Posts Tagged ‘Lebron James’

Eddie Money Exclusive Interview

Eddie Money was an MTV Pioneer.  He was a consistent chart holder throughout the 80’s.  He was a wild, “no control” showing animal.  He typified how the music industry can be conquered, and this Friday, he is coming to Warren to play those hits that mark his legacy in the music industry.  Los Gallos and Coors Light are backing Eddie Pannuti in welcoming the Money Man back to the area to do a Relay For Life benefit concert.

Paneech:  Do you get excited about coming to the Youngstown – Warren area?

Money:  I’m very excited about coming back to that area.  I have befriended the Debartolo family over the years.  I have played golf there and they have some of the best ice cream I have ever eaten.  It is one of those stops on the tour where I feel like I have a strong connection with a certain group of people and I love that area, like a certain pocket of the country.  I am really looking forward to playing there.

Paneech:  Walk me through the transition of going from a cop to a rock star.

Money:  My father and grandfather were NYPD officers and my brother is now.  I was against the Vietnam War and my brother was there.  I was kind of stuck because I really didn’t want to go to college.  I ended up working on the force for a little period of time and then moved to Southern California to attend UC Berkeley.  I caught a few breaks and got a big push from Bill Graham and Columbia Records.  Next thing I knew, I was doing Saturday Night Live and Midnight Special.

Paneech:  With a touch of law enforcement, comment on the terrorism that America is unfortunately fearing these days.

Money:  The world is becoming a very confusing place.  There is a lot of bad in the world these days and ever since 9/11, Rock and Roll has become the remedy.  I feel like I am doing my part by playing my 14 hits that were on the Billboard Hot List.  (Laughs) When I am sober, I do real good stuff.

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Paneech:  What is your favorite Eddie Money song that you look forward to playing?

Money:  I like to play whatever the people want to hear.  Take Me Home Tonight is a big crowd favorite.  I like to play that song, I also really like to play Shakin’ and Two Tickets To Paradise.  Ultimately, whatever the audience wants, is what I want to play.

Paneech:  What sports do you like to watch, and who are your favorite teams?

Money:  I am a sports junkie.  I watch baseball, basketball, and football.  I ran the mile in high school – right around the five minute mark, that made me the fastest kid in school.  I also played soccer.  As far as the pros go – I like Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.  I am not a big Lebron James fan, but geez, he is amazing to be that big, strong, and quick.  I follow the Mets and the Giants baseball teams pretty close too.  How about this Matt Harvey for the Mets?  He threw good again last night.

Paneech:  What do you like to listen to?

Money:  I have a pretty wide range.  I like to listen to Judy Collins.  I also like Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, and on and on.  I get caught humming the newer stuff sometimes because of my kids.  If we are driving in the car somewhere, I get forced into Lil’ Wayne sometimes.

Paneech:  Who is your best friend in music?

Money:  My drummer – Glenn Symmonds.  We just found out that he has cancer and it breaks my heart.  I don’t want to get all emotional, but he has been a great friend and now faces the biggest fight of his life.

Paneech:  You recently did a spot for Geico (above).  How many takes before they said Two Tickets sounded good enough?

Money:  (Laughs)  It was an adventure, that’s for sure.  Originally, there was a woman at another desk.  We fired her and she isn’t in the commercial.  We did 30 takes.  Somewhere in the high teens, a bird flew into the shot and that got scrapped.  We ended up keeping the one that my wife thought I sounded pitchy on.  Today is her birthday, and she is not in a great mood.

Paneech:  Who are your favorite people to play for?

Money:  Without question, the people in uniform who represent our great country.  On my website, there is a single called One More Soldier Coming Home.  All of the proceeds from that single are being donated to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Group.  You know, I met a group of Marines and we decided to head to a bar.  Let me tell you, those Marines can drink.  It was actually my honor to spend that time with them, I have so much respect for all of the men and women who defend the United States.

Paneech:  How big of a boost did the emergence of MTV give your career?

Money:  It was huge, and the break I got was that very few were smart enough to realize the impact MTV would have.  I was a top dog.  Me and Huey Lewis.  Looking back at the Shakin’ video, I kind of looked like a singing shoe salesman.

Paneech:  What can you attribute the success to?

Money:  It is a tough business to crack.  As an artist, you will get chewed up and spit out.  My kids already think that they are going to be famous.  It is a stressful process filled with hard work that ultimately ends up being a lot of fun.  You need to get lucky and catch your share of breaks.


One Word Answers with Eddie Money

Favorite TV Show:  Sportscenter.

Biggest Phobia:  Heights (Acrophobia).

Amount of Hours You Sleep Per Night:  Eight.

Favorite Cartoon Character:  Yosemite Sam.

Favorite Movie:  The Godfather.

Fast Food Destination And Order:  Taco Bell.  I get two tacos and I used to love the beef burritos when they had the green sauce, but it disappeared.

Plug For The Concert at The Warren Amphitheater:  I’ve got two tickets for all of the fans in Warren and Youngstown.  It is going to be a fun show and I hope to pack the place.  It is circled in my datebook.

The Cavs Join The Browns And Indians And Set New Lows


Being geographically close to Cleveland, I feel bad for my fellow sports fans who root for Cleveland teams.  Admittedly, I am a Cavs fan and will continue to root for the team with a shiny new record for most NBA losses in a row with 26. The overall compilation of these three teams has produced zero championships in 50 plus years in any of their respective sports.  Certain towns (Cubs fans, turn your heads), have a team who hasn’t won anything over a longer time span, but collectively, the Browns, Indians, and Cavs comprise the worst trifecta of a regional sports market that currently exists.

Let’s start with the oldest, the Cleveland Indians.  The Indians won a World Series in 1920 then had to wait 28 years to get another.  This is when there were no more than 20 teams in the league and the odds of winning were greater.  The 1954 Indians, who won a then-record, 111 games, failed to complete the mission and are simply a highlight of a Willie Mays running over-the-shoulder catch.  Did this start the futility on the diamond?  In 1995, with a start studded lineup and a brand new stadium, the Indians drew large crowds and won games, but no trophies or flags.  Nowadays they are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates price is right.  Dump Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, etc. but make some scratch.


Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, and Larry Nance were the nucleus of some of the best Cavs teams of the late eighties and early nineties.  Unfortunately, as Craig Ehlo can testify, they played during the Michael Jordan Era.  We all know about Lebron James and the “decision” he made.   Before his decision, he got Cleveland into the 2007 NBA Finals to play San Antonio.  It was big progress for a franchise that never won.  Now that James is wearing a Heat uniform and playing with two All-Stars and his former supporting cast starring Anderson Varajeo and Antwan Jamison has set the NBA standard for consecutive losses, did he still do the wrong thing?  Or was he that good?  I think he was.  His supporting cast sucked, and still do.  The guy wanted to win a championship, not babysit Delonte West or teach JJ Hickson how to dribble.

Then there are the Browns.  Always a good supporting cast, but no stars, and Phil Dawson may have his own “decision” show on the deuce here pretty quick.  Granted, Art Modell is a hated man in Cleveland and rightfully so.  However, the drafting and coaching since Palmer took over in 1998 for the return season have been awful.  Butch Davis? Wow. The worst part is that Browns fans have argued with anyone who questions the ability of a hired hand in Cleveland.  Draft Day is a mess too. Hopefully the Browns can pick something other than a new season ticket package offering reduced ticket prices for 2011.

The one constant that amazes me is the fan support of all three teams.  Hats off to Cleveland sports fans for remaining some of the most loyal people who root for a team.

YSU Football Profiles: Jamaine Cook


Jamaine Cook is probably the quietest and most humble YSU Football Player I have ever interviewed.  He doesn’t like to talk about himself too much, is quick to praise members of his team, and takes the politically correct answer in the shortest form that he can present it.  The introverted running back speaks loudly with the ball in his hands.  Through seven games, Cook leads the Penguins rushing game with 781 yards on 133 carries.  He will probably top the 1,000 yard mark for his career at YSU this weekend, and he is just a sophomore.

Paneech:  What is the mindset of this team following three close heartbreaking losses?

Cook:  We have to get a win this week.  We have goals and if we want to maintain our goals and reach them we have to win this game.

Paneech:  Your coaches have chosen to employ a rotation to keep fresh legs on the field.  When you are feeling it, is it  tough to come out of the game?  What is your favorite play?

Cook:  I love the rotation and I think it helps us a lot.  It keeps all of the backs fresh and I don’t have a problem sharing the reps.  It is a good way to spread the love.  My favorite play is 28 or 29 outside zone.  It is a running play to the outside.

Paneech:  To many, it is amazing that this team only uses 53 of 63 scholarships and have so many freshman and sophomores involved in the grand scheme of things. 

Cook:  We are optimistic about the future, but right now we are way more worried about finishing this year off strong.  We can worry about next year when the time comes.  At this point we are still keeping our hopes alive for making the playoffs. 


Paneech:  You come from Cleveland, and a big family.  How many siblings do you have?

Cook:  I have four sisters and two brothers.  I have a sister that is 21, then me, then a brother who is 17, twin sisters that are 13, another sister who is 11, and a little brother who is four.  My oldest sister is in college working to become a nurse, so the twins are obviously looking up and saying, yeah, that’s my brother playing football (laughs).

Paneech:  Since you are from Cleveland, are you a Browns and Cavs fan? 

Cook:  Yes, I am a Browns fan, and I hate the Steelers.  I don’t know why the Browns can’t ever put it all together, but I keep my faith in them and just hope that they can get a win from week-to-week.  As far as the Cavs go, when Miami comes to Cleveland, I want to see the Cavs shut down LeBron because he left.  He should not have left, so he deserves a loss when he comes here.

Paneech:  Who is the NFL running back that you want to copy both on and off the field?

Cook:  There is really no one right now, but I can say that Walter Payton is my favorite running back.  He ran with an unbelievable amount of heart and passion, that is the way I want to run every time I am on the field.


One Word Answers

Favorite Soft Drink:  Gatorade.

Favorite Fast Food:  Burger King!  Double Stacker, Two Rodeo Burgers and a Medium Fry.

Favorite TV Show:  ESPN Sportscenter.

Favorite Video Game:  Madden 2010.

Favorite Pro Wrestler:  Brock Lesnar.

What’s Easier, The Dentist or The Doctor?  :  The Doctor.

How Many Times Do You Shave In A Month?   Two to Three times to look up to par.

Best Movie Ever Made?  300.

Desperate Housewives or Dancing With The Stars?  Dancing With The Stars.

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YSU Football Profiles: Ely Ducatel


Health,  it affects all of us at some point in our lives.  Ely Ducatel has been a member of the Youngstown State University Football Team for awhile, but in 2010 something is very different — he’s healthy.  Ducatel has not enjoyed the countless hours of pain and rehabilitation to get back, but he is enjoying his role on the team.  The 6’1″, 195 pound junior from Naples, Florida has goals beyond the field and had some enlightening answers to many questions.

Paneech: You had a couple of years where you got hurt.  How hard is it to sit there and just watch?

Ducatel: It is really hard to deal with.  I put a lot of time in, especially my first year going into that Spring.  I redshirted and worked on getting stronger and faster and ended up tearing my ACL.  After that, I had a series of injuries including reinjuring the ACL, dealing with back spasms, and hamstring injuries.  It feels really good to get back on the field.  I took care of myself this year which meant working hard but also eating right.  Coach Longo always let me hear about eating right and kept telling me to stay away from McDonald’s.

Paneech: Let’s shift gears and talk about your education, how is school going for you?

Ducatel: My education and studies are going really well.  I am surrounded with good people, such as tutors,  who are willing to help me when I need it.  The football players have a great academic center to work with.  We have study tables where people are making sure that you are going to class.  Even the teachers are willing to work with you because they know you travel and they really do hold the players best interests at heart.


Paneech:  Dominique Barnes is the big-play receiver on offense, do you feel like if a team wants to take him out of the offense that your role expands?

Ducatel: When our top receiver, Dominique Barnes, is getting double-teamed, of course I want to step up and make plays knowing that I have one-on-one coverage on me.  Usually they will just move the safety over and that leaves just a cornerback for me to work on and I can run routes into areas where there is a linebacker.

Paneech:  Is the team chemistry better this year than it had been since you arrived here?

Ducatel:  It’s much different, I can’t really say what is better and what is worse.  This year, we are definitely more focused.  These coaches really get after you, but they honestly want the best for you.  They are not here to be your best friend, they are here to coach you up to be the best player that you can be.

Paneech:  Who is going to the Superbowl this year and who wins?  Stephen Blose picked the Raiders.

Ducatel:  I definitely want to see the New England Patriots go.  I would say the Saints or the Packers, although the Packers lost their running back.  Michael Vick is starting now, so I am going to say it will be New England and Philadelphia.  The NFC won last year, so I think it will go back to the AFC, I will say the Pats win it all.

Paneech:  What other sports do you follow besides football?

Ducatel:  I like basketball, both NBA and college.  I love watching certain players like Lebron James.  Lebron is still growing as an athlete and he will keep improving.  With him going to Florida, it is just electrifying down there right now.  I also watch a little Tennis, the Williams Sisters are interesting to follow and you can actually pick up things to try on the football field such as lateral movement.

Paneech: Now that Coach Longo has left the field, please tell me what you were eating that was so unhealthy.

Ducatel: (laughs)  I love Charley’s Steakhouse.  After the season is over, I will probably go over there and grab me a little steak sub, some fries and a lemonade.


One Word Answers

Best Show On Television: Sportscenter.

Favorite Pro Wrestler: I loved Hulk Hogan.

Song No One Would Expect On Your ipod: Christina Aguilera – I’m A Genie In The Bottle.

Gum You Chew: Minty or Winter Fresh Orbit.

Favorite Beverage: Lemonade.

Best Move You Ever Made On The Field:  Catching a bubble screen and cutting across the middle of the field for about a 60-yard touchdown.

Toppings On A Pizza:  Supreme, everything.

Tell Me What Picture To Use In Your Profile: I would like something of me and all the other receivers together.  That would be a really cool thing.

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Scrappers Pull One Out In The Ninth!


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers seem to be catching on.  The Scrappers put together a nice ninth inning rally to get by the Tri-City Valley Cats.  After last nights 16-hit offensive bonanza, the Scrappers pulled out the rare one-run win, 3-2, in front of 4,516 fans at Eastwood Field.  After the game, the Scrappers held a “Lebronfire“, where the burning of Cleveland sports items were torched after the game.

Tyler Burnett (no relation to Chase) put the Cats in front in the first inning when he crossed home on Ben Heath’s RBI-single.  The run would be all that Scrapper starter Alex Kaminsky would give up as he turned in another strong start going five for the home team.  “Alex has been great all year for us, and he had another good start tonight”, remarked Travis Fryman after the game.

Chase Burnette (pictured) hit a solo shot in the fifth, his second in two nights to tie the game.  Burnette seems to be heating up after a week-long slump.

The teams would exchange runs and set the stage for Diego Seastrunk’s heroics in the ninth.  Seastrunk hit a long sac fly with one down in the ninth to provide the win for the Scrappers.  The large crowd roared for most of the ninth inning and everyone was really into the game.

Fryman liked the enthusiasm.  “I’m really getting to work on my Spanglish this season. We have a lot of players from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and other places.  They did not get to play in front of many people where they were before here, so it is a treat to see so many of them that are the same ages having so much fun in front of a good crowd.”

Busy, busy weekend for the Scrappers as George “The Animal” Steele will be in-house Saturday doing meet and greets and tossing out the first pitch.  Sunday is the emotional headline of the season as Luke Holko will honor his one-day contract and will get to enjoy his day in the sun after all he has been through.  I would not miss Sunday for anything.

So Long, George Steinbrenner


The Ohio State fans showed respect when Bo Schembechler passed, Michigan fans reciprocated when Woody Hayes left. Baseball fans either love or hate the Yankees, there is no middle ground.  With that inference in place, I bid farewell to George Steinbrenner, a guy who did anything he could to win at any cost.  I am on the other side of the Yankee fence, hate the way they can buy championships by fielding an all-star team, and would rather hear vuvuzela’s humming at a soccer game than watch the Yankees win a World Series again.

Steinbrenner single-handedly revolutionized free agency in baseball.  If he liked a player, the player was soon a Yankee, and a rich Yankee at that.  Several members of my own family are Yankees fans, as well as friends, who don’t root for the Knicks, Jets, or Rangers – just the Yankees.  Just like Lebron James, Steinbrenner left Cleveland to pursue his dreams.  I can go on and on and on, but I won’t… not this time.

The admirable quality that has my respect are the suddenly popular stories of the countless charitable acts that Steinbrenner did. Maybe I misread him as a person while he was here.  To make a mockery of a sport by purchasing everybody is one thing, but to make sure a down and out player was financially taken care of years after he retired, well that is just goodwill that he hid, and he has my respect in that regard.

One thing is certain, baseball will not be the same without him.  I can’t wait to watch his son, who admittedly knows little about baseball, spend millions of dollars for the wrong guys.  Enjoy what “The Boss” has left you, Yankee fans.  Soon, you will return to mediocrity, by George.

Rest in peace, George Steinbrenner.

Scrappers Plan Lebronfire, Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert Officially Invited


At the conclusion of the August 5th Mahoning Valley Scrappers game, a Lebronfire will be held at Eastwood Field. The baseball game will feature the Scrappers against the Tri-City Valley Cats.  Any fan who shows up at the gate and turns in any piece of Lebron James Cavaliers Apparel will be given a free Upper Box Seat ticket.

After the game, the merchandise will be destroyed behind second base via fire, Lebronfire. Cavs Owner, Dan Gilbert, has been invited to lead the festivities.

Scrapper GM Dave Smith says the ceremony may provide closure for distraught Cavs fans.  “Hopefully the night will give the loyal fans of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio a chance to turn the page on a very disappointing chapter in Cleveland sports history.  I would doubt that any true Cleveland fan will want to wear their Lebron James jersey ever again.”

Additionally, the Scrappers will accept as a trade-in the Rally Towels that were passed out to fans during the Lebron James — Stay In Cleveland Rally’.  Any other Cleveland bitterness (The Drive, Art Modell, The Fumble, Jordan’s Shot over Craig Ehlo)  can also be used to help start the fire after the game.

Travis Fryman Gives His Views On Lebron James Leaving Cleveland


It happened.  The announcement was made Thursday at around 9:35 p.m. that Lebron James would be leaving the nest to fly South and play with his friends.  The announcement and ESPN hype show that aired took over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers game for a brief moment.  PA Announcer John Brown aired the decision to the audience and was greeted by a loud chorus of boos.  Not only that, but it happened to be buck night, so some of the booing was vulgar and malicious.

Travis Fryman spent some time in Cleveland as an Indian and although he confessed he does not follow other sports very closely, “the decision” that Lebron made is another black eye to Cleveland.  “Although my opinion on the subject doesn’t really mean squat, it disappoints me.  I have always admired a player like Alan Trammel who spent his entire career with one organization.  Loyalty, to me, means that both sides give up something. The team was willing to pay the guy, but the player should want to give something back to that organization.  He certainly gave his best effort while he was here.”

We are gonna win here, we are gonna lose here, either way, I am a Cleveland player.  I like that mentality”, said Fryman.  “I felt that way when I was in Detroit until somebody traded me, so then I decided to feel that way about Cleveland.  I am sure it was not an easy decision for him.”

Fryman also added, “It’s tough.  It’s been tough on Browns, Indians and Cavs fans for the last several years.  Cleveland deserves a winner, hopefully sooner than later.  It’s been awhile and it seems like Cleveland is chasing the Cubs. It’s a great place to play and there are some great fans there. They deserve a winner too, every now and then.”

Lebron choosing Miami over Cleveland also brings to mind that three stars who like their numbers and their press have to share the ball.  One piece of corn, three pigs, you do the math. How cool would it be to see the Cavs, Knicks, or Bulls, knock Miami out of the playoffs?

Scrappers Can’t Guarantee Lebron Will Stay But Shut Out Jamestown, 3-0


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers promo department deserves props for a good turnout of 4,600 Thursday.  Not only was it buck night, but it was also the big “Keep Lebron in Cleveland” promo.  Scrapper pitching was also worthy of praise.  Mahoning Valley starter Owen Dew threw six perfect innings and the home team scratched out enough offense to win a 3-0 contest with Jamestown.

The Scrappers got on the scoreboard first when Giovanny Urshela (above) hit a line drive past shortstop knocking in Diego Seastrunk and Andrew Kinney.  With two outs in the inning, Jamestown starter Dallas Poulk walked Seastrunk and then gave up a ground-rule double to Kinney.  Urshela then connected for the two-out hit to put the Scrappers up 2-0.

Mahoning Valley pushed their lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Diego Seastrunk hit into a double play with nobody out.  Wyatt Toregas scored from third on the play.  Toregas walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball.

Dew, who had one previous start, kept his ERA at 0.00.  At this level, where individual development is the primary focus, the pitchers are held to a very strict pitch count.  Dew, a 6′ 2″ righty,  was drafted earlier this year in the 21st round out of Central Florida.  “It felt good, I was hitting spots with my two-seamer tonight,” commeneted Dew.

“I’m sure I will eventually give up a run.  Credit the guys behind me for making some good plays.  There are some differences here compared to college.  In college ball, when you jam someone using an aluminum bat, the hits will drop more frequently than they do here with the wooden bats,” remarked Dew.

The perfect game attempt came to an end when Takafumi Nakamura yielded a single with one out in the seventh.  Marcell Ozuna got the clean hit to spoil the celebration.  However, the Scrappers got out of the inning with their 3-0 lead intact.


After the game, Scrapper Skipper, Travis Fryman, praised his young pitchers.  “Owen showed a lot of composure and got outs.  I think he was very sharp the first couple of innings.  Yesterday we dang near got no-hit ourselves, so the guys do feel good about this one tonight.”

With the win, the Scrappers improved to .500 at 7-7 on the young season.  Jamestown comes back to Eastwood Field Friday and Saturday nights.  First pitch is set for 7:05 both nights.

Scrappers To Hold Lebron James Night Tonight

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are holding a rally tonight as a theme for their regular season game.  The theme is centered around keeping Lebron James in Cleveland.

  • Commemorative rally towel giveaway to the first 1,000 fans.
  • Any fan wearing Cleveland Cavaliers or LeBron James gear will get a free lower box seat ticket for the game.
  • Anyone wearing New York, Chicago, or Miami gear will be denied entry into the stadium.
  • If the Scrappers score 6 or more runs during the game, all fans will receive a free ticket to either the July 2 or 3 Scrappers game.
  • A poster will be available for fans to sign showing their support for LeBron. The poster will be sent to Cleveland following the game.
  • If LeBron resigns with Cleveland, the Scrappers grounds crew will cut LeBron James yard for a year and the Scrappers cleaning crew will clean his house for a year.
  • If LeBron resigns with Cleveland, the Scrappers will name a section of the lower seating area after him. 23 game tickets will be donated for each home game for the remainder of the season to area youth or community organizations.


July 1 is also Buck Night presented by the injury attorneys at Plevin and Gallucci and CD 93.3. General Admission tickets, hot dogs and 12 oz. drinks are just $1 each.