The Locker Room
Go beyond the shows!Here in The Fan Locker Room you'll get insight and commentary from your favorite Fan personalities and reporters. Everything is game here, so you're guaranteed to find out what 97.1 The Fan thinks.
Did Akron Beacon Journal crime and courts reporter Phil Trexler come up with the scoop of the year, when it comes to the NBA hardcourt? Here he is on 97.1 The Fan discussing what LeBron James people have told Akron police about a possible announcement tonight.
Cedar point today tweeted the following:
This is not just idle talk a Cedar Point spokesman assured me. CEO Matt Ouimet threw out the idea this very morning, and the park is now committed to following through.
According to the spokesman, if LeBron James decides to return, there will be internal discussions as to which roller coaster gets a name change, and James is welcome to have some input.
"If he calls," said Bryan Edwards, "we'll certainly pick up the phone. He knows the park."
But what if James decides to stay in Miami? What part of the park might be renamed in honor of that Decision?
Edwards laughed and said, "Well, he certainly wouldn't be getting a roller coaster in that case."
As for the appropriateness of a roller coaster, given how the free agency drama has played out, that's apparently just a coincidence.
"This all goes back to our pride in calling Ohio home," Edwards said.
Blue Jackets first-round draft pick, Sonny Milano joined us in the 97.1 The Fan studio today. Here he is speaking to Bishop and Rothman.
A lot has been made of how crazy Cleveland sports radio has been of late. The LeBron James talk has whipped the locals up into a frenzy, the story goes. The tweets of cupcake factories as well as those of street wear models are being taken as gospel. Guests are being put on their air when their sole credential is their brother once met James at a Benihana. Every segment is preceded by a chorus of Skylar Grey singing, "I'm Coming Home."
Okay, that last thing might be true.
However, it's not like Miami sports talk has been an island of sanity. In fact, we sampled WQAM today and heard the following:
Caller "Craig" insisted that LeBron will stick with the Miami Heat because, "People get settled into a situation, and moving is kind of stressful, you know?" (To his credit, Craig did eventually acknowledge that James still has a home in Akron, but not before also criticizing Dan Gilbert's "witchcraft letter.")
Although not accusing the Cavaliers owner of consorting with the dark forces, caller Rick also felt LeBron was staying put. "Does LeBron go home for the better future, or stay in Miami and take the status quo? Well, the status quo is alternating years winning championships and making it to the finals every year."
Now his point about the Cavs' roster being unproven is fine, but apparently the Heat are guaranteed to take the title this upcoming season, because they'll play for it in an odd year?
It had the hosts of the Guzio and Donno Show wondering if all this was necessary. "That's what I haven't understood with any of this. Opting out? It puts pressure on Pat Riley? The guy knows he needs to make moves."
They also wondered if pitching the idea of playing with Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins was such a great move for Cleveland. "That is a big mistake for the Cavaliers. You're going to sell future to LeBron? He wants to win now."
Actually, he probably wants to win now and in the future, but that's not the pitch you want to use if you're selling the Heat.
Next on the air was Adam Kuperstein and former Dolphin Channing Crowder. Crowder, you may remember once said...well, some not very nice things about Cleveland.
He continued playfully tearing into the city again today. "They usually sit there and watch the Cavs win 30 games and the Cavs win 5. Cleveland's a tough place to live, man." That, he said, is why they're so excited about the thought of LeBron returning.
It's more than excitement, assured his co-host. It's downright delusion. "They think because a cupcake shop has reported LeBron James is coming, because some random dude tweeted that all the Cavs players think LeBron is coming, they all believe this is happening."
Cupcake shop is apparently Chris Broussard's new nickname.
Cleveland has replaced Miami as my frontrunner to land LeBron James...
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 7, 2014
Finally, The Marc Hochman Show with Zach Krantz opened with a nearly 4 minute musical tribute to LeBron, starting with James announcing his Decision four years ago today.
After that, they got a little bit distracted watching the beautiful women of Brazil mourning their team's performance at the World Cup. "A Brazilian wax is surely better than a German wax," Hochman assured us.
It was crazy, passionate sometimes contradictory conversation...In other words, just like the discussion going on in Cleveland, it was pretty fun.
You’ve probably read a summary of the police report elsewhere; but since we couldn’t find the full report on the web, we are posting the complete* account of police as to why they ended up arresting Buckeye Tracy Sprinkle at a nightclub in Lorain July 5th.
To read it, click here.
Ohio State today announced today that Sprinkle is not part of the team, pending the outcome of his legal case.
*Well, nearly complete. We did redact some information when it came to phone numbers and addresses of witnesses, and so forth. These redactions were made by us, not the police.
It’s Wednesday, and if this was still winter or spring, Ohio State football players would be getting lessons on “Real Life” from a speaker brought in by head coach Urban Meyer.
Some of the speakers were former Buckeyes like Clark Kellogg and Robert Smith. Zach Domicone’s speech might have been especially impactful, given that he only graduated two years ago, and so is now himself starting to put in place the principles being taught.
“Now that Zach talked it out, about the pathway,” said offensive lineman Joel Hale, “it’s a lot more visible to me and how it works.”
“He’s got a steady job with good income,” added fellow offensive lineman Taylor Decker, “and just for him to lay that out so you can really see how he put it into effect and it really worked for him, it was pretty interesting.”
Four representatives, including Zach Domicone, were busy talking to Buckeyes about careers with Limited Brands. pic.twitter.com/bnaysI4NRm — Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) June 23, 2014
Even a player like Decker, who anticipates going to the NFL, says Domicone’s experience has taught him he needs a “plan B.”
Teammate Michael Bennett is in a similar situation.
Realizing the average NFL career is only about 3 years, Bennett says he has been exploring his options.
“People always ask what you’re going to do after football,” said Bennett, “and I’m not sure yet. So the plan is to get my name out there, try to talk to some people, find out what I like and what I would like to build a career out of, not just a job.”
Appropriately enough, at the time the nattily attired Bennett made the remark, he had just finished handing out his resume at the Ohio State athletics department job fair.
“This is the culmination of ‘Real Life Wednesdays,’” he said.
There were more than 50 companies in attendance, some of which you would expect to be interested in hiring athletes. Nike sent representatives. ESPN was there. The Browns, Blue Jackets and Crew all spoke to the Ohio State players.
There were also grocery chains, real estate companies and the Columbus secret service.
They were all there to provide a chance to network, and make no mistake, networking is key.
“[Ohio State athletics director] Gene Smith never interviewed for a job, which is insane,” Hale said. “He spoke to us about networking, and who you know, creating relationships, being nice to people.”
Smith isn’t the only person for whom networking has paid off. Zoology major Decker says he received an internship with the Columbus Zoo thanks to who he met at last year’s job fair.
“I worked in the promotions department,” Decker explained. “Any events, we would travel, take the animals, mingle with people, talk about the animals. Then we also raised a lot of the baby animals. I loved it.”
OSU says they had 20 players interning with various companies this May.
“We live a surreal life right now, being a college athlete,” Hale said. “We don’t know what real life is, and that’s going to be the biggest transition, the hardest transition. I have to have my plan B ready to roll.”
LeBron James told the Heat this morning that he was opting out of his contract. No surprise there. Even less of a surprise? That decision (lowercase d) will result in a meeting with Miami's Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh sometime in the near future.Yahoo Sports says the three are trying to figure out if there's a way for them to remain with the Heat while simultaneously upgrading the rest of the roster.
What may be a surprise is that Yahoo also says LeBron is interested in a possible "sign-and-trade scenario with the Los Angeles Clippers in which James could play with close friend Chris Paul" as well.
LeBron, who seemingly has numerous friends in the NBA, is also described as being close with Carmelo Anthony, and ESPN has a piece today describing how a handful of teams, including the Lakers, Hawks and Cavaliers have all made moves giving them the flexibility they would need to sign James and Anthony.
But according to the Twittersphere, LeBron's options are even wider than that.
Hey @KingJames! Heard you're opting out?? We've got a new team for you: The #USMNT! #LetsDoThis #OneNationOneTeam pic.twitter.com/I4Uj7O4b1x — U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 24, 2014
The hockey world has been especially aggressive in pursuing the 6'8", 250 pound forward. Here are a few of the teams hoping to be the beneficiary of a LeBron James' Decision (capital D).
.@KingJames You know, you'd be 6'10" on skates... #justsaying — Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) June 24, 2014
We'll wait for "The Decision II" but @KingJames would look good in Ottawa red. MT @KeeganHewitt: .@Senators will you guys be signing Lebron? — Ottawa Senators (@Senators) June 24, 2014
.@KingJames follow for DM — NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) June 24, 2014
LeBron James opts out of contract with Heat. Penguins add him to list of coaching candidates. — Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) June 24, 2014
It should be noted that not every team was quite as eager to jump on that bandwagon.
@TheHawksOpinion who?— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 24, 2014
Yesterday the Blue Jackets traded left wing RJ Umberger and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick to Philadelphia for left wing and fan favorite Scott Hartnell.
Flyers fans have been taking it kind of hard.
Hope you did end up getting video of that, Donald! Until then, we have this Hartnell tribute to warm the cockles of our hearts.
The Blue Jackets traded 32-year-old left wing RJ Umberger and a fourth round draft pick in 2015 to Philadelphia for 32-year-old left wing Scott Hartnell. Here you can listen to the latest CBJ addition.
In this teleconference, he discussed how playing against Columbus last year made him wonder, "Who are these little turds?"
Then he joined Common Man and Company and described being the most hated man in Pittsburgh.
If there’s one guy you think would have nothing but terrible memories of Columbus, Ohio, it might be former Blue Jackets bench boss Gerard Gallant. He took over when Doug MacLean stepped down as head coach January 1, 2004 and lasted until November 13, 2006 without experiencing much success.
But when he was introduced as the Panthers new head man today, Turk had this to say about his time leading the CBJ:
“I think that the Columbus days, you know, you look back at our record and I think I was 20 games under 500. To me, I thought the Columbus days were a real good experience for me. I mean, was I young coach at that time? Yes, I was. I didn’t have a whole lot of head coaching experience, but I had some assistant coaching experience…I think going back and getting fired from Columbus, what was real important for me…the key factor for me was going back [to the St. John's Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League] and working hard again, getting to work with young players. Getting the opportunity to go back after that to go to Montreal and coach two more years as an assistant there, I think the experience over the time is going to make me a better coach and a better person.”
The NBA Draft is coming up, and there's only one person more excited to see if Buckeye Aaron Craft is taken than Aaron Craft.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany testifed at the Ed O'Bannon hearing today. To see highlights of his testimony, click the story's headline.
A man prosecutors accuse of being a meth dealer led Minnesota police on a wild chase this week, and let’s just say it gave a new meaning to driving range.
There is video, and it looks an awful lot like an upscale Dukes of Hazard.
The chase ended at a North Dakota mall, where felony charges of fleeing police and destruction of property were added against the suspect.
Meanwhile, the police themselves are reviewing their decision to continue the chase through the course. The department’s policy is to stop pursuit when there are unnecessary “hazards to uninvolved bystanders or motorists.”
And these were certainly hazards the golfers did not anticipate.
The NHL today released the complete order of selection for the 2014 Draft. Here (as of now) are the picks that the Blue Jackets own:
Round 1, Pick 16
Round 2, Pick 38*
Round 2, Pick 47
Round 3, Pick 63 (from Edmonton via LA)
Round 3, Pick 77
Round 4, Pick 107
Round 7, Pick 197
The Draft is June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
*This is a conditional pick. The Duck can use this second round selection this year, or hold off on until next year. Should they defer, the CBJ will step to the podium. Should Anaheim make the pick, the Jackets will wait until 2015 for the bonus second rounder.
According to some recent reports, the two most recognizable Buckeye big men in the NBA could find new homes this offseason.
But even if he isn’t on the move this summer, he will be moving. A lot. He tells the Boston Herald that he’s working hard to improve his fitness level.
“Y’all are going to be able to recognize me,” Sullinger said. “I’m going to still have the same ugly face. It just might be a different body.”
Meanwhile, the Sun Sentinel writes that it’s likely Greg Oden will be leaving the Heat.
Even though coach Erik Spoelstra raved about Oden (“[Oden] was one of the biggest success stories in the regular season and postseason,” Spoelstra told reporters, according to SI.com), he might see what’s out there, now that he’s on the open market.
Like Sullinger, Oden also wants to improve his game this offseason.
Greg Oden will return to Columbus to work out this summer. He recently said that he was encouraged by some areas of progress this season.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 15, 2014