Author Archives: Matt Stevenson

About Matt Stevenson

Matt Stevenson is a 22-year old student attending Bowling Green State University. Graduated from Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in 2012 he is a fan of Cleveland sport teams. Basketball is Matt's favorite sport, though football is a close second. Writing and listening to music are several other hobbies that Matt enjoys aside writing and sports.

Kyrie Irving Faces Biggest Challenge in Basketball Career

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By Matt Stevenson

May 1, 2015

Last Sunday the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Boston Celtics and knocked them out of the playoffs in Game 4 of the series. A great first playoff series win for this young Cavaliers squad, but it came with a major repercussion.

Kevin Love left the game in the first quarter and it was scary. Not knowing what specifically happened at first glimpse, the live broadcast shows Cavaliers Forward Kevin Love getting tangled up with Celtics Kelly Olynyk while scrambling for the ball. Immediately after, Love sprinted right to the locker room without stopping to talk to anyone. After several replays, it was clear his shoulder was indeed dislocated.

A debate on whether it was intentional or not has taken the social media world by storm. The game itself was incredibly physical with technicals and ejections being issued.

Cavaliers Center, Kendrick Perkins, set a hard screen on Celtics Forward, Jae Crowder, that sparked some shoving and much trash talking. However, later in the game Crowder and Cavs Guard J.R. Smith got into it while positioning themselves for a rebound.

The video shows Crowder shoving Smith pretty hard (definitely foul-worthy). J.R. Smith retaliated though by flailing his arm, with a closed fist, and connected with Jae Crowder… right in his face.

Accidental? Maybe. Suspension? Definitely. How long? Nobody knows.

So Kevin Love is reportedly out for the rest of the playoffs. J.R. Smith is for sure getting suspended and it could potentially be a few games. After sweeping the Celtics on Sunday, we wait for the Bulls as they look to close out their series with the Bucks.

This means the Cleveland Cavaliers are without two of their starters and the two other members on the team, besides LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, that can be consistently relied upon to create their own shot. This takes away a huge element of the Cavs game as they rely heavily on Love and Smith to hit 3’s and space the floor.

This may be one of LeBron’s biggest challenges in his career, without a doubt. But I think this focus’ more on Kyrie Irving.

Kyrie Irving will be expected to score a lot, as LeBron will be busy defending the variety of players Chicago has such as Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Taj Gibson, and Mike Dunleavy.

Two other key players for this series that must step up to win are Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert. Defensively they need to show up, but offensively Shumpert needs to hit perimeter shots and Thompson needs to continue his offensive rebounding giving Cleveland second chance points.

Is Kyrie Irving ready to accept the challenge and put the stamp on the “Superstar” label? This series will indeed determine that as he faces a Bulls team which is finally healthy and has been labeled as the Cavaliers only threat all year in the Eastern Conference, WITH Kevin Love and J.R. Smith.

This Round 2 series of the NBA Playoffs between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls will be the first big test of Kyrie Irving’s young career. Is he ready? We’ll find out this weekend. GO CAVS!

Kevin Love Rocks Cleveland Indians Hat in Hospital

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By Matt Stevenson

April 30, 2015

Game 4 of the Cavaliers-Celtics series ended in a sweep, but Cavaliers fans lost more than they won. 3 time All-Star Kevin Love dislocated his shoulder after getting tangled up with Celtics Kelly Olynyk and will miss 4-6 months after a successful surgery and, more importantly, the rest of the playoffs.

Much debate has been brought up amid the injury if Love, who has a player option with the Cavaliers, can opt-out of his current contract and become a free agent. 3 years of trade rumors when Love was on the Minnesota Timberwolves were consistently held up due to the lack of commitment teams were getting on Love resigning with any team he could be traded to.

The price to trade for Kevin Love was simply too high with no guarantee he would stick around for the long haul.

The Cavaliers ended up trading the 2014-2015 first overall pick, Andrew Wiggins, in a package with other first rounders and even the 2013-2014 first overall pick, Anthony Bennet, for Love. The Cavaliers executed the trade with a firm belief that Kevin Love would opt-out of his contract upon the end of this season, only to resign with Cleveland for a 5 year maximum contract worth about $120 million dollars.

The regular season had its ups and downs, but nobody received more criticism than Love. It was a daily topic on any media outlet whether it was ESPN, Bleacher Report, or even the local Cleveland news stations (and Minnesota’s as well I’m sure).

Kevin Love was left out of LeBron James’ Instagram photos, he was called out publicly by LeBron on Twitter claiming he needs to “Fit-In” and him clearly not having the same chemistry as the rest of the team on or off the court.

Kevin Love had the roughest season out of ANY player in the NBA this season in regards to the criticism from the media.

The reports of him leaving Cleveland because he doesn’t want to retain the lesser role, in which he currently does with the Cavaliers, is a legitimate argument. In the next round if the Cavaliers don’t do well, will Kevin Love be motivated to burn the Cavaliers? As the fans and organization would learn his worth through a devastating playoff exit, he might feel even more offended and motivated to leave Cleveland.

But then the morning after his surgery, Kevin Love posted a simple picture on Instagram, the same app that has been used to exclude him from the Cavaliers. It’s a picture of him giving a thumbs up with an enormous smile on his face. The reason the photo is important is because he is wearing a Cleveland Indians hat.

This is not just a hat. It’s a symbol. Kevin Love is thanking the Cleveland fans for the love and support we’ve given him through the awful injury he endured. I believe this is a message to the fans of Cleveland that he is, indeed, staying put in Cleveland for years to come.

LaMarcus Aldridge Should Bolt Portland for San Antonio During Free Agency

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By Matt Stevenson

April 24, 2015

LaMarcus Aldridge is possibly the most under-rated star the NBA has seen is recent times. Leading the Portland Trail Blazers since 2006, Aldridge has revitalized the franchise and have become a post season threat to any playoff team.

But Aldridge is a free agent after this season and his unhappiness with the organization is being reported by numerous sources. Also, look at how awful this team looks against the Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs so far.

Despite the rumors this season and last season as well (Blazers were rumored to be offering up Aldridge last season) LaMarcus has repeatedly voiced his desire to stay in Portland… Except we haven’t heard that lately.

A Texas native and a Texas University alum, the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs are the two teams that may actually have the money to land him. It was recently reported that San Antonio might even already be discussing a free agent meeting with him.

Why would Aldridge want to leave though?

Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum are quality players for any team in this league and have both proven their value as shooters and defenders. But Robin Lopez is too inconsistent to be a starter on a championship team and Meyers Leonard is questionable to be on any team. Aldridge’s help down low is awful in the paint, and he is solely relied upon by his teammates to defend and attack in the post.

But hold on, what about Damian Lillard? This is where I believe it gets sticky.

Aldridge has worked his ass off for the Blazers organization ever since he came as a rookie, and has put up with the injuries of Greg Oden and Brandon Roy and mediocre replacements they paired him with… while still some how posting winning records.

The Portland Trail Blazers this season made it obvious that Damian Lillard is who they want to be the face of the franchise. Although maybe more flashy and fun to watch than a post-dominant player like Aldridge, Lillard came into a team that had a set starting lineup in Matthews, Batum, Aldridge and Lopez. He meshed in great and easy with his skill-set, but he should’ve with such a good group of guys around him.

There should be no doubt that Aldridge is upset with this because it has always been HIS team until now. Lillard has whoa’d the NBA fans and, more importantly, the men wearing suits in the Portland Trail Blazers front office.

Tony Parker staying put, the Spurs also have nice depth, and of course Kawhi Leonard coming into a contract year as well. It’s a great situation for both the Spurs and Aldridge if they can afford to pair Kawhi and LaMarcus. Of course, big questions revolve around Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan regarding their possible retirements. The thought of not having to pay income taxes and returning to his home town of Texas is nice too.

The Trail Blazers had a great run but treating a star like Aldridge they way they have in order to get the younger, fresher Lillard’s brand famous is not the way to handle that situation. I predict LaMarcus Aldridge will bolt Portland for San Antonio during NBA Free Agency this summer and the Spurs will , yet again, have a great 10-year future as a league powerhouse.

2015 NBA First-Round Playoff Preview

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By Matt Stevenson

April 18, 2015

Although I say this every year, I AM BEYOND EXCITED FOR THE 2015 NBA PLAYOFFS! The amount of legitimate contenders this year has separated this year’s playoffs from the rest, and significantly so.

The Eastern Conference finally has several power houses that can make the first two-rounds somewhat interesting for the first time since Boston’s Big Three left. Then, of course, we have the usual for the Western Conference. This conference is once again more loaded than your Aunt Ruth’s potatoes! A Clippers-Spurs first round match as well as Mavericks-Rockets is awesome.

I think three questions are critical to answer for the Eastern Conference: Can LeBron and the Cavaliers continue their dominance? Can Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler coincide for a deep playoff run? Will the Atlanta Hawks prove to be a real threat to the future of the Eastern Conference?

In the first round I think the two-seeded Cavaliers win every single positional battle and will breeze through Boston, although I think Boston will take one game, Cavs in 5. The Atlanta Hawks earned the first seed with an incredible display of teamwork in the regular season, also breaking the franchise record with over 60 wins. The obliterated the Brooklyn Nets in the season series 4-0 and I expect nothing less. Although I’m a huge Joe Johnson fan, and Brook Lopez is playing the best basketball he has since he got paid, Atlanta has everything going for them. Hawks 4-0. Boy, what if we would’ve seen a Pacers-Hawks first-round matchup though? Last year’s 1 vs 8 seed went to 7 games between the two and was great basketball.

Raptors against the Wizards is an interesting matchup, as both have more of the “complete team” philosophy. However, the Wizards just haven’t been able to click the way thought they could while the Raptors are playing tough basketball. Kyle Lowry is proving his max contract worth this season when healthy. I thought them nabbing Paul Pierce really could make them threats to any team in the East. Raptors in 6. The last first round matchup in the East is the Bulls vs Bucks. This series is simple for me, Jason Kidd has proved to be a good coach willing to get to players. But without significant depth like the Bulls have (not to mention they have experience as well) the Bucks won’t last. Derrick Rose will get the go to be himself again I think and create a spotlight on the Bulls as reporters will start to get nutty with the idea of a Cavs-Bulls second round matchup. Bulls in 4.

So in the Eastern Conference we have a second round matchup between Chicago and Cleveland and Toronto and Atlanta as most expected. I predict the Cavaliers will prevail in this conference as LeBron, Kyrie and K-Love will prove to be too much to handle for the rest of the field.

Now the fun part, attempting to dissect the Western Conference. This is much like March Madness as it might be easier to decipher my picks by flipping a coin, but I will indeed choose off my knowledge of the game. I see only one matchup that will be done in 4 and that is the Warriors vs Pelicans. I love love LOVE Anthony Davis, but he’s going up against the most dangerous shooting team in NBA history. But this shooting team can also beat them in every other way because they can stick David Lee, Draymond Green or Andrew Bogut on Davis. Warriors in 4. Grizzlies vs LaMarcus Aldridge’s Blazers can be a great series, however I think it will be done quickly. No Wesley Matthews or Batum for the Blazers therefor relying on who? Alonzo Gee… LaMarcus Aldridge is one of my favorite players in the league but him and Lillard can’t get it done by themselves against an experienced Grizzlies team. Memphis in 5.

Now my two favorite matchups in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Houston Rockets taking on rival Dallas Mavericks is an exceptionally great first rounder to watch. The Rockets won the season series 3-1, but I have a bad feeling about this. There is one key factor in this series, Rajon Rondo. If Rondo can finally mesh with the Mavs (which he hasn’t so far) they have the best starting line up top to bottom. But of course, what about James Harden? He is my pick for MVP and with Dwight Howard they are a scary team. But they don’t have the guards to defend Dallas’. Scoring won’t be a problem for Harden, as it never is. But I think Dirk Nowitzki has a favorable matchup, as does Rondo. Oh yes, Chandler Parsons who darted Houston for Dallas last summer is going to show his previous franchise why they should have paid him. With two great guards in Monte Ellis and Rondo and the absence of lock down defender Patrick Beverly, I’ll take the Mavs in 7.

Perhaps the most exciting first round matchup in NBA history in my opinion, the young and freakishly athletic Clippers host the defending Champion Spurs. Chris Paul said last week, the window is closing for the Clippers to figure it out and he is salivating for that trophy. I think he gives the Spurs problems and will make Tony Parker go to work. Griffin and Jordan pose threats to the Spurs as well and I think they will do a surprisingly good job defending Duncan. But the X Factor is Kawhi Leonard will come through. JJ Reddick and Jamal Crawford aren’t going to stop him, and Matt Barnes is too old to play significant minutes against Leonard. He’s in a contract year, and the Spurs know Duncan and Ginobili may very well retire this season. Pop and the Spurs get it done, in miserable fashion,  by a series at 4-2.

So in the Western Conference we look forward to a Warriors vs Grizzlies and Spurs vs Mavericks. Talk about great basketball. However, in this conference I pick the Warriors to head to the NBA Finals. Although I am a firm believer in the philosophy that just shooting doesn’t win championships, the Warriors are young, fresh and healthy. In which is the Spurs’ weak point because I don’t see the Spurs having the guards to defend the Splash Brothers along with the athletic Livingston off the bench.

So Cavs and Warriors in the NBA Finals and as a Cleveland fan I’m going Cavs. The time has come and it’ll be a great year for Cleveland. The NBA playoffs are finally among us, and they are going to generate much excitement across the sports world. The first round has incredible potential regarding match ups and it will spark the greatness to follow.

NBA MVP Race During the Final Stretch

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By Matt Stevenson

April 6, 2015

The NBA MVP race is coming down to the wire with a 5-star cast. LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Steph Curry are all playing at a phenomenal rate as the season winds down.

Harden and Westbrook both have led their teams despite losing valuable teammates such as Dwight Howard for Harden, and Kevin Durant for Westbrook. LeBron James showed his worth during his 2 week break as the Cavs went 1-7 during that stretch and have looked damn near flawless since. Then, of course, there is Steph Curry who seems as if he’s making memes out of everyone he faces up against. All 4 are having incredible seasons and it is difficult to pick and choose only one player in such a competitive season.

For Steph Curry, his Golden State Warriors currently possess the 1st seed in the Western Conference and also hold the NBA’s best record at 62-13, 6 games ahead of the next best record held by the Atlanta Hawks. Shooting nearly 44% from 3 point range and 59% from the field, Curry is in the top 5 for each respective category.

The super splash brothers have been a force to be reckoned with, but that’s what many are holding against Steph Curry.

Curry has an unbelievable amount of talent around him, arguably the best surrounding crew in the whole NBA. Kay Thompson and Draymond Green are both deserving of max contracts while David Lee, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut are no scrubs either. This team has big time players with experience and is a dangerous team to face down the stretch.

So Curry might have easily had the best season with team success as well as individual success, but the talent around him may end up hurting him in the end.

Next lets talk about the king himself, LeBron James. As mentioned earlier we noticed how awful the Cavaliers played when LeBron was out for his two-week break and how good they were when he returned. Arguably the most dangerous team in the league, the Cleveland Cavaliers have successfully defied the laws of throwing together a new team and staff while actually winning.

It doesn’t happen often. Steve Kerr of the Warriors is a rookie coach as well, however he went into a system under previous Golden State Coach Mark Jackson that had the same players with great team chemistry. This Cavs team has a rookie Head Coach in David Blatt, except he doesn’t know the NBA like Kerr does. Oh, and only 3 players from last years team are even on the current roster.

However, there are some scratches on the surface to LeBron’s MVP case. Similar to Curry, LeBron has a gifted roster full of talent and potential. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love obviously are two of the top players in the league, despite the disappointing season of Love. JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson are also worthy of mentioning as the great talent this Cavs team holds. Finally buying into David Blatt’s system, this Cavs team truly is a Championship contender and may even be the favorite.

In Houston all I hear is “Fear the Beard” from the Rockets fans. This man has really put the pressure on Oklahoma City to win soon as they traded possibly the best scorer in the league. His versatility is hard to compare as he is not afraid to take a shot on any part of the court. It seems like he has a 40-point game each week and his team currently holds the 2 seed in the brutal Western Conference.

Oh yeah, by the way this is without All-Star Center Dwight Howard and starting Point Guard Patrick Beverly. An injury plagued roster and losing the 3rd counterpart in Chandler Parsons from last season would assembly doom this Houston Rockets team, similar to how the Thunder currently hurt. Except Hardens Rockets are winning. Consistently winning despite the injuries are something all other MVP candidates can’t compete with.

But wait, Russell Westbrook is on a more injury prone team with last years NBA MVP, Kevin Durant, out for the season along with injuries to pretty much half of the roster. Although true, there is one big difference between Harden and Westbrook… Harden is sitting in the 2 spot in the West while Westbrook and the Thunder and fighting for their playoff lives. 11 triple-doubles by Westbrook is as incredible as it gets on an individual standpoint, however they aren’t always getting his team wins.

There have been point guards, recently and in past-time that have put up similar numbers yet still won. Jason Kidd did it in New Jersey in the early 2000’s while the big “O” Oscar Robinson did it as well back in the old days. If Westbrook and his Thunder don’t make the playoffs, it’s hard to even mention him in the discussion.

After this long post, I think it’s safe for me now to make a decision on my MVP for this season and I’m going to have to go with James Harden. As a biased Cavaliers fan, it hurts to give it to someone else aside LeBron, but Harden hasn’t had the talent LeBron and Curry have all year while still putting up incredible numbers as well as winning. This is no landslide this year and as a matter of fact, this is the tightest MVP race the league has seen in recent time.

This exhilarating MVP race is just the beginning of a post-season in which has me extremely excited due to the amount of legitimate contenders. Of course, the MVP is announced during the playoffs so as this exciting season winds down we look forward to the NBA playoffs. James Harden gets my vote, but it will definitely be a close one.

Ohio State’s Logan Stieber Earns 4th National Title and Indents Name in Wrestling History

By Matt Stevenson

March 30, 2015

National Championships for wrestling began in 1929 and each year 330 wrestlers compete in March in hopes of winning the title. Ohio State University’s red-shirt senior, Logan Stieber, established himself as one of the greatest wrestlers in NCAA history becoming only the 4th of all time to win 4 National Championships. Not only did Stieber imprint his name in history, Ohio State University also won their first National Championship.

Also becoming the first Ohio State wrestler to win 4 consecutive Big Ten titles, Stieber’s accomplishments on the mat are far from over. He has his mind already set on the U.S. Open and hopes to make the World team so he can compete in the Olympics.

Stieber netted his second undefeated season this year with a final record of 29-0, while his career record sits at 119-3. Individual awards for this season included the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler award as well as the NWCA Most Outstanding Wrestler award.

Stieber overlooks his individual awards as winning the first team title in OSU history was the way he wanted to finish his impeccable career. Stieber would go on to state, “It means so much, it’s just hard to put into words. It’s something we’ve wanted so bad. Our coaches, they’ve been sick. They’re so anxious, so nervous, they want to win so bad. Everyone wants to win so bad. I’m happy to be a part of this team.”

Tom Ryan, Logan Stieber’s coach, added that Stieber steered the team in the right direction in order for the Buckeye’s to win their first National Title. Ryan would go onto add, “To think that this little kid from a small farm town in Monroeville, Ohio, did what he did, is pretty awesome, pretty amazing. I’m so happy for him and his family, and they believed early on in the process of us getting to the point we are. And now he can pass the torch to the other guys.”

Logan Stieber is a wonderful, young man and gave a little insight on a big factor on why he was a 4-time National Champion. He never experienced nervousness and pressure was never a worry to him. “I haven’t been nervous at all” Stieber admitted. “If I have an inch of nervousness, I push it out right away. And this is fun. It’s like wrestling in the practice room. I really, really enjoy it. And it’s a little bit of relief to be done and be able to, I guess, celebrate with my family and friends.”

Logan’s cordial attitude is surely a factor of his incredible career as a wrestler for the Scarlet and Grey, and goes down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time in Division 1. Congratulations to Logan and good luck as he works towards the ultimate goal of becoming an Olympic Champion and adding towards his unimaginable career.

Cleveland Browns Tossing Bread in the Pond for Oregon Duck, Mariota

By Matt Stevenson

March 25, 2015

The Cleveland Browns didn’t make much of a splash in the first week of free agency, letting big-name targets walk away while trying to keep the boatloads of money in their pocket from falling out.

The Browns added Quarter Back Josh McCown, Defensive Linemen Randy Starks, Defensive Back Tramon Williams, and of course Wide Receivers Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe.

With two first round picks the Browns were expected to snag a WR and DL due to the availability of talent at those respective positions. However, now with boosting both positions, the Browns aren’t really in need of first-round talent at these positions.

So with two picks in the first round, where exactly do the Browns go from here? Wait for it folks… the Cleveland Browns will once again try to trade up for a Quarter Back for the second consecutive year.

That’s right, I said it! After the horrid Manziel saga ending with him in rehab for the past few months, the Browns have once again fell in love with a QB, Marcus Mariota. Before I begin my reasoning behind this, let’s explore why we would even consider it.

Mike Pettine voiced his plans and concerns at the NFL Owners Meeting today, March 24th. He revealed a lot of information regarding the upcoming season. The Browns expect to have Johnny Manziel at camp on April 20, as his rehab stint has reportedly shown great signs of improvement although no date has been specified for his discharge. Pettine also addressed the QB situation adding the draft, “will be another opportunity to address the position” as well as stating “Two 1st round picks gives you options, QB the 1 position trading up becomes viable”. Pettine also went on to praise Mariota for his intelligence while adding he hasn’t had any private workouts with anyone and they’re very aware and informed due to the relationship between Mariota and O’Connell.

The signing of the 2 WR is odd, especially considering both have eclipsed 1,000 yard seasons numerous times… Hartline and Bowe aren’t number 1 receivers but they’re also no scrubs. Let’s not forget about Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel, in which both impressed the organization and fans their first year with the Browns.

Defensive line still remains in question after losing Jablaal Sheard and Ahtyba Rubin in free agency although with Phil Taylor, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, Armonty and Desmond Bryant, Billy Winn and the newly signed Randy Starks, there isn’t much room for drafting a starting linemen in the first round.

Now to Mariota. Owner Jimmy Haslam said recently that the Cleveland Browns will not succeed in the NFL without a top-10 caliber QB, and that the fix needs to come sooner than later. I’m not quite sure about you, but I know Josh McCown is not a top-10 QB. McCown is a decent starter for the short-term, but both McCown and the Browns know this. However, with trading up to draft the “future” and “face” of the Cleveland Browns last year in Manziel, it’s odd that the owner would act as if we don’t have our QB of the future. Clearly, Manziel is not a reliable option and has obviously disappointed the front office especially after Haslam’s comments.

But why Mariota? Mariota has numerous ties within the organization already, such strong ties that opposing General Managers were complaining to the NFL about it. New QB coach Kevin O’Connell worked Mariota out for 6 weeks prior to his signing with the team, although it was well-known O’Connell was going to be added to the staff. Mariota is comfortable with O’Connell, knows his style, how he likes to run a team starting with the Quarter Back position.

This all was happening in early February. Fast-forward to present time to Marcus Mariota’s Pro-Day a few weeks ago on March 12. Guess who ran the flashy Oregon QB’s Pro-Day? You got it, Kevin O’Connell was. Not only was he calling plays for the young prospect, but he also had Mariota in the huddle with his players. This is an unusual event at a Pro-Day, as it’s usually just throwing and mechanics for Quarter Backs, however O’Connell had Mariota display his leadership as well almost as if it was his own player.

With the top 2 WR likely to be taken by the Browns’ first pick at 12, look for the Cleveland Browns to make a splash elsewhere potentially trading up a few picks to secure their guy. It’s not like we’ve been shy to do so as we’ve traded up to draft Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and of course the legendary Johnny Manziel.

With a big play threat in Dwayne Bowe who has had experience with winning teams, a slot receiver in Brian Hartline who can run routes better than a school bus, and the quickness of Gabriel and Hawkins, it seems like a fast-paced offense that has a certain Oregon Ducks name written all over it.

Leadership, personality, work-ethic and talent. These are the 4 traits that Mariota has possessed over his time at Oregon, 4 traits that Manziel lacks when compared to Mariota at QB.

It shall be an exciting draft once again for the Cleveland Browns, and all signs are pointing towards them tip-toeing their way into the top 5 picks to capture the Oregon Duck that will hopefully take them to the clear watered pond of success.

March madness… Is it the best sporting event of year?

By Matt Stevenson

March 20, 2015

The sun shines bright, the breeze enters through the cracked windows, and the birds are chirping once again! Spring is here which means the world of sports has reached its most fascinating event, March Madness.

This riveting event that generates millions of dollars each year is unlike any other sporting event due to the “win or go home” mentality the tournament endures.

This year we have a national powerhouse that has the rare opportunity to accomplish the idolized 40-0 record in Kentucky. Many believe this is the worst tournament field in recent years due to the lack of “good” bubble teams and lack of competition for Kentucky.

ESPN’s Colin Cowherd went as far as asking NBA D-League teams to face Kentucky and even thinks the Wildcats of Kentucky could win.

They have 2 of the 3 top big man prospects in Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns. Experience from last years finals team with the Harrison brothers starting at guard, and of course Trey Lyles starting at small forward. Let’s not forget about arguably the best bench in the land as well, as coach Calipari can literally substitute out the whole starting line up and still win quite easily. This year it’s Kentucky vs. the field.

Why is so much attention paid to this tournament though? Well a few reasons, for one everyone and anyone can make a bracket. So many say that they don’t watch college basketball so they don’t do the bracket, but the truth is nobody has ever even come close to perfecting one.

You have the office pools at work, the local bar pools, your high-school friends pool, even families have their own pools to do! Everyone gets involved and everyone has their own strategy.

From coin-flipping to just picking your favorite teams. Some try to use their expertise analysis to determine their perfect bracket, while some fill theirs out without even looking at the teams and just the seed numbers.

Of course, sports media wouldn’t focus so much attention on a tournament if it didn’t have the celebrity endorsements it has for years and even more now. Players such as Indiana Pacers Paul George, Cleveland Browns Joe Haden, and James Harden of the Houston Rockets all have their own tournament challenge inviting thousands of fans to interact with their favorite players at a shot at millions of dollars.

The rush of having the opportunity to win millions of dollars, watch your team win a National Championship, beating family and friends in friendly competition, and interacting with celebrities is awesome and it only happens once a year. But it’s not the reason why this is so special.

What makes this March Madness Tournament so captive is the fact that we are watching young kids live out their dreams. The back-and-fourth stretches of fast paced basketball, the physical moments when competitiveness outweighs thought, the pressure shots to advance to the next round, and what would March Madness be without the all too beloved buzzer beaters.

March Madness is an exhilarating event and the best time of the year in sports. While the kids that participate in the tournament work towards a career and to cut down the nets, us fans enjoy the unexplainable adrenaline rush as we watch our favorite teams take the ball up the court down 2 with 10 seconds left.

Will your team hit their buzzer beater to go down in the great history of March Madness or will your bracket get busted? Good luck to everyone with their brackets and enjoy this pulchritudinous tournament.

Oklahoma Loses Recruit Due to Racist Fraternity

By Matt Stevenson

March 16, 2015

Oklahoma University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been closed after a video of members rehearsing racist chants went viral. After an investigation took place, the two seen in the video leading the racist song-like chant have been expelled from the University as well. However, the football program has taken a loss also as 4-star recruit, Jean Delance, de-commited last week.

Delance, a highly scouted offensive linemen, gave his verbal commitment to Oklahoma last November and was looking forward to playing for the Sooners. Then the video went viral. Delance made a statement regarding the situation and confirmed the football program and staff had nothing to do with his decision to de-commit.

“It was very disturbing. I never thought that stuff was still trendy as much as it was back then or it could keep repeating itself. It was very disturbing. I didn’t like what was going on. I’m glad the way they handled it but that’s still a bad downside to me.”

With a 4-star recruit gone, questions are now raised if this is the start of a revolutionary movement. For years recruiting has been determined on how good the school’s football program is. You go to a school that will motivate the you as a person and as a football player in order to succeed in the NFL one day. However, with the Delance decision, will recruits look at this and take a stand?

This is an interesting opportunity here, and not just from a racism perspective. The environment and personalities of the student body have personally affected Oklahoma University’s recruiting in this case. My belief is that highly recruited players will take the student body into consideration more than ever before. There is no excuse for racism, or any sort of discrimination at this point in time.

Eric Striker, senior football player at Oklahoma University posted a video of himself expressing his anger towards the fraternity. He stated later that there is a “very real divide between the predominantly black athletes and the predominantly white fraternities”.

Striker also recalled attending some of these fraternities parties with former running back, David Smith. While they welcomed the black athletes in, they would shout racial slurs and warn others that they “should watch out for Smith, because he might take a girl home and rape her” due to supposed “stereotypes” according to the members of the fraternity.

The bottom line is that while there is a larger problem at hand, the student body is now personally affecting recruiting for a sport that brings in large amounts of profit year after year. Delance made a very honorable, bold decision to de-commit from the University. Hopefully, student bodies across the United States understand that racism has no place in today’s society and learn from the inexcusable actions from these students. 

Cleveland Browns Eyeing Expensive Free Agent Darrelle Revis

By Matt Stevenson

March 11, 2015

Darrelle Revis is set to become a free agent and is looking for a big payday once again. Coming off a Super Bowl with the Patriots, the top-notch corner back was let go by the Patriots after they neglected to pick up his $20 million team option for next year. This leaves a stellar player on the market in which has seen the highest quality players already gone.

The Cleveland Browns are an intriguing team when it comes to Revis due to what they have to offer him. We can offer him boat loads of money, which many other teams can as well. However, we also can offer the best CB tandem in the league to Revis, pairing him up with All-Pro CB Joe Haden. Lastly, “Revis Island” was invented during his best years of his career under former Jets Defensive Coordinator, a guy by the name of Mike Pettine… Cleveland Browns current Head Coach.

The Cleveland Browns have more than $50 million dollars to spend this summer and so far have been quite in Free Agency, although they did sign WR Brian Hartline to a 2 year deal.

With no big splash made and the highest regarded free agents off of the market, many are wondering where the Browns will spend their money and Revis might be the route to take.

There are no doubts that Revis will get offers from teams that are in contention for a Championship, but it comes down to how much money is he willing to give up at the cost of competing for another Super Bowl.

The Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Patriots are all big plays for Revis. Of course, the Patriots are the only team that can contend right now, but you’d have to imagine there is some tough love after not picking up Revis’ team option.

With Joe Haden already proven as a top-5 CB in the NFL, the Browns can offer Revis Island a CB tandem that no other team can offer him. Justin Gilbert was a first round pick last year and struggled his first season but showed flashes of his potential. Revis would be able to help Gilbert develop but also the 3 together are a perfect fit for Pettine’s press man-cover scheme.

The options are on the table to CB Darrelle Revis, and there are some good ones. Coming off of a Super Bowl, Revis will be getting attention from almost every team in the league. Despite the Patriots attempting to re-sign him for less money, the Cleveland Browns surprisingly have significant benefits to offer Revis that most teams in the NFL can’t.

Expect a hectic week of reporting regarding Revis as the sweepstakes have officially started. One thing will remain no matter what team signs him, there will be millions of dollars spent on the elite CB known as Revis Island.