Monday, March 15, 2010

My take on what has become known as the Blogosphere

Over the course of my college quarter in my english class, we have experimented with blogs (weblogs posted by people by means of informing or just giving an opinion. We've done numerous things with the concept of how they work such as reading and interpreting professional (or veteran) blogs, as well as keeping our own (novice) blogs on record for which to communicate and share our opinions with the rest of the class about various topics. In doing so, we've developed a little knowledge of the way blogging works. It's been an interesting process: one which I think I've gathered enough thought and experience to convey what I think of what has become a world wide phenomenon. This is the Blogosphere.

Through the class we read two perceptive articles on what the blogosphere is and how it has influenced the online society. I have found these two exerpts to reflect what I have come to think of blogging and it's ranking in our society. In "The Internet Is Not Killing 0ff Conversation But Actively Encouraging It" by Douglas Rushkoff, the focus is on how the "news" and informatively biased material we see in not only weblogs, but in other internet feeds do nothing but give us as people a means of social interaction in which to make conversation.

The other article our classed took a look at was not as broad as Rushkoff, but just as biased. Neale Talbot's "Weblogs (Good God Y’all) What are They Good For? (Absolutely Nothing- Say it again)", spoke only on, well... the blog standpoint of things. Talbot argues that the concept and use of blogs is over hyped and should not be viewed as a revolution. The author backs up this statement by saying weblogs aren't anything new, and that they've been around awhile. "The only difference of late has been the addition of personal
commentary and history into the posts, an obvious influence
from the equally old Web journals" is what Talbot says.

I believe both of these authors are on to something, and that together they summarize what the blogosphere is. While I am convinced by both authors, I have to say I'm more so with what Talbot was conveying. One of the things Talbot says pretty much sums up how I feel about the blogosphere. That would be when he says "Weblogs are the next geocities" I love the connection here. Overall, people just want to be heard, and blogs gives equal opportunity to everyone who wants to do so. In a sense though, this can be seen as what makes it so unique. There are so many things to be talked about. Appeal and promotion are how most things become acknowledged is it not.

I myself maybe in that category. I can't really say. Although I don't think the blogosphere will be eradicated, or anything of the sort, anytime soon.

Works Cited

Krolik, John. “Recap: Magic 101, Cavs 95 (Or the Time The Cavs Lost Three Games in a Row).” Cavs: The Blog.21 Feb, 2010

Rushkoff, Douglas. The Internet Is Not Killing 0ff Conversation But Actively Encouraging It”. We’ve Got Blog. MA: Perseus Pub 2002. 116-118.

Talbot, Neale. “Weblogs (Good God Y’all) What are They Good For? (Absolutely Nothing- Say it again)” . We’ve Got Blog . MA: Rerseus Pub, 130-132

There are different types of fans in the world. I suppose there could be a distinction among how they are classified. The best example I can think of is a Liberal/ Conservative approach. They are your average fans who will root for a club and stuff like that. Then you have the committed people who go out and paint themselves riding for their squad. People like this may end up and all, but I believe there lies a line that is crossed when you blog about your team losing, and the words you use quickly become a tad critical. The author of a recent blog, John Krolik, does this and quite frankly, it annoying. Although I do agree with him in some aspects of his blog post, it is hard to tell if the guy is a Cavs fan or not.

In "Recap: Magic 101, Cavs 95 (Or, The Time The Cavs Lost Three Games In a Row" , John Krolik (author), elaborates on two main points. One involved how he believed the absence of Zydrunas Ilgauskas had major implications on the outcome of those three games. Basically the line of defense that comes in after Shaq does his duty. He says “after Shaq comes out, the unit Z heads up has been extremely productive.” Krolik goes on to talk about how the absence of Ilgauskas in the back up squad showed weakness and further more was the reason for the consecutive losses. While big Z was a contemporary piece of the way Cleveland did things, the wine and gold have guys that can play. Athletes like J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao are exemplary athletes who need to step it up in the event that Ilgauskas doesn’t come back after getting his contract bought out. The other half of Krolik’s thesis is in regards to the Cavaliers performance in the third quarter in games: particularly against premier teams like those whom they played in the games Krolik is discussing (Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets). Krolik claims that this has been a big problem dating back to last season. Saying “They tend to get stagnant offensively going into the second half. I support this notion.

As I said earlier, Ilgauskas has done too many great things to count for Cleveland in every aspect. But I don’t think we NEED him. Yes, it would be great if he came back to as after all the buyout drama and helped us win the championship this year. I believe we have the necessary tools to fill that void though, at least in the event that he doesn’t come back. It all comes down to chemistry. The post-trade rotation, while slowly becoming more coherent, is still not fully intact. What team can get and lose guys, and still play their same style of basketball? After a couple more weeks and a good homestretch, the James Gang will be in great playoff shape. Ilgauskas is NOT the reason for these recent losses.

As for Krolik’s innate evaluation on third quarter performance, I have to agree with him. Last year we were arguably the best first quarter team in the league. That led to a great number of halftime leads. Though in that first quarter, especially in these recent ball games, it takes entirely too long for the offensive to reshape. Krolik’s research on the games against the Nuggets and Magic show that the Cavs got ran with a 13-3 ending against Denver and a finishing 8-2 in Orlando. This is not going to get it done against the Lakers and the other potential title contenders. He also touches on how the third quarter issue has been solved with the recent addition of forward Antawn Jamison. This is another point I which I feel I must express my agreement. I support his claim falling back on a game against the Magic, saying “the third quarter was easily the best quarter for the Cavs, and Jamison was the reason why”. Cleveland now has a solid 4-man in the post. While Varejao does his duty, c’mon, it’s Jamison.

Overall, I think Krolik was being a tad overly critical, and was possibly blinded by anger of the team’s game outcomes. Though I agree that the action of being a critic is an occupation of the fan, I think there is a point where it can eventually become bashing. I didn’t like the way Krolik put down the Cavs defense and based the problems solution on a guy I would love to have back, but don’t need. I think if I talked to him, maybe we could come to an understanding. Perhaps I’m looking at it all wrong. Who knows?

One of my first experiences as a cavs fan

Everyone has something that inspires them in some way, shape, or form. If there is something we do constantly and faithfully, there is usually a reason for why we continue to do it. Like that author that ends up eventually writing an astounding piece of literature after that seemingly lifetime writers block. What sparked into that persons head to get him/ her over that hump? What is it that tweaks us and eventually helps us look at the Brightside? Inspiration is a complex mechanism that can make its mark in a variety of ways.

I am a die-hard Cleveland Cavaliers fan as well as a basketball player. I have understood the concepts and everything else about this game for as long as I can remember. Like 90% of lil’ African- American basketball dreamers I deeply idolized Number 23 on the Chicago Bulls. Yep, that would be Michael Jordan. Of course I am a Cavs fan first, for my family is full of Cleveland Cavs followers. Anyway, we had a pretty elite franchise in Cleveland in the late ‘80s as well as the early ‘90s. With Mark Price leading the way as commander-in-chief alongside Creig Ehlo and defensive stopper Ron Harper, we were always contenders in the Eastern Conference. But we always had issues battling Jordan and his six-time champion bulls. As Cleveland fans we were still faithful though. No confidence was shattered in our team. That is, until the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals.
I wasn’t born when this series went down, but my family kept bringing it up constantly every time Michael was on TV. Cleveland turned into a city with a playoff team. I unfortunately missed out on the good years. Looking back I’m pissed I was born just a year after one of the best season endings in NBA history!!! My dad would always tell me ”When you get to the NBA, you better get drafted to the Cavs and bring them back to life”. I always wanted to know what the hell it was that pissed off my family and many Cavalier lovers so much. My grandpa had the entire series on tape. So I watched them. The first two games were pretty uneventful but went back and forth game wise ending up 2-2. Knowing this, whatever happened in the decisive fifth game had to be what has been triggering the feelings everyone had been feeling. This was a doozy!
Cleveland had everything going for them from the tip-off. Generating an early 12-point lead definitely indicated the team’s determination to defeat these Bulls. “Ok..ok. I see where we’re goin with this”. The home court advantage being theirs also had a motivating effect. I honestly do not think I’ve seen a more electric crowd in Cleveland. At times, the people were drowning out the commentators doing the game! There was absolutely no sound coming from them as far as I was concerned. At least nothing but screams and shouts! Needless to say I’m liking the way things are going. Especially after back to back defensive stops on the Cavs end were converted into points.

We had answers for him defensively for about the first quarter and a half, but soon Jordan decided he was going to start playing his game. Ron Harper was getting lit up by a variety of different moves, as opposed to the previous one-on-one sequences. Triple-threat one dribble pull-up to the right for three? Yes. How about splitting a double team and taking it straight up with the other teams big man with no other intention but to dunk on him? Yes. These are just a couple of the seemingly impossible things this man did on my Cavs. When the third quarter was all said and done, Cleveland was still up, but there was clearly a shift in momentum and it was in the most dangerous person’s hands.

Fourth Quarter…Larry Nance makes a couple plays and Price is still playing like one of the best point guards in the league. They go up 9 points with 7 minutes left. Jordan shatters this with help from his team by generating three critical defensive stops attributing to followed baskets by Michael. Two of which include fouls with made free throws to add. From this point on it’s a back and forth game. I’m totally in sync with the crowd emotionally. We'd made a play, I’d hop like a jackrabbit. But when that No. 23 jersey went up on the other side of the court and finished something that everyone (even his teammates) knew should have went in, I was, just like the crowd, damn near about to pull my hair out. Rarely did the point differential go higher than 1.

About a minute and a half left the score is 96-95 Cleveland. This is a recorded game that had already happened, yet I was so into it I may as well have been there! My hands were all sweaty from gripping them for so long. By then I’d already smashed countless glasses and plates. Every time Mike made a free throw, it was another piece of china dropped or some article of furniture.

After baskets from both teams, Jordan hits an open jumper from 19-feet to make it 99-98. 20 seconds and counting Crieg Ehlo runs down the court, gets by a defender with help from a pick from a teammate to get to the basket for an open lay-up!! YEEEEESS!!! 100-99 “LEEEEEET’s GOOOOOOO!!!” I yell to the point where my mom had to come downstairs to make sure I was ok. Chicago calls time-out and MJ is still on the court which after my estatic celabration made me instantly panic. I completely forgot that I knew the result of the game this entire time and get my feelings hurt when he SOMEHOW gets open, gets the ball from the inbound, and with Ehlo damn near his face knocks down the 18 footer for the win!!!!! 101-100. “NOOOOOOO!!” I don’t have a record of how many things I broke, but lets just say I was grounded for a very LONG time.

That game pissed me off to the point where I was about to have the same outlook as my father. But then something happened. I have no clue where it came from. I felt this rush of thrill and excitement from this game I had just seen. I immediately think to myself “this is what its all about”. The entertainment. The excitement. Obviously I was still pissed about the broken hearts of my Cavs, but I realized that we all need to cherish those moments where we can get our adrenaline running simply from watching a series of events. To this day I value that feeling that we as fans can easily get. Oh and as far as the Cavs getting their mojo back? LeBron James is taking care of that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cavaliers 85 Bucks 92 (Or the game LeBron sat out for the first time)

LeBron has been amazing all season has he not? Of course, and if you don't think so: quite frankly you're an idiot. So why not give him a break for once right? He's only played in all previous 63 games: One would say he deserves it.

That's what the Cavs did Saturday night when they traveled to Milwaukee to play the Bucks(33-29) . Although the primary reason for James' sit-out was indeed rest, a minor ankle turn in a previous game against the Detroit Pistons served as another factor over the weekend. Jawad Williams, who has been playing pretty well as of late, was rewarded with the starting opportunity. I you recall, Williams is the man who got called up from the developmental league with a 10 day contract and ended up impressing the organization enough to earn a spot on the roster.

With Lebron in street clothes, the team struggled early despite coming into the game being the leagues best first quarter team. They only scored 14. While scoring was a problem early on, Antawn Jamison showed up second quarter on up: scoring 30 points to lead both teams and piled up a team high 11 boards. Delante West was the other Cavalier to help lead the rally with 27 points of his own. Even while have two power offensive performances (which is usually how the wine and gold get it done) free throws down the streatch proved as a vital killer. They only converted 62 percent of their 16 attempted foul shots. A 15-4 bucks run sealed the deal and ended the game at 92-85.

That's the recap of our Cleveland Cavaliers' first game without The King. I thought the game was winnable with Jamison has the primary scorer: inparticularly against this team. They aren't bad, but then again, they aren't the cream of the crop either. One could however argue that being down two superstar caliber players is a tad much when one is able to play. I don't know. Questions, thoughts, or comments? Let's chat!

Monday, March 1, 2010

No Superman for Cleveland!??

Just when a strand of chemistry was being made, the Diesel, Shaquille O'neal, gets injured. Instead of having Superman on the court, we will be having Clark Kent on the bench. What is this man!! In a recent game in which our Cleveland Cavaliers beat on the Boston Celtics, Shaq's thumb collided with an incoming celtic and badly stubbed it.

Now today it was confirmed that a successful surgery was completed; and that is great!! However, he'll be missing 8 weeks minimum. This leaves the wine and gold with no option but to play small. Now no one said this was bad, but no one said this could be good. We have no big to play with. At the start of the season, Cleveland had to all-star caliber bigs. Now we have none. Big Z is reportedly finishing up waivers to finalized free agent status. But teams are already making offers to get him. Though I have no doubt he will come back, anything can happen. Even if he does decide to return, he cannot play untill March 22 based on NBA regulations regarding free agency.

Back to the small ball talk. Projected lineups indicate that Anderson Varejao and Antawn Jamison will be made starters, in place of Shaq and J.J. Hickson who usually do. The usual James, Williams, and Anthony Parker control the frontcourt. While offense shouldn't be a problem with the utilization of this type of play, it will impact the way the team is used to playing defense. There is no longer an intimidating post presence in the paint. This will prove to be a true test for the wine and gold.

This transition will also serve as a chance for players to prove themselves as they may get more minutes than they are used to. Varejao, who always gets stater minutes will have to hold it down on the defensive end as well as being more assertive on the offensive. The seven rebounds per night he puts up may have to go up... alot. Same goes for J.J. Hickson. In particular, if these guys do what needs to be done, we'll be allright.

Jamison's numbers are about to SKYROCKET!!! I believe we will see the reason his aquisition with the team WILL bring us a championship. Any thoughts on what you think will happen in shaq's absence? Or how this affects the team? Shoot!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

What the f*$k??! 3 Straight losses?

It seems like it was yesterday I was talkin' with my boys about how unstoppable our Cavs were and what 13 straight victories meant for us in the eastern conference. I also have recent fond memories of the result of our trade campaign. "Aww snap, Antawn Jamison in tha house!!!". I remember thinkin that and envisioning LeBron finally getting a championship. It was great!

Then, things started happening: bad things. We loss the first game with Jamison in the lineup. I'm like "Ok, its cool. Just a matter of chemistry."

Game 2 since the trade: We get Mo Williams who as mentioned in earlier post has been out via injury. Things can only keep getting better right? Thats what I was thinking. Nope. A VERY impressioned 110-93 loss got branded on their jerseys against the Charlotte Bobcats (27-26). Jamison went 0-12 from the field. Needless to say, this loss hurt. Again, I believe chemistry is a factor here.

Game 3: If you're a true Cavs fan, you know what a game against the Orlando Magic means nowadays. Jamison showed up this game, blowin' up with 10 points and 8 boards. I don't need to tell you LeBron did his thing, coming up with 33. And yet, we still get the short end of the straw in this one. They do everything right, but lose 101-95 in a heartbreaker.

Three straight losses? Really?! Its so infuriating watching our guys play like this. Inpaticularly in that third game, it seemed as if chemistry was forming, what with having all of the guys out there. I firmly believe that Jamison is the type of talent needed to get to where we want to go. Thet just have to figure out shot distribution and whatever newly formed teams do. What do you think? Thoughts on this recent funk? Jamison's performance? Let's chat!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stoudemire= Championship??

I gotta say I've really grown tired of this trade deadline talk. Yes I touched on it a little bit, but whats going on in the NBA at the moment is ridiculous. As a NBA fan, I know this is the trade climax of the season and a big part of the season but DAMN!! This little tidbit is about the hype goin around with Amar'e Stoudemire and his involvement with the wine and gold as well as what it could mean for us.

Out of all the hundreds (ok, maybe thats an exaggeration) of possibilities proposed and talked about among General Managers, about five have been confirmed and labeled as major priorities. These include deals that would acquire Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, Indiana Pacers forward Troy Murphy, and the biggest and apparently the most desired prospect, Phoenix Suns Big man Stoudemire.

The deadline is the LAST CHANCE to amp their rosters up for playoff/ championship contention, prepare for early stages of rebuilding (buying out contracts or clearing up cap space for a draft pick etc.). It's pretty obvious that, based on the level Ferry and Co. seem to be pursuing him, Amar'e is what will get the Cavs over the Lakers. In the end this is what it's about. We all know the implications that were created when this team got formed in the beggining of last season. And what it was when we pull Shaq in. We ain't playin around. It's a championship, or its nothing.

Stoudemire is a well known entity in the league. He's coming off of one of his best seasons in which he played with O'neal in Phoenix. He averaged 21 points as well as 8 rebounds. While this trade doesn't inherit much talent that would would be given the Suns' way, the trade will open up space for some possiblilities in terms of the off-season. But we don't care about them. It's about that status of our Cleveland Crew! That trade deadline is Thursday. As much skepticism as theres been, there is alot of positive thoughts and feelings of assurance that this trade WILL go down.

Now I always have to put my view on here!

Like I say, the organization has made it blatantly obvious that Stoudemire is the caliber player Cleveland needs to finally get over that hump and back to the finals. Amar'e is a BEAST!! I would welcome him with open arms....if he wasn't so dependant on the ball being in his hand. Now theres nothing wrong with that. He's most effective in that regard. I just don't think thats what we need. We will not be able to function very well using the same system applied when He and Shaq were in Phoenix. In the event that this trade does go down, we will have to see what happens.

Honestly, although he wasn't a feature mention in here, I think Jamison would be a perfect fit for us. He puts almost the same type numbers, and I feel he'd be more open to a role-oriented gameplan. But thats just me.