Will Cleveland Indians Get another Chance at the World Series?

Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field

The Cleveland Indians came out swinging starting the 2017 MLB season on a good footing and fans are starting to believe they can successfully defend the 2016 AL Championship title. So far the tribe has scored 25 wins and 23 losses; a run that has pushed the team to 2nd place in the AL Central division. “They are holding their own but if the tribe can turn up the heat and squeeze out a few more impressive wins, the World Series could be in the cards for the second time in a row”, mentioned Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Like any team, the Indians have gone through some really tough times. For example, they had to turn things around to stop a frustrating losing streak. And they did this in style by beating Kansas City Royals 10-1 at Progressive Field to grab the final game of the three-game series. The last time the Cleveland Indians lost more than three games in a row was back in July, 2015. This illustrates how impressive the tribe’s performance has been in recent years. According to Cleveland Indians manager, Terry Francona, the team needs to stay focused in order to play again at the World Series.

Although the Indians did manage to make it to the 2016 World Series for the first time in nearly twenty years, losing to the Cubs was devastating. But Clevelanders are known for dusting themselves off and getting right back in the game. And that’s exactly what the tribe has done. In fact, Francona is looking to leave his mark by winning this year’s World Series for the first time since 1947. The Indians made their intentions clear at the start of the 2017 season when they showed how aggressive they are in free agency by landing one of the biggest prizes on the market; the signing of Edward Encarnación to a 3-year, $60 million contract.

With a healthy rotation and postseason experience, the tribe is expecting to get things done this year. And manager Francona is getting the best out of the likes of Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, and right-hander Josh Tomlin. The Tribe does not expect this season’s run to be a breeze, but they can take some positives and experience from their loss in last year’s World Series. They also need to absorb all the mounting pressure and pound out a few more impressive wins to score another chance at bringing the Commissioner’s Trophy home to Cleveland.

Image Credit: Doug Chapman

Ohio State Men’s Volleyball Wins Third National Championship

OSU mens volleyball

“Buckeyes fans were once again filled with excitement upon hearing that Ohio State has won the national championship,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. And this was not the first win. OSU also won the national championship in 2011 and 2016. All tallied the OSU men’s volleyball team has now won the national championship three times in six years.

Considering that the team began the season as champions and finished as champions, 2017 has been a great season. And Pete Hanson, Ohio State coach, feels his team deserves the credit. To him, his players were great this season to the extent that he cannot point out what they were unable to do on the court.

OSU’s final game was against BYU, a match that was played in front of a huge home crowd of 8,205 rooting fans. And Hanson states that senior setter Christy Blough, junior outside hitter Nicholas Szerszen, and senior opposite hitter Miles Johnson have also been great this year. They helped OSU beat BYU in straight sets; winning the first set 25-19, the second set 25-20, and the third 25-22. This is the second consecutive time Ohio State has registered a similar win over BYU, a clear indication of how well the team has improved since 2011. The game brought out the best of Szerszen who managed 16 kills. Johnson and junior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir also showed their value to the team by managing 9 and 10 kills, respectively.

But Ohio State did not just win their third national championship trophy since 2011; they also managed to register an overall record of 32-2. Pete Hanson has been at Ohio State for the past 32 seasons, and it is this consistency that’s rapidly turning OSU into one of the teams to beat in the national championship. In fact, Ohio State is only the third straight school to win back-to-back titles. Others include UC Irvine which won crowns in 2012 – 2013 and Loyola that became notable for winning crowns consecutively in 2014 – 2015. Pete Hanson is assisted by Kevin Burch who has also helped to shape this season’s men’s volleyball team and turning them into title contenders.

According to Blough, Coach Hanson told players that they need to treat each game they progress as the best game. And it is that spirit which has made Ohio State become ambitious. Winning the third national championship in just six years is no easy feat. It requires total commitment and hard work, which Hanson has managed to bring into the team. As a result, fans should expect a lot more excitement in the upcoming seasons.

Image Credit: KLM volleyball

Cleveland to Host Team USA Triathlon National Championships

Team USA Triathlon

Cleveland, Ohio has been selected to host the USA Triathlon National Championships in 2018 and 2019. The events, which are expected to attract around 5,000 athletes and 10,000 spectators, will be another big for boost Cleveland’s economy with a total estimated $13 million economic impact for the two annual events,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

The 2018 USA Triathlon National Championships is scheduled to take place from August 11 – 12. The venue will be at Edgewater Beach Park and the surrounding neighborhoods of downtown Cleveland. The 2019 event is expected to take place from August 10 – 11 in the same venue.

On Saturday (August 11, 2018, and August 10, 2019) the concentration will be on the Olympic-distance triathlon. This section includes a 10-kilometer run, 1,500-meter swim, and 40-kilometer bike. Athletes who come top in these categories will represent Team USA at the International Triathlon Union Age Group World Championships. That event will take place in 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland and 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Also, there will be Sunday competitions (August 12, 2018, and August 11, 2019) and this includes a sprint triathlon. The competition will be open to public competitors. The open sprint triathlon will feature a 5-k run, 20-k bike ride, and 750-meter swim. The 5k run and 20k bike ride are scheduled along the Detroit-Shoreway, St. Clair-Superior, Downtown Cleveland, and University Circle neighborhoods. The 750-meter swim, on the other hand, will be held at Edgewater Park.

This is great news for Cleveland. “We are extremely excited that Cleveland was chosen to host the Team USA Triathlon National Championships,” said the President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, David Gilbert.

This is not the first time Cleveland has held a major competition. In 2007, the city hosted an NCAA Division I women’s basketball Final Four while in 2015, it hosted the ACHA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships and U.S. Master’s Swimming Championship. It has also hosted the Donate Life Transplant Games of America, which was held in 2016 and the 2017 USA Fencing North American Cup.

Cleveland is becoming known as the sports city and has been selected to host some very exciting sporting events in the near future. And these include the 2018 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, 2018 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Progressive Field, which is the home of the defending American League Champion, Cleveland Indians.

Image Credit: West Point Military Academy

Cleveland Cavaliers Working Hard to Defend Championship Title

Cleveland Cavaliers

Just as everyone hoped, the Cavs appeared to be on course to successfully defend their championship title with an impressive 28-8 performance at the season opener. Recent wins over the Rockets, Magic, Raptors, and Knicks have boosted confidence in the camp with fans rallying for another championship year, especially when the Cavs came out victors against the Celtics who fought hard. Like the season before, the Cavs’ incredible run appears to be reliant on home-court advantage.

But, just when everything appeared to be right on track, the Cavs fell apart with a disappointing record in January. Some fans were beginning to doubt whether the team could pull off another championship victory. Worst of all, injury issues came from all corners with All-Star forward Kevin Love forced to sit out a Dallas game, which they eventually lost. According to Tyronn Lue, Cleveland Cavaliers coach, Love has back problems and had to leave the court in the first half of a game that saw them overcome Oklahoma City.

The good news is this is not the end. As January ended so too does their misfortunes (we hope) scoring a nice rebound in the first week of February. First, LeBron James seems to have his mojo back. He has an average of 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists. The team is also relying on the efficiency of Kyle Irving who posted a 32-point lead against Houston. And with the big three (LeBron James, Kyle Irving, and Kevin Love) on the court, the Cavs have their sights on another championship title for Cleveland.

“In fact, the Cavs’ impressive win against the Vikings shot Cleveland to the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 33 wins and 15 losses,” mentioned Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Their closest rival in the conference, the Celtics, are 31 and 18. LeBron James and Kevin Love are proving their worth to the team once again with an average of 25.7 points and 11 rebounds, respectively. Every player is focused on defending the title. Their guns are blazing, a clear indication that they are after nothing but to make sure the title remains at The Q. Already the Cavaliers are off to their best start in 40 years and if this run continues (excluding January) will no doubt bring success at the end of the 2016-17 NBA season.

Image Credit: Erik Drost

Loyal Cleveland Fans Sticking with the Browns

Cleveland Browns fans

After a difficult and disappointing season, loyal Cleveland fans are sticking with the Browns. As long as we have a team, there is hope that next year will be our year. Cleveland fans’ loyalty hasn’t gone unnoticed. Browns fans were recently nominated as one of the best fan bases in the world according to Fansided.

After 14 consecutives losses, you could feel a sigh of relief when the Browns won their first game of the season against the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Day. “It’s incredible, man,” said wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. “It’s a relief.” At least it won’t be a winless season. In fact, the Cleveland Browns have not had a winless season in its entire 72-year history.

“This isn’t the first time Browns fans have been disappointed and it certainly will not be the last. The Browns are like a roller coaster with its share of ups and downs,” said Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Unfortunately, they have had more downs than ups in the last few years. It wasn’t always like this. Back in 1948, the four year old team had a perfect season winning all 14 regular season games and the playoff game. While they came close in the following few years, the Browns were never able to repeat it. But they haven’t had a season like this either since 1999, when they won just two games the entire season.

Having drafted 14 NFL players this year, the Browns are a young team with a lot of potential. Like Cody Kessler, a 23-year old rookie QB from USC who proved to be instrumental in the recent win against the Chargers with an important nine yard third-down pass to another rookie player,  WR Corey Coleman. “Even if it was just a few passes or getting to the line of scrimmage, every inch matters and we were able to get the win,” noted Hawkins on ClevelandBrowns.com.

Fans remain hopeful. “Because it’s like believing in Santa Claus,” said Reggie Davis, mechanic and Browns fan. “If you wish every year, and you believe every year, eventually you’ll get what you want.”

Cleveland fans will be hoping for one more Browns victory at their last game of the regular season on New Years Day, Sunday January 1, 2017, against the Steelers at Heinz Stadium in Pittsburgh.

Image Credit: Erik Drost | Flickr

Cleveland Browns Feeling the Pressure for a Win This Season

Cleveland Browns fans

It was Stipe Miocic, Cleveland-based mixed martial artist and UFC Heavyweight Champion, who first put the city of Cleveland on quite the roll. Born in Euclid, Ohio in 1982, his success in May 2016 was quickly followed by a host of fortunes from the Lake Erie Monsters, the Cavs, and most recently, the Cleveland Indians. With these successes the pressure is on for the Cleveland Browns this season. The team is young, probably younger than most opponents in the NFL, and this has made the expectation even higher.

Although the team is far from its peak the high expectations for Cleveland is enough to inject the motivation that will help propel the Browns to greater heights. According to Sashi Brown, executive vice president for the Cleveland Browns, it takes time to develop and start winning titles just like it took the Indians and even the Cavs. So, with hard work, good organization and, of course, motivation, the Browns will undoubtedly make it. But the team is so far 0-8 for the season.  And with the season at its halfway mark, fans are hoping that they will turn things around soon.

The Browns hope that this pressure from the media and fans does not impact negatively on the players but rather the players become motivated by it. After all, there is nothing like the pressure of having won zero games. The players desperately want to win. They need a win. This season, the Browns added 14 players and went further to strategically sign veteran leaders through the free-agency period. Also, the team has an experienced head coach in Hue Jackson who is accustomed to working with young talents at the start of the season.

According to Jackson, there is no science in football; thus, every player should stay focused and the pressure around should not mess with their mindset. “They should strive to win every game and relieve some of the pressure emanating from the media and fans,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. The players understand their coach and know that it’s all about work once they step into the Cleveland Browns camp. With Jackson as their head coach and young talented players who are more than willing to deliver, the Browns have the tools to right the ship. At this point, fans are just hoping for a win.

Image Credit: Erik Drost | Flickr

World Series Fever Hits Clevelanders Hard

Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland

Against all odds, the Cleveland Indians finally made into the World Series for the first time since 1997, after clipping the Toronto Blue Jays in a 3-0 victory to win the pennant in Game 5 of the ALCS Championship on October 19th.  The fact that the Indians are in the World Series has excitement running through the veins of practically every Clevelander. The town has gone wild. While some were cautiously optimistic, they soon found themselves in a state of euphoria after the team’s incredible season and performance.

The past seasons have not been so great for the Indians though; they have struggled a lot. However, things change and this year is theirs to win. The team is strong and spirits in the Cleveland camp are so high that fans are starting to believe the Indians could actually win the World Series. They believe this team is the one to watch because of their outstanding performance this season. This will be the 6th time the Indians have made it to the World Series in their 116-year history. So, the fans are more than happy and everyone in Cleveland wants to be part of the experience. “It’s pretty crazy because Cleveland Indians have had the worst luck since I can remember,” said Britni Alkassmi , 28, of Belpre.

It’s been 68 years since the Cleveland Indians last won the World Series title. But they are playing against the Chicago Cubs which is in a 108-year drought and are just as thirsty for a win. Regardless of who wins, the 2016 World Series is a historic event that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Having seen their team struggle and overcome all sorts of hurdles, Cleveland fans are smiling from ear to ear and share the optimism that the team projects.  In a season that seemed tainted has abruptly turned and many fans simply cannot believe it.

Although game tickets are expensive, fans are trying everything within their reach to get to be part of the experience. “For most, it is more than just watching a baseball game.  It is hometown pride in a city that has had its shares of struggles and is now resurging,” noted Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Cleveland is turning around for the better. Most Cleveland fans believe that this is the year that the Indians will bring it home.

And they’re off to a roaring start. In Game 1 of the World Series opener, the Indians shut down the Cubs in a 3-0 win at Progressive Field in Downtown Cleveland. If history proves correct, the Indians have a 92 percent chance of winning the title. So, the title is all but assured, right? Play ball!

Image Credit: Tony Hoffarth | Flickr

Cleveland Indians Fans Hoping for Championship Win

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland has had a lot to celebrate lately. First it was the recent hosting of the RNC and then came the Cavs championship win; so Cleveland fans are hoping for a trifecta as the Indians are on the verge of winning the MLB championship. The Indians clinched the AL Central divisional title on September 26, 2016 when they ran over the Tigers in Detroit. The win puts the team on course to end their 9-year drought of clinching the championship title.

Cleveland Indians fans have had a lot of ups and downs. So, they feel this is a deserved victory. “This year has both been rough and really great, and we hope it will end on a high; of course, with us clinching the long awaited championship title,” said Indians fan, Angela Giuliano.

Despite many fans being concerned, Cleveland Indians have done favorably well. In fact, their run in this season’s championship has been compared to the success of the Cavaliers who won the NBA championship earlier this year. According to news released by SportsTime Ohio, Cleveland Indians recorded their highest rating for the season since 2005. Moreover, the network registered a 6.5 household rating for the season, which is an average of 97,000 households for every game. Going by statistics, that rating is 65-percent over 2015’s mark of 3.93.

In 2005, the team drew 6.62 household rating and appeared poised for a playoff spot until they collapsed in the final week; much to the disappointment of fans. But this season, the Indians booked their playoff spot in October, with a week of regular season still remaining. Winning the AL Central title on September 26, 2016 proved vital, as it led to a 10.48 household rating. The game was seen in more than 156,000 homes, the season’s sixth highest rating.

“These series of successes have brought a renewed sense of vibrancy and excitement to the city,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. “For their part, the team believes this will be the season that will end the 9-year drought. Compared to last year’s results, the Indians are better and are getting the results that are putting them in a position to win the championship title,” he added.

Image Credit: Chris Metcalf | Flickr

Ohio High School Football Prepares Youth for the Big Leagues

Friday Night Lights

High school football is one of the most popular interscholastic sports. It began in the late 19th century; the same period when many college programs began. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many college and high school teams started to play against each other; what later came to be referred to as “Friday Night Lights”.

In fact, high school football is generally considered to be a 3rd tier, behind both college and the NFL. This is where a player accumulates the statistics and life skills that will determine his chances of competing at the college level, and ultimately the professional level.

While Florida, Texas, and California lead in producing top talent, another state that is notable for producing talented football players is Ohio, particularly northeast Ohio. For the past decade, Ohio has been injecting new blood into the NFL with its talented players. Great players like Desmond Howard of St. Joseph, Tom Cousineau of St. Edward and Stow’s Larry Csonka have all passed through northeast Ohio.

So, what’s the secret ingredient? According to team coaches from northeast Ohio, commitment and hard work are the first in line. The goal is to make sure that all players possess these two important virtues, because according to them, it is the key to enhancing their skills and abilities, both on and off the field. “One of my most rewarding experiences in life has been my time spent in coaching,” said Victor Bierman III, lawyer, Ohio business expert and former coach of Southern Hills Youth Football. “I have had the fortunate opportunity to coach and teach players, my son included, about valuable life experiences through the game of football for many years.”

Beaming with such talented athletes, high school football in northeast Ohio is fascinating to watch. The game is mostly enjoyed on Friday nights when the stadiums are well lit. According to Victor Bierman IV, a senior at Brecksville High School’s Class of 2017 and captain of the Bees Varsity Football Team, “Playing football has taught me a lot about hard work, dedication and leadership. I am very fortunate to have worked with great coaches over the years. I truly feel that an invaluable lesson I have learned as a player is how to help my team overcome adversity on the field when it really matters.”

A large crowd, including alumni, students and parents gathered under the Friday night lights for the Brecksville opening game against Padua on August 26th and enjoyed their first victory.  With a current record of 5-0, the undefeated team is well underway for a championship season.

Image Credit: Chris Stoddart | Flickr

Ohio State University Ranked as Top College in State

Ohio State UniversitySince its founding in 1870, Ohio State University (OSU) has been doing everything it takes to climb and remain at the top. It’s focused on providing high quality education and ensuring that students have unforgettable experiences during their time here. This commitment to excellence shined through when the U.S. News & World Report ranked it the top public university in Ohio in its annual “America’s Best Colleges” rankings in 2015. In addition to being ranked as the top college in the state, OSU is #16 among the best public universities in the nation.

And just recently, the Associated Press (AP) declared that Ohio State University, home of the Buckeyes, has the greatest football team ever. The AP has been ranking college football teams since 1936.

Of the 200 private and public institutions rated, Ohio State University was #52 overall, up from #54 in 2015. In fact, a new ranking of online degree programs ranked Ohio State in the top 10 among 142 schools that offer online programs. “We are thrilled that our academic reputation continues to rise and we remain an affordable and outstanding education for future generations,” said Michael V. Drake, President of Ohio State University. U.S. News & World Report ranks universities and schools based on alumni contributions, graduation and retention rates, financial resources, undergraduate academic reputation, student selectivity, and faculty resources.

Going by the rankings, Ohio State meets all these attributes. In fact, it’s believed that the university climbed to the top because of its ability to combine high quality education with affordability. Despite maintaining an 83-percent graduation rate and a 20-year net ROI of $360,000, the university’s annual net cost is far below the state average. “Having lived in Ohio for over 19 years and getting to know many parents and students who have been involved in the experience of an Ohio State education, including my daughter who is a Sophomore at OSU, I am firm believer that it is one of the best public universities in the country at a tremendous in-state tuition value,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Offering such a huge array of graduate programs through its highly ranked Max M. Fisher College of Business, College of Education and Human Ecology, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, College of Engineering, and College of Medicine, Ohio State is undoubtedly one of the best educational institutions. These programs include learning communities, undergraduate research, and first-year experience, and they are put in place to help students succeed.

But it’s not just an extremely high quality education that OSU offers; it also ensures a high quality and interactive student life experience. This is accomplished through various curriculum and co-curriculum programs such as student organizations and athletic programs. Offering high quality education and being ranked among the best in co-curricular activities, Ohio State University will continue to provide an enriching learning experience.

Image Credit: Mathieu Thouvenin | Flickr