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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Friday, November 02, 2007
This is a sad story. I had one of our loyal viewers email me this article about the Bengals former first round draft pick, Peter Warrick:
HOUSTON (AP) -- The multicarat diamond studs adorning Peter Warrick's ears are
a reminder of the life he once led.
Two seasons removed from his last NFL game, the fourth pick in the 2000 draft
is far from fame and riches. Now he's at a place he never thought he'd be: trying
out for the fledgling All American Football League.
The two-time All-America selection at Florida State is 30 years old and still
looking for a path back to the NFL. Released after five lackluster seasons in
Cincinnati, he was cut last season by the Seahawks after one year there.
"I was in Atlanta working out and waiting on the NFL call," he said before his
workout. "I'm tired of sitting at home. I just got an opportunity and I'm trying
to make the best of it right now."
The receiver and returner was the most recognizable name among hundreds this
week at Rice Stadium for invitation-only evaluation sessions to find players
for the six-team league that plans to start its 10-week season in April.
Warrick seems to be a perfect fit for this league that hopes to build its fan
base by stocking teams with star college players who either didn't make it in
the NFL or whose careers there were cut short.
"A lot of players that were stars in college still have a lot of name recognition,"
said 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers, who is helping promote the league.
"This league will give people who are still hungry for football between April
and July a chance to go out and see some of the names that they're familiar with."
Warrick was upbeat and reflective in a candid interview discussing what went
wrong in his NFL career and how difficult it has been to be away from the game
he loves for so long.
The man who was such a dynamic player at Florida State he was nicknamed "The
Great One" was back on a college field again this week simply hoping to make
an impression. AAFL officials said the top players from these sessions would
be invited back for further evaluation.
"It's kind of hard because all my life I'd been at the top," he said. "Now I'm
not playing football but I'm not at the bottom because I had good times and now
is one of those times to get back up."
Warrick was solid in his first four seasons in Cincinnati, but never quite lived
up to expectations for a top-five pick. His best season came in 2003 when he
had 79 catches for 819 yards and seven touchdowns.
He troubles in Cincinnati, he said stemmed from playing for a bad team without
"I never really had a mentor," he said. "Reggie Wayne had Marvin Harrison, Randy
Moss had Cris Carter, Torry Holt had Isaac Bruce. Those guys had people to look
up to. When I got to Cincinnati, it was just me. I had Darnay Scott, but first
year he got hurt so now I'm just going out there playing off athletic ability.
I'm not making any excuses because I know I had to learn, but it was hard."
Arthroscopic knee surgery, followed by a cracked shin bone and an infection kept
him out of all but four games in 2004. Cincinnati released him in the 2005 preseason
and he ended up in Seattle where he remained hobbled with injuries.
His only notable contribution with the Seahawks was returning punts in their
Super Bowl loss to the Steelers and they cut ties with him before the 2006 regular
Warrick said the injuries are behind him now, but that NFL teams don't want to
"take a chance on him" because of past problems. He's worked out consistently
since his release from the Seahawks and said he's in good shape.
After sitting out for so long, the call from the All American Football League
was just what he needed. Waiting day after day for a phone call from an NFL team
that never came got frustrating and he sometimes wondered if he should give up.
The past two years have taught him patience. He's hungry to play again and believes
this league could be a good change for him.
"I'm going to come over here and give it a try and I'm going to make the best
of it," he said. "You never know, I might come over here and enjoy this league
better than the NFL."
As a child, his goal was to play in the NFL. Though he wants another chance more
than anything, this son of a preacher said he is blessed to have made it. If
he doesn't get back, he can't complain because he knows he was lucky to have
played at all.
"I just had to sit back and look at everything that I've done in my life and
say that I accomplished my goal," he said. "I didn't do what people expected
me to do in the NFL. No, I didn't go out there and have Randy Moss numbers, but
I thank God I did make it."
P-Dub, as some people liked to call him around here, never fully recovered from a broken leg and knee problems in the 2004 season. I saw Warrick at the RCA Dome in December, 2006, as his former Bengal teammates left the field after losing. Warrick was desperately trying to catch an eye, a glance from anyone. Very few stopped to talk with him....
By the way, the latest edition of "Bengals Report Podcast" is now posted and ready for your listening and/or downloading. You can find it on the front page of my web site: http://www.kenbroo.com/. Marc Hardin and I preview the Bengals vs Bills game this Sunday in Buffalo.
If Dusty Baker really doesn't like young ballplayers, as we've heard a lot since his hiring, would that not lend some credence to the rumors of moving Adam Dunn to first base and using phenom Joey Votto as trade bait? And if it is true that Baker likes veteran players, would it not then scotch the rumors of a Ken Griffey, Jr. trade this winter? Just askin'.....
I'm still sticking with my belief that Ohio State runs the table, which means the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin Saturday....
With games at South Florida and Syracuse and home games with UConn and West Virginia, how many more wins does UC have this season? My prediction: three. UC will beat UConn at Nippert and defeat either South Florida (which would be a mega upset) or West Virginia (somewhat milder upset) and win at Syracuse.....that'd be nine wins for Lord Kelly, Brian Of Clifton and would guarantee the Bearcats of playing in bowl game Christmas week....
I'm talking sports this Sunday from 9am-11:30am on Cincinnati's 700WLW. If you don't live in the greater Cincinnati area, you can catch me 'live' on http://www.700wlw.com/ or on XM channel 173.
And, after the Bengals vs Bills, I'll be hosting "Bengals Feedback" on both 700WLW and 1530 Homer "The Sports Animal".
Sunday night at 11:35pm or there abouts, I'll also be co-hosting "Sports Rock!" on Cincinnati's NBC affiliate WLWT 5. George Vogel and former Bengals Dave Lapham and Eric Thomas complete the panel.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
The lastest "Broo View Podcast" is now up, running and ready for your listening or downloading. You can find it in the 'Podcasts & More' section on my web site: www.kenbroo.com.
Clearly, if the Reds want to get phenom Jay Bruce in the big league line-up in 2008, one of two things have to happen. They'll have to move one of their outfielders to first base and trade another phenom, Joey Votto. Or, they'll have to trade one of their outfielders. If its an off season trade, the only candidates are Junior and Josh Hamilton. Adam Dunn's contract stipulates that he can NOT be traded until June 15th and even then, only to a select number of teams. Would the Reds entertain offers for Junior? Why not? He's clearly on 'the back nine' and will make $12.5 million in 2008, with a bunch of deferred money coming after he retires.
Any deal will have to have Junior's approval. He's a "10-5" guy, ten years in the majors with five consecutive years with the same club. My guess is, if it's Atlanta, he'll seriously consider accepting the trade, as it's close to his home in Orlando. But will Bob Castellini have the guts to OK it, knowing Junior is one of his big gate draws?