Monday, December 31, 2007
I apologize for being a little laxed in postings. I was off last week, and tending to a variety of things. But I'm back now. And what a story I walked into today. I was in the Bengals locker room at Paul Brown Stadium this morning, watching the players pack up after another disappointing season. Not many of the star players were there. But Carson Palmer was and he agreed to an impromptu give and take session with several members of the Cincinnati media. I was the only television reporter present, but helping out our 'brothers in arms' at the other stations in town by holding their microphones.
The conversation with Palmer turned to 2008, and what needs to happen to make the Bengals better, realize their true level of talent. After what appeared to be a standard answer of getting more serious, playing harder and focusing, the follow up question went something like this: "Marvin has said he's looking for a new start, fresh beginning in 2008. Do you (Palmer) think this coaching staff is capable of that? Palmers answer: I don't think so. The follow up question: so do you see changes in the coaching staff coming. Palmer's answer: Yes, I do.
Whoa! In the 'put on a happy face and I'll let you know what I'm going to do when I do it" world of Marvin Lewis, this was a major tremor. Here you had the franchise player, the focal point of your team telling the media he doesn't think the current coaching staff has what it takes to get done what the head coach says must get done before next season.
Lewis raised the whole mission for 2008 in a question and answer session with the Columbus Dispatch. The headline in the article was "It's Time To Blow The Whole Thing Up", which was a direct quote taken from Lewis interview with the Dispatch. Lewis tried to spin that as changing the atmosphere at PBS, invigorating the staff and changing the playbook. Sorry Marvin. When somebody talks about blowing things up, it's not cosmetic changes.
Be that as it may, it's very clear from what I witnessed today that there is a rift inside the merry land of Bengal-dom. The star player, one of the top five quarterbacks in the game, isn't happy. Palmer says 2007 was the worst season in any sport in any time of his life. Losing is one thing. But the way the Bengals lost, with their internal bickering and in game meltdowns is another.
I agree with Lewis, it's time to blow the whole thing up. Some players need to go (and how about some 'name' players to get everyone's attention) and the coaching staff needs to be gutted.
I don't know if his boss will let him do it, but for his own career Lewis should push for it. The Bengals don't need a fresh coat of paint. They need serious work on the structure of their organization. Don't take my word for it. Ask the quarterback.
Friday, December 28, 2007
It's looking more and more like the Reds will go into spring training next March with their current pitching staff and maybe...maybe one more low level free agent starting pitcher. The only name that's out there that even remotely interests me is Livan Hernandez. The others seem to be a collection of bad rotator cuffs and sore elbows. So if the season were to start today (bad day to start in Cincinnati 44* and light rain) the rotation would be Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, then probably Matt Belisle and ???? Don't count out Johnny Cueto, who was on the fast track to the majors until, for whatever reason, was sent down to "AA" from "AAA" Louisville last August. And that was despite pitching pretty well in "AAA" ball. Cueto's demotion didn't go so good. He was rocked on his return to the Reds farm club in Chattanooga. But just about every scout who's seen Cueto says he trumps Bailey as the best pitching prospect the Reds have developed in generations. Edinson Volquaz, just picked up in the Josh Hamilton deal has a shot to make the rotation too. Let's put it this way, Volquaz will get 'favored nation' status, since current GM Wayne Krivsky made the deal.
Disturbing news out of Florida today. Jim Leyritz grew up on the east side of Cincinnati and played his high school ball at Turpin before becoming a decent back up catcher for the Yankees and Padres.
The Bengals are off to Miami tomorrow for their game Sunday against the Dolphins. The Bengals are banged up, Rudi Johnson and Madieu Williams are among the starters who won't play. But they should win this game. Waiting on them is a Dolphins franchise that is now in the hands of Bill Parcells. Warning to the denizens of Dolphin-ville: get ready to get rocked. Parcell pulls few punches.
This is one of the funnier moments from Parcells' stint as the Cowboys head coach.
Imagine that kind of 'quote machine' around here! You know, back in the late 80's and early 90's we had some of the best 'sports quotes' in America zooming out of Cincinnati. Pete Rose and Sam Wyche were contemporaries, each managing and coaching the two major sports franchises in Cincinnati. At the University of Cincinnati, Bob Huggins didn't pull any punches with the local media. And at Xavier, Pete Gillen was often times a stand up comedy act with some of his one-liners. Now, everybody is wrapped up in trying to say the right thing.
Also waiting on the Bengals, and left tackle Levi Jones, is Dolphins linebacker, Joey Porter. Joey didn't have to be reminded, as we read in the Sun Sentinel, the fine Florida daily.
In case you missed it, Fox Sports had the security came video of the incident:
I don't know about you, but when I'm in Vegas, I try to stay by the pool, in the shade with a frozen drink. I guess it's all about what you want to do with your free time, right?
I'm talking sports again this weekend on 700 WLW and 1530 WCKY. Both of those stations are streamed on the internet and WLW is available on XM channel 173. Sunday morning, I'll be in my regular seat as host of "Bengals-Sunday Morning Sports Talk". Among my guests, the outstanding columnist from the Cincinnati Post, Lonnie Wheeler. For those of you outside of the greater Cincinnati area, the Post and afternoon tradition for nearly a century, will cease publishing with its Monday edition. Marc Hardin, the executive editor of Bengals Report, will be in for a chat as will "The Governor", former Bengals kicker Doug Pelfrey.
Then, at 5:30pm EST, I'll be back on both signals with "Bengals Feedback", fielding your phone calls with reaction to the game. Sunday night, after the Titans vs the Colts, I'll be serving up another helping of Sports Rock! on Cincinnati's NBC affiliate, WLWT. George Vogel and I welcome Eric Thomas and "Wildman Walker" to the studio. We'll also have another visit from the all seeing, all knowing "Wizard Of Kenwood". It's going to be another full Sunday.
As for you....have a great weekend and I'll see you back on the air Monday at 6pm and 11pm on News Five!
Monday, December 24, 2007
I'm taking some time off from WLWT Channel 5 this week, but enjoying the different things that make Christmas so special in Cincinnati. And it doesn't matter where you're from, or how young or old you may be, there is nothing more classic Christmas, than this.
12: more Reds wins than last year. That may win the NL Central this season
11: decent and committed players on the Bengals defense, up from about 4 this season
10: more wins for the UC football team in 2008, and a BCS bowl game.
9: innings for a Reds starting pitcher 10 times in 2008. I love complete games.
8: wins in 2008 for the Elder HS football team. I totally respect coach Doug Ramsey
7: HR's per game for the Reds in 2008. OK, OK that's a lot. But it's Christmas, right?
6: NCAA Tournament wins for Xavier. That'd make "X" NCAA champions, right?
5: better pitchers in the Reds bullpen in 2008. Keep only Weathers, Cordero, Bray & Burton
4: more years, at least, at UC for head football coach Brian Kelly'
3: more seasons for Bengals right tackle, Willie Anderson
2: recruits who can actually score for UC basketball coach Mick Cronin
and: a championship in any sport for any Cincinnati area team. I'm not greedy. Just one.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It won't be for the Cleveland Browns. Talk about 'spitting the bit'. Cleveland is now on the ropes, no longer a sure lock to make the NFL playoffs, thanks largely to some stupid play calling and execution in the final two minutes of the first half of the Browns vs Bengals game in Cincinnati Sunday. Twice inside the final two minutes, quarterback Derek Anderson tossed interceptions that led directly to Bengals touchdowns. In all, Anderson tossed four interceptions and single handidly delivered a win to the Bengals. Needing only to 'win to get in', the Browns are now in hot soup.
Check out what they're saying about this game in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Here's the bottom line for that final Wild Card in the AFC. If Cleveland and Tennessee both win next win, Tennessee is in. If they both lose, Cleveland is in. If Cleveland wins and Tennessee loses, Cleveland is in. If Cleveland loses and Tennessee wins, Tennessee is in.
The Browns get the easier draw: at home against the 49ers. The Titans have to play at Indianapolis, Sunday night.
The Bengals? Don't get caught up in the hoopla of beating Cleveland. Any win is a good win. But this team has major, major decisions to make on coaches and players after this season is over. I look for some major changes. After Marvin Lewis, no assistant coach is safe, including both coordinators. I'll have more on this as the week progresses, but the Bengals need to make a statement in free agency this winter. No more bottom feeding, the Bengals must bring in impact players. They passed last winter on Adalius Thomas and instead signed three marginal players (Ed Hartwell, Kendrick Allen and Michael Myers). Only Myers remains and is, at best, a role player.
Roger Clemens is trying to repair his image, speaking out on youtube.com and denying any use of HGH or steroids. You can watch it, here.
I suppose I'd deny it too. And that's the trouble with all of this fall out from the Mitchell Report: nobody will ever really know who's telling the truth. Major League Baseball's reluctance to embrace any kind of drug testing until three years ago lends itselfs to skepticism.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Volquez is a strike out artist, 166 in 144 minor league innings last season. But, like Hamilton, Volquez has had to reconstruct his career. He started last year in "A" ball, after getting a taste of the majors each of the last three seasons. The Rangers are loaded with young pitching and can afford to deal Volquez (and "AA" pitcher, Danny Herrera, also part of this deal) for some much needed outfield help.
The more interesting thing about this deal is that it opens up an outfield spot, centerfield, for the best prospect the Reds have had in years: Jay Bruce. The Reds had been looking for a way to get Bruce into the everyday line-up. This does it. Junior isn't moving back from right field. Dunn can't play center and even if they hang onto Joey Votto, he's at best a converted left-fielder.
As for Hamilton, he was a great story last season. I hope he hangs on and completes his comeback from drugs and alcohol. But the minute the Reds fired manager Jerry Narron (and didn't retain Johnny Narron, video coach and Hamilton 'guardian') you knew this day was coming.
Interesting background here, on the Dallas Morning News website.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
At 4-5, a legitimate question today is: can UK be at least a 'bubble team' come tournament time? With another 16 team post season tournament debuting next spring, even a sub-500 record could get UK into that. But it's a far cry from the championship runs of the mid-90's.
Mike DeCourcy, the excellent basketball writer for The Sporting News has this story today on UK's struggles. If you're a UK fan, are you buying any of this? Let me know.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Amazing how one game can determine how one season can play out. Go back to September 16th when the Bengals played the Browns in Cleveland. Sure, it was a shootout. But in the middle of that game, the Bengals had a chance to ice it, if only Caleb Miller had held on to what looked like a sure interception. He didn't, Derek Anderson remained at quarterback and the rest has been a great story written by the Browns and a nightmare conjured up by the Bengals. If that pass, that became only an incompletion, had been an interception, almost certainly Brady Quinn would have made his NFL debut against the Bengals in that game. He's still waiting for that, as Anderson has become one of the great stories in the NFL this season.
The Bengals and Browns meet again Sunday. If Cleveland wins, it's in the NFL playoffs. Doesn't matter if the Bengals win or lose. They're going home after their December 30th finale in Miami.
Coaches could be on the move after this season. Check out the latest videocast from one of my favorite web sites: www.profootballtalk.com.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wide receivers, by nature, are a selfish bunch. They all want the ball, and there's only one ball on the field at any time. But Houshmandzadeh controls the 'me' game better than anyone. I'm happy for the guy.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Big news, head coach Brian Kelly signs a new deal that takes him through 2012. Of course, in the world of college football, he could leave at the end of this upcoming season. There is a buyout clause that begins with $2 million after the first season. But for any big, big-time college team looking for a coach, that's chump change.
The other 'devil in the details' of this deal is that UC get a new indoor practice facility that all of its intercollegiate sports can use. And, Kelly's assistant coaches get pay raises.
Private funds will pay for the new indoor facility. Kelly will make a donation of $50,000. He can afford that, now that he'll make $1.2 million in the first year of his deal. The rest of the money for the facility will apparently come from private donations. UC can't afford it. The school is in deep debt, tens of millions of dollars in debt. One estimate had it $115 million in the hole, the athletic department alone $22 million in the 'red'.
I'm happy for Kelly, and for long suffering UC football fans. He's talked the talk and, last season, walked the walk.
Now hear another voice, Pro Football Weekly, on it's website, has this on the current state of the Bengals from one of its editors.
And from the web site profootballtalk.com, increasingly a destination for any serious football fan, here's a very interesting story on their daily blog today. Just click the link.
Both of the Bengals coordinators, Bob Bratkowski on offense and Chuck Bresnahan, are under contract for 2008. The Brown family isn't one to pay people to not work. So my guess is both will be back. The shouldn't be. Bratkowski seems to have lost his ability to see the 'big picture' with his side of the ball. And Breshnahan hasn't done anything this season, when it mattered, to make you believe the defense will get better with time.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Unfortunately this season, there’ve been a lot of ‘Deys’. The Seahawks, the Browns, the Chiefs for God’s sake. You want to pick a bad day for the Bengals this season, you’ve got a lot of options this season.
Bengal fan, congratulations, you have now arrived at your team’s 16th non winning season in the last 17.
I asked this question last night: would it not have been better that 2005 never happened? Would it have been better, if 2005 was just like all the other seasons of bad football we’ve had around here? That way, we wouldn’t have been into believing that a Super Bowl was just around the corner. See, I didn’t drink the cool aid that year. Because I knew, the Bengals defense wasn’t that good it. It was merely good at taking away the football. And as a wise man once said, take aways to a defense are like Max Factor to a model: they cover a lot of blemishes. Actually, the wise man who said that was Dave Lapham, one of his many Lapham-isms. The Bengals had a lot of take aways on defense in 2005. Lot of big plays. Odell Thurman, Tory James, Deltha O’Neal,. Interceptions, fumble recoveries, big plays. But invariably, when a team has as many ‘takes’ as the Bengals had in 2005, it evens out the following year. 2006, not as many take aways. 11-5 in 2005, 8-8 in 2006. Not so many take aways in 2007, either.
I knew, a lot of football watchers around here knew, the Bengals were a big play defense that could get dragged up and down the field. Fast forward to now, not so many big plays, defense that gets dragged up and down the field. It’s been better for the defense lately, but not good enough.
That year, that one year, gave us a taste of what the other world was like, the world that lives in a championship race every season. But ever since, it’s been back to Bengal reality.
I decided I wouldn’t trade 2005 for another season of mediocrity, or worse. It was fun, it was 1988 all over again. But why haven’t we been back there again? Why was it one and done.
Lot of reasons. When you crash and burn in sport, it’s never one thing that gets you. It’s a lot of reasons. In the Bengals case, it’s been suspensions, injuries, and some whiffs on draft day and free agency.
Until game nine this season, the top three Bengals picks from 2005 were missing. Their top pick from 2003 has been nothing but injured. Their second round pick from this year never got out of training camp.
The Bengals chase free agents in the winter time, but not big time free agents. Instead of Adalius Thomas, we get Kendrick Allen and Ed Hartwell. Thomas is on an undefeated team today. Allen and Hartwell were cut before the season began.
And the whiffs on draft day have been killers. Keiwan Ratliff, a second rounder, Dennis Weathersby, a fourth rounder, Reggie McNeal, Mathias Askew…too many.
You ask why the Bengals are 5-9 and the answers aren’t hard to find today. You ask will it be better in 2008 than 2007 and you have history to suggest no. You ask is it worth your trouble to watch this team for the final four games this season, and the answer is, yes.
First, let’s put the positives back into the equation. You live in a city that has something most American cities do not: a National Football League franchise. Never discount that. The NFL is a business with limited assets. There are only 32 teams. And, may God and Roger Goodell forbid, if we ever lost the Bengals, we’d never, as in ever, get another team here again. We love Cincinnati, that’s why we live here. But the town is too small for the NFL to start all over again here.
Second, never lose sight that despite a 5-9 record, this is a team with some magnificent players. Three of the last four weeks, Carson Palmer has stunk it up. But he remains one of the top four quarterbacks in the league. Brady, the good Manning, Romo and Palmer. Period. TJ Houshmandzadeh is a Pro Bowler who’s hit his stride. Bobbie Williams can flat out mash block. Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall are two young and long on potential corners. Madeiu Williams can run like a deer and hit like a moose. And when he concentrates on his job and not his hobbies, Chad Johnson can be simply terrific.
Third, these next few weeks will tell us who wants to be here, and more important perhaps, who doesn’t deserve to be here. Players quit. It’s human nature. The greats one don’t, the good ones don’t some do. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it around too often. Football is no different than your profession. You know it, when things go badly at your job, you’ve got co workers that pack it in, clock out ten minutes early rather than ten minutes later. Maybe take a 90 minute lunch break rather than an hour….when they have a couple of free minutes, they’ll shop on the internet rather than help a co worker with their work.
In football, it’s called ‘going through the motions’. You look like you’re playing the game, but you’re not. You’re not taking on blocks, not making the tackle, playing at something less than full speed. I’m not saying we’ll see that from any of the current Bengals. But watch for it. It will tell you who wants to be part of the solution around here, and who could be part of the problem.
And finally, the best reason to watch and care about the rest of this season is because this is your team. If you’re a real fan, you’re with the Bengals through thick and thin. We’ve had plenty of thin around here in the last 17 years. We’ve got practice dealing with that. But if you’re bought the tickets, use them. If you’ve bought the flat panel plasma TV use it. If you’ve got the Bose ear plugs, stick ‘em in. Be a real fan. It’s OK. We’re all going to be OK, someday. That’s one of the best part of life in Bengal-dom. We know better days are ahead. We’re just not sure of the year.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
We'll be discussing, the recent Bengals debacle in San Francisco. It was, to any player, fan or supporter of professional football in Cincinnati, embarrassing.
The Bengals defense, soft as ever, allowed Frank Gore to rush for his first 100+ yard game of the season. It allowed the NFL's worst offense to control the clock and the ball for 12 more minutes than the Bengals offense held onto it.
This team has serious, serious problems. It has a small core of players that are exceptional football players, but who's window of opportunity to win a championship is closing. Who do you keep? Who do you let go?
So if you're awake, join me. If you're in bed and you're reading this on Sunday, I'm back on 700 WLW at 9am EST for my regular Sunday Morning Sports Talk program. Maybe we can visit then.
You can check out my web site too: www.kenbroo.com.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The real issue here should be who condoned this behavior. Why did the players union fight the investigation? Why did the players voluntarily go alone with the union? Why did Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig wait until he had cover from this investigation to speak out?
My guess is, when the final bell has been sounded in this fight, there will be plenty of people to take the blame. Baseball is, above all others, a sport that sanctifies statistics. Has been from the first time Abner Doubleday measured basepaths. How now, does MLB deal with players who've won batting titles, Cy Young awards and home run championships? Selig has a lot to think about. And, there are a lot of voices on the subject around the country tonight.
Here's a 'take' from Kevin Hench on foxsports.com.
And on si.com, Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann raises some interesting legal questions for those named in the Mitchell Report.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
My list: Levi Jones, Bobbie Williams, Chad Johnson, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Rudi Johnson, Kenny Irons and Carson Palmer on offense.
Leon Hall, Jonathan Joseph, Madieu Williams and Robert Geathers on defense. That's my list.
Not keeping Chris Henry (can you trust him?) or DeDe Dorsey or Kenny Watson (flavors of the month) or Ahmad Brooks (can he stay healthy?) or Chris Perry (see Brooks) or Justin Smith (too much money).
What's your list? Let me know, leave a comment.
Maybe we should go after Brock Berlin this winter. Look at what foxsports.com is saying.
The latest Broo View Podcast is posted. You can find it in the "Podcasts & More" section of my web site http://www.kenbroo.com/.
Monday, December 10, 2007
One of my favorite web sites is profootballtalk.com, expertly presided over by Mike Florio. I found this clip of his video podcast. The issue, can the Dolphins do the 'reverse Shula' and finish 0-16?
Rudi Johnson is finally getting his stride back, after a nagging hamstring injury. Rudi has fallen out of favor with a lot of fans lately. But in bad weather, he's a good back. And the Bengals play a lot of games in bad weather. Then, there's Kenny Irons, the 2007 second round pick who's spent the entire season on the shelf. Irons blew out his knee in a pre season game this summer. But the Bengals drafted Irons to be their every down back, with Rudi moving to more of a short yardage, goal line guy (think "Bus"). You'd have to believe, the Bengals will give that strategy another shot next summer. Then, there are what I call the 'flavors of the month'. In October and November, when Rudi was out with his injury, fans fell in love with Kenny Watson. I host the "Bengals Feedback" show on 700 WLW and 1530 Homer after Bengals games. Actually, the name of the show should be "Bengals Group Therapy", the way this season has gone. Callers would scream for more Watson and howl for less Rudi. Now, the flavor of choice os DeDe Dorsey, who's a lightning quick runner, but seems to only get into the game for just a handful of plays. Dorsey, like Watson, provides a nice change up. But if you want to win ballgames in late November and December, you have to pound the ball. The Bengals best 'pounder' (pound for pound) is Rudi. Period.
Then, there's the oft injured and seldom seen Chris Perry, the number one pick from 2004. The addition of Irons in the 2007 draft seems to exclude Perry from the mix. He's again out for another season. But it wouldn't surprise me to see all of these guys back when the Bengals convene for 2008 camp next July. They're all under contract for 2008.
And if you believe this from Peter King on sportsillustrated.com, money won't be a factor. The Bengals are how much under the salary cap? Yikes!
Then, there's always Chick Ludwig in the Dayton Daily News who weighs in on the potential 2008 Bengals draft. I like Chick a lot, even though he never returns my phone calls, when I'm trolling for guests on my radio shows and WLWT's Sports Rock!
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
As you get ready to, or if you've just completed, slip-sliding to work in the greater Cincinnati area, here's something to chew on. Could Marvin Lewis be the next head football coach at Michigan? Stop laughing and start looking at this latest video from profootballtalk.com
Mike Florio runs profootballtalk.com and has been a guest of mine on 700 WLW Sunday Morning Sports Talk. Mike is the guy on the right.
Honestly, I don't think Marvin is moving on, for two reasons. One, he'd never get a release from the Brown family. He's under contract through 2011. Two, Marvin is so far removed from his college coaching days (and he was only a low level assistant) that recruiting would be something he'd have to learn all over again. My guess is, Marvin stays and tries to repair the Bengals, while repairing his resume. If he leaves here, my guess is he leaves here after 2011 for another NFL head coach's job...if he fixes the Bengals.
Redsfest 2007 begins today and continues through tomorrow (Saturday). The Reds might have some news soon, if you believe what the Toronto Sun is saying in this story.
And Dusty Baker, guest of honor at a reception Friday night at the Freedom Center in Cincinnati is talking up his first ever Reds team to the Chicago Tribune.
Me? I think the Reds are still one, good starter away from contending. And his name is not Jon Leiber, rumored to be on the Reds short list. Seems like the only team Leiber ever defeats, is the Reds.
Look for the latest "Bengals Report Podcast" on the front page of my web site www.kenbroo.com later today. Marc Hardin, the executive editor of "Bengals Report", and I have a preview of the Bengals vs Rams game this Sunday.
I'm talking sports a lot, on the radio this weekend. I'll be on 700 WLW from 6pm-7:30pm EST Saturday. Then back on Sunday for my regular "Sunday Morning Sports Talk" shift from 9am-11:30am EDT on both 700 WLW and 1530 Homer WCKY. The shows will be streamed on both station's web sites, as well as on XM Channel 173.
And after the Bengals game, I'll be back on both stations for "Bengals Feedback".
Sunday night, after the NFL On NBC, join George Vogel, Dave Lapham, David Fulcher and me on WLWT Channel 5's Sports Rock! It's always the last, best word on the Bengals.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Now, if they pursue this trade...yikes. Scroll down and look.
They did a little business Wednesday, trading away infielder/outfielder Buck Coats. Baker had to know him and his limitations, since Coats came to the Reds from the Cubs and Baker is only a year removed from that organization. The real surprise was the outright release of infielder, Jorge Cantu, thought to be in line for serious playing time this coming season. Cantu joined the team at the end of July and hit .298 in 27 games. Reds GM Wayne Krivsky liked the guy. Apparently, Dusty didn't.
Sounds like contract negotiations between UC and head football coach, Brian Kelly, on an extention have hit a snag. USA Today quotes UC athletic director, Mike Thomas: "It'll be no different in this situation than it was with Mark (Dantonio)." It's part of a fascinating story on how coaches play the money game which you can read here.
Heisman finalists were announced tonight. All due respect to the other three, I don't see how Tim Tebow, Florida's 20-20 man doesn't win.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
No trades for the Reds yet. Apparently, most teams that have what the Reds want (pitching) want what the Reds won't give up (Jay Bruce). My guess is, there's middle ground somewhere that will get a potential third or fourth starter here for less of a price (Edwin Encarnacion, Ryan Freel?). But the deal may not get done until everyone is back from Nashville...Why trade Bruce if everyone else thinks he's the real deal and he's a home grown talent. Look at the Rockies, most of them are home grown....
A wonderful man has received a tremdous gift from his fans. Joe Nuxhall died a few weeks ago. But the long time Reds broadcaster is the overwhelming vote getter from baseball fans, according to the Baseball Hall Of Fame. It's only a piece of the puzzle. Nuxie and two other broadcasters now join seven others selected by a committe. That pool of ten will produce one winner this year of the Ford Frick Award and induction into the Hall. You did your part. Now let's hope the committee has heard you and inducts The Old Lefthander.
The Bengals may be out of the playoff race, but the season isn't over. They've got four games to play and should make every attempt to win all of them. That could be a spring board for a fast start in 2008. Look at home 2006 ended: three straight losses. You don't think that carried over to this season, when the Bengals started 1-4? What was the worse Bengal loss this season? At Cleveland? At Kansas City? Home against the Cardinals? I'm asking now, just hoping the answer at the end of the year isn't at Miami.....amazing, isn't it, that so many national 'experts' think that's when the Dolphins will get their first win, when the Bengals arrive in Miami on December 30.
The latest "Broo View Podcast" is up and running on my web site, http://www.kenbroo.com/. It's in the "Podcasts & More" section. Good stuff on Sunday's Bengals vs Steelers game, if I do say so myself. The latest "Bengals Report Podcast" will be on http://www.kenbroo.com/ Wednesday morning. You can find that on the front page.What do you think of my 'widgets" to the right that gives you the current weather here in Cincinnati and links to top sports stories from ESPN? Check out the countdown to opening day here in Cincinnati. Technology....
Monday, December 03, 2007
This whole thing is a joke.
There is no way on God’s green earth that a team should go from fifth, to third to championship game without playing a game. But that’s exactly what Ohio State has done, since beating Michigan. LSU & Kansas lost last week, Ohio State moved up to third. Oklahoma beat Missouri Saturday night, Pitt beat West Virginia, and OSU moves up to the top spot and a berth in the national championship game. Excuse Jim Tressel if he’s saying today…this’d be a helluva job, if we didn’t have to play those damn games.
I’ve got nothing against Ohio State and if I did, I’d have the sense to keep my mouth shut about it. It’s not about Ohio State, it’s about the ‘state’ of division one college football. The whole thing is a joke, and you’re the butt end of it.
One-A football has a playoff, two-a, three-a, every level of NCAA basketball has a playoff except, of course, the one NCAA sport that the entire world follows, Division One football. Everybody follows it. People who don’t know if a football is blown up or stuffed follow NCAA Division One college football. On the grand scale of sports, it plays number two to the NFL’s number one.
People get geeked about the NCAA division one basketball tournament, but only because of the brackets. They want to win their office pool, be the only ones at work to correctly predict Princeton will knock off Washington State and have Villanova going all the way. That’s the allure of the NCAA tournament.
But college football? College football is a social event as much as a sport. It’s parking on the edge of campus and walking through the reds and yellows of autumn leaves on the way to the stadium. It’s your college band playing your college fight song. It’s taking your wife back to your school to watch
your team and running into your college sweetheart. Don’t think that hasn’t happened once or twice.
It’s stopping by the drive through on Friday night so you’ve got the brewskis in the fridge for at least 12 hours before kickoff. It’s inviting your friends over to watch your team play on your brand new 42-inch flat panel.
College football is high fives, groans, cheers and wondering exactly what drug the offensive coordinator is on when he calls an off tackle run on third and 14.
So why is Division One college football ‘not’ good enough for a playoff?
When the argument for one came up many years ago we first heard ‘well, we wouldn’t want to disrupt the sanctity of the bowl system. The bowls game operators would be compromised by a playoff system. (emphasis on the word operators). How could you have a national championship game in the Rose Bowl without offending the Orange Bowl and making the Cotton Bowl feel less important. Guess what? That’s exactly what we’ve got now, with no playoff. The Orange Bowl and the Rose Bowl and every other bowl game doesn’t get to host the national title game. And the Cotton Bowl hasn’t been a major New Year’s Day destination for years.
Lately we’ve heard, ‘well, we couldn’t extend the season, the student-athletes would miss too much time in the class room. The can’t be playing football three weeks into January. Of course, these same academians, so far removed from the real world that they suffer panic attacks when leaving campus, have no trouble letting student-athletes play three weeks of basketball in March. Or look the other way when a senior football player stops going to class and starts going to draft camps after Christmas.
The whole thing is a joke.
But you know what? I’ve got a solution. It’s always better to be part of the solution, than part of the problem. So while I was watching Oklahoma beat Missouri Saturday night, I came up with a plan. Call it the Broo plan.
My wife, the first Mrs. Ken likes to tell me I’m long on plans and short on delivery. So let me deliver my plan for a Division One college football playoff.
First, no team plays more than eleven regular season games. Eliminate the conference championship games. You won’t need them. They simply exist as money makers for conferences. You’ll make so much money with this plan, believe me, everybody will be happy. Everybody.
My plan would call for the the top 12 teams, plus one, to play off for the national title. The 13 would be decided by the same folks who decided on the rankings up until this BCS nonsense began: the football writers, broadcasters and the coaches. One poll, 13 teams.
Each team would be seeded. The number one team would draw a bye until the semi-finals.
13 teams, 12 games in the first round of games. 12 teams, six games in the second. In round three, reseed the teams, the number ranked team would play the fourth seeded team. Two would play three.
On championship weekend, you would decide the national champion.
Now think about this. Most, if not all of college football’s regular season is done, as of last night. Most, if not all of colleges on the quarter system are finished for the holiday break by the end of this week. Most schools on semesters….most….are finished by December 20. When do the bowl games begin? Right….just about every year on December 20.
If the team ranked number one entering the playoffs wins the championship, it will play 13 games. The team it faces, if number one gets that far, would play a maximum of 15. Bowl eligible teams play 12 regular season games as it is now. And a lot of them have a lot of time off in between their regular season finale and their bowl game. Look at Ohio State.
What about the teams below the top 13? Well, remember, there are 32 bowl games. My system would need 12 bowls or sites to whittle down to one
champion. That leaves 20 other current bowl games that need teams. That’s 40 more team. That would mean the top 53-teams in the country would play in a post game season game. Do we really need more than that?
Think of the excitement, the hype. Number 11 Cincinnati gets to play number two Kansas in week one at the Holiday Bowl…or the Music City Bowl….winner moves onto the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
UC fan tell me you wouldn’t want that, instead of what you got for your troubles this season.
Number one LSU, let’s say, lying in wait in Baton Rouge, watching all of this play out, the chatter on radio stations like this one all about whether or not the teams playing will be tired by the time LSU joins the party….or will LSU be rusty and primed for an upset when Ohio State gets ahold of them.
It’s be crazy. It’s be good. It makes too much sense not to do it. Bu that’s probably why the NCAA would never go for it. Probably why this time next year, somebody else who’s had a little too much to drink on a Saturday night will come up with another plan and talk about it on this radio station the next morning.
All I know is this: the NCAA’s BCS deal? The whole thing is a joke.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Speaking of baseball, I'll be holding down my regular shift Sunday at 9:00am on 700 WLW. We've got three big hourse and baseball will be part of the discussion. Tim Dierkes from mlbtraderumors.com will join me at 9:15am to preview the upcoming MLB winter meetings and to weigh in on the Reds outlook for 2007. Later in the hour, Cincinnati Post sportswriter, Josh Katzowitz will check in to visit about UC football and Brian Kelly. Doug Pelfrey stops by for his outlook on the Bengals vs Steelers. And after you watch the game on Cincinnati's channel 5, you can call me and vent about the outcome on 700 WLW and 1530 WCKY's Bengals Feedback. And for you displaced Cincinnatians, all of this is on XM Radio's channel 173!
Sports Rock follows the game on Channel 5. We'll have an indepth breakdown of the game, with George Vogel 'live' from Pittsburgh.
Just posted on my web site http://www.kenbroo.com/ is the latest "Bengals Report Podcast". Marc Hardin and I preview the upcoming Bengals vs Steelers game. You can find it on the front page!
Stand by for the latest "Broo View Podcast" on http://www.kenbroo.com/. That should be posted for your downloading and listening enjoyment Saturday morning. You can find it in the "Podcasts & More section.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Both teams have great senior leadership, solid coaching staffs and have executed best when the games have counted the most. Jeff Giesting is the rookie head coach at Anderson, but a long time assistant coach there. Steve Specht was a long time St. Xavier assistant, before ascending to the top job three years ago, when Steve Rasso retired.
For those of you who aren't living in the greater Cincinnati area, you should know that high school football rules around here. Crowds in excess of 10,000 for a regular season game aren't rare. In the playoffs, double headers have drawn over 40,000. It's a big deal.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I'm sure Kelly isn't bothered by his name being bantied about for openings. At the end of the day, he either takes one or gets more money and benefits to stay at Cincinnati. Thomas can't say much, because the pilfered school can do little but watch these things play out.
I don't think Kelly is Nebraska's number one choice. Osborne is savvy enough to know the perils of hiring a coach outside of the Nebraska family. They just got done with an outsider, Bill Callahan. If not Bo Pellini, the current LSU defensive coordinator and former Huskers assistant, I'd look for the current University of Buffalo head coach, former Husker Turner Gill to get the job. Maybe, Wake Forest coach, Jim Grobe, who's already been interviewed.
At UC, I believe they've got time with Kelly, maybe another year. But, if the athletic donors don't poney up enough dinero to build Kelly a practice facility and if the school's administration balks at a salary increase for Kelly next season (if he has a season like this one), he'll be gone. Just my opinion, but I'd worry more about an ACC school or SEC calling a guy who's an "east coaster" then a school where corn stalks outnumber people.
If I'm this those guys, I'm honked off. More on this later.
Just posted on my web site www.kenbroo.com is the latest "Bengals Report Podcast". You can find it on the front page. Enjoy!
One of my favorites guests, while hosting Sunday Morning Sportstalk on 700 WLW in Cincinnati, is Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio. You can catch his work at profootballtalk.com. He also does video podcasts you can find on his web site. Here's today's, as Mike (on the right) and his partner scope out the AFC Wild Card situation.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The Sun Bowl said sorry to the Bearcats Monday night. They are committed there to taking the second place Big East Conference team. The Sun Bowl instead took the fourth place finisher, South Florida. The rationale was they were tied into taking a Pac 10 team and want Oregon State. Since UC had already played Oregon State this season (and beat THEM too), the Sun Bowl took a pass. OK. Now along comes the Meinke Car Car Bowl in Charlotte. Allegedly, this group is supposed to take the third place finisher in the Big East. UC finished tied for third (with South Florida). Instead, they elect to take Connecticut, yet another team UC beat this season.
You want to see Brian Kelly turn tail and run on UC? Forget new facilities and more salary, tell Kelly despite his team delivering the best season of football in Clifton in over 50 years, it's still not good enough to impress anyone on the national stage. Hello Lincoln.
Bowl game committees select teams not only based on the teams records, but also on the number of fans they think will travel to watch their team play. Honestly, three days before Christmas, only die hard UC fans will make the trip to Birmingham. And the other side of the attendance argument is this: is the bowl game and the city it's held in attractive enough to get a fan to travel? My guess is whatever UC fan base travels to watch this game, won't be big enough to enhance UC's standing for next bowl season. Advice to Brian Kelly: win at least eleven in 2008. That's awfully sad to have to say that, isn't it?
Meantime, two articles of interest I found today on the Reds. This one, on the Sports Illustrated web site will give you some hope.
But then, take a look at this one on the espn.com web site and it'll make you think twice
It's Pittsburgh Steelers week around here. It doen't matter if the Bengals are out of playoff contention, this is always a big week. Here's a Sports Rock memory from last year, when our favorite Steelers' fan Billy Bob Belcher received a visit from Cincinnati fitness expert, Rocco Castellano. Don't forget, the Bengals play the Steelers this Sunday night on channel 5. Right after the game, Sports Rock breaks it all down.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Just posted on my web site, www.kenbroo.com is the latest "Broo View Podcast". I've got some takes on the Bengals situation and you'll hear comments from Rudi Johnson, Carson Palmer and TJ Houshmandzadeh. Check it out its in the "Podcasts & More" section.
What a mess in Pittsburgh last night. The Steelers win it on a short field goal with :17 left, 3-0 final.
More on the day in sports later this afternoon.
I'm impressed with the way Xavier's basketball team handled Indiana Saturday. But these kinds of games happen a lot in the early part of a season. Let's see where both teams are in March. Not to denegrate Xavier's accomplishment at all, it was a convincing win, but basketball teams go through a lot of peaks and valleys during a season. Still, I'd be shocked if Xavier doesn't put together at least a 25 win season now.....
The Giants got smoked Sunday. But I still think they'll be an NFC Wild Card team. My other pick? Detroit, the Lions will rebound from their Thanksgiving Day loss.....In the AFC, I'm going with Jacksonville and Cleveland. I was tempted by Denver, until I saw how they botched their game with the Bears. If Mike Shanahan is really this football genius, how do you kick to Devon Hester and let him return two on you? Statistically, Cleveland has the easiest schedule remaining among the contenders. If Vince Young gets healthy, the Titans may still make a run.
But the Nashville Tennessean isn't giving them much of a shot after that loss to the Bengals.
For the record, cbssports.com has info as to who's in, as of today.
I'll see you tonight on Cincinnati's channel 5. And check out my web site: http://www.kenbroo.com/. I'll have the latest "Broo View Podcast" ready for you first thing Tuesday morning.
Friday, November 23, 2007
The Reds have reportedly signed the best free agent closer on the market, Francisco Cordero. When I spoke with him earlier tonight, Reds GM, Wayne Krivsky, would only say that both sides have 'held talks'. But I suspect the only thing keeping Krivsky quiet is the lack of a signed deal. Reportedly, that deal is for $46 million over four years, with a fifth year option that would send the total dollars to $57 million. Both foxsports.com and espn.com are reporting this as a done deal.
What this means is that the Reds bullpen is now 100% better than last year. That isn't saying much, as the bullpen last season was miserable. This will allow David Weathers, last year's closer, to go back to 'set up', with hard throwing Jared Burton and Bill Bray behind him. I smell another bullpen move coming. But even left at this, this is a bullpen that can compete in the NL Central. The Reds won 72 last season. Division champ, Chicago won 85. The Reds bullpen was tagged with 27 blown saves. Let me repeat that, 27 blown saves. The Reds bullpen was tagged with 28 losses. Halve either of those two numbers and the Reds win the division. And remember, the 8th inning was the one that gave the bullpen the most trouble. Weathers moving to 'set up' should change that.
The other big thing that happened today: LSU lost. In a great game to watch, the number one team went down, at home, to unranked Arkansas 50-48 in triple overtime. LSU missed a two point conversion that would've tied the game and forced a fourth OT. This now throws the BCS championship scenario wide open again. Should Missouri knock off Kansas Saturday, and if UConn springs the upset at West Virginia, all hell will break loose in college football. And remember, the Big 12 still has to play its championship game. Riddle me this: how can the NCAA sanction a THIRD post season Division I basketball tournament and no OK at Division I playoff in football?
Just posted on my web site: http://www.kenbroo.com/ is the lastest Broo View Podcast. You can find it in the "Podcast & More" section. And on the front page is the latest "Bengals Report Podcast". Marc Hardin, the executive editor of that fine publication, and I break down this Sunday's Bengals vs. Titans game. Check 'em both out and drop me an email and let me know what you think of them and how we can improve the product. My email address: email@example.com.
I'm talking sports this Sunday morning, as always, on 700 WLW and 1530 Homer WCKY. I'm on at 9am. If you live outside the greater Cincinnati area, you can listen on line or on XM channel 173. Then Sunday night, I'm back on both stations for your phone calls on Bengals Feedback. Sunday night on Cincinnati's WLWT channel 5, it's Sports Rock! We're on after Sunday Night Football (the Patriots again???) with the last, best word on the Bengals vs Titans.
Have a great rest of this holiday weekend!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
On my web site, http://www.kenbroo.com/ I have more comments on the life and times of Joe Nuxhall, and some comments from baseball's Hit King, Pete Rose. You can find it, in the latest edition of my Broo View Podcast. Just head to the "Podcasts & More" section.
The University of Kentucky basketball team is back on the court tonight, a full two weeks after getting embarrassed by Gardner-Webb. This is a big game for the new coach, Billy Gillespie. He may come off as a grinning, shuffling 'aw shucks' country boy, but Gillespie knows his impatient fan base will be watching to see how his team rebounds from that bad loss. So will a lot of potential recruits.
Interesting thoughts from ESPN's Jayson Stark, who usually gets it right, on what the Reds may do in the next few weeks to get phenom Jay Bruce into the everyday line-up. Check it out on mlbtraderumors.com.
Not two, but three Thanksgiving Day NFL games tomorrow (unless, of course you're saddled with cable in which case, the NFL Network is probably a rumor). I think Green Bay throttles Detroit. The Jets are at Dallas (getting a crazy 14 points). Even 14 won't be enough. I'm going with the 'boyz, big. And, the Colts gallop (limp?) into Atlanta to play the over matched Falcons. Peyton will do just enough and then he and his mates get ten days to heal up.
If you're near a radio this Sunday, I'm talking sports, as always on Cincinnati's 50,000 watt flame throwers: 700 WLW and 1530 Homer WCKY. I'm on from 9am until 11:30am and then back after the Bengals vs Titans game with Bengals Feedback, or as I'm calling the show Bengals Group Therapy. Every phone must begin with "Hi I'm (insert your name) and I'm a Bengals Fan...." If you live outside of the area and have XM radio, I'm on channel 173.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you're with your family and no one says anything inappropriate around the dinner table.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I learned the University of Cincinnati isn't all that far behind the elite teams in the Big East....but they're not close enough to be talked about in the same breath as West Virginia....I learned we finally live in a college town here in Cincinnati. It only took 56 years to get there....
I learned no matter what the Bengals do this season, it all comes back to Mike Brown. On my call in shows Sunday on 700 WLW radio, Brown was blamed for everything from being cheap, to not wanting to win, to causing all of the penalties the Bengals committed in their loss to the Cardinals....some of it was fairly comical.
We'll talk more, later today.....
Friday, November 16, 2007
Nuxhall died late Thursday night, after a long battle with cancer. He beat it once, in the early 90's. But those who've been touched by this insideous disease know you never really beat it. Yet, until the end, Joe was Joe. He played golf last Friday with Marty Brennanman, his broadcast partner and life long friend. He led our Octoberfest celebration in downtown Cincinnati this year in the annual "Chicken Dance". He was one of a kind.
If a generation is defined as 25 years, then more than two generations of Reds fans knew nothing if not Joe Nuxhall in the summertime. His title of the "Youngest Ballplayer In Major League History" is well documented. But he was more than that, of course. He had a solid major league career and when that ended, an easy transition to the Reds broadcast booth. He remained there for more than 30 seasons, part time of course the last few.
Joe would mangle the English language, but would say later he wasn't an English major and if you understood what he was saying, what was the problem? Fly balls would go to 'right-left-centerfield'. He'd simply say 'one day, I've got to get that right'. Pete Rose related to me today one of Joe's classic calls. It was a west coast game, and well after midnight back in Cincinnati. Pete said Joe called a double play and then said "And if you're scoring in bed back in Cincinnati, that was six to four to three". Only Joe.
They don't make baseball announcers these days like they used to. Too many are caught up in stats, batting averages with runners in scoring position, OPS, OBP...mostly BS. They think the game is all about numbers. It's never been about numbers. It's all about people. The Old Lefthander got that. And we got him. How lucky we were.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Besides, Chad Johnson to TV cameras is like a moth to a 60 watt bulb. I give him a week.
One of my favorites Reads is Pro Football Weekly. Take a look what that PFW has to say about the real source of the Bengals troubles this season.
While hosting 700 WLW Sunday Morning Sports Talk a couple of weeks ago, I took a call from a UC fan whose contention was that all Brian Kelly was doing was winning with Mark Dantonio's players. I didn't disagree with the notion. Most of the UC roster are players the ex-coach recruited in his three years here. But the caller had no answer for my comeback: Kelly is winning with Dantonio's players. But Dantonio wasn't winning with the same kids. Not as big as Kelly is. Reminds me of a line Bum Phillips had when he was the head coach of the Houston Oilers. Speaking about Steelers coach, Chuck Noll, Phillips one said "He can take his'ns and beat your'ns....and he can take your'ns and beat his'ns." English teachers all over America passed out, hearing that. But everyone else got the logic. I think it applies in this case.
UC had better start figuring out a way to keep Kelly around longer than the typical UC coach stays. It doesn't matter what penalty has to be paid if another school comes calling for Kelly. You don't think Nebraska, Michigan or LSU have enough booster money to cover the cost?
In Denver, Travis Henry has apparently passed a lie detector test in his claim that he did not take an illegal substance, drugs or alcohol, as the NFL contends. Henry is facing a suspension if he has flunked a test. But his lie detector test score and the results of an analysis done on hair samples say the results of the NFL imposed test were wrong. If it holds up, not only will Henry beat the rap and continue to play, it will also throw into serious question the way the NFL goes about testing its players for substance abuse. Let the law suits begin if that happens.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Allen had a meteoric rise through the ranks of Redsland, arriving in 1995 as a controller. Within a year, with owner Marge Schott under siege by baseball owners and watch dog groups for her continued insensitivities, Allen was running the team. It became official in 1999, when then owner Carl Lindner named Allen his COO. Allen took the job and became a lightning rod.
Lindner let Allen run the club, virtually unchecked, weighing in only on big trades (like the one that brought Ken Griffey, Jr. here) and big free agent signings (Eric Milton would come to mind).
Because of that fan outrage over under performing teams usually began with Allen, who'd done nothing really than let his GM's work deals and his managers manage. The Reds never really managed to win on his watch, which was a shame. He knew the game, the economics of it, really, better than the strategies. And now, he'll ride off into the sunset over Kansas, his home state. I hear his wife has some big job waiting out there and I'd be shocked if Allen did stay connected to Major League Baseball someway. He was very active in the imminent launch of the new 24 hour Major League Baseball cable TV channel.
His departure might open up some interesting scenarios. One, could bring former St. Louis Cardinals GM, Walt Jocketty here. He's a friend of owner Bob Castellini. But tonight, Castellini is saying that won't happen. A more likely event could be the return of Barry Larkin, an antagonist or protaganist in his dealings with Allen, depending on your view. His brother, Byron, hinted tonight on 700 WLW that his brother may be open to the idea of returning in a front office capacity. I spoke with Barry tonight. He's living in Orlando these days, just back from Japan, working a clinic there. Though he remains an employee with the Washington Nationals (part of former GM Jim Bowden's Cincinnati connection out there) Larkin told me tonight returning to work for the Reds is "on my to do list".
Whatever the fall out, I'll miss John Allen. He never told you much when you were working on a story. But he always had a smile and a handshake. I wish him well.
Just posted on my web site: www.kenbroo.com is the latest "Bengals Report Podcast". Marc Hardin and I break down the Bengals win at Baltimore. You can find that on the front page. If you head to the Podcasts and More section of my site, you'll be able to download my latest "Broo View Podcast".
And of course, I'll see you tonight on Cincinnati's NBC affiliate, WLWT Channel 5.
Monday, November 12, 2007
In case you missed it, the troubled wide receiver caught four passes for 99 yards in his first game back from an eight game suspension for a garden variety of off field offenses. He looked like he hadn't missed a series of downs, let alone eight games. Henry out ran coverage for catches, made a toe tapping sideline grab and gave the injury depleted Ravens secondary one more headache to deal with. In a word, Henry was terrific. And that's why I'm angry at him.
Imagine Chris Henry on the field against the Seahawks, when the Bengals lost by three points. Imagine him on the field in Kansas City, where the Bengals lost by a touchdown or Buffalo, where they lost by 12. Do you think Henry would've have spun those close Bengals losses into Bengals wins? I do.
Imagine Chris Henry on the field last season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was sitting out a different suspension then. The Bengals lost by a point, 14-13 on a last second Tampa Bay touchdown. Don't you think that Henry would've help the Bengals to more than just 13 points? I do.
After watching him perform Sunday, we now know why the Bengals front office has been patient with Henry's off field antics. He's a gifted athlete who can help them win football games. They'll suffer public scorn for his behavior (we're not sure if Henry has suffered any scorn) in order to have his talent on game day. But there in lies a warning.
Bengals coaches can game plan for his talent, work on schemes with Henry's talent, allow him to match up against weak defensive backfields. But what they can't do is count on him. Not yet. The football world is littered with coaches who've placed their faith in star athletes who aren't around on game day. The practice all week, only to do something to keep them off the field. Cronic injury, the phantom knee or hamstring problem come to mind. But so does behavior that gets the star athlete in trouble with the law and then his league. This is why the Bengals coaches can't completely count on Chris Henry. Not yet anyway.
I hope that the light has gone for this guy. I hope he's finally realized that he not only is a vital part of one of the NFL's most lethal offenses. But it's only hope tonight. Chris Henry's recovery will take more than just four catches and more than just one game. I guess Sunday was a start.
But I'm still mad at him. I'll get over it.
Friday, November 09, 2007
I'm looking for the Ravens to beat the Bengals. OK, that may not be a popular pick in Cincinnati. But let's face it, this season is toast for our "Men In Stripes" and Baltimore has a smidgen of hope for a playoff spot. Besides, Caleb Miller, Ahmad Brooks and Willie Anderson are all officially 'out'. Reggie Kelly, Anthony Schlegel and John Thornton are all officially 'doubtful', which means, it's one chance in four they play. Baltimore is a physical wreck too, with its entire defensive backfield either out or doubtful. But I'm going with the Ravens....I'm looking for the Steelers to temporarily derail the Browns surprising season. But I believe the Browns will seriously contend for a wild card spot after this weekend....I'm looking for the Colts to rebound and beat the Chargers in San Diego on Sunday Night Football on WLWT Channel 5....I'm looking for Adrian Peterson to run for far less than the 296 yards he put up on the Chargers last week. And I think his Vikings lose to the NFC's most surprising team, Green Bay.....I'm looking for the Rams and the Dolphins to remain winless, even if Steven Jackson is back in St. Louis blue and gold.....
And I'm looking for you! I'm talking sports this Sunday morning on 700 WLW in Cincinnati and 1530 WCKY. It's a 'simulblast' on two 50,000 'flame throwers! I'm on from 9am until Noon. The show is "Sunday Morning Sportstalk". You can catch it streamed 'live' on line at www.700wlw.com and on XM channel 173. Right after the Bengals vs Ravens game, I'll be back on 700 WLW and 1530 Homer "The Sports Animal" with Bengals Feedback. And then, Sunday night, after the Colts and Chargers on channel 5, join me, George Vogel, Box Miller and former Bengals Dave Lapham and David Fulcher for Sports Rock! It's always the last, best word on the Bengals.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
This predicament is strange for the Ravens, since their head coach, Brian Billick had the reputation of being an offensive 'genius' before arriving in Baltimore. The incumbant QB is former Titan, Steve McNair. He would appear to have arrived in Baltimore with his best days behind him. Yet McNair said in this article in the Baltimore Sun, he can still play the game.
But McNair should know well how to beat the Bengals. He saw them enough when the Titans played in the Bengals division. And it took six Bengals' take aways for Cincinnati to beat the Ravens in this season's opener. That seven point win was sealed, only when a bad call was made on an apparent game tying touchdown catch by Todd Heap.
Just posted today on my web site: www.kenbroo.com is the latest "Broo View Podcast". I've got comments from Bengals Carson Palmer, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Rudi Johnson. You can find the latest "Broo View Podcast" in the "Podcast & More section.
My alma mater went down hard last night in Akron. The 2007 season hasn't been as sweet at 2006 for the Ohio Bobcats. They lost a lot of talent from that surprising team. But along the way, the Bobcats also forgot how to tackle. They've lost too many games this season because their defense has been unable to get off the field. I hear Frank Solich (and let me say again what a rare, lucky break it was to lure him to Athens, Ohio) has a stout recruiting class lined up for 2008. Among his signees will be players who'll allow him to play more of a ball control offense and an agressive defense. I'm told the recruiting class will include players who'll be able to contribute immediately. Stay tuned on this one. As long as Ohio can hold onto Solich and their bright, young athletic director, Kirby Hocutt, the 'Cats will be fine.
Wait until you see how slow the free agent market will be in Major League Baseball this winter. With the breaking news today that 11 free agents are linked to the on going steroid and HGH investigation, teams will be wary of wading into that water. Which makes the Indians re-upping with Paul Byrd all the more curious.
I'm talking sports, as always, this Sunday morning on 700 WLW and 1530 WCKY in Cincinnati. I'll be on the air from 9am until Noon. If you live outside the greater Cincinnati area and would like to tune in, WLW is available on XM channel 173.
Sunday night, we'll break down the Bengals vs Ravens game on Sports Rock!. We roll right after Sunday Night Football on Cincinnati's WLWT Channel 5.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I don't know if Henry is guilty of anything this time. A 35 year old valet attendant claims Henry was physically and verbally abusive toward him. But I do know this: every move Henry makes for the rest of his NFL career will be scrutinized. His litany of arrests has guaranteed that. So, if he were asking for advice (and so far, he hasn't) I would suggest this: be the most polite person on the face of the earth. When you get involved in a disagreement, keep it short and civil. If there is going to be even a whiff of trouble in any situation you might be in, leave immediately. You have millions of dollars at stake in this fight. And if your football career comes to an end, what exactly are you equipped to do? That's what I'd tell him. But I doubt if Chris Henry is listening to anybody.
Now if he could play defense. Here's a big old 'ouch' for that Bengals defense from from SI.com.
Here's what the rest of that article should've said: the Bengals can't stop anyone when their top two picks from 2005 are out and their number two pick from 2004 has been cut. 12 of the 19 defensive draft picks in the Marvin Lewis era are either hurt, released or suspended. There are no secrets to success or failure in the NFL. Nothing happens by chance. The Bengals have picked their path and are now paying the price.
And then, there's the raw, unvarnished writing of my friend Chick Ludwig in the Dayton Daily News about the Bengals.
Check out my web site: www.kenbroo.com. I'll have the latest edition of "Bengals Report The Podcast" posted for your dowloading and listening pleasure around 1:00am Thursday EST
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Sunday, we saw two teams, each capable of winning a Super Bowl, performing at the highest level possible in the NFL. Indianapolis and New England played terrific defense and fundamentally solid offense in a game that was in contention until the final couple of minutes. There was no showboating, no grousing among team mates on the sideline and there were no massive breakdowns in execution (in other words, you didn't see three separate penalties called on the same team on the same play).
Monday night in Pittsburgh, a team just slightly below the Colts and Patriots on the NFL food chain put on a show. The Steelers may not have the firepower to stay with either of the NFL's two marquee teams. But this is another team fully capable of winning the Super Bowl this season, if things break the right way for them. Ben Roethlisberger, everything Carson Palmer wants to be, found open receivers, threaded the ball to receivers who weren't completely open and ran an offense that drilled a proud Baltimore defense.
Ray Lewis was interviewed on ESPN at the conclusion of the game. In addition to throwing his offense 'under the bus' by pointing out several times that 'you can't turn the ball over four times and expect to win' and 'I don't play offense...', Lewis also said that half the season is done and they've played all three AFC North division opponents on the road. Now, those teams have to go to Baltimore. One of those teams, of course, would be our Bengals, who beat the Ravens on opening night for one of their two wins. Do you think the Bengals were watching last night and saw what the Steelers did to the Ravens? Do you think the Bengals heard what Lewis had to say? Or do you think our Bengals have packed it in, now 2-6 and going nowhere this year?
I'm hoping the answers to those questions are yes, yes and no. What do you think?
Monday, November 05, 2007
Not selling the team anytime soon, in good health and believes he has the right formula for running a franchise. He says he's got a three headed GM: His, his daughter and his son in law. No changes coming here.
He will not be fired. Get that notion out of your head. For one, he provides a great service off the field to Mike Brown. Lewis takes most of the heat when things are going poorly, and are they ever now. Two, the Bengals would never, NEVER pay a head coach to NOT to work. Another scenario floating around is that Marvin may leave on his own. Don't bet on that, either. Why would he walk away from guaranteed money through 2011? And if he did, the Bengals would NEVER allow Lewis to coach for another team without deal breaking compensation in return. And, Lewis needs to repair his reputation as being a 'defensive guhru'. Besides, what team would look at him seriously as a head coach, after this mess this season?
Here may be where the real change occurs. My guess is, the entire defensive staff is out at the end of the year. It's been an unmitigated disaster for this bunch this season. There is no way I see coordinator Chuck Bresnahan returning. A new coordinator will want to bring his own staff with him. On the offensive side of the ball, Bob Bratkowski is probably safe, but his stock as a potential head coach is taking a severe hit this season. I wouldn't look for many changes on the offensive staff.
For the second time in five years, Lewis will have to purge his locker room. He did a massive purge when he first arrived, weeding out the players left behind from years of losing. Now, he'll have to rid the team of some of the players he's responsible for. This team has a lot of terrific players on both sides of the ball. But it's been crippled by injuries and by players who've simply been poor acquisitions or susceptible to criminal behavior.
In the NFL, nothing is non-fixable. But the Bengals have a long history of not being able to fix pronounced problems. It can be fixed. But it won't be a quick fix.