Andy Dalton jokes that he can now hold
his head up and boss around the mere rookies that invaded the Bengals’
locker room this past week for a rookie minicamp. He, of course, is
joking. It’s not his style to boss anyone around — more likely he’s
showing his new teammates the ropes.
Last week, former San Diego Charger and New
England Patriot Junior Seau, a future Hall of Famer, committed suicide.
Like former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, the 42-year-old Seau shot
himself in the chest. Last February, before shooting himself, Duerson
sent a text to several family members.
The Bengals did exactly what they were
expected to do in the first round of the NFL draft on April 26 — take a
cornerback and an offensive guard, even if the names were different than
expected. Last Thursday, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama and
Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler became the newest Bengals.
One of the great beauties of baseball is
that one pitch can mean everything and one game can mean nothing. The
Reds are off to a slow start, winning seven of their first 16 games.
It’s not ideal and wins in April count as much as wins in September, but
it’s baseball — every team loses roughly one-third of its games.
It seems every mock draft out there — and
there are a ton — knows exactly what the Bengals will do with their two
first-round picks on April 26: The team will take a guard and a
cornerback. They seem to be the two glaring needs,
even though the team addressed their depth at the positions in free
Nielsen says we’re the smallest market in
Major League Baseball, but last week Bob Castellini sent the message
that the Cincinnati Reds are no longer a small-market team, signing Joey
Votto to a 10-year, $225 million extension that brings his contract to
more than $250 million over the next 12 seasons.
I know I will lose any claim to being an
actual Cincinnatian with this statement, but I’m not really bothered
that Major League Baseball’s first pitch of the season wasn’t thrown in
our city. In case you missed it — and it’s very
possible you did — the 2012 MLB season began on March 28 in Japan.
Much of the offseason optimism for the
Reds was dashed this weekend when it was announced that closer Ryan
Madson would require Tommy John surgery on his right arm and miss the
season. But it’s spring, the sun is out, every team (in the National
League at least) is undefeated and now is not the time for doom. No, now
is the time for optimism.
For the first time in the history of the
NCAA Tournament, four teams in the Sweet 16 — a qualified quarter — are
from the state of Ohio, with Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio and Ohio State
moving on to make up 25 percent of the remaining teams fighting for a
chance at basketball supremacy.
Pain came from inside Cashmere Wright’s
head, looking to get out, pulsing, like his brain was expanding beyond
what his skull could contain. His eyes — perhaps the most important part
of his multifaceted game on the court — betrayed him; he could barely
see. A single ray of light crippled him, yet he was readying for the
brightest spotlight of his career.
Tu Holloway and Kenny Frease know all too
well what it means to be senior basketball players at Xavier
University. For three seasons they saw older players — the likes of
Jason Love, B.J. Raymond and Jamel McLean — lead the program to deep
runs in the NCAA tournament. It would be Holloway and Frease’s turn this
The NCAA Tournament comes around every
year, which is great for those of us who believe it to be the greatest
postseason event in sports — the first two days of which are
particularly dramatic and exciting.
With the Reds away in Arizona and another
story already planned on UC this week, I was left pondering what to do
to fill this space — and then I got one of the greatest gifts ever
handed to sportswriting — Charlie Coles.
The Reds’ playoff odds got a bump last
week. Without adding a player or any injury to a rival occurring, the
playoffs got that much closer for Cincinnati. That said, they did for
every other team as well. Bud Selig got his playoff expansion, adding
another wild card to the playoffs in each league. Now 10 teams will be
in the postseason.
During the nine days between the Oct. 24
announcement that Whit Babcock had accepted the offer to become the
athletic director of the University of Cincinnati and the day he started
on Nov. 2, West Virginia became the third Big East member to leave the