Cabrera to play second base this year.

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