Author Archives: Harry Yeprem Jr.

March Madness Commercials > Super Bowl Commercials

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Super Bowl Commercials?  Nah.
March Madness Commercials Are Much More Worthy Of Your Attention.

Just watch Greg Gumbel’s reaction at the end of this…

And how can you resist Samuel L., Chuck & Spike?

Give us March Madness & it’s commercials any day.
(Ok, DirecTV & Capital One…slide us a few bucks…)


March Madness Bracket Etiquette

It is quite possibly (with apologies to Christmas) the most wonderful time of the year.  It is the NCAA Basketball Tournament otherwise known as “March Madness”.  Get ready for nail-biters, buzzer beaters and three weeks of one of the things that makes America great.

CBS’ “Selection Show” was not the torture of last year even though once again Charles Barkley showed he has no business talking College Basketball.

This year’s tournament seems to once again be wide open with the exception of Villanova. The defending champions are the overall #1 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.  Plus, the mid-major teams just do not seem to be as imposing as in previous years.

Now, let’s get to the subject of “Bracket Etiquette”.
That is right.  I don’t care how many “Bracket Challenges” you enter, you must stick to once set of picks.  Actually I believe you should only fill out one bracket, but I know the lure of cash and prizes can be too much.  If you make different picks on different brackets, you have no conviction in your beliefs.  You are a “waffler”, a “flip-flopper” or some other names I probably shouldn’t use in this forum.  MAKE YOUR PICKS AND STICK WITH THEM.

You know why you shouldn’t make fun of other people’s brackets?  Not because it isn’t cool, no.  It is because we all know how this will play out.  Jill in Human Resources who makes her picks based on team mascots and uniforms will end up winning the office pool.  You know it, I know it.  You may think you are the “Jay Bilas” of your office branch but you will probably end up dead last.  So don’t make fun of other people’s brackets.

Trust me, I know how tempting it is to throw your brackets in the trash or delete your entry after a rough Thursday & Friday in the tournament.  But guess what?  Most of your friends are flaming out as well.  Don’t give in.  Stick with it. Who knows?  By the end of the weekend you may be back in the mix….or Jill in Human Resources may be kicking your ass. Offer to buy her lunch to keep her from talking trash.

If you are like me, you fill out a paper bracket.  You do it in pen.  This shows that you have conviction in your picks. You know (or at least you think you do) which #9 seeds will beat the #8 seeds.  Don’t be a weasel who fills it out in pencil only to try to erase it later.  We can see the spots where something has been erased.

This is the NCAA Tournament.  There will be upsets.  That is what makes the event so much fun.  It is true that a #16 seed has yet to topple a #1 seed.  But you know there will be some #12 seeds who take down some #5s.  Don’t be the guy or gal who picks “all chalk”.  For those who don’t know, “all chalk” is where you pick the top seed in every match up, leading to a Final Four of all #1 seeds.  Sure, your odds may be better off doing that, but where is the fun in that? It just shows your are a very dull individual.

Now that we have that out of the way, here is my one and only bracket. (Filled out in pen, by the way.)

Enjoy the Madness everyone…and why not follow me on twitter (@HarryFromCBus) as I once again renew my rivalry with truTV for being only worthwhile during the NCAA Tournament.


Would The WNBA Work In Columbus?

Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  The NBA will never come to Columbus.  The Cavs would probably have something to say about that (and to a lesser extent, the Pacers).  So why not go for the next best thing, the WNBA?  The Cavs should be receptive to that and probably would help in running a prospective franchise here.

Now before you double over in laughter, hear me out.  Columbus has a history when it comes to Professional Women’s Basketball.  The Columbus Quest of the ABL played here in Columbus from 1996-1998.  The Quest was the league’s most successful franchise & won two championships.  Over 6,000 showed up for the team’s deciding game in the 1998 ABL Championship.

The Ohio State Women’s Basketball Team also has a history of success, turning out great players like Katie Smith (who also played for the Quest) and currently, Kelsey Mitchell.
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Let’s be honest.  Columbus has a very diverse population and an audience looking for more than just Ohio State Football these days.  I think the WNBA could carve out a fan base here. Plus, Nationwide Arena could use another tenant to fill in open dates outside of Blue Jackets hockey.

What do you think?  Could Columbus support a WNBA team?

Is Ryan Johansen A Crybaby?

The Nashville Predators faced the Columbus Blue Jackets at Columbus’ Nationwide Arena this past weekend and a former Jackets player is a little miffed at how he was received.  Ryan Johansen played for the Jackets nearly four NHL seasons before being involved in a blockbuster trade that brought Seth Jones to Columbus.
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Ryan even was involved in 2015 All Star festivities in Columbus after a stellar 2014-15 season that saw him amass 26 goals and 45 assists.  It is thought in many circles that Ryan was traded because he & head coach John Tortorella did not see eye-to-eye.

Apparently when Ryan returned to Columbus this past weekend, he expected a warmer return than he received; “I am a little disappointed they didn’t put anything on the Jumbotron and say ‘thank you’ or anything like that,” Johansen told the Columbus Dispatch. “I think we all know who made that call, but whatever.”  The “who” is more than likely John Tortorella.

No, the only reception he received at Nationwide Arena was boos from the CBJ faithful.  So what do you think?  Did Ryan deserve some recognition from CBJ management or is he just being a whiner?

Is PacMan Jones Above The Law?

Bengals cornerback Adam “PacMan” Jones is not exactly someone you would call a “Model Citizen”.  He has had numerous scrapes with the law.  Adam has been charged in the past with the following– assault, felony vandalism, marijuana possession, felony & misdemeanor counts of obstruction of justice, felony coercion, battery, misdemeanor count of threat to life and conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.  Jones was also suspended by the NFL in 2008 for violating the league’s Code of Conduct.

On January 2nd, 2017, Adam was involved in a bizarre incident.  Jones was at Cincinnati’s Millennium Hotel & according to prosecutors was “beating on different hotel room doors.” Prosecutors also say Adam pushed and poked a hotel security employee in the eye after they came to investigate.

A 911 call was made from the hotel and a police dispatch log says the phone was apparently dropped and “a lot of…arguing” could be heard.  Jones was eventually arrested…which led to this disturbing video…

It is also alleged that Jones spit on a jail nurse that evening.  What’s particularly puzzling is that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters now discredits the jail nurse’s accusation, claiming that the nurse, Tammy Hopkins, is trying to squeeze money out of Adam Jones and the Bengals.  Hopkins denies the accusation & is upset by Deters’ inaction regarding Jones.

Even more odd is that Deters said he is unsure about prosecuting Jones & will wait to see what punishment, if any, the NFL will take against Jones.  He also said that Jones has entered anger management & alcohol-related treatment.

WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?  If Adam Jones broke the law, he should be prosecuted….and why are the Bengals being so quiet about this???  Just look at the tape of Jones in the police cruiser.  That should be enough.  Bengals Owner Mike Brown needs to grow some stones and do what is right….and that is to GET RID OF PACMAN JONES.

Do what is right for the Cincinnati community & law enforcement.  Get rid of this menace.

What’s A ‘Matta’ With Ohio State Basketball?

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On July 4, 2002 Thad Matta took the reins of the Ohio State Basketball program.  As of this writing, Thad has a  74% winning percentage (335-119) as Ohio State Head Coach.  He has taken the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament nine times with two Sweet Sixteen appearances, one Elite Eight & Final Four appearance and a runner-up performance in 2007.  The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten five times under his leadership.

So why are the rumblings of getting rid of Matta as Ohio State Head Man growing louder & louder?  For one, Matta no longer seems to be able to recruit top-notch players like the Odens & Conleys of the past and the few he did land recently (Daniel Giddens, Mickey Mitchell & Austin Grandstaff) decided to move on to other programs.  Plus, watching Nigel Hayes from Toledo dominate for Wisconsin still stings.

The Buckeyes fell in the second round of last year’s NIT (to Florida as a road team on their own court) and appear to be headed to a NIT berth at the very best again this season as they languish in the Big Ten with a 5-8 record.

So what is going on with Thad?  Is he just mailing it in as Head Coach?  It is no secret that Matta has been dealing with back issues for a few years now.  And bottom line, the Buckeyes just look flat.  There have been flashes of excitement (a win over Michigan recently gave a glimmer of hope) but for the most part this team just seems to be going through the motions.  Value City Arena has become a mausoleum this season, with many empty seats and less than enthusiastic crowds.

Now, let’s be honest, Ohio State is and always will be a football school.  But Ohio State deserves better than back-to-back NIT tournament teams.  It may be time to send Thad packing.

Thank You Brandon Phillips

I would like to thank Brandon Phillips. Thank him for finally agreeing to a trade and allow the Reds to move on with their “rebuild”. I would imagine BP was given some sort of ultimatum about his playing time, so he decided to move on. But no matter the reason, I would like to thank him for agreeing to this.
I also would like to thank him for his time with the Reds. There is NO DOUBT Brandon is the GREATEST 2nd Baseman in franchise history… to Joe Morgan, of course. He was spectacular with his glove and bat. He also was willing to bat anywhere in the lineup. He definitely was worth the price of admission on the field.
Now, yes…Brandon did do things off the field that frustrated me. Brandon definitely loved him some Brandon. Was he dismissive of the media at times? Sure. Was he prickly with fans at times? Sure. But I also saw Brandon do many great things with fans…especially with young fans. Now be honest….haven’t you had a time or two or three at work you may not be proud of? Yes, I am sure you have.
Bottom Line….it was time. Time for Brandon to move on. Having him on the Reds roster any longer made no sense.
Thank you Brandon. Good Luck in Atlanta.

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Why Are You Still Listening To Mike & Mike?

Mike and Mike - May 16, 2013

Bristol, CT – May 16, 2013 – Studio E: Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on the set of Mike and Mike (Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

For nearly twenty years sports talk listeners have spent their mornings traveling to work with ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike”.  For almost twenty years I have not understood why. Sports Talk is admittedly a vast wasteland for the most part, but “Mike & Mike” are the leading example why.  From their manufactured takes to manufactured disagreements on subjects to Golic’s annoying “Hellloooooooo Greeeeeeeenieeeeeeeee” on commercials, the show is akin to listening to nails on a chalkboard.  At least, I think so.

The two are supposed to be sports’ “Odd Couple” with Mike Greenberg being the uptight Felix Unger & former NFL star Mike Golic being the slobbish Oscar Madison.

Listeners tune in consistently and in large numbers.  “Mike & Mike” is usually the highest rated sports talk show in the morning in most cities it airs.  It also usually finishes highly against other mainstream radio shows.  Why?  Why do you all listen to this?  I would rather shove pencils into my eardrums than listen to this manufactured drivel.

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There are so many better options in morning for sports talk fans.  The problem is accessing them.  “The Steve Czaban Show” on Yahoo Sports Radio is the best sports show in the morning, and quite frankly, maybe the best sports show overall.  Czaban is a long time veteran of yakking with stints in Milwaukee and currently Washington D.C.  Czaban and his crew will not annoy you with manufactured takes and arguments.  It is more like listening to you and your buddies talk sports and take shots at those who deserve it.  The catch is, of course, finding Yahoo Sports Radio.  More likely than not, you will have to listen online.

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“Fox Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman & Mike North on Fox Sports Radio is also much more listenable than “Mike & Mike”.  Furman and North are both long-time sportstalkers with Furman hailing from Cincinnati’s 700 WLW & North a vet of Chicago sports radio.  As with Czaban and crew, Furman & North will not manufacture friction.  You can tell the friction between the two is real.  The only drawback is you can tell the two are not in the same studio and sometimes the back & forth between the two can be awkward.

Of course, you could just listen to some music but what does it matter?  Most of you will still listen to “Mike & Mike” trot out their tired takes and interviews with guests who are sponsored by some website.  Sigh.

FS1:Where Dreams Go To Die

Fox Sports 1 or as it is now more commonly known as, FS1, has been making some news recently with its hires of former ESPN “Hot Take Artists” Jason Whitlock & Skip Bayless. One has to wonder if FS1 learned its lesson with the much ballyhooed hiring of noted shit stirrer Colin Cowherd last summer.

Cowherd brought some initial heat for the network at first but since has become buried in the sports talk landscape.  Cowherd is consistently beaten by programming on NBCSN, MLB Network and CBS Sports Network, all of which are seen in far fewer homes.  On a related note, are any radio stations (other than in LA) airing the simulcast of “The Herd”? It seems like when given a choice between Rich Eisen and Cowherd, most Fox Sports Radio affiliates are taking Eisen.
whitlessIn what seems like desperation, FS1 has announced that Cowherd & Whitlock will debut a new show on June 13th where they will debate each other daily.  Sounds like something to avoid.

FS1 started out with grandeur after taking over what was once known as Speed.  You remember the Speed Network, right?  You should, since it got better ratings than what is now FS1.  In fact, one of the few popular shows on FS1 is “Nascar Race Hub” which came over from Speed.

Even FS1’s answer to “SportsCenter”, “Fox Sports Live” was a unmitigated disaster. Hosted by two smartassed Canadians, Jay Onrait & Dan O’Toole, it boasted an analyst roster ranging from Andy Roddick to Randy Moss…all of which gave “hot takes” on everything.  Yes, Andy Roddick attempted to talk NFL Football.

The show eventually morphed into the two Canucks showing clips and making jokes from a storage closet.

Even Regis Philbin, yes Reege, hosted a show on FS1.

I hope Cowherd, Bayless and Whitlock enjoy their financial windfalls.  Because they just sentenced themselves to “Hot Take Siberia” by joining the rolling tumbleweed known as FS1.

Bryce Harper Is A Punk

Yes, Bryce Harper is probably the best player in Major League Baseball right now.  Yes, Bryce Harper is bringing younger fans and excitement to the game.  Yes, Bryce Harper will probably end up in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done.

But one thing remains the same.  Bryce Harper is a punk.  A spoiled, arrogant punk.
Monday Night, he cried in the fourth inning to home plate umpire Brian Knight after taking a clear strike for a K looking.  Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Harper was ejected after chirping at Knight when the Nats’ Danny Espinosa took strike three looking.  Luckily for Harper, Clint Robinson ended it with a walk-off homer to win it for Washington.

After the game ended, Harper was clearly shown on camera saying “F-ck You” in the direction of Knight during the home plate celebration.  Class act, Harper.  Class act.

(Courtesy Of SB Nation’s Joe Mullinax)

I am sure the fanboys will continue to defend Harper.  I even was beginning to sway Bryce’s way when it came to “Making Baseball Fun Again”.  After his act Monday Night, I am going back to the “old rules”.  Hopefully someone plunks this punk soon.  At the very least, Dusty Baker better get his ass under control.