Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Long live King Kenny


The king is dead. Long live the king.

In the same week that LeBron James tried to justify his decision to ride Dwyane Wade’s coattails in Miami, we found a new king to embrace at Red Right 88 headquarters.

Liverpool finally did the expected, signing Kenny Dalglish to a three-year contract to manage the team. King Kenny took over a dispirited club in January that was languishing in 12th place in the Premier League table and turned things around, with the Reds on the verge of clinching a spot in Europe for next season.

The night before, after Miami eliminated Boston in the second-round of the NBA playoffs, James “apologized” for kicking Cleveland in the collective yam bag last summer.

“I knew deep down in my heart, as much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland and as much as I loved home, I knew I couldn’t do it by myself against that team,” James said. “The way it panned out with all the friends and family and the fans back home, I apologize for the way it happened. I knew this opportunity was once in a lifetime.”

What James doesn’t get – really what he never seemed to understand – is that he never had to do it alone. The owner, the team and the fans always had his back – probably more than any fan base in the history of sports. Think about it, who else ever was loved the way we once loved James?

Does he really think he’ll ever get a reaction like this from the fans disguised as empty seats in Miami?

Luckily, Dalglish has stepped up to take the sports throne that James so willingly abdicated last summer.

“It was obvious to us very early on that the atmosphere surrounding the club had been transformed by his presence,” Liverpool owner John W. Henry said. “No one else could have produced such a response.”

“Both John [W Henry] and Tom [Werner, chairman] have taken their time to assess what was best for the football club and bring in the people they wanted to take the club forward,” Dalglish told The Guardian. “They are both winners, but understand what the supporters want from a Liverpool side and the way that we should go about things. This is a unique football club and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to help build something special here again.”

“We’re not going to shout our mouths off and say, ‘we’re going to win this’ and ‘we’re going to finish here.’ We are just going to work and do the best we possibly can, because a lot of people care an awful lot about this club,” Dalglish told The Daily Mail. “We’ve got to prove we feel the same way.”

So instead of running from a challenge, Dalglish decided to stay on and build “something special.” Too bad he wasn’t around to talk to LeBron last summer before free agency hit.

On the day that Dalglish signed his contract, the first song that came up on our iPod shuffle at the gym was You’ll Never Walk Alone.

It’s too bad LeBron never heard that one – things may have worked out differently if he had.

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