by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor
The Optimist

First Annual | Second Annual | Third Annual | Fourth Annual |
Fifth Annual | Sixth Annual Awards Banquet

Ok, people …

Please act like you’ve seen an open bar before. And please take your seats. We’re about to finally tip off the SEVENTH ANNUAL ALL-OPTIMIST AWARDS BANQUET.

I don’t blame you for hitting the sauce, what with the way the last few weeks have gone.

Our beloved Cavaliers wrapped up their season way too early, fired their coach, changed guards at GM and currently face an unprecedented era of uncertainty.


Just a few weeks ago, the Wine and Gold were up 2-1 on Boston, and all was right in the world.

One week later, the Cavaliers were out of the 2010 Playoffs, former Black Sabbath frontman, Ronnie James Dio took a dirt nap and tempers flared once again in the Middle East.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to befoul our coastline and just last night, lightning struck and burned down Monroe, Ohio’s six-story version of “Touchdown Jesus” – possibly the result of a hex placed on Ohio by Brady Quinn before he left the state.

My friends ... we are being tested from Above. But I believe Dan Gilbert has a plan, and until I take my dying breath, I will continue to keep the faith.

Please help yourself to the rigatoni and fried chicken, and, as always, we implore you: NO gang colors in the banquet hall.

Aside from that … bottom’s up and have fun as we hand out some hardware!

2009-10 All-Optimist First Team

Every year, fans from other cities insist that I include their players on the First Team, and every year I insist that they shove it. The 2009-10 first unit is once again loaded with Wine and Golders, including a possible surprise in the pivot.

Head Coach

Mo Williams
Cavaliers smallest starter threw down the dunk of the year.

Anthony Parker
If there was a Third Team, his sister dominate half the guys on it.

J.J. Hickson
Beware of the Baby Bull!

He’s got the whole wide world in his hands.

Antawn Jamison
The venerable “Stretch-4” worked his way up from the 2007-08 Second Team.


Let’s see you win 60 games with a wooden head.

2009-10 All-Optimist Second Team

This year’s extended list of regrettable omissions include Brandon Roy, the Earl of Boykins, Ron Artest, Ime Udoka, Ike Diogu, Serge Ibaka, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga, Yakhouba Diawara, Luc Mbah a Moute, Acie Law IV, Rodney Stuckey, Darnell Jackson, Kosta Koufos, Panagiotis Vasilopoulos, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Al Horford, Alonzo Gee, Von Wafer, Novica Velickovic, Milos Teodosic, Zarko Rakocevic, Strahinja Milosevic, Darjus Lavrinovic, Nemanja Besovic, Raviv Limonad, Branislav Djekic, the Sashas (Vujacic and Pavlovic), the Vladimirs (Lucic and Dasic), Luther Head, Quincy Douby, Jonas Jerebko, Alexis Ajinca, Pablo Prigioni, Hamed Haddadi and, as always, Joel Przybilla, the Vanilla Gorilla.

Head Coach

Five-time honoree smacked a live bat out of the air during play; is now a one-namer.

Deron Williams
First-time Second Teamer can swish and dish with any PG in the Association.

Chris Kaveman
Frightened by our technology, a throwback to the days when skilled centers roamed the planet.

David West
Plays the power forward position like a bad mofo.

Dahntay Jones
Maybe the baddest Dukie in the NBA; takes no mess off nobody.

Doc Rivers
To quote Bum Phillips: Could take his'n and beat yours'n, and could take yours'n and beat his'n.

2009-10 Optimist All-Nemesis Team

As we’ve stated in the past, these men have done me no personal harm. And I’m sure I’d learn to embrace them if they wore the Wine and Gold.

But they don’t, so I won’t.

Head Coach

Devin Harris
Otherwise clean player slung Jamario Moon earthward by his gooseneck on a layup attempt.

Sundiata Gaines
Hit just seven threes all year, including the backbreaker in Salt Lake City.

Kendrick Perkins
Is the biggest baby on a team with a player actually named “Big Baby.”

Joakim Noah
A.C. accused him of having "diarrhea of the mouth" which is both gross and accurate.

Brian Scalabrine
It’s not about minutes or production. This overgrown mascot just cheeses me off.

Red Auerbach
The Godfather.

The 2009-10 Edgar Jones Seventh Man Award

As it is year after year, this season's voting on the prestigious Edgar Jones award was tighter than a toad's sphincter. The award – named after the tenacious, toothless former Cavaliers forward – goes to the reserve who simultaneously stimulates the Quicken Loans Arena crowd and concurrently contributes to the Cavaliers’ cause.

Boobie Gibson went 9-1 as a starter and finished 3rd in the NBA in three-point shooting. Jamario Moon gave the Cavaliers a big lift off the bench and on the fastbreak, Delonte West was unstoppable at times and Jawad Williams continued to live his Cinderella story as a local kid. (Anderson Varejao is ineligible for the award, of course, on accounta he's a Sixth Man.)

But this year's award goes to Jamario Moon, who kept the club loose all year, was a pleasure for fans and media to deal with, and was one of the Cavaliers who truly brought it during the 2010 Playoffs.

Boobie Gibson
Jamario Moon
Hot Wad Williams

The Nominees

The Winner
Jamario Moon

Professor Chewy's 2009-10 All-Bald Team

What does Professor Chewy – (formerly quality control at – and his list have in common with the accomplishments of a professional basketball team?


But the Professor – himself a self-professed Bald – wears this sign of virility with great pride. And every year for the past few years, his running list includes some prominent Cavalier personnel.

Notable omissions include Woody Harrelson, Peter Frampton, Larry David, James Gandolfini, Lou Gossett, Jr., Sir Ben Kingsley, Sir Fred Biletnikoff, Andre Agassi, Cal Ripken, Alan Arkin, Kimbo Slice. Robert Duvall, Stanley Tucci, Dan Ferry, Hector Elizondo, Ghandi, Ed Harris, John Amos, "Hey Now!" Hank Kingsley, Ron Howard, John Malkovich, David Cross and Charlie Brown.

Of course, in defiance of Chewy’s cardinal rule – “NO RUGS, NO PLUGS, NO DRUGS” – this year’s Dishonorable Mention once again goes to Entourage’s Jeremy Piven.

the Clown

2009-10 Updated List of
Akron's Greatest Contributions to Mankind

It’s hard to believe the Good Lord would shower Northeast Ohio with not one, but two gardens of earthly delights – Cleveland and Akron.

Yes, the UCLA (Upper Canton Lower Akron) region – just some 40 miles south of C-Town – has provided the world with some of its greatest treasures.

Once again, voting got a little hairy once we got past our standard top two – TheBron and super-scribe, Brian Windhorst. I always have a soft spot for competitive eating icon, Coondog O’Karma, exspecially because I know he reads the column. But how could we forget about foxes Angie Everhart and Heather Kozar, legendary director Jim Jarmousch and defining dirigible – the Goodyear Blimp. And don’t even get me started on U. of Akron's marsupial mascot, Zippy.

The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde returns to the list, but drops a couple spots. The Black Keys make their first foray onto the list, as does the University of Akron’s men’s soccer team, which went undefeated before falling to Virginia in the NCAA Championship. DEVO, Akron’s legendary alt-rockers, will release their first album in decades and remain fixtures on the list.

Brian Windhorst
U. of Akron Soccer
The Black Keys
Chrissie Hynde

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