Thursday, June 30, 2005

 

What Next?


Most Bengals fans look at the past two years in a glass half-full/half-empty fashion. That's because the men in stripes won exactly half of their 32 regular season games. Of course, this is Cincinnati so we were just glad there was actually water in the glass. Now that there's some breathing room between today and those Bungles days, expectations are changing. After back to back .500 seasons, when it comes to winning, eight is not enough.

What are you expectations for this season? If they fail to make the playoffs, is this year a bust? What if they miss out, but go 9-7 or even 10-6. Is this season a failure even though they earned their first winning record in 14 years? That could be a possibility in the power conference that is the AFC, and in the increasingly competitve North division.

While this team has made tremendous strides getting back to respecibility, in the parity-driven NFL, it's the next few steps that are the toughest.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

 

California Invades the Queen City


Holly McPeak
Originally uploaded by Unabated Sports.
The AVP tour comes to Cincinnati for the 4th of July weekend. Mason will play host to such athletes as Misty May, Kerri Walsh, Holly McPeak, and some guys. The Cincinnati Open runs from Thursday to Sunday at Lindner Family Tennis Center.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

 

Reds Beat Cardinals After Coach Dismissals


Reds Dugout, originally uploaded by Unabated Sports.

The Reds go into Cleveland this weekend with a 2 game winning streak and a new manager. It'll be interesting to see if Jerry Narron loses the "interim" part of his title like his predecessors have. It's had mixed results. One manager got the Reds into the post-season and has a World Series ring. The other was fired Tuesday. Of course, Jack McKeon got that ring with the Marlins and the 1999 team only had a one-game playoff, but that was the only post-season we've seen the Reds take part in lately.

Finding the right skipper is a tough decision made tougher by baseball's current environment. Here's hoping that management can weed through all the possibilities and find the right match for this team, even if he's already on the bench.

Monday, June 20, 2005

 

UC Celebrates Big East Day


Big East Logo
Originally uploaded by Unabated Sports.
The University of Cincinnati is welcoming fans to celebrate Big East Day on Friday, July 1. From morning till night, the Queen City will have events to celebrate UC's new athletic conference.

Highlights of the day include a Campus Continental Breakfast, Downtown Celebration on Fountain Square, Fireworks and Live Music at UC's Baseball Stadium.

All events are free.

Friday, June 17, 2005

 

XU Gets Oklahoma's Starting Point Guard


Drew Lavender
Originally uploaded by Unabated Sports.
Sooners' Lavender transfers to Xavier. Former Oklahoma point guard Drew Lavender started taking summer classes Monday at Xavier, where he will sit out the 2005-06 season then have two years' eligibility remaining.

Just another part of a pretty nice summer for Coach Sean Miller.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

 

Former Bengals Top Pick Cut Again


Akili Smith
Originally uploaded by
Unabated Sports.
I know it's not kosher to kick a fella while he's down but, as a wise man once said, it's so much easier because they're right by your feet. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release QB Akili Smith today. You remember him, the guy the Bengals drafted third overall in the 1999 NFL draft instead of Daunte Culpepper, Champ Bailey, or trading for all of the Saints picks. Smith, ironically enough tackled by the team who just cut him in this picture, tried to resurrect his career this past season in NFL Europe. Apparently, it just confirmed what we here in Cincinnati knew for a long time: the guy is not a quarterback. Sure, he had a cannon for an arm and all the physical tools you could dream of. But he just never had enough under the helmet to apply those skills on Sunday, here or in Europe.

Instead of becoming the franchise savior, Akili has become the ultimate boogeyman for front office-types in the NFL. A pariah to those who take too much stock in a prospect's Combine numbers. In the 1990s, teams used this tangible evidence as proof of a player's success at the next level. Akili taught them that was foolish and now college experience and mental capacity are considered more heavily.

I can't imagine any more teams would take another shot at him. It looks like his place in history is solidified: the worst third overall NFL draft pick ever.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

 

Carson Palmer: Best Quarterback In The AFC North


Carson Palmer
Originally uploaded by Sports Wood.

Former Cincinnati Bengals QB Boomer Esiason has called #9 that. Solomon Wilcots said the same thing on NFL Radio this week. That sounds like an impressive title. But really, it's not. Sure, CP's poised to have a breakout year, but the competition for the Best QB in the AFC North is hardly that impressive.

As good a season Ben Roethlisberger had, the former Miami U signal-caller struggled the farther along the season went. And both the Jets and the Patriots seemed to have his number in the playoffs. I don't think anyone's ready to call the Kyle Boller project a success quite yet. And Trent Dilfer? He was a great pick-up for the Browns and a bargain for a fourth-round pick, but he's basically holding down the fort until Romeo finds his QB of the future.

Carson showed some flashes (a 96.8 passer rating over his last six starts of 2004 -- a stretch that included games against Baltimore, Pittsburgh and New England), but he's going to need more than the title of Best QB in the AFC North to put this team into the playoffs for the first time since 1991.


Saturday, June 04, 2005

 

2005 Cincinnati Ben-Gals


Traci Napier
Originally uploaded by Unabated Sports.

This year's Cincinnati Ben-Gals lineup is now official. The 28-member team includes 16 veterans and 12 rookies. Traci Napier, right, heads up the list of Ben-Gal captains. Not only do these ladies root on the men in stripes, but they also visit our troops.

Ben-Gals event and appearance requests can be made by calling Ben-Gals cheerleader director Charlotte Jacobs at 513-621-3550.


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