Read on for cheerleading news and hockey's goal of the year.
It’s Friday. Almost time to get drunk and play ping pong. Meanwhile, to get you through your doldrums, a little Ohio sports roundup for your reading (and viewing and ogling) pleasure:
1. The Big Lead recently did a cool interview of Aktown’s own Brian Windhorst, the Beacon-Journal's Cavaliers beat writer. Windy is the best beat writer in northeast Ohio -- in any sport -- and perhaps one of the best hoops reporters in the country, contributing regularly to True Hoop and often penning articles for ESPN.com. Although young enough to still look like he should be writing for a college paper, he has the most in-depth knowledge of everything LeBron, having attended James' high school. ...
He’s also first on most scoops in town, goes the extra mile during by reporting from the Vegas summer leagues, and his stuff's pretty entertaining, even when it’s just a game summary. Also, he takes his blogging duties pretty seriously, unlike most sports writers in town. Check out the interview for his view on blogs, his recollections of a kickass fight involving Jerry Stackhouse, and where he’s getting his movie recommendations these days.
2. Flipping around TV last night, I stumbled upon the Columbus Blue Jackets game. The game was tied 3-3 in the third period with under a minute to go, so I watched. Good thing: Rick Nash won the game for Columbus with one of the most amazing goals you'll ever see. It's being called the goal of the year. Think Pele with a hockey stick. Watch it here:
3. Relevant. For the first time in a long time that word can be used to describe Cleveland State basketball. Last night the Vikings toppled No. 12 Butler to take sole possession of first place in the Horizon league, and notched their first regular season win against a ranked opponent ever. (The only other win against a ranked opponent came in 1986, when CSU beat Indiana in the NCAA Tournament). The Vikes don’t have the clout that Butler does after a Cinderella run in March last year, so there’s little chance that CSU can get a tourney bert hwithout winning the Horizon League championship. But this is the team that could do it, and either way, coach Gary Waters has made the team relevant. Finally.
4. Really finally, there's lots of arena-football happenings in the next week. Tomorrow morning, at 8 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, the AFL's Cleveland Gladiators will be hold tryouts for cheerleaders. You can register online at www.clevelandgladiators.com or you can just show up ready to dance. Sadly, there doesn't appear to be a way to register to watch. Major oversight on the team's part there. Maybe the owner was too busy groveling.
For the men, the Canton Legends, a team in the upstart AIFL, is holding open tryouts January 20. (This is the league Maurice Clarett was supposed to play in before he went all crazy). The team recommends wearing athletic attire, which for me is an inhaler and five different kinds of braces, so I won’t be going. But if your dream has always been to play miniature football indoors, this is definitely for you. And if you see Maurice, please contact the authorities. -- Vince Grzegorek