Sunday, December 31, 2006

I didn't want this to get lost in all that's going on today with the NFL and the Bengals. I'll have more on that later in the day.

I spent this weekend in Cleveland watching my alma mater completely dominate a school in the Big East. Ohio brought balanced scoring, tenacious defense and the most important thing a team needs to do, make free throws.

I was particularly impressed with a couple of players, three actually. Leon Williams couldn't be handled by anyone on the UC team. He was fouled virtually every time he touched the ball in the paint. Of course, it wasn't always called. But when he went to the line, Leon was 'money', 12 of 15 from the line. Leon also hauled down 12-rebounds and managed a couple of blocks and a couple of assists.

Whitney Davis looked sharp too. He's got a unique style handling the ball, but he not only gets it into his playmakers hands, he also can score.

Jerome Tillman was solid and so was Sonny Troutman. I made the observation after watching Ohio defeat Bellermine earlier this year: Troutman may have a sweet lefthanded shot and he will penetrate the lane, but his best weapon is the pass. He's very unselfish.

I spent some time talking with Tim O'Shea. The Bobcats head coach told me there wasn't any secret to his defense on UC. Like Ohio did with Louisville, the Bobcats packed it in tight and allowed the Bearcats to try and beat them with the three ball. Neither team, historically, has shot well from the outside. The strategy worked.

It was great visiting with some other coaches. I got to talk with Kevin Kuwik and Brian Townsend. Brian said he grew up watching me on television (ouch!), while he was a stand out athlete at Cincinnati's Northwest High School.

I got a chance to visit again with assistant coach Doug Dewey, who was a standout athlete at Cincinnati's Glen Este High School. Terrific guy and is learning a lot from the other coaches on the Ohio staff.

Bubba Walther said the same thing too. That was a little easier to take, considering Bubba isn't that far removed from Moeller.

Ohio will play deep into March. I've seen Miami play. Charlie Coles will get everything that team has, but I don't see the RedHawks being any kind of factor. But with solid wins over a Big East team (UC) and an Atlantic 10 team (St Joe's), Ohio has laid the ground work for a great run through the MAC. Bobcat fans should be stoked.

By the way, the Ohio football team leaves Tuesday for the GMAC Bowl. If you live in central and southern Ohio, I'm filling in this Thursday and Friday morning on 1530 Homer WCKY. Ohio head football coach, Frank Solich, will be my 'live' guest from Mobile at 9:10am this Thursday. If you don't live here in the greater Cincinnati area, you can catch it on line.

I'll have more on the Bobcats later in the week on my The Broo View podcast, which you can catch on my web site,

Go Bobcats!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Just back from the US Bank Arena where I caught most of the University of Cincinnati vs Miami, Ohio game. Miami would've won, if they could've made a shot in the first half. As it was, they had this game tied with about three minutes to go.

But the Bearcats were just too fast and shot a whole lot better than Miami (48%-39%). Big East rookie of the week, Deonta Vaughn struggled, only 2-9 from the field. But big man, Marcus Sikes turned in a nice effort: 15 points and ten rebounds in 34-minutes of work.

Up next for the Bearcats, a game in Cleveland Saturday night against Ohio. The Bobcats blew out an over matched Rhode Island team in Athens tonight.

Carson Palmer said the same thing today that Willie Anderson said on Sunday, after that loss in Denver. The Bengals need to make changes before next season begins. Carson didn't elaborate, but it's clear he's talking about personnel, philosophy and attitude.

I still don't see the Jets and Broncos losing Sunday, which means this season is over for the Bengals by sundown, New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What's worse, knowing reality or holding out a false hope? Bengals fans have to asking themselves that today.

Yep, the Bengals remain alive in the wild card race. But reality says their chances of playing past New Year's Eve are remote. By losing in Denver, the Bengals now have to win and hope the Jets lose. Fat chance on that, as the Jets play a Raiders team that hasn't won a road game all year.

If that doesn't work out, then the Bengals have to hope the 49ers can go to Denver and beat the Broncos AND Kansas City can beat Jacksonville in KC. It's all that and begins with the Bengals beating the Steelers here in Cincinnati Sunday.

I can't see how a Jets team, that had to battle to the final moment Monday night for a win that kept destiny in their own hands, turns around and loses at home to the worst team in the NFL.

And while Denver hasn't been dominant at home this season (just 4-3), I can't see the Broncos stumbling given the fact that they got a gift from the Bengals last Sunday.

Could it happen? Could the Bengals sneak in and grab that 6th seed and the final wild card spot? Sure. But the gap between could and will appears to be rather wide. Logic would dictate that planning for 2007 in Bengal-dom will begin New Year's Day

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just saw on one of my new, favorite web sites, that Ohio has signed one of the top offensive linemen in the state. Anderson's Joe Flading (6-4 and runs like a deer) will join the fastest growing stable of blockers in the MAC.

I know this guy is good. I've watched him play for the last couple of years. This is a major 'get' for Ohio coach Frank Solich.

It's good to be a Bobcat

If the Reds were looking for veteran leadership, they couldn't have worked the 'veteran' part of this any better. Now let's see if Jeff Conine has any juice left.

For a couple of low level minor leaguers, the Reds got the well traveled Conine from the Phillies today. They'll also take on the final year of his two million dollar contract.

He'll play a little first base, a little outfield and come off the bench to pinch hit. It's not a signing that will rock anyone world. But it could be a nice piece, IF they can find some bigger ones (like a 'closer')


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The only way the Bengals get into the NFL playoffs starts by beating Denver this Sunday. I've done the math.

9-7 COULD get an AFC team in. But the tie breakers may not all fall the Bengals way. And certainly, if the Bengals end up 9-7, their ninth win must come against Denver, as the Broncos are pretty much in the same boat as Cincinnati.

Can the Bengals go to Denver and win this week? Sure. Honestly, with the exception of the loss to the Colts Monday night, the Bengals haven't played a team this season they couldn't have beaten. Will the Bengals beat the Broncos? I saw nothing Monday night that would lead me to believe they will. The Colts, notoriously a finesse rather than a power team, pushed the Bengals all over the RCA Dome turf. Peyton Manning systematically picked the Bengals apart, running up 394 yards of total offense. The Colts converted on 3rd down 50 percent of the time.

Worse, was what the Bengals offense did, or didn't do. It didn't run with any consistency and failed to protect Carson Palmer. He was not only sacked, he was hit on a lot of plays. Chad Johnson and T.J.Houshmandzadeh were reduced to rumors.

Remember, still lurking is Pittsburgh. And the Steelers could come into Cincinnati New Year's Eve with a mathmatical chance to make the playoffs themselves. At the very least, they could play a large hand in whether or not the Bengals play on.

But it begins with Denver. If the Bengals lose to the Broncos, the Broncos gain the tie breaker over Cincinnati. Denver finishes with a weak 49ers team, in Colorado. The Jaguars and Jets remain the other contenders for 'cards'. While the Jags have a little tougher road remaining than the Jets, both could wind up with 10-6 records.

The wiggle room for the Bengals is gone. For them, the playoffs begin Sunday, in Denver.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sorry, been idle here for awhile. I've been busy posting a bunch of new shows on my web site,

The latest episode of Bengals Report is up and running. It's a great preview of this Monday night's game at Indianapolis against the Colts. That should be one of the best games of the season. You can download the latest Bengals Report here, if you're in a hurry.

Also on is the latest Broo View podcast. I've got some thoughts on where the Bengals are right now and how the playoffs are shaping up.

And, last but certainly not least is the latest episode of Broo v. Broo. There are some hot topics in this latest show, including who'll make the NFL playoffs, how ludicrous some of the arguments are against a playoff in Division I college football and some holiday gifts for the sports fan in your life.

It's all at!

Some random thoughts on the last few days in the world of sports...Xavier is better than it played in the Crosstown shootout and UC is still a work in progress. The proof was in the Muskies win over Arizona State Saturday night and the Bearcats thrashing at the hands of Ohio State....Former Cincinnati high school standout Bill Walker plays his first college game Sunday for Bob Huggins at Kansas State. Walker is the same kid who was begging the Ohio High School Athletic Association for another year of eligibility only three months ago....The longer the University of Alabama waits to name a new head football coach, the more I believe it's going to be the Miami Dolphins lead dog, Nick Saban...Michael Vick voluntarily left the Falcons game against the Cowboys Saturday night with his team down 10, inside of two minutes and it had the ball. Vick apparently injured his groin but was lambasted, rightfully so, by none other than Deion Sanders for that move...


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tough news today on Bengals linebacker, David Pollack. He will need surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae in his neck. It will most likely end his football career.

Pollack cracked his vertebrae making a tackle against the Cleveland Browns in September. Since then, he's had full range of motion, but has been wearing a halo protective device to immobilize his neck. It was hoped that would be all that was needed for Pollack to heal. It hasn't worked.

In the next few weeks, he'll have his surgery. He'll be able to lead a normal life. But a doctor familiar with Pollack's upcoming surgery says he'll have little chance of playing football again.

Tough news for a tough guy, with talent enough to have been the Bengals number one draft pick in 2005. We wish him only the best.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Things couldn't be different on and off the field for the Cincinnati Bengals. Eight wins on the field, eight arrests off.

It's so bad now, the NFL Commissioner has weighed in. In an interview with the national writer for the Associated Press, Roger Goodell said Tuesday night "Obviously when you have incidents that don't reflect well on the National Football League, you have to deal with that aggressively. Our players and coaches are seen at a higher level by the public."

Goodell says he called Mike Brown Monday, after cornerback Deltha O'Neal was arrested early Saturday on an alleged DUI. Goodell says he told the Bengals owner that he'd do anything he could to help Brown fix the situation. But the new commissioner left know doubt that he's laid down the law to Brown.

Goodell has particular reason to be peeved. Less than three months ago, on a stop in Cincinnati he spoke to the entire team about the proper conduct off the field. That was after Chris Henry's four arrests, Odell Thurman's four game suspension for flunking several drug or alcohol tests and after five other Bengals had off the field scrapes with the local law. Five days after Goodell's talk, Thurman drove into a check point and was picked up DUI. He's currently serving a year long suspension.

Just published tonight on my web site, is the latest Broo View podcast. You can find it on the menu bar's "Podcasts & More".


Monday, December 11, 2006

Here's the math. Three games to go, two to get in. It's the Bengals version of the old NBA free throw rule: three chances to make two. The Bengals have three games left. They have to win two of them to make the playoffs. Simple as that.

And their situation hasn't changed much since that meltdown loss to the Chargers. Even then, they knew this stretch was coming and here it is. The Bengals remaining games are at Indianapolis, at Denver and home with the Steelers. In a nutshell, they'll have to win one of the two remaing road games and then, take care of business at home on New Year's Eve against the Steelers.

First take on that Indy game? Run Rudi getting off the bus. The Colts have forgotten how to stop the run. They allowed the Jaguars to rush for 375 yards Sunday! 375 yards is a great number for total offense. The Jags simply carved up the Colts alleged defense. Rudi Johnson should be able to do the same.

While watching my Ohio Bobcats defeat Bellarmine on Saturday, I bumped into an Ohio University living legend. Vern Alden was at the game. Ohio's rapid growth in student enrollment and facilities occured under President Alden's watch in the late 1960's. And he is a big sports fans. Legend has it, Alden once dispatched his sports information director to New York City to meet with the Times sports editor to lobby for coverage of Ohio University sporting events. Alden even commissioned a panel on campus to study the feasibility of joining the Big Ten Conference. The school library on the Athens campus carries his name. I asked him where he's living now. Boston, he told me. And he asked me where I was going to be a year from now (always a dicey question for anyone in the line of work I do). Don't know, I answered. Alden said he knew exactly where he would be: Hawaii. That's apparently where the Ohio Bobcats will play next basketball season. I'm checking on flights right now!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

On my web site, is the latest Bengals Report. It's a great preview of Sunday's game. In a hurry? Just click here to listen.

Also, just posted the latest edition of BROO v. BROO, 'the' most opinionated sports show in cyberspace. Head on over to and click on 'podcasts and more'. You'll find the latest edition of this show, there!

Just back from Louisville where I watched my Ohio Bobcats beat up on Bellarmine. I caught the Friday night game against Louisville, too.

Some thoughts? Ohio outhustled, outcoached and outplayed the Cardinals Friday night. They were done in by two things: their inability to finish plays and no points from the bench. Their match zone defense just about mesmerized the Cardinals and will be a blue print for Big East teams this season.

Saturday, Ohio set a school record by hitting over 72-percent of its shots. The bench was better, contributing 26-points in the win. Jerome Tillman was very impressive. He has the muscle to create havoc in the paint. His 23 were large. I liked the way Stephen King shoots the ball. When he gets a good 'look' it went in, at least today. Freshman Kenneth van Kempen is going to be good. He's raw now, but he has quick feet and he can hit from outside, always a valued commodity in a big man.

And a word about Sonny Troutman, who seems to draw ire from some Ohio fans. I heard him described as 'distant' and 'sometimes disinterested'. This guy can play. He seems totally into it whenever I've seen him play. He clearly has ball handling skills and he selfishlessly seems to find the open man. And Troutman isn't afraid to take on the 'trees' in the lane, challenging big men with drives both Friday and Saturday (his one drive to the basket today for a scoop was nothing short of breathtaking).

It was good to be able to see and talk with a number of Ohio fans who made the trip to the 'Ville for the NABC tournament. It wasn't a large Ohio crowd, but it was boisterous.

I don't know it's going to shake out for Ohio in the MAC. The Bobcats appear to be still searching for a point guard and they got caught a few too many times Saturday by the 'cutter'. But to come with a whisker of beating Louisville on its home court and then following that up with a record shooting day on Saturday is very encouraging. I've got court side seats in Cleveland for the Ohio-Cincinnati game. That will be another good test for the Bobcats.

It was a small but boisterous Ohio gathering in the Freedom Hall stands. I wish we could've stayed on for the Sunday game against St. Joe's. But, we've got the Bengals on the field Sunday. At least we've got the Bengals not in jail on the field Sunday.

One word on the Deltha O'Neal arrest: stupid. I have no idea whether he's guilty or innocent. The larger question is why did he put himself in that situation? For the second time in two months, a Bengals player who'd been out late drove into a well publicized DUI check point.

I believe it can be said now with certainty that there is a problem on this team. The Bengals are a team populated with too many poor decision makers. And that behavior is the kind of thing that prevents good teams from becoming great, and contenders from becoming champions. There is no longer an argument that these are only isolated incidents from a handful of players. You now have a problem that cuts through that team with a wide swath: stand out stars like O'Neal and Odell Thurman, gifted young players like Chris Henry and rookies that have brought their troubles to Cincinnati like Frostee Rucker.

I hope the Bengals make the playoffs and make a run at a championship this season. But I hope more, for this team to start behaving like a championship team. Believe it or not, the latter is more important than the former.

The Reds are taking a flyer on former phenom, Josh Hamilton. He was the first pick in the 1999 amateur draft who arrived in Tampa with a 'can't miss' label. But then, Hamilton quickly fell into a life of drug abuse, a disease that affected him so badly, he missed four full seasons of baseball. The Rays gave up on him, let the Cubs snag him off their roster this week and Chicago promptly dealt Hamilton to the Reds. It cost the reds $50,000. But if Hamilton is clean and can even approach the talent he once had (he's only 26), it could be a steal. Consider Hamilton a lottery ticket. He didn't cost a lot. His payoff could be enormous.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Reds left the winter baseball meetings without making a blockbuster deal. In fact, they left the meetings without any of the things they really needed: a closer, a centerfielder and a fifth starting pitcher. But they also left the meetings with the most intriguing pick up of the off season.

In the Rule V draft, which basically allows a team to snag an unprotected player off another team's roster, the Cubs picked up outfielder, Josh Hamilton. Immediately, they dealt Hamilton to the Reds for money.

Hamilton was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999. He was a phenom, can't miss the kind of player you'd build a franchise around. Hamilton hasn't played in an organized game of professional baseball in almost five years.

He was suspended for four of those five years for repeated drug use and missed all of last season with a knee injury. Sober now for just over a year, the Reds are taking a flyer on the former 'can't miss kid'. Hamilton was drafted as a outfielder, but recently has spent time at catcher and he can pitch. He's done all of that, while playing for independent league teams.

Hamilton got a signing bonus of almost $4 million in 1999. As of last summer, he had about $85,000 of it left.

He's never played above "A" ball. The Reds will take him to spring training and if he looks like he's got anything left (he's only 26), they'll attempt to work out a deal with the Devil Rays, who'd get Hamilton back if he failed to make the Reds major league roster.

It's not an amazing story. It's a sad story, that has a chance for a happy ending, if Hamilton doesn't blow this latest chance.

Though Kelley Washington should be back by Sunday (he didn't practice in the 11 on 11 drills today), the other injured Bengals might have to get another weekend off. It doesn't look like CB Deltha O'Neal or OT Levi Jones will answer the bell against the 2-10 Raiders.

I'm off to see the my Ohio Bobcats take on the University of Louisville Friday night in Freedom Hall. I'm also staying to watch the 'Cats take on Bellermaine on Saturday. Coach Tim O'Shea's team got its first road win Wednesday night, a squeaker at St. Bonaventure. They'll play a third game in the 'ville on Sunday afternoon, against St. Joe's of Pennsylvania

Keep an eye on my web site for a new Bengals Report Podcast. It should be posted by mid day Friday. Also on Friday, we'll have a new Broo vs Broo, the most opionionated sports show in cyberspace.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh....major mind cramp. The latest Broo View Podcast is up and running too! On the site: But for a quick link, click here.
Happy Wednesday....

The latest Bengals Report, second of the week, has just been published on my web site, It's on the front page, right hand corner, easy to find. If you're in a hurry, just click here. It'll take you right to it.

Headlines: Marvin Lewis believes his team still has a shot to win the AFC North. Statistically, he's correct. In fact, the Bengals could be within a game of the lead Sunday night. A win over the Raiders coupled with a Ravens loss at Kansas City would leave the Bengals a game back with three to play. But, looming are those two road games at Indianpolis and Denver.

Levi Jones is out again this week. Rich Braham is out, too. But Kelley Washington is back, for the first time since October 15th. His injured hamstring is finally healed.

I don't know what I'm getting for Christmas. So I took care of myself today. I've bought tickets to watch my beloved Ohio Bobcats at Louisville this Friday and Saturday. 'Cats against the Cards on Friday. Then Saturday in the NABC Classic, it's Ohio against Bellermaine. After I dropped $125 on that, I figure, what the hell, and bought two courtside seats to the Ohio vs Cincinnati game in Cleveland December 30th. I'm anxious to see what kind of mix coach Tim O'Shea has this season. I really, really like Sonny Troutman's game, when he's into it. Sometimes, though, he seems to get lost on the court. Also want to catch junior forward Leon Williams. Last time I saw him in person, he dropped 29 on Buffalo.

No deals so far today for the Reds. The Mark Loretta rumor is just that, same for the Eric Gagne scenario. I'm told Barry Bond's agent has his client in tow, making the rounds at the winter baseball meetings in Orlando. Other than putting pressure on the Giants, I don't know what that accomplishes. Who would want him?


Monday, December 04, 2006

The University of Cincinnati made their call today. It was a good one. They've hired Brian Kelly to be their next head football coach. Kelly is fresh from Central Michigan University, where he just coached his team to the MAC Championship. He runs a high tech offense and has an enthusiasm about him that should be infectuous.

UC football has fallen on hard times, from an attendance standpoint. Not enough fringe fans attend games and there hard core base isn't as big as it used to be. It's a shame. Nippert Stadium is one of the great places to watch a college game. There've been some terrific coaches in the last 20 years and a lot of terrific players. But UC has never been able to capture enough 'buzz' in the city to make going to its football games 'the thing to do. Kelly's wide open approach to offense may change that. Good hire.

The latest Bengals Report is up and running on my web site: If you're in a hurry, just click here and it'll take you right to our latest podcast.

The latest Broo View podcast will be up and running no later than mid day Tuesday.

More coming later tonight!