Lights, Camera…MACtion!

Two teams from the Mid American Conference have both channeled their inner-Steven Spielberg in an attempt to sell season tickets.

The first is from Miami, whose Lil’ Harbaugh ad harkens back to Nike’s Lil Penny.

Ohio’s effort to sell tickets is more an homage to a Reebok spot: Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. Meet his successor: Tarrell Bashman, Office Enforcer.

I was going to post a poll here as to which ad campaign you found more effective, but let’s face it, there’s only one right answer.


(Hat tip on to Lil’ Garrett Downing on the Miami commercial.)

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Ohio State/Michigan Cracks The Top 5

ESPN has named 25 college football games from this past season as the best of 2013, and ESPNU will be televising replays of most of these contests in the coming days.

For Ohio State fans, this is both good and bad. The Buckeyes loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl ranks 19th on the ESPN list, and the Big Ten Championship Game, in which OSU fell 34-24 to Michigan State is 9th.*

However, the Scarlet and Gray’s victory over Michigan is somewhere in the top 5, where exactly that game lands will depend on a fan vote. To cast your vote, click here.

*ESPN won’t be airing the Big Ten title game.

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Could Troy Smith Lose Out To Tim Tebow Again?

The Montreal Alouttes of the Canadian Football League have apparently reached a crossroads with quarterback Troy Smith.

The signal caller turned 30 this past weekend and has shown signs of promise this season. However, there have also been games like the 41-5 loss to BC. In that contest, Smith only completed one first-half pass for positive yards. By the end, he was 5/17 throwing.

It was so rough, the Alouettes coach refused to name Smith his starter for Montreal’s next game, and who do the Alouettes hope will ride to their rescue?

Apparently, the GM checks in with Tim Tebow’s agent every now and then to gauge his interest.

“We would love to see him,” Jim Popp told the National Football Post. “If there was ever a time when (Tebow) wanted a great shot, now is the time.”

Montreal is the team that owns the CFL rights to Tebow. (NFP also notes they Michael Sam on their negotiation list.)

While it may seem unlikely that Tebow would accept the pay cut necessary for him to play the pivot in Montreal, it also seems like Smith could probably stand to even out his performances in order to reduce the allure of the former Florida QB.

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LeBron James: Just Like You and Me?

It is the conundrum of our time: Americans don’t resent the successful, but we are dismayed by what it seems to take to get ahead.

And as the gap between the haves and have-nots grows larger and larger, we become increasingly aware of what separates the two.

Too often it seems like what it takes to advance is a head start in life, a natural gift of some sort, or a skewed set of priorities: You know, money means a whole lot more, relationships and ethics a whole lot less to “those people.”

Nowhere is this more true than in a town like Cleveland, where the economic difficulties and efforts at a comeback have been well documented.

I think this is one reason the LeBron James story resonates so much.

Here is, not just a successful man, but the most prolific basketball player of our time, and home means as much to him as it does to “us.”

He seems genuinely grateful to those who helped him get where he is. He seems to sense a responsibility to give back.

It’s ironic really. He’s a 6’8″, 250 pound freak of an athlete, and we see more of ourselves in him than in a lot of the other powerful people in America today.

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Brandon Dubinsky On His Contract Extension

The Blue Jackets center discusses his six-year contract extension.

(Note: Dubinsky’s first answer is in response to a question by Craig Merz. Didn’t want to pretend he was responding to me there.)

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Waiting Is The Hardest Part

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We Listened To Miami Radio, So You Didn’t Have To

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.

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.

Of course, for the best (in our biased opinion) sports radio, listen to 97.1 The Fan. Plus, be sure to check out our webcam!

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