The name comes from Akron's history as the "Rubber Capital of the World." Akron maintains standing as the home of Goodyear HQ and the Bridgestone-Firestone tech center.
"We wanted to do something that was fun and entertaining while honoring the heritage of this great community," RubberDucks owner Ken Babby says. "The logo accomplishes a lot of things. Right off the bat, it represents the grit and fierceness of this blue-collar market."
Known for pitching branding rights to the public in the form of contests (none of which came to fruition, really), the team whittled the possible names down to five back in 2011: the Vulcans, the Gum Dippers, the RubberDucks, the Tire Jacks, and the Aeros.
All of this, of course, falls closer in line with Minor League Baseball's fantastic tradition of boasting weird team names. A few parting examples: Toledo Mud Hens, Montgomery Biscuits, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Savannah Sand Gnats and the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx.
The story follows an aging — but still incredibly nimble — former hoops player who's trying to get his old team back together. In this installment, Drew collects his old pal "Lights" (played by Nate Robinson, in exquisite hair and makeup) and Betty Lou, Lights' current or former flame?
The production value remains extremely high, and continues to get mileage out of the exact same scenario: Old guys arrive at a pickup game. Old guys are rusty at first. Old guys emerge as phenomenal basketball players and the crowd goes bonkers as they drink their Pepsi Max.
Irving probably won't become a Hollywood director anytime soon, but any opportunity to see him crossover unsuspecting defenders is a good opportunity. The Cavs' season opener is on Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets.
...A high school team in 14 seasons will have had one half the starting quarterbacks the Browns will have had in 14 1/2.
They're talking about St. Ignatius (but rest assured that the stats would be roughly the same for any competitive high school football program). The piece addresses the obvious and really depressing issue that colleges and high schools should theoretically start more quarterbacks than professional teams because of the turnover rate inherent in graduation.
But no. Ignatius has started 13 QBs since 1999 (though local Ignatius sports guru Tim Hudak told ESPN that three of them have come in this season alone). During the same stretch, the Browns have started 20. That's the most in the NFL by a significant margin.
Jason Campbell will start for the ailing Browns against Kansas City this Sunday. After Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer, he's now the third starting QB for the Browns this season.
Ilgauskas, the 7'3" Lithuanian drafted 20th overall by the Cavs in the first round of the 1996 draft, holds the franchise records for games played (771), offensive rebounds (2,336), total rebounds (5,904), and blocks (1,269). He also trails only LeBron in total points scored and minutes played.
The tragedy of Ilgausksas's career, of course, is the nonstop barrage of foot injuries which derailed huge chunks of his potential prime. Do you remember how frustrating that all was?
He sat out the entirety of the '96-'97 season, played a commendable rookie season one year removed in '97-'98, then played only five total games through the course of the next two campaigns. He returned in 2000, but appeared in only 24 games before fracturing some other obscure bone in his foot. AHHH!
It wasn't until '02-'03 that he played a full healthy season and contributed at the level execs had always anticipated. Then he kept chugging for 7 more seasons with the Cavaliers, putting up 13-and-7s (with occasional glorious offensive bursts) night in and night out.
Without the early injuries, his Games Played dominance would have been even more stratospheric. Right now, to put things in perspective, the current Cavalier with the most games played is Andy Varejao. Even with significant time missed over the past three seasons due to injury, he's still managed to appear in 469 games through nine seasons.
After Andy? It's Alonzo Gee, who's appeared in 185 games over 3 seasons. Ilgauskas's record appears to be safe for the time being.
Here's GM Chris Grant on Big Z's contributions:
Zydrunas represents the very best of how any sports franchise would hope to be represented. He was a hard working competitor who persevered, was dedicated, inspiring, and was a great teammate. As good as he was on the court, he was just as good off the court and in our community...His jersey hanging in The Q will be a permanent reflection of all that he has meant to the entire organization and Cleveland.
And here's Z improbably lighting it up in overtime against the Kings.
Yesterday's announcement came before an authoritative Cavs' victory last night against the morgue-bound Philadelphia 76ers. The current Cavs' squad moves to 3-2 in the preseason thanks to strong play from Kyrie Irving (17 pts, 12 assists), and Tristan Thompson (15 pts, 16 rbs).
Injuries continue to complicate Mike Brown's rotational experiments. Last night, rookie Sergey Karasev left the game with a sprained ankle. He's now listed as day-to-day. Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack also didn't play last night, though their conditions aren't thought to be serious. Tyler Zeller is still recuperating from his appendectomy and Andrew Bynum is inching toward competitive play. C.J. Miles and Alonzo Gee started on the wings last night.
And Henry Sims, bless him, tallied 14 pts on 6-6 shooting in only 20 minutes of play. He's just got a beautiful mid-range touch. Here's hoping his feet don't explode.
Regrettably, I don't have time this year. But I'll say this much: With the acquisition of 285-lb Andrew Bynum and hefty rookie Andrew Bennett (listed generously at 240), not to mention the training camp signing of DeSagana Diop (easily 600 lbs, though listed at 280), it's reasonable to expect that the Cavs would be a top-2 team once again. What say you, Philadelphia? What say you, Phoenix?
But alas, NBA final rosters (max 15 players) are due no later than Oct. 28, and Diop should be shown the door with all manner of tactful haste. After Saturday's loss to the Pacers, the Cavs parted ways with nondescript guard Michael Lee to bring the roster down to 19, but four more players have got to go:
It's important to note that the Cavs' D-League affiliate Canton Charge will acquire rights to the final three guys the Cavs cut, so it's not like some of them will be gone forever. Carrick Felix in particular. Coach Brown has said he really likes Felix, but there's just too many guys ahead of him at this point.
So four guys left to cut, three of whom will end up in Canton... Hmmm.
Sorry Diop. "NBA's Fattest (or Second-Fattest) Team" sadly won't be one of the central tenets in the Mike Brown / Chris Grant Playoff-Hunt Paradigm, so he'll be outta here.
Carrick Felix, the African Beer Prince Kenny Kadji and non-factor Elliot Williams will be shipped (in all likelihood) to Canton. Which means Delly, Henry Sims and Jemaine Taylor, hopefuls who have played well in the preseason, will get those final coveted roster spots. They may even see some playing time in the regular season if injuries to Tyler Zeller, Andrew Bynum and Jarrett Jack hang around longer than expected.
But to be clear, they're giving these tickets away: The two 8-packs will set you back $6.48 after tax, so if you aim to get all 6 tickets, that's a whopping $1.08 a pop.
For my part, I'd watched the opener against the Bucks from the press section and decided (after my brother's invitation) that it might be more fun to sit where I could comfortably pump my fist after a Kyrie shake-and-back and not have to worry about, you know, journalistic integrity. Most of the press folks (to their credit, I guess) dutifully type and Tweet through the whole game without so much as a high-five or celebratory whistle. It should go without saying that there's no beer involved.
So I ventured to Drug Mart, signed up for the obligatory courtesy card — that's the catch, but it takes two minutes — and emerged with receipt in hand to be redeemed for freebies at the Q.
The above photo is where they put us, my brother and I. Courtside, baby. Those leather seats you see are what constitute the "bench" these days. We were officially in Row two, and I can say with certainty that they're the best professional basketball tickets I've ever had. Thanks Drug Mart!
The promotion's final day is tomorrow, FYI. Cavs' regular season tickets tend to be pricey, so if you've got a wee child or downtrodden friend who loves the Cavs and doesn't have anything on the docket tomorrow evening, what's your excuse? The Cavs are an exciting young team to see live.
Zillow does note that the "recording studio" is not included in the asking price. (Nor, presumably, is the University of Texas billiards table).
Gibson remains one of several veterans yet to land on an NBA roster. Rumors briefly circulated that the Denver Nuggets were interested in enlisting his three-point shooting, but salary cap limitations make a signing unlikely.
One thing is certain, though: there won't be a home for him in Cleveland (on the Cavs or in Westlake). GM Chris Grant has made it clear that the organization was ready to "move in a different direction," and a sharp-shooting shooting guard in a point guard's frame wasn't what the team needed. Gibson, to his credit, has remained effusive about the city and the team.
There's still a chance for Boobie. Any number of injuries or failed rookie projects could result in a roster invitation somewhere. But for now, Gibson seems much more entangled in the domestic sphere: He's been partying in L.A. with his wife, R&B singer Keyshia Cole (w/o wedding rings on!!!, via gossip sites) and deflecting rumors about marital infidelity.
He's now reportedly on a 10-day vacation in the Bahamas with Cole.
Just for kicks, here's a picture of Boobie at a weekend party for Cole's birthday at a Hollywood club. This is one of the more preposterous jackets I've ever seen worn by a man.