LeBron is a winner; Johnson? Not so much

It’s Beer Week in Dayton and the students at UD are leading the charge. I stopped at the United Dairy Farmers on Brown Street a few days ago to buy some ice cream and saw the most reliable sign that a new school year is upon us: mountains of Natural Light. The cases are stacked to the ceiling, so let that local economic stimulus begin.

LeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet and he’s not a bad guy. There, I said it. I have been very critical of LeBron in recent years. I’ve given him the same amount of respect as an Ohio factory owner smitten by cheap overseas labor. But after watching LeBron lead the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team to a gold medal in London, I am warming up to the Buckeye State traitor.

It was obvious that the gold meant a lot to LeBron, who didn’t have to play for his country. I’m almost ready to say that I actually like LeBron. Almost. I must be getting soft.

Whatever antics Chad Johnson pulled with the Bengals, his supporters always could point out that Ocho never had been in trouble with the law. That debate point is gone, and so is Johnson.

That the Dolphins cut the high-maintenance receiver after he was arrested after allegedly head-butting his celebrity wife was as surprising the pending divorce. Johnson is a fun-loving goof, but he fell in love with the bright lights. Hopefully he didn’t blow all of his cash because he’s not very employable right now.

I took the kids to the Dragons game Thursday. After a hot, dry summer, the light rain didn’t feel bad. Speaking of bad, the game was a reminder of the canyon that exists between Class A and the majors. Lake County made five errors and Captains outfielders misplayed two (maybe more) ground-ball base hits. The baseballs just rolled past them.

I was going to make fun of Dragons left fielder Kyle Waldrop, who wore sunglasses on his hat despite the wetness. But Waldrop tossed a ball to my son, so now he’s a household favorite.

USC is No. 1 in the season’s first college football polls, even without a vote from its coach. Lane Kiffin decided to give up his vote on the coaches poll after being caught in a lie. Kiffin? Lie?

The former Tennessee coach (I don’t think he’s allowed in the Volunteer State after bolting Knoxville after just one season) said he wouldn’t vote his Trojans No. 1, but it was revealed that he did just that. What’s the big deal, Lane? If you think the Trojans are No. 1, vote for them. Don’t apologize.

The Little League World Series is fun to watch, especially when there are great stories. Uganda will make the long journey home without a win; baseball obviously is new to the African country. But those kids are fan favorites in Williamsport. Winning isn’t everything. Sometimes, effort counts just as much.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2163 or bkollars@coxohio.com.

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