Friday, July 30, 2010

Bengals News

* The circus has officially come into town with the signing of Terrell Owens. But I love the move! The price is perfect, they have added serious depth at a position of need, and he is practically best friends with Chad. The guy with the toughest job? Carson Palmer. But he has shown an ability to handle diva receivers if he was able to put up with Housh he can handle anyone!

* Surprise, Surprise Andre Smith was not able to pass his physical and has not yet stepped onto the practice field. Although it is still VERY early, Smith is starting to look like one of those classic Mike Brown draft busts, which has been rare these days. Smith appears to have no work ethic at all which is shame for a kid who has all of the talent in the world. The Bengals should bring in Willie Anderson to be a player/mentor for the O-Line. I think he could teach Andre a lot.

* Think about how good this team can be. From last years Division Championship team we have lost nearly no one and added an extreme amount of depth at different positions. A sometimes anemic offense has added T.O., Bryant, and Gresham to their corp of weapons. And one of the leagues top defenses remains in tact and adds back players like Antwan Odom who lost last year to injury. This team will be very good this year.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cincinnati Cyclones lose their Coach

Chuck Webber, the two time Kelly Cup Champion coach will be moving on to coach the Rochester Americans in the AHL. The AHL serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League and the Americans are affiliated with the Florida Panthers. This would be a step up for Chuck in his quest to be a coach in the NHL.

The Cyclones have enjoyed unprecedented success under Coach Webber going 177-92-19 in four seasons. Who knows where the team will go from here? With ECHL hockey their is typically a great deal of turnover so we could see a completely different team in Cincinnati next season. Thanks for a great run Chuck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bengals and Terrell Owens

The St. Louis Rams have apparently decided against making an offer to former All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens, which leaves Cincinnati as the only team who is showing interest in Owens now.

So here we are faced with a guy who no team in the NFL wants, so you would think you can get him cheap. He has been one of the best receivers in the NFL but is far past his prime. Has been known to be a bit of problem in the locker room but has seemed to clean that up. Is close friends with Chad Ochocinco and has been working out with Carson Palmer.

Do the Bengals sign him? Now there seems to be hesitation surrounding Antonio Bryant and how healthy his knees are. Right now at Wideout you have Chad locked in a the #1, Bryant at the 2, Caldwell at the #3 spot and the rest is up for grabs. If they sign T.O. he would more than likely be the #2 or #3 depending on the health of Bryant.

I say do it. If you can get him for next to nothing he can only help your team. If he becomes a problem you can get rid of him. The only issue I have is Marvin seems to want to avoid him where Brown wants to have him. We have seen this before, and Brown always seems to win. Get your popcorn ready.....

Scratching my head...

The Reds have been shut out by their opponents 12 times this season, the most in the majors. Yet they still lead the National League in runs scored with 448.

NBA News and Notes

* Chris Paul and his agent are approaching the New Orleans management team looking for one of two plans. Plans on how the Hornets can add to the team to become a contender, or how Paul can make his way out of New Orleans. Reports indicated Paul has expressed interest in New York, Orlando, Dallas, or Portland.

* The Bulls are set to work out Tracy McGrady today. Chicago is looking to add McGrady for depth which means he would have to be willing to accept a role on the team as a bench player. McGrady has spent most of his career being the go-to guy when he is healthy. So I am not sure how well he will accept his role in Chicago as a bench player?

* Kobe Bryant underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week to repair his right knee. This is the third surgery that Bryant has had on the knee and he expects to be ready to go by the time training camp rolls around on September 25th.

* LeBron James had an interesting tweet last night stating "There's no such thing as a "Reliable Source" Don't believe it people. The truth these days is so far gone. No credibility." I wonder if ESPN was concerned about journalistic credibility when they whored themselves out to James and his team? James and his posse have done a horrible job of building his image this offseason.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Soccer Explained: One Reason to Watch Soccer

Reason #1: for moments like this.

Shout out to Matt for finding this and to Molly Malone's for making it into the video.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cedric Benson to meet with Goodell

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 8: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Bengals RB Cedric Benson is scheduled to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursay according to Benson was arrested in Austin, Texas in late may and charged with assault. Benson was accused of punching a bartender and spitting blood on another bar employee.
Marvin Lewis came out in support of Benson on stating, "Cedric got attacked in a bar. Only because it was Cedric Benson does it become news. I think that's something you have to understand. I don't know why we're even talking about Cedric being suspended a game. I don't even know why we're bringing it up. To me it's unbelievable. It wouldn't be brought up in 31 other cities in the country I think."
I don't think the NFL is specifically targeting the Cincinnati Bengals, but I do think the allegations around Benson are interesting. The timing of the meeting is interesting because the case has not been resolved in Texas. Benson has had a past with the law with boating while intoxicated, resisting arrest, and DUI. I imagine that Goodell wants to discuss the matter with Benson to hear his side of the story. Hopefully he will not face any missed time this season as the Bengals have planned much of their offense around him.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NKY Prep Standout Zeke Pike

There have been a number of Northern Kentucky players gaining national attention the past few years, but perhaps none more than Dixie Heights Junior Zeke Pike. Pike is the son of former Buffalo Bills defensive and special teams player Mark Pike. The 6'5" 220 lb. Pike is entering his junior year at Dixie.

Pike has been making the rounds on the recruiting circuit already which has brought a great deal of attention for him. He currently has offers from: Auburn, Alabama, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Purdue, and Texas A&M. There are also a number of schools who continue to court Pike to come play for them.

With the High School football season just around the corner I am looking forward to catching a few Dixie games. If he continues at this pace it seems that he will just about have his choice of schools which will be great for bringing attention to the region.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Former Ryle Football Player Arrested at Notre Dame

One of the prized recruits from the 2010 Northern Kentucky Football class Tate Nichols was arrested Sunday morning at a party in South Bend. There were 42 individuals total arrested from a college party that police said "pandemonium" ensued. Of those 44 arrested were Nichols, Nate Montana son of Joe, and Tim Abromaitis star of the basketball team.

I don't think this says that Nichols has character issues, there were college kids at a college party. But I am sure that young Tate has learned a valuable lesson here. For all you college kids out there, if there are more than 20 of you at a house, you have a good change of getting busted. Be smart.

Check out the full article here.

Reds working out veteran Pitcher

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Isringhausen told KFNS radio in St. Louis this morning that he is scheduled to pitch a bullpen session this week in Cincinnati for Walt Jocketty. Isringhausen has not pitched in the Major leagues since 2009. He pitched in 9 games in 2009 for Tampa Bay before he tore a ligament and needed Tommy John surgery. I have been told the Reds are really looking for some bullpen help to make a playoff run. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Local Player Lueke in Cliff Lee Deal

We have reported on here before the statistics of former Scott High School and Northern Kentucky University pitcher Josh Lueke. Last week, Lueke was involved in the trade from Texas to Seattle for former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. Lueke this season is 3-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 38.1 IP he has 62 k's and just 10 walks with a very solid 1.04 WHIP. It appears that Lueke was one of the players attached to help sweeten the deal and pushed Texas over the edge to acquire Lee. Congratulations to him and good luck with Seattle.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A thought on the Reds....

The Reds have a logjam at the Pitcher position, and it is only going to get worse as Volquez and Bailey return from rehab assignments. So there are a few questions to ask, where do they fit? That is a very relevant question. I have one suggestion for Mr. Walt Jocketty to at least think about. What about moving Homer Bailey to the bullpen to be the closer?

I have always said I thought Bailey's talents would be best suited in the bullpen. Check out his stat splits per inning. He has had more K's in the first inning in his carrer than in any other inning. His numbers in the first three innings are by far better than any other.

Add to that Cordero has been shaky at best as the closer. You could use him as a set-up man and have Bailey, Rhodes, and Cordero all available to back up the youth in the rotation. The Reds are going to have to either make a move to open up a spot or get creative once Volquez comes back. Travis Wood showed you on Saturday he has the stuff to be up here and needs to be competing at this level. Unless they can move one of their veteran arms they will be faced with making a tough decision. But this is not at all a bad problem to have!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Good Opportunity for Azubuike

Today the Knicks signed David Lee to a $80m deal and then promptly traded him to Golden State for Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf. New York will be a great opportunity for Azubuike to get some regular playing time and make an impact in the league. He averaged 14.4 points per game in the 08-09 season. Last year his season was cut short just after 9 games due to a torn patella tendon.
Kelenna should be able to step in and be a starter in New York who really enhanced their team with adding these players.

Rest in Peace Melvin Turpin

Former Kentucky Wildcat Melvin Turpin has reportedly committed suicide. One of the "Twin Towers" along with Sam Bowie, Turpin was selected 6th in the 1984 NBA Draft. The 49 year old Turpin was a three time ALL-SEC player, and a two time All-American. I cannot imagine what would cause someone to take their own life, the pain and sadness must have reached a level that I hope I never understand. Rest in Peace Dinner Bell Mel!

News and Notes

* I don't know what I think of the LeBron James special last night. I was very excited to watch, and I couldn't wait to find out. But when the interview started I thought it was just bad. The interview was awkward. LeBron was awkward. And why did he choose Greenwich, CT one of the most affluent towns in America? I think LeBron came out looking bad in the end. But all will be forgotten when the NBA tips off.

* Joey Votto should have been voted into the All-Star game the first go-round. I don't understand why Red's fans were so upset. I agree he deserved it but at the same rate I didn't get online and vote until the "Last Man In." Did you expect Charlie Manuel to pass over his guy? Not a chance. And I love the fact that the National Media wants to talk about how Cincinnati can stuff the ballot box based on the All-Star game in 1957! Come on guys, you can do better than that.

* If the Miami Heat do not win a Championship this season it will be considered a disappointment, that is a lot of pressure. But in Wade I trust, he will prove to be the key.

* The Reds will be in a dog fight for the rest of the year, and I don't think they will do it with Cliff Lee. My money is on the Twins. If the Reds could give up Alonso and Mesarasco I would do it in a heartbeat. But I am sure that Seattle will want a young arm. If they ship off Travis Wood I will be disappointed. Teams are built in the minor league and if you can manufacture talent you can become a perennial powerhouse. At the same rate we have a lot of talented pitchers, thats not a bad problem to have.

Dan Gilbert is not Happy

The Cleveland Majority owner Dan Gilber posted the following letter last night on the Cavaliers website shortly after LeBron James made his decision to go the Miami. Some of the shots may be in a little bad taste, but I would be pissed too!

"Dear Cleveland, all of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers supporters wherever you may be tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several-day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: "I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former 'king' wins one."

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our homegrown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland. Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day...

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue...

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My LeBron Prediction

LeBron is going to Miami. Mark it down. He can't win a Championship in Cleveland, and he wants to win a Championship. He wants to build a dynasty and he can do that with the talent in Miami. If he does go there the Heat become a fantasy team. The only problem with Miami there is absolutely nothing around him down there. They will have to stuff the roster with minimum salary guys. I can't wait for 9:00!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NBA Free Agency

So far this "blockbuster" free agent pool has been less than exciting. Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Rudy Gay, and Joe Johnson have all decided to re-sign with their current teams. Amare Stoudemire is the first and so far only big name to move teams, Stoudemire will sign with the New York Knicks.
Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carlos Boozer are all still hanging in the mix with LeBron James. James has visited with the Bulls, Clippers, Heat, Cavaliers, Knicks, and Nets. Many are already indicating that they feel the Knicks are out of the race for James. Most reports indicate that James is leaning toward staying in Cleveland and trying to lure Chris Bosh to the Cavaliers. Is adding Bosh to the mix enough to put the Cavaliers over the edge?

Meanwhile we have Dwayne Wade hanging in the mix. Wade's services seem to be down to staying in Miami or moving to Chicago, which is Wade's hometown. The Chicago deal is intriguing. Add Wade to a team that already has a superstar Point Guard in Derrick Rose and you have a serious contender in the East.

There are also still a number of serviceable free agents on the market with guys like Ray Allen, David Lee, Luis Scola, Brenden Haywood, Tyrus Thomas, Josh Childress, Raymond Felton, and Shaquille O'Neal.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Soccer Explained: Diving

I've decided to start a series about soccer to explain some aspects of the game that for those who don't follow soccer (although it may be enjoyed by fans of the sport just as well.) Perhaps the first entry is the most ambitious, but I believe diving remains one of the most controversial,and ostentatious, parts of the game. I must give a disclaimer, however, because I hate diving. I think it is dishonest, makes the players look like wimps, and is a general black eye to the sport. Yet, I understand why players do it.

Not every player takes dives. It seems to be more common in certain cultures than others. My most disliked international team, Italy, is a quintessential example of persistent flopping. Don't get my wrong, Italy is an amazing soccer team and one that should be feared on the pitch, but they take more dives than the kids at my local swimming pool.

To understand diving, one must understand the importance of goals in soccer. Yeah, yeah, you need goals to win. . . more than the other team. . . even John Madden gets that part of the game. But when so many games come down to a single goal difference, a single goal is HUGE. A single goal in a soccer game weighs heavier than a single touchdown, home run, 3-pointer, or try because it is so rare. It is not uncommon for only one goal to be scored in a game (90+ minutes of play.) So any chance players get to take a free kick at the goal, they will take.

And this is why players take dives, especially in the penalty box. Free kicks are golden opportunities put a point on the board. All that stands in the way of the spot of the foul and the goal is usually four players covering their family jewels and a keeper that can barely see around the wall. They are better than corner kicks as they allow players to take direct shots on goal or pass to another open player to take a shot. A foul in the box is almost an automatic goal through a penalty kick (although, if anyone saw the Spain-Paraguay match, PKs are less than automatic.)

What is maddening about diving is that it seems to grow more dramatic with each passing season. Players' inner-thespians come out as soon as they think they can draw a foul and often they end up looking ridiculous. One of the more refreshing moments of a Portugal match last week was seeing the midfielder Tiago get a yellow card for taking a dive in the box. Too bad they can't give those out in the NBA as well.

Friday, July 2, 2010

NCAA Investigating Kentucky

Reports are beginning to surface that the NCAA is investigating the Kentucky Basketball program for at least four instances of improper contact with an agent. The report, originally posted on, indicated that the NCAA is investigating four players two players who were just drafted and two current players. Amateur athletes cannot have contact with an Agent at any point during their high school or college career. Stay tuned for more information....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

Today marked the first day of Free Agency in the NBA. And teams wasted no time in getting down to business. LeBron James met with the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks at the IMG office in Cleveland. James is also expected to meet with the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks wasted no time in offering a six year maximum contract to Joe Johnson. The Hawks really seem like they do not want to lose their leading scorer from last year, but Johnson may not have six good years left in him.

Pat Riley and the Miami Heat traveled to California to meet with Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, and David Lee. Meanwhile the Timberwolves scheduled a meeting with Rudy Gay and David Lee.

I don't expect too many deals to come through in the early period. And players cannot sign until next week. Also, I think many of the top names will wait and see what King James decides before they decide on a destination.