Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Much Dough Did Cleveland's Early Exit From the Playoffs Save Cavs Fans?

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 10:13 AM

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With a season full of a sellouts, promise (ha!) of a championship, and the greatest player on the planet, it wasn't hard to imagine the marketplace demand for Cavs playoff tickets had the Wine and Gold advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Clevelanders would have shelled out plenty of dough for the chance to sit in the Q and be witnesses. Exactly how much?

From the Wall Street Journal:

If the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals series plays out like Sunday's four-point opener, fans are in for a good ride. It should be relatively cheap to see in person, too. According to ticket-price aggregator SeatGeek.com, fans would have had to pay an average of $349 to see LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play a home game for this round. But the Cavs didn't make it, and the average resale ticket price for the teams that did, the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, is $157.81 and $157.90, respectively.

Put that found money to good use, Clevelanders. Like your church, the Cleveland Food Bank, or vodka.

Follow me on Twitter: @vincethepolack.

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Brian Windhorst Talks About Covering LeBron/Cavs

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 9:52 AM

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PD Cavs beat writer Brian Windhorst has been immersed in all things LeBron for just about as long as he's been a reporter. As the seconds tick off until LeBron's free agency decision, Brian's sure to be in the middle of it — sorting through rumors, breaking news, and providing his readers with what he does best: a reasoned and informed breakdown of the team and the King.

Market Watch talked with Brian about the difficulties of covering the team, which, because of LeBron, has turned into quite a mess. A stressful, stressful messy mess.

Here's quick excerpt:

The story has been stressful because everyone wants to know the news and yet there is precious little hard news and lots of speculation. Plus, in the age of blogs and 24/7 news cycles, the pace never lets up.

"It has been going on so long that I can't see the side, the front or the back," he said. "You feel like you're within the story. It has been the same since the (NBA) season started. One giant story."

Windhorst puts his task in perspective. "A lot of times, I've equated covering the Cavs to piloting a 747 because there are a lot of things to keep track of," he told me on Monday when we spoke by phone.

The media's gossipy, short-term coverage of James irritates Windhorst.

"People will make assumptions without asking LeBron questions," he said. "You have to be looking in the distance. A lot of the stuff that's being written is looking way too tightly about today or tomorrow. Reporters are so narrowly focused. My job is to bring perspective. As stories emerge, people tend to overreact."

And at the end, Brian says, "If LeBron leaves to go to New York or Chicago, I'll be covering the Cavs."

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Cavs Lose, Man Shaves Eyebrows

Posted By on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 2:39 PM

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That is the aftermath of this.

(Via Ball Don't Lie)

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Story Behind the "We Are LeBron" Video

Posted By on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM

LeBron: This is where my heart would be, if I had one.
  • LeBron: "This is where my heart would be, if I had one."

If you couldn't guess just from watching the "We Are LeBron" video and knowing the history behind the viral Cleveland tourism shorts, yes, the "We Are LeBron" star-studded (?) gala of song and celebrity was created by Mike Polk.

The New York Times has the background, which consists mainly of Polk making jokes.

It is part earnest pleading to the city’s biggest star, part tongue-in-cheek poke at Cleveland itself — including offering to name all the streets after James. Polk said even the choice of song was part of the joke. “We Are the World” was originally used to raise awareness for hunger in Africa. “We’re just trying to convince a guy who’s really good at throwing a ball through a circle to stay in our city,” Polk said.

In a way, the way the Cavaliers lost may have added to the appeal of the video.

“Not that we could have foreseen that their season would end like this — although if you study the history of Cleveland sports, we should have foreseen that it would end like this — but at first we worried that it would hurt the video,” said Polk. “But actually I think it helped the video. I think it was kind of a catharsis for people. It does represent what a lot of people in Cleveland are thinking.”

[snip]

Polk said the governor’s security team swept the site and then he got the humorous duty of introducing Strickland to “the Norton Furniture guy.”

A little more news: One Aaron Goldhammer was supposed to be in it also, but had to back out because of scheduling conflicts. That, or he thought the Norton Furniture guy would put his pipes to shame.

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Reader: I Carry My 1964 Ticket Stubs Around Too

Posted By on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 9:54 AM

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A comment left by a reader on this post, which talked about some grumpy Cleveland fans and a 1964 ticket stub:

Dear Vince:

I read about your blog in The New York Times article in which you make reference to the possible loss of LeBron. I am a Clevelander now living in Syracuse, New York. Given your mention of the year 1964, I thought you would find it interesting that I attended that championship game with my father. The seats cost $10 each. I was so excited that I swore I would carry the ticket stubs in my wallet until Cleveland won another championship in any sport. Well, they are still in my wallet, where they have been for 46 years. I have literally carried them with me all that time. I took them out of the wallet to "watch" with me the two Denver games and the Marlins World Series game in hopes it would bring luck. Fat chance. When I show those stubs to friends, they are truly amazed and reverential, and they begin to understand the agony of being a true Cleveland sports fan.

David M. Rubin
Shaker Heights High class of '63

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When George Steinbrenner Was Hours Away From Owning the Indians

Posted By on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

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Everyone knows that Steinbrenner is a Clevo native and had interest in buying the Tribe, here's a little detail on how a handshake deal to buy the Tribe fell apart at the last minute.

Via the NYT Bats blog:

In his new biography, “Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball” (Harper), Bill Madden recounts that on Dec. 6, 1971, Steinbrenner’s ownership group struck a handshake agreement to purchase the Indians for $8.6 million from Jimmy Stouffer, a classmate from Culver Military Academy in Indiana. A news conference to announce the deal was scheduled that night at Steinbrenner’s American Shipbuilding office, but at 5 p.m., Stouffer’s father, Vernon, called Steinbrenner and killed the deal.

“You and your friends are trying to steal my team,” Madden quotes Vernon Stouffer saying. “You’ve already leaked the sale price to the press. I know I can get at least $10 million for it. So forget about it. I won’t be pressured. I’m not selling to you.”

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Shaqs

Posted By on Sat, May 15, 2010 at 5:12 PM

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Top, Shaq on the cover of last week's Sports Illustrated, looking old.

Bottom, picture taken for a profile of Shaq in next month's Esquire, looking young.

That is all.

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