On Brian Windhorst Leaving the Plain Dealer’s Cavs Beat to Cover the Heat for ESPN

by Cleveland Frowns on October 5, 2010

As some folks predicted awhile ago, Brian Windhorst will leave the Plain Dealer’s Cavs beat to follow LeBron to Miami where he’ll cover the Miami Heat for ESPN. Many in town are understandably sad to see Windhorst go, and some like Cleveland radio personality Bob Frantz have responded with anger to Windhorst’s decision. The anger seems easy enough to understand as well, at least at its source, since Cleveland might never stop wondering how much differently things might have gone with LeBron James in town if Windhorst or any of the others on the beat that he dominated would have asked some different questions while LeBron was still a Cavalier.

If it’s fine for folks to think that LeBron is the biggest jerk on Earth, then it’s only right to ask questions about why it took so long for so many of them to come to that conclusion after having worshipped the superstar for seven-plus years.

It’s so much easier to do with hindsight, of course, but when a disaster on the order of The Decision goes down, it’s impossible not to wonder about those who were in the best position to shed light on what went wrong. Especially the ones who end up getting promoted for their efforts. LeBron and Windhorst are gone, but we’re still here with the Cavs and Dan Gilbert. The same Dan Gilbert who’s essentially admitted to Windhorst’s charge, repeated last night in an interview Windhorst gamely gave to Frantz, that the Cavs organization “put up barriers to protect LeBron.” We can mostly just guess at what these barriers protected, but we know that whatever was behind them, they didn’t serve their intended purpose of preserving the organization’s relationship with LeBron, a relationship that really couldn’t have had an uglier ending. With hindsight it’s especially clear that having broken these barriers, such as with penetrating journalism, could only have helped.

Because these barriers might have been usefully attacked from different sides, we also have to question the inability of Windhorst (and apparently everybody else on the local beat) to penetrate LeBron’s inner circle, or even stake out a useful position on its periphery.

“LeBron’s people never trusted me,” [said Windhorst to Frantz, last night]. “They still don’t trust me. They’re not happy that I’m going to Miami .. They don’t want me there because they know they can’t control me. If you notice at the big stories that are done on LeBron … they’re done by GQ or from Vogue … people they can control.”

Could this be true? That Team LeBron would only suffer reporters whom it could control? If so, why wasn’t this truth worth bringing to light much sooner? If not, one must assume that a more productive relationship between LeBron and the press was possible. Case in point, Windhorst explained to Frantz (at the 27:10 mark here) that his alienation from LeBron’s people was due in part to his having reported on the Cavaliers having hired a member of Team LeBron and allowing him travel with the team on its private jet. Windhorst was presumably referring here to Randy Mims, who was hired by the Cavs as a “player liason” in the fall of 2005, and who, as Windhorst told Frantz, “scowled at [Windhorst] and cursed [him] out behind [his] back and to [his] face for well over a year” in response to Windhorst’s report.

There’s plenty of reason to suspect that the Cavs’ front office lost credibility with Team LeBron for failing to hold it accountable for behavior like this, and there’s no reason to think the same wouldn’t go for the press. Think of how many different ways this might have gone. Windhorst reports on an objective fact of obvious interest with respect to the organization, the hiring of Mims, and it earns him “well over” a year’s worth of curses and scowls from Mims. Assuming Windhorst’s report on the subject was fair, it’s bad on LeBron, it’s bad on the Cavs, and it’s strongly indicative of more systemic trouble for both. And whatever blame is to be assigned to Team LeBron here, an attempt on the part of Windhorst to reach a man-to-man understanding with Mims might have gone a long way to help. The potential for a dynamic relationship here was theoretically endless.

Maybe Windhorst tried here with Mims as much as anyone could have, but to the extent that reaching a useful level of understanding was an impossibility, what else was there for him to do but ramp up the reporting on the organization’s enabling of Team LeBron’s (alleged) sociopathic tendencies? Why wasn’t this something worth pressing? The anecdote about Mims is just one concrete example, and one from five long years ago. The crippling effect of LeBron’s impending free agency on the Cavaliers ability to improve the roster, and other manifestations of a god complex were other seemingly apparent places to push.

We heard from Andy Baskin about “seven-years of looking the other way,” and it’s impossible not to connect Windhorst with this, the “don’t rock the boat” ethos employed by the Cavs’ front office, and LeBron having wound up in the arms of a credible father figure like Pat Riley. Stand for something or fall for nothing. If LeBron was going to leave anyway, we might as well have at least known that he surrounded himself with folks who scowled and cursed at perfectly reasonable reporters, and who knows what else? Then maybe the god pose on the billboard doesn’t fly, and who knows what else? This has to explain at least some of the anger directed Windhorst’s way by folks like Frantz. Maybe Gilbert really didn’t want us to think about LeBron when he tweeted about poor “A-Holes” becoming rich ones, but when Windhorst and the rest of the local Cavs press will ignore not just the tweets but reports from respected national outlets to avoid the question, the inference of complicity (even if not necessarily intentional) just grows stronger. As it does when reports of a well-attended preseason scrimmage omit reference to season-ticket holders having been put on the hook before LeBron’s Decision.

Hey! Look! Ramon Sessions!

It’s not really at all about Windhorst’s integrity, and it’s much less about his talent as a reporter than it is about the power of the pen and diverse human relations. It’s hard to think it all wouldn’t have gone a lot better if Windhorst had shared more of his leads — like those “lots of dirty stories” that he “couldn’t confirm 100%” back when LeBron was a Cav — with someone who might have been better positioned to chase them down or otherwise more usefully communicate about them with LeBron, the Cavaliers, or whomever. It’s even harder to think it wouldn’t have gone better if Cleveland’s press outlets would have devoted more resources to put more (and diverse) talent on the Cavaliers beat. Maybe the next time a once-in-a-generation athlete is native to Northeast Ohio and plays professionally here, we’ll get it right. Looking at the way ESPN is smothering the Heat beat with its “historical committment,” at least we can think that someone is learning from mistakes somewhere.

Hopefully Windhorst will have a better go of it in Miami, as well. It’s understood that it all might have been so complicated and unprecedented that nobody would have done any better than he did here with LeBron. It’s also understood that there’s a tension between day-to-day beat reporting and deeply-penetrating journalism. Windhorst says he stands by his reporting. Of course, one guy can only do so much, and Windhorst did a lot. Still, he was paid more than anybody was paid to cover the Cavs. The Decision was a disaster (even Maverick admits it now), and one that essentially floored the consumers of Windhorst’s work. Now he’s followed LeBron to Miami for even more money, and those readers are left in the rubble. For them, no matter what questions were, weren’t, couldn’t have been, or shouldn’t have been asked, his time on the beat here really couldn’t have ended any worse. It’s only right by those readers to acknowledge that, and to ask about how it might have ended differently.

  • Art Brosef

    I was waiting all day for this post. Hope everything worked out at the mine.

    "there's no reason to think the same wouldn't go for the press"

    The fundamental problem with this post, and the rest of the LBJ / DG posts, is that all of your posts and arguments assume Lebron was willing and able to be reached in the first place.

    Now, he may or may not have been. But its not fair to assume the only reason he wasnt was the Cavs front office obvious enabling.

    You said yourself time and time again how unprecedented this situation was, so its hard to blame people for not knowing how to handle it, and thus, making mistakes along the way.

    I for one, am happy for Windy but very sad to see him go. Right or wrong, I always felt like I was part of a select group that he was specifically speaking to.

    I think its insane to think anything Windy did would have kept LBJ here.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    I'm not at all assuming or even saying that the *only* reason LeBron wasn't willing an able to be reached was enabling from the Cavs and the press. I'm just acknowledging that it's a potential reason, something folks around here seem to quick to forget in a rush to put everything that's wrong with the universe on LeBron.

    When I see the local press uniformly lining up with Gilbert on so much else, the potential seems realer.

    And I'm not giving anybody a death sentence here, either. Like you said, I recognize how unprecedented the situation is. I'm just asking questions.

    Anyway, if you really think it's insane to think anything Windy did would have kept LBJ here, then your view of the power of the pen is much less optimistic than mine. Which is fair. But what do you even read Windy for if you don't think his words matter? What do you read this site for?

  • Titus Pullo

    I don't know; it seems likely that if Windhorst or another writer had really tried to shine any light on the Cavs dark corners concerning LeBron they would have been shut out by not only LeBron, but by team officials as well.

    LeBron and his handlers seem to look at him more as a celebrity rather than an athlete and want to control the message the way PR toadies do with celebrities.

    A high number of articles about celebrities are written by their PR people and run in magazines like People, US Weekly, etc., and it seems that's the model LeBron wanted to follow – Windhorst referred to that when talking about magazines they could control.

    That doesn't work with the daily media though, so they have to find a way to do their job but also keep access to the players and teams. Because that's what sets them apart from non-media people (us).

    We can watch a game and draw valid conclusions about what happened, but we don't have the opportunity to talk to players, coaches or front-office people. And with that access comes the burden of trying to figure out how they can do their job and co-exist with the team.

    I wouldn't be too hard on Windhorst; I think he did the best he could with the circumstances. I could just have a soft spot, however, as a former journalist. Or it could just be LeBron fatigue and I just don't care about anything that has to do with him. Not sure.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    And if nothing he said would have changed LeBron, it at least could have helped prepare us for what was coming.

    I'd rather have known that Randy scowled and cursed at him for more than a year than not, for example, especially given that it couldn't have ended any worse than it did.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    "It seems likely that if Windhorst or another writer had really tried to shine any light on the Cavs dark corners concerning LeBron they would have been shut out by not only LeBron, but by team officials as well."

    As noted, I understand there's a tension between beat reporting and penetrating dark corners, but on this view self-preservation justifies anything. That doesn't work.

  • Art Brosef

    "I'm just acknowledging that it's a potential reason"

    This seems right to me. Your posts seem to portray you having a different view.

    I never said words dont matter. I just dont think Windys words mattered to Lebron to the extent that they effected his decision.

    You know why I read the site.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    "I'm just acknowledging that it's a potential reason"

    This seems right to me. Your posts seem to portray you having a different view.

    ——

    You're right. They do. "Potential reason" isn't right. It's more accurate to say that there's every reason to believe that it's a contributing reason, if not the *only* reason. I think I've always acknowledged it's a two-way street.

  • Art Brosef

    I just dont think its fair to beforehand tell everyone how unprecedented the situation is, then predominantly blame only one side after in the aftermath.

    I think everyone can agree there is plenty of blame to go around here. My particular issue recently is that one particular party receives very little around here.

    But we all dont have to agree

  • Biki

    Frownie, it's obvious you didn't read Windy's stuff. from Day 1 Brian was pretty tough on Lebron and ESPN is lucky to have a guy of his talent on their staff.

    lebron left because he wanted to play with 2 of the top 10 players in the NBA not because he was coddled by the media or cavs front office. he wants to win rings and he wants to win a lot of them. he always said that was his #1 priority and he stuck to his words. it's pretty clear that the Heat's current roster gives Lebron the best chance he's ever had to win multiple championship. exponentially better than any roster the Cavs have been able to surround him with. now it's up to Coach Lebron to get the team to play together.

    but i'm sure Carl is now going to accuse Windy of being a monster and that he's now another puppet controlled by the ESPN hype machine.

    personally, i will definitely continue to read Windy's stuff covering the Heat because he will call it how he sees it and if this thing does implode like a lot of people wish it does, it will be good to get the dirt from Windy.

  • Carl

    Great column.

    One thing about Windhurst's reporting that stood out — all the national reporters, especially at ESPN and ESPN.com did not believe that james was going to resign in Cleveland. It was Windhurst that was constantly writing stories since March that James "inner circle" was leaning to resigning an extension with the Cavs.

    It seems obvious that the "inner circle" was planting false stories with Windhurst and he ate them up.
    ______

    Below is my next long post since I wrote about James leaving. It won't be a habit. But I do believe that Windhurst following James out or the area fits a pattern that has been going on for over 50 years.

  • Carl

    A month or so ago I thought about discussing quality people leaving the NE Ohio area for major markets to grow their careers, and I wanted to ask why anyone would think it would be different for professional athletes. Brian Windhurst leaving brought all that back to me.

    Along with a number of others, there were three anecdotal items I ran across within a few days:

    o A relative told me about their daughters friend from college. The young lady was majoring in apparel design at Kent State. She entered a contest put on by a manufacturer/retailer, and was one of 100 finalists. Turns out she finished #1, and was offered a job at their headquarters in NYC for $60k a year – nice money coming straight out of college in that field. But of course NYC is expensive to live in, so maybe it’s $40k in NE Ohio money. Nevertheless, a nice place to start. But she liked Ohio (she grew up in Wisconsin) and wanted to stay in the state as her fiancé is from Cincinnati. Ah, but she couldn’t find any job in Ohio in design work. So she’s moving to NYC.

    o The next day I was watching Bruce Drennen on STO and a guy called in and complimented STO on the new commercials they’re running featuring all their “personalities”. Drennen’s response was that STO “spared no expense” in flying up a professional staff from Atlanta. The company did all the filming in STO studios, and flew back to Atlanta where they did the editing, voice-overs, music and mixing.

    o I have a distant relative that made a fortune in Cleveland and built a huge house in Moreland Hills. His children grew up and left, and the house was far too big for him and his wife. So they put it on the market around 1995. It’s still on the market. They were told by real estate agents that years ago the house easily could have been moved, but so many corporations moved their headquarters out of Cleveland, that they don’t have many people with the income in the NE Ohio area to pay for a house like that.

    Now, I’m older than most people reading this blog. When I was growing up in the 50’s/60’s, there were plenty of apparel design jobs in the Cleveland area, as Cleveland was a hub of manufacturing. And if slick TV commercials were going to be made, there were advertising companies in Cleveland that were so good that businesses from places like Atlanta flew Clevelanders there to do the filming. But today Cleveland is no longer much of a major hub of anything.

  • Carl

    You see people ask what the Browns “identity” is.

    OK, what’s Cleveland’s identity? The Rock N’ Roll capital of the world because the Rock Hall is here? Why? Is there anything more insulting then to put a Hall Of Fame in a city yet hold the induction ceremonies in another city? What other Hall Of Fame does that? When is the last time any of you went out to hear a rock band in Cleveland? When is the last time a rock band or individual from NE Ohio broke and went national? Chrissie Hynde 30 years ago? Bone Thugs-n-Harmony 15 years ago….and what have they been doing since? Do you read of people moving to Cleveland from around the country because they want to play in the rock scene?

    Is Cleveland a manufacturing center? Could be, but manufacturing is changing. Making a middle-class living wage without any skills other than being a laborer following orders doesn’t exist anymore. The processes are computerized. Yet even in this awful economy there is a shortage of skilled people. And Cuyahoga Community College can train people for the positions in less than 30 weeks for reasonable tuition….and the government will even front the money. Companies NEED these people badly. But people in Cleveland would rather sit home and complain about the government and businesspeople.

    Funny, the NY Times flew in with a reporter and a camera crew, but the locals don’t care….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/business/economy/02manufacturing.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3

    There is no identity any more in Cleveland….other then it's a depressed area.

  • Carl

    So we see Lebron James leave because he wants to accomplish something in his career. And now Brian Windhurst.

    Are they doing anything different than millions from NE Ohio have done in the past 50 years?

    Why do sports fans think this is an anomaly, when it has been a pattern with both the general population and the sports teams for the better part of the past 50 years?

    I wrote that Mike and Sharon Hargrove got traded to Cleveland and wound up loving it. But Mike and Sharon had 3-4 children in school when that happened, so a bedroom community like Cleveland was attractive to them. Most professional athletes today marry later in life. And even the ones that have young children don’t particularly care for the NE Ohio area. For 30 years I overheard young people in LA talk about how their parents took them to Cleveland to visit relatives, and when asked by their friends how it was there, the answer I heard at least a dozen times was “it sucks”. Even the older people are like that. I had a neighbor (his son owns a record company with Dave Matthews and manages the Dave Mathews band) that told me that he and his wife had to fly to Strongsville for a funeral one February. They had never been to Cleveland and were looking forward to it as they love to travel. When he got back I asked him what he thought of Cleveland and he looked a bit shaken and said he didn’t see how anyone could live there. I laughed and told him February was a bad month….but then again, so are January, March and at least a part of April.

  • Carl

    So let’s go back to Brian…..

    Brian is leaving the Cleveland Plain Dealer for ESPN and a national/major market position. Brian started at the Akron Bacon-Journal and was mentored there by Terry Pluto. Brian worked with two other young men that came out of that papers sports department, Michael Holley – later worked for the Boston Globe as a sports columnist and is now on Boston sports talk radio; and Chris Broussard, now with ESPN. The Beacon-Journal seems to foster people going after stories, while the Plain Dealer people sit on their rear ends and give their opinions on things. Note that while Holley, Broussard and Windhurst’s stars are rising, the Plain Dealer has Bud Shaw and Bill Livingston who got bounced out of a major market in Philly. Mary Schmitt Boyer is often on the Les Levine cable TV program (with Livingston and Shaw) at 6pm Monday’s, and I recommend people view it. Ms. Boyer cannot write….we've accepted that. But if you listen to her talk, you’ll wonder what she picked up after covering pro basketball for 10 years. She knows little. And about other sports she is incredibly out of touch. Same with Mary Kay Cabot in football – EEOC requirements met. And do not bypass Grossi. This guy is constantly publishing rumors he gets from his friend Mike Lombardi that are always not just proven wrong, but so off base one would wonder why anyone would believe them or pass them on.

    If you look that the Plain Dealer sports page, you see what you see in NE Ohio business – only one guy has integrity. One guy is doing it right. One guy is running around, talking to people, and getting the story….Terry Pluto. Terry is a legendary reporter/columnist and actually digs out stories. While Mary Kay and Tony are outside the practice facilities in Berea checking their cell phones for who hears what, Terry is inside the facility talking to the coaches and getting explanations as to what they’re trying to accomplish so Terry can forward that to his readers. And of course we have talk radio and TV – where they invite Brian and Terry on as guests to get the story, because these people can’t unearth anything other than some scuttlebutt. The WKNR people and Drennen are just awful. The night guy on STO (Galutchi?) is a wacko that when in his presence I’d suggest keeping both hands on your wallet until he leaves…and carrying a knife and a gun on your person might be a good idea just in case, because this guy looks like he could go off at any second. And of course there is the real King of Cleveland sports – Mike Trivassano….how low can you go? (Limbo time)

  • Carl

    Might I suggest reading Marla Ridenour of the Beacon-Journal. Syntactically she is the best writer in formal NE Ohio media. While new as a columnist, she’s growing. The ABJ brought in young Jason Lloyd primarily to cover the Cavs, and he’s excellent. Other then Terry Pluto, the PD is just falling apart on the quality side (their Cleveland.com comment section on sports articles has dwindled to people calling each other juvenile names to such a point that over the past 2 years those posters that made contributions and added value have gone elsewhere….like everything else in Cleveland).

    So I close with Frowns. This man can write! Far better prose then my narrative style. OK, sometimes he defends Mangini too much – no reason to, Mangini can take care of himself, he just needs a fair shake. The future of NE Ohio sports reading is going to be in the Blogs – although I think ESPN is going to use Windhurst as a wedge to start an ESPN/Cleveland, and Pluto will be the first guy they sign to go with him (they do have a guy named Walker that covers the AFC North from his house in Shaker Heights). Don’t think for a moment the PD isn’t scared. ESPN does that and there’s no reason left to read the paper.

    It’s important that Frowns gets some credentials from the teams here so he can get in to interview some of the front office people and managers/coaches. The PD is dying, and the ABJ is treading water. The growth will be in the blogs in the future. Frowns writes for a younger audience that will soon become the majority audience. The teams are only helping themselves by cooperating with him. Besides, when the Cavs move to Seattle and the Indians move to New Jersey, Frowns will have the inside story.

    Be gone for a while again, gentlemen.

  • Chuck

    “If LeBron leaves to go to New York or Chicago, I’ll be covering the Cavs.” I guess he never said anything about going to Miami.

    not that anyone should actually care about the mildly obese "blubber". what did he do of significance? grew up around lebron and went to kent state. i know like 30 people that did that.

    and in his biggest moment, covering the lebron free agency, he failed to provide any meaningful insight (sorry, tweeting me that james dolan is in a wheelchair and the times of each visit was nice would be nice if he also pulled a Stephen A and knew what the hell was going to happen).

  • Chuck

    hey frowns,

    sorry to get off the Cavs topic, but just thought I would note: Browns 100:1 to win the AFC North.

    should be more like 40:1.

  • Art Brosef

    Good stuff Carl, and I agree with this:

    "It’s important that Frowns gets some credentials from the teams here so he can get in to interview some of the front office people and managers/coaches."

    Certainly seems like a situation like this (blogger credentials)is not too distant of a reality. Hasnt it already started down that road with Scott from WFNY?

  • Chris

    "It's hard to think it all wouldn't have gone better if Windhorst had shared more of his leads — like those "lots of dirty stories," he told Frantz, that he "couldn't confirm 100%" back when LeBron was a Cav"

    Yet, I have a strong feeling that if Windy would have been publishing unsubstantiated stories all along, you would have responded with an "abdication of journalistic responsibility" tag.

    I like Titus' point here:

    I don't know; it seems likely that if Windhorst or another writer had really tried to shine any light on the Cavs dark corners concerning LeBron they would have been shut out by not only LeBron, but by team officials as well.

    Here's the thing that I believe about the Cavs: The organization may have given Windy unprecedented access, with a (very likely) caveat that he use discretion with the stories that he publishes. Now, I'm not saying I agree, but (as you mentioned Frowns) the self preservation factor has got to come into play here. I'd rather have Windy as a beat reporter than an unemployed martyr.

    This scenario has been going on for decades, if not a century, that sports writers leave out certain stories that they believe are not in the best interest of the team, the reporter, or the organization if they leak. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it just is.

    I'm happy for Windy. As a guy who can always appreciate people chasing and obtaining dreams, I'm glad he found his. My main concern about him getting tWWL gig is that ESPN has, and will, bury stories about athletes when it is in their best interest. If you want proof, here is a perfect example. Whether he is guilty or not, it's still a story.

  • the commenter formerly known as p

    cleary frownie subscribes to kurt vonnegut's "canary in the coal mine" theory of the arts. it goes like this: writers – like other artists – "are useful to society because they are so sensitive. they are super-sensitive. they keel over like canaries in poison coal mines long before more robust types realize that there is any danger whatsoever."

    windhorst isn't a bad guy. or a bad writer. but windhorst could've been a lot more useful if he'd been a better canary. (and, by all accounts, he was deeper in the lebron coal mine than the rest of us so it makes sense – and it's fair – for us to think that he should've been a better canary than, say, those of us that didn't have access to the coal mine.)

    *and frowner – please don't let the prospect of keeling over keep you from the good work you're doing in your own poison coal mines.

  • Carl

    The point I'm making is this….

    To get mad at someone for leaving Cleveland and throwing their words back at them is like spitting in the wind. Who cares? After Belle, Manny and Thome one would think people burned out of it. CC and Lee forced their trades, so the public put that on the Dolan's and Shapiro.

    This is America. People have the right to vote with their feet if they don't like where they're living. People have been leaving NE Ohio for over 50 years because the opportunity to grow is not there. And the place is mentally constipating. There is no one to get excited and share ideas with….that's for idealistic college kids. People in Cleveland know everything about everything – from Trivassano to Rizzo. Simplistic statements on complex, fluid issues. When you live somewhere else for a while, then come back and listen to the conversations, you realize how terribly off base these people are. Those that travel a lot – like professional athletes – see that not every area of the country lives a doom-and-gloom lifestyle, and is moaning about how good the past was. Most major markets are growing – even in the Great Recession – and growth puts residents in a positive mood because they can feel it. You go out places and you see people trying things with new products – and it's exciting.

    I left Cleveland in my 20's, and it's the best thing I ever did. I enjoy a semi-retirement in Akron because of family, the energy I get from the University Of Akron, and the small town feel in some of Akron's areas.

    But whenever I go up to Cleveland I hate it within 6 hours. I can feel the negativity. It seems like if one is not miserable and complaining then people there resent you – as if "who are you to be happy with your life."

    I do not know why any professional athlete would be different then any media tech, apparel designer, computer developer, or sports journalist – the opportunities to grow in the Cleveland market are limited, and living in the area is depressing. So why hit a ceiling and stifle for the rest of your life when you can go somewhere, be challenged and grow?

    I'd say that more then half the posters I read here were raised in NE Ohio and now live elsewhere. Sure, it has it's problems, but you people aren't coming back.

    How can you expect quality professional athletes and journalists to stay in the area, when so many of you that comment here didn't?

  • Biki

    yeah but the main difference on why talented people leave and why talented professional athletes come to Cleveland is because of opportunity. as long as we have sports teams, there will be job opportunities for athletes.

    btw, there are PLENTY of talented young people in Cleveland, although it was ranked 10th worst of all major markets when it comes to percentage with college degrees (29%).

    but athletes will always come to cleveland because there are job opportunites there. obviously we may need to overpay for some, or get lucky to acquire them via draft/trade.

    in terms of Windy, it's not just a locale thing. MANY journalists know that print media is dying and have taken opportunities with blogs, websites, and/or ESPN.

  • Chris

    "because the opportunity to grow is not there. And the place is mentally constipating. There is no one to get excited and share ideas with….that's for idealistic college kids."

    From someone who spent my early 20's in Southern California and moved back to Northeast Ohio (not a typo), this is hogwash. Trying to carry an intelligent conversation with someone my age when I lived out there was like looking for a f'n leprechaun.

    You said it, people are free to roam wherever they want. I've traveled a lot, and you know what?
    90% OF AMERICA IS EXACTLY THE SAME. People bitch about their surroundings, situations, relationships, and whatever else they can come up with to complain about. You can be successful anywhere you want, if you're willing to freaking work for it.

    The "woe is me" attitude is something instilled in my generation (I'm 31), and I'm annoyed by it to no end. The worst part about it is that it seems to be carried in perpetuity by people older than myself, who seem to be miserable in their own right, for their own reasons, yet seem unwilling to do anything about it.

    I like Cleveland, I still live here, and there's no goddamn fence keeping me imprisoned here. Reading the same regurgitated "Cleveland is a shithole" speech from the same certain people is getting old. I like where I'm at, both professionally and socially, and plenty of others do as well.

    Suggest somewhere to me that is paradise, and if I've been there, I'll be more than happy to prepare a logical and cogent argument against it.

  • Mencken

    Back in the day Larry Pantages was the Cavs beat writer for the ABJ. He pissed off Ted Stepien to the point where Larry had to buy a ticket to cover the game and of course had no other access. I'm sure Larry didn't think he was operating outside of journalistic ethics when Ted banished him.

    It's tough to be aggressive and keep your seat at the table. It's not enough to say well yeah I understand the constraints the reporter is working under and then still whack them for being soft.

    It's the reporter's responsibility to be as fair as possible. It's the owner's responsibility to
    butch up. Rarely do you get both.

  • Biki

    BTW, anyone watch Lebron last night? He had that scowl on his face for the entire game and was all bidness. still can't believe he's gone… ugh

  • Chuck

    lebron acting tough when there is no pressure. shocker.

  • rgrunds

    Carl,

    I really wish you would put more time into your posts and think them out more carefully.

  • rgrunds

    FrOrange

    interesting idea. Windhorst should have revealed the unfair advantage LeBron exercised with respect to the team.

    That subject matter would have sounded like insipid whining if it was presented on a continuing basis over a period of years. LeBron had an advantage. People with advantages use them. It's a rule of life. In LeBron's family and social melieu, its an anti-social imperative.

    That subject matter would have been appropriate if revealed at the end of last season and prior to LeBron's decision, but it wouldn't have influenced anyone's behavior when he was on the Cavs.

    LeBron left to go to a better team. He had been planning this for a long time. Ever since he played with Bosh and those guys in international competition.

    What's sad is Windhorst's intelligence is gone. We are now left with that twit Regina Brett, the vacuous Mary Schmitt Boyer and the homilitics of Philip Morris.

    Andrea Simakis is hidden in the fashion section of the PD. She might be their best writer now.

    rock on, space trouts.

  • Biki
  • SamVox

    Carl, you make some nice points about the sportswriting in the PD. But Terry Pluto scribbling in his notebook and talking to himself isn't journalism.

    Livingston is one of the best writers on the planet. He wasn't bounced from Philly. He was on the Sixers beat, and the PD hired him as a columnist. That's a promotion, and Philly's loss. Livi has been the only reason to read the PD for almost three decades. Agree w/ you on Shaw, though.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    Wow. Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Livingston.

  • SamVox

    Not tryin' to gas Livi up, just call'em how I see'em. I don't always agree with him, but how do you doubt his talent as a writer?

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