Happy Tuesday, WFNY!
And welcome to the first day of our new era here at Waiting For Next Year! Today is a big day for us. And for you guys, as well. Joining the awesome folks at Scout.com is exciting, and challenging, and different, and daunting, and exciting! Oh, wait, did I say exciting twice? Sorry, it’s easy to be a little nervous on the first day at a new office.
But there’s a reason I used exciting twice. There’s going to be some growing pains along the way, I’m sure, but in all, this is truly an exciting time for all of us. In my heart of heart, I honestly believe this is going to free us up to provide the highest quality content we’ve ever created on a more consistent basis, and I think the end user experience for you readers is going to better than ever as well.
So kick back for a minute, grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea or room temperature water, and take a minute to really check out and absorb the new digs. And please, let’s not have this be a one direction conversation. We don’t want to talk at you, we want to spark debate and analysis and conversation. And what better place to do that in the forums?
We’ve gone through a couple different iterations of comments over the years. But I’m not going to lie, if someone were ever to ask me what I’m most proud of when it comes to WFNY, I would quickly answer “the community that we built through our comments”. I’m not just talking about the writers we first knew as commenters, like Jacob Rosen, Denny Mayo, or Michael Bode. I’m talking about every single person who, over the last eight years, took time out of their day to leave us a comment. And 99% of the time, you guys left comments without resorting to the drivel you find on so many other sites. We had reasonable discourse, where it was ok to disagree as long as you debated the points and didn’t resort to name calling or personal attacks. I can never possibly thank you guys enough for the level of discussion we’ve had in our comments at WFNY.
So no, I don’t want the conversation to end. We may not have your traditional comments section like Disqus on the old site, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you guys to both give us feedback as well as talk among yourselves. So please, sign up for an account on our forums and join the discussion. We have three different sub forums right now. The first one is “Cleveland and Ohio sports”. This will be your place for general conversation about the teams we root for. The second one is “WFNY Article Feedback”. This is what will serve as our new comments section. At the end of every article there will be a “Join the Conversation” button, and clicking that will take you to the forum post for that article where you can give us any feedback on the article that you like. And finally, we have a “Pop Culture”. This is our catch-all where you can talk about pretty much anything you want that is not sports related.
Our standards for comments still applies to the forums. We will not tolerate mean-spirited attacks, name calling, personal criticism, etc. You can disagree with each other all you want, but please, stick to debating the actual points. In the old Disqus forums, we were sticklers for trying to keep the comments on-topic. But with the forums, you guys now have more freedom to shape and frame the topics as you see fit. If you want to talk about something and there’s not an article for discussing it, head on over to the “Cleveland and Ohio Sports” section and start a new thread. The forums are your oyster, my friends. Please enjoy responsibly!
In all, I want to echo pretty much everything Scott Sargent said last week in announcing this move. I want to thank you guys so much for being such loyal readers over eight years of celebrating our tradition of hope, passion, and misery. I hope you guys will stick with us through this change, and I have no doubt that WFNY has nothing but better days ahead!
And now, sports!
I hope everyone had an amazing Memorial Day weekend! I know I sure did. I got to see some family, watch my niece play softball (something I’ve never been able to do before thanks to distance and timing), have a cookout, enjoy the weather, and in general just get in some much needed relaxation and meditation time.
It was an interesting weekend for Cleveland sports as well. The Cavaliers took care of their business in Toronto and clinched a return ticket to the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the Indians ever-so-briefly took over first place in the AL Central before….well, we’ll focus on the positives here. The Indians are in contention and we are facing a summer of chasing a division title! And finally, the Oklahoma City Thunder gave up a chance to clinch the West by giving up a brutal comeback to the Golden State Warriors. The Thunder, the team that would have given the Cavaliers home court advantage and much better chance of winning the Championship, just gave away Game 6 in Oklahoma City. Which led to the inevitable Game 7 loss for the Thunder and secured the rematch of last year’s Finals.
Make no mistake, there is absolutely no team I would rather see the Cavaliers beat for the NBA Championship than the Golden State Warriors. Not because the Warriors are a historically great team (although, that helps, too), but because I simply cannot stand anything about this Warriors team. I know they are a media and fan favorite. “Everyone loves Steph Curry! Who couldn’t love Steph Curry?” Well, I couldn’t. I hate the shots he takes, I hate the arrogant faces he makes, and I hate the way he chews on his mouthpiece. Also, I hate him because he’s incredible. And he’s not a Cavalier.
I loathe the Warriors. But I respect the hell out of them. And as a Cavs fan, they terrify me. I know we all like to hang our hats on the fact that the Cavaliers took the Warriors to six games last season without Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love. So naturally, we should think that with those guys the Cavaliers should beat the Warriors! Right?!
Well, the Warriors are not the same team, either. The faces and names may be the same, but this team plays dramatically different. They have so much more confidence and poise than the team the Cavaliers played last year. And both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have taken their game, and their shooting ability, to a whole different level. The Warriors won more games this season than any other team in NBA history. They are not unbeatable, no. But winning four out of seven games against a team that only lost nine times over an 82 game season is a daunting task.
But hey, what do I know? I’m the same guy who truly, honestly thought the Cavaliers were going to lose the series to the Raptors after four games. So my gut feeling that the Cavaliers are going to be lucky to win one game in this series might be just as foolish.
I have to admit, I love the way the Cavaliers answered their first taste of adversity in this postseason. I love that Ty Lue was able to change their defensive approach between games four and five. I love the way the Cavaliers are playing in general right now. Most of the season, the Cavaliers played offensively a lot like how the Thunder play. Taking turns dominating the ball, not the best off ball movement, and relying on either one guy shooting or another guy making something happen by driving and kicking. In this postseason, however, the Cavaliers have gone away from isolation for the most part. Everyone is more involved in the offense, and the Big Three have been better than ever.
So look, if the Cavaliers were going to beat the Warriors, I’d say now is the time to do it. The Cavaliers have never played better basketball than they have in this postseason. And the Warriors, who as I previously mentioned lost only nine games all regular season, have lost five games in the postseason. The Warriors don’t exactly look easy to beat, but I do think they look more beatable now than they have at any point in the regular season.
So who knows what will happen. I’m not going to make any bold predictions. I’m just going to sit here and wallow in my own nervous excitement and trepidation and hope. If you want THE sports story, nothing would be better than the Cavaliers beating this Warriors team to break the city’s championship drought. It would be the best story ever for us as Cleveland sports fans. I want this more than I can ever possibly describe with words. I don’t just want it for us, the fans, or for the city of Cleveland and the entire state of Ohio. I also want this for this team. For these players. These players that I have grown to love so much as a fan. I want this team to be the one that breaks the chain of misery and finally lifts us all up. They deserve it. And we deserve it. But it has to be won on the court against the most deserving team of all time, the juggernaut Golden State Warriors. I can’t wait to see what happens.
That’s it for me this morning. I hope everyone has a great week of WFNY and I hope to see you all in the forums! Lets’ Go Cavs!!!