by Nick Swartsell
16 hours ago
Posted In: News
at 09:54 AM | Permalink
Streetcar funding plans; P&G's NFL PR prob; who owns the Occupy Twitter account?
Morning all! Let's jump right into the news.Members of Cincinnati City Council have some preliminary good things to say about the Haile Foundation’s recent proposal for funding streetcar operating costs. Meanwhile, Mayor John Cranley has said he’s working on a plan of his own, and you can hear all about it… in a month or so. Vice Mayor David Mann and council members Kevin Flynn, P.G. Sittenfeld and Amy Murray all said the Haile plan was helpful as a starting point. Questions remain, however, about how much the tax plan will cost property owners in the proposed special taxing district, which will cover Downtown, Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton. Murray, who voted against the streetcar project, also questioned whether the necessary 60 percent of property owners in those districts would back the tax and said there need to be back up options in place.Meanwhile, Cranley said he’s confident he can come up with a plan council will support that provides the almost $4 million in yearly operating costs the streetcar needs without spending city money. He declined to give further details but said the plan should be ready in a month or so.• Mayor Cranley won’t be talking much about that plan tonight when he gives his State of the City address, which will happen at 6 p.m. at Music Hall. Instead, he’ll outline other proposals and his vision for the year ahead. One seemingly mundane change he’ll be highlighting — the elimination of the more-or-less unenforced single garbage can rule. I live in a big house with 10 other roommates, and it’s not really my job to take the garbage out, but I can see how this is a big deal for people who live on a big hill (there are a lot of those in Cincinnati) and don’t want to lug one cartoonishly big trash can up and down steps all the time. Anyway, I’ve digressed. The State of the City is open to the public, though the mayor’s office encourages folks to RSVP here.• City Council yesterday passed two new ordinances targeting sex trafficking, which I reported on yesterday. You can get more details on the new measures here.• The sales tax increase to renovate Union Terminal has gotten a key backer. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce is endorsing the plan, which will go up for a vote on the November ballot. The plan is the product of a contentious struggle between Hamilton County Commissioners, the city and the Cultural Facilities Task Force, which originally drew up a $280 million plan funding both Music Hall and Union Terminal renovations. That plan, which sought to increase county sales taxes from 6.75 to 7 percent over 20 years, was jettisoned by commissioners in favor of the same hike for a shorter duration covering only Union Terminal. New efforts are underway to find money for Music Hall renovations.• Quick hit: The owner of the car that was hit by big ole chunks of a Brent Spence Bridge off ramp Sunday will have to sue the state to be reimbursed, the Ohio Department of Transportation says. Bummer.• Procter & Gamble is getting some social media heat surrounding its role as the NFL’s official beauty sponsor. The league has been experiencing huge amount of controversy in the past few weeks over Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, who was suspended for two games following revelations he was involved in domestic violence against his fiancee. That suspension was made indefinite when tapes surfaced showing Rice brutally punching and knocking her out in an elevator. The league has taken heat for not acting quickly enough, with allegations flying that the league new about the severity of Rice’s crime before the tapes were made public. Meanwhile, in what amounts to either really bad timing or a severe case of tone-deafness, P&G’s Covergirl brand has been running the “get your game face on” campaign promoting their line of NFL-team-themed makeup. One of these has been photoshoped so that a model wearing Ravens purple makeup appears to have a black eye. As the image has gone viral, many on social media have turned to the company asking it to condemn the NFL and pull its sponsorship. Though P&G has issued a statement against domestic violence, the company has yet to pull the sponsorship, and critics say it isn’t doing enough to distance itself from the league. Covergirl’s Facebook page and other social media sites have received hundreds of negative comments about the situation.• So the NFL is pretty soft on players who commit domestic violence, and our local mega-corporation keeps giving them money despite that. But hey, the Bengals are number one in Sports Illustrated’s NFL Power Rankings for the first time ever! So, that’s good, right? Eh.• Quick hit number two: Yesterday I told you about an investigation into Ohio charter schools run by Chicago’s Concept Schools. Here’s more on that, including pushback from the schools’ officials and supporters. • Here’s a story about how New Orleans, which has been the nation’s murder capital off and on for years, is using big data to track gang activity and help reduce violence in the city. It’s fascinating stuff that has some pretty interesting (and perhaps troubling) ramifications if you think about government's use of big data in general. On a side note, there’s a shout-out to an unnamed University of Cincinnati professor who apparently has helped the New Orleans Police Department work with data in tracking murders. • Finally, founding members of Occupy Wall Street are suing each other over the movement’s most popular and recognized Twitter handle, @OccupyWallStNYC. Insert whatever joke you want right here.
U2 earns hatred with gift LP, R.I.P. song fade outs and the NFL screws up again
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 17, 2014
U2's free album deemed worse thing to ever happen to music and computers, Slate examines the fading out of song "fade outs" and the Tennessee Titans get fans pumped up with an incredibly inappropriate pre-game playlist selection.
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The mounting evidence of the NFL’s
epidemic scourge of employing women and children batterers as highly
paid professional football players has been a perfect storm resulting in
my decision to boycott professional football.
Plus, Genesis pisses off fans and NFL has huge balls
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Legendary Punk singer shows Gene Simmons and other celebrities who say, "Sorry," how to actually apologize without sounding like a dick, Genesis pisses off fans with cash-in album announcement and the NFL reportedly has the balls to ask Super Bowl halftime performers to pay THEM.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
A Mall of America security guard arrested a 29-year-old
man in Minnesota for using the last $1,000 to his name to make it rain
on shoppers from a fourth-floor balcony. Serge Vorobyov says during the past year he lost his job, fell behind on his bills and got divorced and decided to pay his final dollars forward. WORLD -2
by Zachary McAuliffe
Posted In: football
at 04:06 PM | Permalink
The destruction of the
Jets two weeks ago by the Bengals saw not only the largest margin of victory
for our football team in many years, but also the emergence of second-year wide
receiver Marvin Jones.
The Bengals brought Jones
aboard in 2012, but not until the fifth round of the draft — much to Jones' disappointment. He assumed he was going to be drafted in the second round, and many scouts agreed,
also thinking he would go in the second or third round. Looking at his college stats, it’s easy to
Jones played at
University of California, Berkeley, and scored 13 touchdowns throughout his
four seasons with the team.
As a wide-receiver, he averaged 14.6 yards with the team with 156 receptions for a total
of 2,270 yards. This includes a freshmen
year when Jones only made one reception for eight yards.
With these stats, it’s
no wonder he was predicted for the second round.
In his rookie season
with the Bengals, though, Jones didn’t see much play time. He started in five
of 11 games, but this season Jones has exploded on the scene.
When the Bengals and
Jets played on Oct. 27, Jones set a franchise record of four touchdowns in a single game,
with a total of 122 receiving yards.
If the Bengals had not
called off the hounds with 17 minutes left in the game, it is safe to say Jones
very well could have tied the record for receiving touchdowns in one game.
This record is
currently held by Hall of Fame players Kellen Winslow and Jerry Rice, as well
as Bob Shaw, all of whom scored five receiving touchdowns in one game.
One comparison we can
draw from Jones to an active NFL wide-receiver is the Broncos’ Wes Welker.
Welker, who gained
mass popularity as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets for the Patriots, sports
impressive stats with close to 10,000 career receiving yards in regular season
As an established
receiver, Welker currently holds the most red zone touchdowns for this season
at eight, followed closely by Jones’ seven in the red zone.
What really made this
possible for Jones was not only his superb skill set and hands these past few
weeks, but also quarterback Andy Dalton’s trust in his many receivers.
Dalton has not played
favorites with receivers since the loss against the Browns where he threw the
ball to A.J. Green 15 times.
Jones, in an interview
with Coley Harvey for ESPN.com, said Dalton is spending extra time in film and
practice with the other receivers, making the relationship between the QB and
his many targets stronger than ever.
With the second half
of the regular season upon us, this level of cooperation in the backfield will
be vital, and if Jones’ professional career is anything like his college
career, we can expect him to continue to grow and improve alongside the team.
by Zachary McAuliffe
Posted In: football
at 10:53 AM | Permalink
New book reveals connection between football and brain injuries
A new book
set for release Tuesday called League of
Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth is set to challenge
the NFL and their denial of a connection between concussions and football.
Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, investigative reporters for ESPN, the book
claims the NFL has not only known about the connection between concussions in
the NFL and long-term brain injuries for about 20 years, but the league has
been actively trying to cover up these facts.
of Junior Seau as well as former NFL players such as the Bears’ David Duerson
and the Eagles’ Andre Waters have brought this issue to the forefront of players’
and fans’ minds. All three players are thought to have suffered severe brain
damage from injuries while playing football, all of which lead to their
has claimed for years they had no knowledge of any relation between the brain
injuries sustained from concussions and the deaths of professional players. Even
in the face of a recent lawsuit from players, the league held firm to their
did settle the recent lawsuit out of court for $765 million, and many questions
were raised asking if the league has been honest with how much they know about the
possible link between concussions and football.
For a long
time, concussions in the professional level of football were not seen as a big
issue because no one knew of the long-term effects. Former New York Jets
defensive lineman Marty Lyons talked with Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com where
he described his own sideline concussion experience.
whenever a player would come off the field, the physician would hold up some
fingers, ask how many and, despite the player’s answer, the physician said, “Close
enough.” A couple plays later, or even the next play, the player would find
themselves on the field once again.
wasn’t the doctors or trainers saying, ‘You’re OK,’” Lyons said in the
interview. “I’m not saying the league didn’t know, I’m not saying the players
didn’t know. It was part of the game.”
to the authors of League of Denial,
the cover-up of how much the NFL knew about the connection started when the
former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue created a concussion committee in 1994
to better understand the effects of concussions on players. A few members of
the committee came forward in 1995 saying concussions were not “minor injuries”
as previously thought. These claims were quickly hushed by the NFL.
the book makes is that around 2000, some of the country’s top neuroscientists
told the NFL the big hits in football, especially those considered head-to-head,
led to not only concussions, but also what is known as chronic traumatic
the symptoms of CTE are higher rates of depression, dementia, memory loss and
rather than publishing these findings and telling players of the potential
harm, made no such effort and tried to ignore the facts.
2005, the authors report the NFL tried to persuade a medical journal to retract
articles and findings on concussions and their effects on individuals. The journal
in question refused and the findings continued to circulate without
authors spoke with Dr. Ann McKee, a former assistant professor of
neuropathology at Harvard Medical School and one of the leading professionals
on the link between football and brain damage, who said of the 54 harvested
brains of deceased NFL players, only two did not have CTE.
of these findings are not just exclusive to professional football. Youth, high
school and college football players are also at a high risk for
from 2007 titled “Concussions Among United
States High School and Collegiate Athletes,” found that about 300,000 people aged
15 to 24 suffered traumatic brain injuries every year from contact sports. This
number is only second to brain injuries sustained from motor vehicle
study also found of the total number of concussions from other collegiate
sports, including boys’ and girls’ soccer and basketball, football was
responsible for more than 40 percent of the concussions.
in high school sports have even led to the death of young athletes. Jaquan
Waller and Matthew Gfeller are two football players who died in North Carolina
after head injuries sustained during high school games this season.
from the University of Pittsburgh found that over the
past decade, 30-40 high school football players have died from concussions, and
the likelihood of contact sport athletes to receive a concussion is 19 percent.
are coming to the NFL, however, most notably in the minds of players. Bengals’
cornerback Brandon Ghee received two concussions in back-to-back preseason
games against the Falcons and Titans. Ghee was forced to take a five-week break
from contact because of these injuries.
interview with The
Enquirer, Ghee said if it weren’t for the recent deaths and lawsuit, he
would have wanted to go back to play immediately. Now though, he’s not so sure. “After the second one you have to think about
your kids and family,” Ghee said in the interview. “You don’t want any long-lasting issues.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 4, 2013
For a brief moment, the person who owns a
fantasy football team and is off work on Sunday is god-like and in
charge of everything. There’s no other feeling like it.
Ruling against former Bengals players illustrates the next step in NFL concussion saga
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 23, 2013
As America spends the next two weeks
readying for its largest annual sporting event, the spectacle, hype and
excitement of the Super Bowl will undoubtedly overshadow the toll our
enjoyment takes on the players on the field.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: 2012 Election
, Barack Obama
, Mitt Romney
, President Obama
at 02:32 PM | Permalink
Compares Obama administration to replacement refs who botched end of Monday game
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan weighed
in on the controversy over replacement National Football League referees in a Tuesday town
hall-style meeting in Cincinnati, comparing the Obama administration to
the substitute officials who cost his home-state Green Bay Packers a
victory with their botched call Monday night.
“Give me a break. It is time to get the real refs,” Ryan said.
“And you know what, it reminds me of President Obama and
the economy — if you can’t get it right, it’s time to get out. I half
think that these refs work part time for the Obama administration in the
Ryan was referencing a play that should have been called an interception for the Packers but instead allowed the Seattle Seahawks to score a game-winning touchdown on Monday Night Foodball. Replacement referees — some of
whom may have been fired by the Lingerie Football League for
incompetence — are filling in for unionized officials who are locked
The vice presidential candidate spoke inside a Byer
Steel warehouse surrounded by piles of I-beams and rebar. A
self-proclaimed Southern gospel rock band played before the event,
occasionally pausing to talk up GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s
Much of Ryan’s prepared speech, as well as questions from
participants in the town hall, focused on the economy, the deficit and
the need for changes to entitlement programs.
Asked by an audience member how he would limit government
and eliminate programs, Ryan said he and Romney would spur economic
growth by lessening the tax burdens on small businesses, cut
discretionary spending on government agencies and overhaul entitlement
programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Outside before the rally, protesters called for Ryan —
whose House-passed budget made deeps cuts to many welfare and safety-net
programs — to have more compassion for the poor.
Meanwhile an airplane sponsored by MoveOn.org carried a
banner reading, “Romney: Believe in 55% of America?” referencing
comments revealed in a recent video where Romney claimed 47 percent of
Americans didn’t pay any income tax and viewed themselves as victims
reliant on government so it wasn’t his job to worry about their votes.
“We’re here with several messages, including the
immorality of the Ryan budget and how it will impact the vast majority
of Americans negatively," said David Little with the liberal advocacy
group ProgressOhio. “When a budget protects those with the most and
negatively impacts those with the least, I would suggest that is
Bentley Davis with the Alliance for Retired Americans said
she was concerned about what Romney and Ryan’s plans for Medicare and
Social Security would do to retirement security.
Ryan had proposed to keep Medicare the same for anybody
already 55 and over, but give younger Americans the choice to get money
to spend toward private insurance or stay in a Medicare-like program.
Inside the warehouse was a digital sign that ticked up the national debt, which was at $16 trillion and rising.
“Here is what our government, our Congressional Budget
Office, is telling us our debt is in the future if we stay on the path
that President Obama has kept us on, has put us on … the debt goes as
high as two and a half times the size of our economy by the time my
three kids are my age,” Ryan said.
The Obama campaign fired back in an email response, saying
Ryan used misleading rhetoric to hide his own record and Republican
plans to raise taxes on the middle class to fund tax cuts for wealthier
“The Romney-Ryan ticket has plenty
of questions to answer about a failed record on manufacturing and job
creation and their support for policies that will devastate middle class
families by raising their taxes and shipping jobs overseas,” Obama for
America – Ohio Press Secretary Jessica Kershaw wrote.
“These policies would take the growing manufacturing industry backward, not forward.”For some in the audience, the economy was also on the forefront.Steve Teal, 56, of West Chester, said he doesn't like the direction the country is going in."Just get the country back to work," Teal said. "I don't trust him (Obama). He doesn't stand up for America. He doesn't stand up for Americans."CityBeat writer Stefane Kremer contributed to this report.
Ryan went from Cincinnati to an event with Romney in Dayton later on Tuesday.