Cleveland Browns Coaching Carousel

Is there any beer left in that free Bud Light fridge? Here . . . .we go . . . . again!!!! As of October 29th, 2019, the Cleveland Browns fired their 5th coach in 7 and a half seasons. Hue Jackson was canned after going 4-36-1 in 2 and a half seasons. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley was also shown the door. This is after an offseason where John Dorsey added significant role players to the defense, added some offensive weapons, and actually found a franchise quarterback. But the coaching staff was still in shambles. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams will now serve as interim head coach. I personally don’t see him sticking around beyond this season. And just when you thought things were getting better. The silver lining in the dark cloud is Dorsey. He has successfully hired great head coaches before. He probably would have done it again last offseason if it wasn’t for Haslam’s wishes to keep Jackson around. Here are some potential options for the Browns:

Dave Toub, assistant HC and ST coordinator for Kansas City Chiefs

Toub is rumored to be on the top Dorsey’s list. He had been with the Chiefs since Andy Reid hired him in 2013. That started his second stint with Reid. I know special teams coordinator may not sound like a sexy option for head coach but the guy has made a serious name for himself around the league. Especially with that dominate Bears special teams squad from 2006. The last special teams coordinator to be hired as head coach was John Harbaugh. The Ravens eventually got a Super Bowl title out of him. Toub was promoted this season to assistant head coach, along with his special teams duties. Kansas City is having a hell of a season to say the least, and 4 teams the past few seasons have hired their head coaches from there. Maybe it’s time for Toub to reunite with Dorsey.

John DeFilippo, offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings

Browns fans may remember DeFilippo when he was their offensive coordinator in 2015. Mike Pettine hired him to replace Kyle Shanahan and he actually did a solid job. He had a good mix of run and pass. Helped Josh McCown beat some of Bernie Kosar’s passing records. Even Manziel played well under him. After Pettine was axed, DeFilippo went on to Philadelphia to be quarterback coach. There he spent two seasons helping develop a little name called Carson Wentz. After the Eagkes won their Super Bowl, he left to become the Vikings offensive coordinator. Even with a new quarterback, he helped pick up where Pat Shurmur left off. The Vikings currently have one of the best offenses in the league. Despite Dalvin Cook’s injuries they continue to run the ball successfully. Adam Thielen continues to have a record breaking season. Imagine Baker Mayfield running offense under this guy. Maybe it’s time to bring the Youngstown kid home.

Matt LaFleur, offensive coordinator for Tennessee Titans

One of the hot commodities in the NFL these days is young offensive gurus. LaFleur is prime example. He has worked with quarterbacks and offense his whole coaching career. Recently he was the Falcons quarterback coach in 2016 when Matt Ryan won his MVP. He became offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2017 and turned them into a top 10 offense. He left for Tennessee when they hired Vrabel. I know right now Tennessee doesn’t run the best offense, but they still compete with what they got. They also have a quarterback issue. It shouldn’t take away from LaFleur’s expertise. I think he has a lot to offer.

Bruce Arians

The man said goodbye to coaching last January. However, Arians is your stereotypical football guy. He lives and breathes the sport. Coaching was what he was good at and what he enjoyed. The Browns were his dream job. At one point Urban Meyer also retired. But when his dream job called he put the head set back on. Would Arians unretire for his dream job?

College option #1, Kirk Ferentz of Iowa

I would like to add I don’t believe for one second Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley will be an option for the Browns head coaching gig. Just because he coached Mayfield doesn’t mean he should be in Cleveland. Fans said the same thing with Manziel. STOP!!!

Now the case for Ferentz. The hiring of Dorsey was significant for the Browns. The past decade they have lacked football guys in the organization. Dorsey is a football guy. He signed and drafted football guys. Ferentz is a football guy. I know one of his former players personally and he couldn’t stress enough how much Ferentz could help this team. A reunion of Ferentz in Cleveland could set the team in the right direction for years to come. The last time he coached in Cleveland he was the linebackers coach with Bill Belichick as head coach and Nick Saban as defensive coordinator. Yeah, he comes from a long line of successful coaches and worked with many great players.

College option #2, Greg Schiano, defensive coordinator of Ohio State

The story has been told that when Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner were on their second head coaching search in 2014, they had a discussion with Bill Belichick. In that conversation, Belichick had recommended Greg Schiano as the next head coach of the Browns. Long story short, they didn’t listen. Mike Pettine was hired, Joe Banner was fired, and the new cluster fuck began. So here they are in need of a coach again. Why not look into the possibility of Schiano coaching in Cleveland? He has done a fantastic job coordinating Ohio State’s defense the past few seasons. He was actually offered the job at University of Tennessee until the student’s protested (which I personally thought was over exaggerated). What I like about him is that he’s a hard ass type coach. He is all about winning football games and nothing less. Similar attitudes of coaches like Belichick and Tom Coughlin. Maybe the Browns need a tough coach to put them in place.

Current coach option, Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

I do personally believe there is a chance McCarthy could find his way to Cleveland. Whether after he gets fired or via trade. Most of the Browns front office came from Green Bay. They may crave a reunion in order to help the Browns win a Super Bowl someday. McCarthy has done a fine job in Green Bay but the organization maybe ready to go another direction if they don’t make the playoffs this year. If he does become the next head coach for the Browns, don’t be surprise if Clay Matthews Jr. follows him. He would be a Brown just like his dad.

Longshot option, Joe Thomas

NFL teams seem to be hiring younger coaches these days to connect with this new generation of players. What Cleveland Brown knows everything about the struggles of the past 11 seasons? That’s were big Joe comes in. He is extremely knowledgeable about the game and every position in it. He has experienced every wrong way to manage a team. He connects well with players and knows how to hype them. He is a Cleveland Brown. Maybe its time for the future Hall of Famer to lead the team in a different way. It would be a Hollywood story. The all-pro that never saw the playoffs after 11 seasons, but coached them to Super Bowl victory. We can only imagine.

Cleveland Cavaliers Coaching Carousel

On Octover 28th, 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach Tyrone Lue. The only coach to ever win a championship for the franchise. He started the second post LeBron James era with an 0-6 start, and the front office felt it needed to make a change immediately. As of right now (October 29th), Larry Drew is the unofficial interim coach of the Cavaliers. The team has made 4 coaching changes since 2013. Two of those coaches led them to the Finals. Both were fired mid-season. Now the Cavs are turning a new leaf . . . . again. This comes 2 years after they won the NBA Finals. Stating the obvious, it is difficult to regroup when you lose a player like LeBron James. Who will be the captain of the Cavaliers sideline? Here are a few ideas:

Larry Drew

We’ll start with the new interim coach. Right now, Drew has committed to the responsibility of leading the team, but not for the rest of the season. He is demanding the Cavs make a long term commitment to him, and the Cavs seem hesitant at the moment. Bottom line, he wants the job!!! He wants to take the team under his wing and lead the charge in the new era of Cavaliers basketball. I personally wouldn’t be against it. He has been on the Cleveland sidelines for 2 seasons now. He knows the team better than anyone new they could bring in. Some of the best basketball the Cavs played last season was under Drew when Lue took his personal absence from the team. Drew made better adjustments and rotations than what was drawn up all season. It lead the Cavs to a 8-1 record until Lue returned. But yes, again, they had LeBron James. From 2010 to 2013, Drew lead the Atlanta Hawks to 3 straight playoff appearances. However, he did only win 15 games in his one and only year with Milwaukee. He was fired after they traded for Jason Kidd. In his defense, that was still the early stages of the Buck’s rebuilding period. There is a case to be made to keep Drew around long term. But if your the Cavs, can you afford to take that risk? There maybe better options in the offseason. You don’t want to fire another coach a year later. I guess we’ll wait and see.

Stepehen Silas, assistant coach of the Dallas Mavericks

The son of former Cavs coach Paul Silas would be an interesting pick. He was also an assistant for the Cavaliers when his father coached them in the early 2000’s. Silas has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2000 when he was just 27 years old. Last year in Charlotte, he filled in a few games for Steve Clifford when he became ill. Silas was also highly considered for the Houston Rockets head coach vacancy before it was taken by Mike D’Antoni. He has been given plenty of praise regarding his ability to develop players. Something to take in consideration when you have a young core like the Cavs.

Adrian Griffin, assistant coach of the Toronto Raptors

The Cavaliers have interviewed Griffin in the past for head coach. He has been assitant coach for the Bucks, Bulls, Magic, Thunder, and the 2014 USA FIBA team that won the gold. Jimmy Butler gives him some serious credit in his development into an NBA star. Scott Skiles, Tom Thibodeau, and Billy Donovan have hired him as an assitant. When you think about the names who brought him in and the talent he worked with, that alone should tell you this guy can coach basketball at the pro level. If not Cleveland, than someone else should give this guy a shot. I would encourage Cleveland to give him an interview.

Jeff Van Gundy

The man, the myth, the legend on ABC primetime NBA games. He had a successful career as an NBA coach and rumor has it he wants back in. I remember listening to him analyze on past games. He used to annoy me as much as Joe Buck does. But after a while I really enjoyed listening to him. He’s got spunk and doesn’t take any bull shit. He speaks his mind and will criticize anything he doesn’t like. Someone like me who doesn’t hold back. The man knows the game of basketball well. He can breakdown and critique anything on the court. Good and bad. I think he would bring an aggressive, old school energy to the team. Remember the days when the NBA played defense? I think he could help bring it back.

College option: Bill Self, Kansas

Self was highly considered by Cleveland before they hired David Blatt in 2014. I have reason to believe that the Cavs would interview him again if the vacancy is still open in the offseason. Self is one of the winningest coaches in the NCAA. He has over come some serious drama and egos the past few seasons, and still found a way to win. As of right now, he is being investigated by the NCAA for recruiting violations. If it gets any worse, he could pull a Pete Caroll and leave for the professional level before the university faces serious consequences. I do also believe with the G League’s new deal with one and done players, some college coaches will heavily consider the NBA since they’ll have a hard time renting out star players for a season.

Current NBA head coach option: Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers

Yes, you read that right. I know it is a stretch but hear me out. Luke Walton has already proven to be a fantastic head coach. Walton played for the Cavs during the first post LeBron James period. He may not have been a star on the court, but the team looked up to him as a leader. He kept that young team in high spirits and was huge help to coach Byron Scott. Since Walton accepted the Lakers job, a big change has happened. It’s called LeBron James. That flipped the plans of the organization. Unless they find a way to win a championship next June, Lakers will make any changes possible to keep LeBron happy. Now, I’m not saying if they don’t win a championship that Walton’s job is in jeopardy. Far from it. But hypothetically, if the Cavs called offering a trade for Luke Walton, and it opened up the door for LeBron to pick his own coach (which he never really had the opportunity to do so before), wouldn’t the Lakers consider it? The Cavs could potentially tempt LeBron in giving them his coach. Wouldn’t that be wild?

Unlikely candidate: David Blatt

Why would the Cavs go back to a former coach you say? Well they did it before with Mike Brown, so why not? Here’s my argument. Blatt is a winning coach. He has won everywhere he has been including Cleveland. He was hired to turn the team around and run his face paced offense. The potential lineup he was taking in may have looked like this:

PG Kyrie Irving

SG Andrew Wiggins

SF Gordon Hayward (admitted he planned on signing with Cavs before LeBron returned)

PF Channig Frye (had a deal in place with Cavs, but team couldn’t afford him after James signed)

C Tristian Thompson

6th Dion Waiters

That would have been a great lineup in Blatt’s system. They would have been to the playoffs but it would be a few years before a Finals appearance. But instead James returned and Kevin Love followed. That shook the whole plan up. It ended up becoming the best thing for the team. Blatt and James weren’t on the same page, and as a result Blatt was canned midseason. If the Cavs could some how make a clean slate between them and Blatt, it could surprise the fans. As long as he had the right players to work with the team could go back to winning. I wouldn’t put money on it.

Metalhead Underground Report 1

Since Black Sabbath took the stage in the early 1970’s, heavy metal has reigned as the most superior genre of music. Yes, I am being extremely biased. But since Black Sabbath’s first show, a lot has changed in the world of metal. The music has progressed and evolved into many different styles. No other genre of music has as many subgenres as metal does. Its diversity makes it such a unique form of music. You could sit around 20 metalheads and discuss their favorite bands. No matter how different their opinions would be and the disagreements they might have, they still appreciate the love for metal music. That’s the beauty of it!

Here we are in 2018, and metal is in an odd time. The music industry has changed drastically since Black Sabbath and KISS were rising stars in the music world. Bands and artists of all different kinds of music are finding it hard to live off their art. They will slave away hours in the studio and months on the road and may not see enough funds in end to pay the bills. It is normal these days for a performing artist to have full-time job on the side just to keep their head above water. Sad.

But the love, the passion, the drive, and the hard work keep the music alive.

Aside from the industry, metal is slowly turning to the new generation. Black Sabbath is done touring for good. Rush abruptly retired. Slayer will be retired for good soon. The older bands are slowly diminishing. A new era is taking form. Bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel are standing out in the underground. No love from terrestrial radio and national television, but can still fill venues without any issues. Bands such as Animals as Leaders and Between the Buried and Me have taken progressive metal to new heights. On a rare occasion, you will see a band make a big splash in the national media. A prime example is when Pittsburgh’s Code Orange was nominated at the last grammy awards. Even though they didn’t win, the fact they were nominated after their sophomore album and had an unusual, incredible year was enough to hype up their nomination.

There is plenty to get excited about in this era of heavy metal. Now comes a question many metalheads may ask: Where do I find new bands? In a world where social media is used daily by most people, finding new music has become easier than ever. I would say for starters to start with your local scene. However, I recognize not everyone has a great local metal scene. Living in Northeast Ohio, we have enough metal bands to fill the rest of the state. We’re pretty spoiled if you ask me. But if you don’t have a solid local scene, don’t stop there. Branch out regionally. Use the internet look up bands with similar genre and sound of other bands you like. The music will only stay alive through support.

Being a heavy metal disc jockey, I do a lot of band research. I know of many bands who, in my opinion, should be getting the spotlight. So if you’re looking for something new that you could potentially get into, I hope this helps. The Metalhead Underground Report will be a short list of newer bands that I hope gain new fans. Here are a few names you should look into:

Once Human

For Fans of: Machine Head, Arch Enemy, and At The Gates

I think some old school Machine Head fans always wondered what happened to original guitarist Logan Mader. Well to make a long story short, he put together a melodic death metal monster by the name of Once Human. What made them stand out to me was the melodic guitar riffs and Lauren Hart’s vocals. Hart’s vocals, clean and heavy, are just phenomenal. It’s hard to find a singer that can provide both vocal styles to a high level like she does. I found this band from a Facebook ad on my newsfeed. YouTubed their music and I was sold. Their sophomore album Evolution was hands down one of my favorites from 2017. I will be honest though, I wasn’t huge with their debut album The Life I Remember. Hart seemed to be trying a raspy vocal style that was much different. Instrumentally it was given an old school melodic death metal feel to it, like 90’s At The Gates or Dark Tranquility. I did like the lyrics and the influence behind the album, but I just couldn’t get myself to appreciate it as much as Evolution. I personally believe they found their sound with their second release. I highly recommend checking Evolution out. As of December 2017, they’re making their third album.

Abnormality

For fans of: Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, and Suffocation

I am sitting by myself on a work break one day and I am just on YouTube checking out new music. I came across this band called Abnormality. I knew they were coming to the area soon with Soulfly, so I clicked on the link out of curiosity. That was a smart decision. The music kicks in and I see this chick start screaming like George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. No exaggeration. She sounds very similar to Corpsegrinder. Then I heard the groove with aggressive, heavy riffs. My metal soul was filled with joy!!! I found a new death metal band to obsess over!! I didn’t catch them on the Soulfly tour but I did see them when they opened for Napalm Death. They didn’t disappoint. I eventually picked up their album Mechanisms of Omniscience, which was their first under Metal Blade Records. What I found most interesting about it was the meaning behind their songs. They have such a brutal sound but their lyrics had nothing to do with death, murder, torture, or any of those stereotypical death metal subjects. They seemed to be more about life and some of the current events going on in our world. Reminded me of much of the material Chuck Shuldiner wrote for Death. If you are looking for some good groovy, headbanging material, Abnormality maybe up your alley.

Grajo

For fans of: Anything psychedelic and doom metal

I spent some of July 2017 searching for new bands on the other side of the world so I could play them on my radio show. I came across Grajo from Spain and instantly became a fan. What caught my attention was their trippy doom sound. I’ve heard plenty of doom metal in my short time here on Earth, but no one like Grajo. Loud drums, psychedelic lead guitar tone (plenty of delay), and sludgy rythm guitar to round out their doom sound. The vocalist’s style reminds me of old school folk hippies from the 60’s and 70’s. She has excellent pitch and uses it well. What grabbed me the most about the band was the vocal patterns used with the rest of the music. Just brillant! Every song different and unique from the next. They’re real professionals. If you are interested, check out their self titled album and Slowgod II. Those were their most recent releases. I think you’ll like what you hear.

DVSR

For fans of: Body Count, Volumes, and Rage Against the Machine

Most metalheads will shudder if you bring up rap metal. The don’t like the idea of mixing the two together and believe they should stay separate. The way I see it, some styles of metal were made because of different influences and cultures. Who am I to tell someone they have to stick to a certain guideline? Music has no boundaries. If it sounds metal, the attitude is metal, and the lyrics are metal, then its metal. I went on a djent binge about a year or so ago, and that’s when I discovered DVSR. A djent, rap metal power house from Australia. The rapper has an old school style similar to the OG legends from the 90’s. Lyrically he writes about politics, personal stories, and encouraging fans to find the strength within themselves to better themselves. They dropped their new EP, Therapy, November 2017 which is their only release since their self-titled, debut album. DVSR is just getting started but has a very bright future ahead of them. It won’t be too much longer until they get some serious recognition.

Divitius

For fans of: After the Burial, Arch Enemy, and Periphery

About early summer 2017, Circle Pit’s Facebook page had a new artist of the week. I’m always up to hear something new, so I checked it out. I ended up finding one of my new favorite bands that day. I heard one song and I was hooked! Divitius is a djent power house that reigns from Portland, Oregon. Musically their debut album, The Arcadian Parrellel, was like a metal acid trip in space. Every song phenomenal. Heavy rythm guitar riffs along with trippy, melodic leads. Vocalist has Angela Gossow style heavy vocals and a killer set of cleans as well. The energy and uniqueness of this band is off the charts. I’ve honestly debated flying to Oregon just to see them perform. That’s how much I appreciate these guys.

Duel

For fans of: anything stoner doom metal

One Tuesday night this past summer, I went down to Canton to see Doomstress from Texas. Along with Doomstress was a killer insturmental doom band from Cleveland called Sparrowmilk, and this other band from Texas called Duel. I knew nothing about Duel. After the show, I wanted to know everything about them. It was good thing they headlined because they stole the show! Pure old school stoner doom metal. Gritty, dirty, bluesy, and loud as fuck! If you like heavy music that jams hard, do yourself a favor and check them out. They got two studio albums and one live album out right now.

Local Spotlight

With these underground reports I will be having a short local spotlight at the end of each one. This is to help promote the talent in the area. Here are a handful of bands from the Northeast Ohio area you should check out:

A Sense of Purpose

I won’t forget the first time I saw these guys. It was about mid-January and I was hit up by a friend to see this show at a pizza shop in Kent. Place was packed and fire marshall was on vacation, so there was no one to kick people out when it was over capacity. So you have this crowded pizza shop hosting pop punk and metal bands. There was moshing, tossing, alcohol consuming, alcohol spilling, crowd surfing, and total choas. No fights. No issues. A Sense of Purpose headlined that show and blew the roof off the place!!! Extremely talented and musically very technical. Always on top of their game. If you dig any of the new age metalcore/djent coming out, definitely give them a shot. They just put out their new EP, Mend, this past September. They have also opened for After the Burial, Emmure, Veil of Maya, and The Acacia Strain within the past year.

Stillborn Prodigy

Stillborn Prodigy reigns from Canton. The first time I saw these guys was on a show I actually booked and promoted. The lineup was already premade before I booked the date. It was actually a killer lineup. Stillborn turned more heads though than anyone on the bill. I had played them on my radio show before so I was aware of their sound. But their live show was something special. The groove and heavy riffage got the crowd going. It actually got to the point where a few people and I started simultaneously stomping. Their sound just gave you that urge to stomp and headbang. Similar to what Obituary does to their fans. They got a good mix of hardcore and metal in their sound. They dropped their debut album, Coconut Sex Dumpster (pictured above), about a year ago. New material on the way. If you check it out, listen to “Pocket Fulla Fuck You”. That’s my favorite off the album. New band with a bright future.

Army of Athens

The first time I saw Army of Athens was almost 2 years ago. It was February and a friend hit me up to check out one of the many local shows in the area. Ohio is pretty much dead in February so it’s always a great time to check out some local talent. AoA had a show not too far from where we lived so we decided to spend our Saturday night watching them. About only 7 people were there, so I was glad we went to give them a little more support. Long story short, these guys get on stage and tear it up! Very heavy, melodic, and they had some sick breakdowns. Not your stereotypical breakdowns though. I would say faster and more aggressive than your standard breakdown. I’ve seen them about 4 times total and they stay consistent. You get a good show from them everytime.

Paper Thin

These guys are literally my favorite band in the area. The first time I saw them I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into. But after their set, I fell in love. Paper Thin is a unique talent that you can’t find anywhere else. They’re a progressive rock band from Akron. They got a style that stands out amongst everyone else. The members are metalheads so there are some metal elements to their sound. They dropped their first album, Thrice Born, this past June. As of right now, they don’t have it available on any streaming formats with the exception of one song. You would have to look them up and message them if you want the album. I personally thought the album was one bad ass acid trip. Every song had a different energy than the other. I once had a drunk guy in the bathroom tell me he thought the singer sounded like Chris Cornell. The singer is a swell guy, but only Chris Cornell can be Chris Cornell. But it was a hell of a compliment. I could go on and on about these guys. Bottom line, these guys are the shit and you should check them out.

Seth Lipocky is a heavy metal dj for mhioradio.com. His show Sunday Bloody Sunday is on every Sunday from 8 to 11 pm EST. Follow the Sunday Bloody Sunday page on Facebook for updates.

Strive for Change. Prepare to Grow.

For personal reasons, organization names are left out of the blog.

I believe it is fair to say there is a time in everyone’s life when they crave change. Things run their course and people become weary of the everyday routine. They spend most of their days miserable because they’re not satisfied with their current situation. When I hear people talk about their struggles, I can tell they want to be a part of something bigger. When I ask them why they don’t embrace the opportunity to better themselves I get a number of reasons and excuses. Whether it’s bills, schedules, kids, funds, or a few other road blocks in their lives. Responsibilities are the priority. But you will always have responsibilities, so why not find a way to better yourself while taking care of them? The way I see it, the main reason is fear. They want to stay in their comfort zone and settle for the world around them. They may always wonder how things could have been different.

I would like to encourage everyone to find a different path to better themselves. Unfortunately, not everyone will listen to me. Hell, I don’t always listen to my own advice. But I will tell you from personal experience that when you learn to better yourself, life opens up. The opportunities you will receive, the people you will meet, and the memories you will make will be worth while. Somethings may not work out, but will still be of importance in your life.

They say keep pushing forward because your life could completely change in a matter of time. I’m writing this to tell you that I believe in that statement, and I want to use my personal life to prove it. I know there are millions of stories out there that could back up that statement, but the only one I know perfectly is my own. In December 2015, I graduated from Kent State University. I imagined the unlimited amount of opportunities that would be presented for me after this accomplishment. But I made one critical error. I finished the requirements to earn the degree, but I never took the time to better myself. Yes, a degree is a great way to invest in yourself but if you don’t have the connections or experience, you’re fucked. In December of 2017, I was still at the dead end hospital job I had when I was in college. With the determination and commitment to change my whole situation, I found the light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s the story:

It’s Christmas Day and I am working at the dirty, nasty hospital. While everyone seemed excited for the holiday week, I was stuck at work all week long due to a department crisis. To make matters worse, I realized mid-shift I had the flu. I was able to knock it out overnight but still had to deal with some of the symptoms for the next week and a half. I couldn’t call off because my boss said he would kick my fucking ass if I called off. I spent the holiday week working at least 10 hour shifts and traveling in 4 degree weather. The only bright side was house sitting at my brother’s place, which was the house I grew up in. It was near the hospital too so I could quickly rest up after a horrible shift. After my shift on New Years Eve, I walked around the house like a zombie, blasting music. Friends were partying it up or watching the Ohio State bowl game. I was doing absolutely nothing. I started cooking while my brother’s cats stood around and judged me. All I could think about was dreading the next shift in the morning. I looked around the living room trying to figure out how the hell I got to this point in my life. The clock strikes midnight and drunk people start kissing each other across the country. My head just hits the pillow as I prepare for hell in the morning. Little did I know what 2018 had in store for me. My whole situation was about to take a turn for the better.

January & February

Things at the hospital get worse. Tensions are higher than I had ever seen them. The crisis didn’t get much better and we were told it would last until April. My co-workers and I were working longer hours. I only averaged one weekday off a week, and one weekend day off every other weekend. I debated several times to quit, but I didn’t have a back up plan and bills needed paid. It also wouldn’t be fair to all 4 of my co-workers. The only thing keeping me going was my heavy metal radio show and my concerts I was booking on the side. Fortunately, my concerts in January and February did well. While all this was going on, I applied to a number of jobs. I didn’t receive one interview. Not one call. But I knew quitting wasn’t an option.

March

Fast forwarding to mid March. I finally had a whole weekend off. My first one since the weekend before Christmas. I told myself to enjoy it and not give any thought to all noise going on the past few months. I kicked off Friday seeing some killer local bands in my home area of Highland Square. It was good to hang with some good people and not think about work the next morning. Saturday, I had a concert I booked which featured my favorite local band. I had a feeling it would be small crowd but didn’t let that bother me. I was in for a surprise. The crowd was double than anticipated. I was able to help put together a great crowd for the band that I loved and the 3 other fantastic acts. Later that night, I chilled in my basement alone blasting music. To some that may not sound like fun, but I was having the time of my life. I felt like a champion. For once, something went right. At one point that night I thought about my current situation. That’s when I told myself, “You will get out of this. You will win. And you will be in a better place.” Then a song started playing. It was a song I’ve heard before but at that moment it took on a new meaning. To this day I call it my revival song.

After that weekend, I continued to apply for different jobs. I made a personal decision to apply for internships too. I knew it was good idea to gain more experience since I continued to struggle to find anything for over 2 years. College students should do more than one internship during their studies. I only did one and I think that really hurt me in the end. I knew organizations preferred college students as interns over graduates. But I had nothing to loose. As luck would have it, one of the applications changed the course.

April

After having no luck finding a job, I reached out to the career counselor at Kent State Stark. During our meeting he mentioned that he was shocked that I contacted him due to my recent history. He thought I would be loaded with offers giving my work experience. I honestly didn’t know how to take that. We talked over some options and agreed to stay in contact. When I mentioned the idea of becoming an intern again, he wasn’t against it but wasn’t quite sold it was the best solution. I was willing to do anything to get anywhere. Even if it meant temporarily working for free. I took his suggestions and went right to work.

During a shift at the hospital that week, I received an email from the local minor league baseball team about being an intern for them. I had prior experience working for a minor league team when I lived in Indiana. After an interview, I landed the opportunity. I knew the experience was a win for me and the resume. I would start in May.

May

After four months of hell at the hospital, I took my first 2 week vacation. I made a promise to myself to work on other things during that vacation period. The baseball internship was coming up but I still needed to leave the hospital. The toxic atmosphere was really getting to me. I spent a night kicking around a soccer ball, drinking beer, blasting music, and writing a “to do” list. Believe it or not, it was one of the best things I did during my vacation. Everything on the list got accomplished including finding a new gig. I was able to land a job at nursing home down the street from where I lived. It was the same work as the hospital with smaller pay, but it was enough to pay the bills. With living for free, being single, and no kids I could take the risk. Plus, I wasn’t sure about the chances of landing another job for the summer, and I knew they were desperate.

I worked at the nursing home from June to September. They treated me really well and worked around the internship schedule. They made my life much easier. You don’t take people like that for granted. But I promised myself it was only for the summer. I needed to do bigger and better things.

June

My summer schedule is in full swing. Day job in the morning and internship at night. The internship wasn’t what I imagined but I continued to try to get the best out of it. It was about mid June I realized how much I was sacrificing in order to help myself. I’m a summer guy and I love summer activities. I missed out on many events, concerts, and get togethers due to my commitment with the baseball team. It was a helpful reminder that true success comes with dedication and sacrifice. I hated to work my whole summer away, but I needed to grow.

July

July was an interesting month. It was the month were I asked myself multiple times, “What the fuck is going on?!” Anything that could go wrong did. I found myself dreading nights I had to work at the ballpark. I was learning to hate my internship. During all-star break, I had a serious debate with myself about quitting. I wasn’t getting what I wanted to get out of it. I felt like I was being used. The organization was managed poorly. I felt like I got the best out of it. After much research and thought, I decided to see it out till the end. Outside the internship, the radio station was slowly falling apart in front of my eyes. The atmosphere was similar to the ballpark and hospital. Then both my concerts of the month bombed bad. July wasn’t my month, but I knew I had to move forward. I started applying for jobs again. I wanted something else by the end of the summer.

August

The internship starts getting tolerable. It is coming down to end of the season so people are in better spirits. I continue to stay committed and give it my all. The radio station gets sold to new management, which takes me by surprise. This coming right before my 3 year anniversary with them. Something strange happens. I started gaining interest from other organizations and get contacted for a few interviews. I wasn’t used to all that attention. Not once was I concerned about potentially blowing an interview. I knew I needed to capitalize on them. After all I’ve been through it was time for a big win.

September

The internship wraps up on an odd note. The team goes all the way to the championship, keeping the season longer than expected. I worked the last 17 games because I knew they needed help bad. Even though it was more work and we were short staffed, I enjoyed it more on the last few weeks of the schedule than the rest of the season. After it was all over, I received no feedback on my time there, half the things I was promised never happened, and ideas I had for one of their events were used and I was never given any credit. For a little while it did bother me, but at the same time I wasn’t surprised. I got what I needed and moved on. Things don’t always work out. I learned a lot that summer. I was hired by an entertainment facility shortly after the internship. They offered me a chance to grow in their business. Finally, something I can build on. I left the radio station after 3 years and joined a station with the same vision as me. Everything is new and it is good!!!

I started my new job on October 1st. Looking back on the past 10 months it’s amazing how much has changed. I’m not exactly where I want to be, but I’m not suffering. I got something to look forward to. The future continues to get brighter. Something I would wish for everyone.

I’m usually not this personal, especially online. Mainly because people by nature are shitty and I don’t want to tell them anything. But at the same time there are good people with way way way way worse situations than the one I just wrote. If I can convince one person to turn themselves around at any cost, that’s a win in my book. Life is too short to settle. Continue to find change, grow with it, and learn.