Archive for June, 2012

NBA Finals: Let the LeBron, Heat haters be silenced


BY STAYSON ISOBE, Couchsideshow.com blogger

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James won his first NBA Championship on Thursday night and was named the NBA Finals MVP. Photo by: Mike / Flickr

It pains me as much as the next person to say this, but LeBron James has stuck it to his haters. The guy that goes by King James now has his ring and he did it in style, completely dismantling all opponents that stood in his way as if he was on a mission to prove the doubters the wrong.

For all the evil that the Miami Heat represents, they are now the NBA Champions and none other than LeBron James was at the forefront. Sure there was Mario Chalmers‘ 25 point performance in Game 4 of the Finals and Mike Miller’s insane three-point barrage en route to 23 points in Game 5, but LeBron was so dominant that it made people oblivious to Dwyane Wade’s struggles for most of the postseason. Where was the hate on D-Wade?

Count me as one of the seemingly millions of people that despised LeBron for the way he left his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers through The Decision. He went from one of the most beloved players to the most over scrutinized and polarizing athlete this side of Tim Tebow. Even I thought LeBron was under the microscope way too much.

Through all of my hate though, there was no lost respect for the player on the court. No, even as a Chicago Bulls fan, I was not blind to the truth that there is no more dominant player in the game than LeBron James (my apologies to Derrick Rose). He may never be MJ, but has the game ever seen anyone that possessed a more dominant package of power and strength yet played the game with more speed and grace than one would expect from a 250-pound freak of nature? Combine that with an incredibly high basketball IQ and you’ve got a three-time MVP with many more to come. The only thing that was missing was the bling on his ring finger and supposedly the “clutch gene.” (more…)

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Who’s better: Cal Ripken or Derek Jeter?


BY BRANDON J. SMITH, Couchsideshow.com blogger

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is very close to passing Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. on the career hits list. Photo by: Peter / Flickr

As of this writing, Derek Jeter is only 6 hits away from tying Cal Ripken Jr. at 3,184 for 14th on the all time hits list.

It’s a bit surprising that this story hasn’t been bigger in terms of the ESPN media conglomerate, or elsewhere, everyone is too busy dissecting the NBA Finals to fully appreciate great contextual moments in baseball history no doubt. In fact, Jeter hasn’t been that a big story since his 3000th hit last July, so maybe the shock and awe of reaching 3K hasn’t carried over to passing up these hall of fame players this season:

Dave Winfield- 3,110
Tony Gwynn- 3,141
Robin Yount- 3,142
Paul Waner- 3,152
George Brett- 3,154

Three of the most successful hitters in baseball history in Gwynn, Yount, and Brett and Jeter speed past them without looking back. Once Cal is passed, Jeter’s next big hurdle will be Willie Mays at 3,283 (of which I suspect will be a big deal coverage wise) and Carl Yastrzemski at 3,419, much to the chagrin of Red Sox fans. (more…)


Couch Side Podcast: Episode 19 — Honoring LT


Couch Side hosts Wade McMillin (left) and Craig Paul get heated, debating the NBA Finals.

BY Couchsideshow.com staff

Co-Host Craig Paul is back for this week’s episode, which features discussions about the NBA Finals, LaDainian Tomlinsons’ retirement, the US Open, the Roger Clemens Trial and a debate about the Olympic USA men’s basketball team having an age limit. Click below to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side podcast!

Click here to stream/download Couch Side Episode 19: Honoring LT  via iTunes

Click here to stream Couch Side Episode 19: Honoring LT via our host site, TalkShoe

Click here to download Couch Side Episode 19: Honoring LT via our host site TalkShoe


David Stern proposes that Olympic team adopts 23 and under policy


BY GORDON ROBINSON, Feedcrossing.com syndication 

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose would perhaps be the most exciting player on the USA Olympic men’s basketball team if the NBA adopts a rule that would only allow players 23 or younger to participate. Photo by: Auio Visual Junkie / Flickr

On the 20th anniversary of “The Dream Team,” NBA commissioner David Stern has gone on the record to state that maybe Olympic Basketball should adopt a soccer type of system where players on the roster are 23 and under of age.  The idea seems to be a popular one as many NBA team owners have agreed with the concept. It is yet to be decided if FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and the other countries would be up for that model.  It would be an interesting concept and it makes putting a competitive team together a little tougher, so let’s take a look at who some of the candidates would be to make a 23-Under Olympic Team.

Point Guards

  • Derrick Rose (questionable with the knee injury) (Chicago Bulls)
  • Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Caveliers)
  • John Wall (Washington Wizards)
  • Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks) (more…)

Stuck In A Rut: WWE has No Way Out (with results)


The WWE’s pay-per-view event “No Way Out” didn’t have too many surprises or upsets. Photo by: The Badder in the World / Flickr

BY BRETT MURDOCK AND MATTHEW VINSKO, Couchsideshow.com bloggers 

No Way Out. Three words that when grouped together create an idea of fear, panic and the unknown. That is what the WWE is aiming for this Sunday when the company puts on the pay-per-view live from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. However, only two of the matches on the card create that sense of paranoia and helplessness, and even then, it is a risk even calling them big time main events. WWE’s last PPV, Over the Limit, was pretty good but the transition to this month’s show has been sloppy, unorganized and for lack of a better word, facepalm-esque. Ok, so that’s not a word. Sue us.

So, after failing to ingratiate you with our presence with Over the Limit predictions, we are back to hit you with some in-depth knowledge and full-scale awesomeness. So sit back and enjoy while we tell you what we think will happen this Sunday in a world dominated by a fake reality, guys in tights and Speedos, and terrible announcing.

This blog wasn’t able to be uploaded before the event on Sunday night. In addition to Brett’s and Matt’s predictions, Couch Side has also provided the results in the headline of each match.

Brodus Clay defeated David Otunga

Brett: Thank goodness that this match will be the pre-show display, because I have no interest in witnessing a dancing fat guy facing off against a muscular version of Carlton Banks. Ever since returning as a guy who was infected with disco fever, Brodus Clay has been squashing jobbers left and right and has never really been given any true direction with his character. The closest he came was a couple of weeks ago when he challenged Big Show, but nothing came of that. He was entertaining when he came back after having a reputation as a monster heel, but has become stale since. Otunga has developed a nice role as the coffee-sipping right-hand man to General Manager John Laurinaitis. His gimmick has drawn comparisons to that of former WWE superstar Chris Masters, due to his physique and entrance displays. As far as the match itself, I’m going to go with Clay due to the fact that the crowd will enjoy it and hopefully set the tone for a night that on paper, seems destined to be very underwhelming.

Winner: Brodus Clay (more…)


Moneyball 2012: Examining the Indians, Orioles and Pirates


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Michael Lewis’ Moneyball inspired me to look at some of the smaller market teams in baseball that are finding early success. Photo by: Brett Farmiloe / Flickr

Every year a few Major League Baseball teams never cease to amaze me.

I’m not talking about clubs that are filled with stars on their rosters or even automatic playoff contenders. The thing I love most about baseball is the small market teams that somehow make noise at the beginning of every year. Some fans will call them “Cinderella Stories.” Some analysts will break them down as contenders or pretenders — not understanding the real story behind their rises to the top.

A perfect example of this type of team with more believers on it than star athletes that a lot of people would know was the Oakland Athletics of the early 2000s. However, even those clubs, which had extremely low payrolls, still had big bats and names that made them competitive.

When I look at this year’s group of teams that might fit into that category, three stick out like sore thumbs and are right in the mix to win their respective divisions. We often write these sorts of teams off and don’t believe in them down the stretch, but hey, they sure make the game exciting. So here’s a look at three clubs that are in second place and leaving baseball fans scratching their heads:

• Cleveland Indians — 2012 Total Payroll: $78,430,300, 21st in MLB

For the second year in a row, the Tribe is earning pre All-Star Game hype and should perhaps challenge the Chicago Whitesox for an AL Central crown if all goes well. Last season Cleveland flopped after starting the 2011 campaign with a stellar 30-15 record in its first 45 games. Injuries ended up throwing the Indians out of contention, but now they have came roaring back. And when any fan examines the roster, the first question they would have to ask is, ‘how?’ (more…)