Monday, December 31, 2007

First, let me wish you and yours nothing but the best in 2008. Happy New Year! Whatever it is that you want in this new year, I hope you find it.

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

First, a confession: I haven't watched any college bowl games so far this week. Just a bit of the Motor City bowl, but that's it. I may get interested a bit tonight. Two intriguing teams are playing in separate games: Boston College plays Michigan State and Maryland, a team I once did radio 'color' for, plays Oregon State. Obviously, the bigger games begin next Tuesday.

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

Merry Christmas. I hope the peace and joy of the season finds you on this day. It's always a great day around my home and I hope it is for you as well.

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.
OK, if you're just logging on this Christmas Day, here's a treat. Somebody in Japan has a lot of time on their hands.
For the 12 days of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

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.
Sometimes you see things and you know what you see is just wrong. Check out this play, obviously from a pee wee football team. And listen to the sound. It's a designed play. Not sure this is a good example of 'good sportsmanship'. But it's worth a look.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Good Morning! And if you choose to celebrate Christmas, let me join in the choir of wishing your a very Merry Christmas.

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 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

Breaking News on the Reds front. Josh Hamilton is heading to the Rangers. In a deal announced late today, the Reds send Hamilton to Texas for a couple of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, who was one of their prized pieces in their minor system.

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

The Big Blue Faithful are getting restless. They should be. This isn't shaping up to be a great basketball season in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Tubby split for Minnesota (how could he NOT leave) where his new team is 8-1. Billy Gillespie not only has Kentucky off to its worst start in generations, he lost one of his few recruits, when Alex Legion took a hike.

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.
Trying to get into the Christmas mood, I came upon this video on It's a song done by Vince Vance and the Valiants (a great 'live' group. If they ever play your area, go see them and thank me later). It's called "All I Want For Christmas Is You". Don't confuse it with the Mariah Carey song. Tell me this one isn't better.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Forget Silent Night, Hark The Herald Angels Sing and all that jazz, by far, my favorite Christmas song is this one. Dean Martin's TV show back in the 60's what a blast to watch. And when his "running buddy" Frank Sinatra showed up for a Christmas special, they took my favorite Christmas song to a new level. Enjoy.

Dean Martin - Marshmallow World

Going numb from the holiday season already, some things that've been bouncing around in my cranium....

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:

PFTV Coaches most likely to get canned

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sigh.....if you scroll down to number 7 on this list from, it will bring back some memories. I know it did for me. I called this game......

3 Amigos

Which reminds me, my good friend Ryan Parker is a master at songwriting and sports. He's been our gues several times on Sports Rock on WLWT. This conjures up some cool memories.

You can hate the season the Bengals are having. But you have to love TJ Houshmandzadeh. He's been the best wide receiver on the Bengals roster this season. Today, he was voted to the first team of the AFC Pro Bowl roster. TJ's reaction was dead on: I'd trade my trip to the Pro Bowl if I could get my team into the playoffs.

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

Just back from a big rally for the UC football team, which leaves tomorrow for the bowl.

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.
Well, here we go. With the Bengals now assured a losing season for the first time under Marvin Lewis, you're beginning to hear voices around the country speak out on the NFL's most disappointing team. I have said, consistently, that this team needs 'fresh eyes' to evaluate talent. Too long, it's relied on the same people (and not nearly enough scouts) to evaluate college talent for the annual draft and potential free agent talent inside the NFL. It's a players league. And it doesn't matter how your coaching staff performs week to week and game to game, if you don't have players, you don't win.

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, 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

Who Dey?

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

If you're awake on this Saturday night and near a radio, internet stream or XM channel 173, I'm about to begin a radio program called "Bengals Feedback". The stations are 700 WLW and 1530 WCKY in Cincinnati, two 50K watt 'flame throwers'.

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:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Selig responds to Mitchell Report

Here's Selig's response to the Mitchell Report. Now let's see if his bite is a good as his bark.

The playoff races in the NFL continue. One of my favorite guests on my 700 WLW Sunday Morning Sports Talk show is Mike Florio from Here's his video on which team he thinks is in line to grab that 6th and final playoff spot in the NFC.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just posted a few minutes ago, the latest edition of Bengals Report The Podcast. Marc Hardin and I break down the Bengals vs 49ers game this Saturday night, on WLWT Channel 5 in Cincinnati. You can find it, on the front page of my web site:
The Mitchell Report is out. 85 names are listed of MLB players who've abused either steroids or human growth hormones. If Barry Bonds wasn't finished as a baseball player before, now he is. And probably Roger Clemens, too. Tonight, Clemens' lawyer says his client will fight to defend his name. I guess I'd say the same thing, too. But if Clemens was clean, why wasn't he talking to Mitchell while the investigation was in progress. The former senator said today he invited every one of the named players to testify. Few did.

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

And on, Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann raises some interesting legal questions for those named in the Mitchell Report.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

OK, you're the new (first ever) Bengals general manager. Which players are you keeping on the roster in 2008? You can let anyone go and can keep anyone you'd like. But, your total number of keepers is limited to eleven.

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 is saying.

The latest Broo View Podcast is posted. You can find it in the "Podcasts & More" section of my web site

Monday, December 10, 2007

PFTV: Late-season coaching change coming in Miami?

One of my favorite web sites is, 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?

You always need to be wary of the phrase 'strength in numbers'. A lot of times, you've got numbers, but not a whole lot of strength. The Bengals believe one of the few bright spots in this lost season is the strength in numbers at running back. They've got a lot of them, at last count five that could fight for four jobs next summer.

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, 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

OK, it's posted and ready for your downloading enjoyment, the latest edition of "Bengals Report The Podcast". It's on the front page of my web site:

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

Mike Florio runs 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 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

Sounds like the Reds are trying to deal at the winter baseball meetings but are meeting the same road block at each turn. Every team wants the best prospect the Reds have had in almost a decade: outfielder Jay Bruce. You'd be hard pressed to find any deal the Reds would accept that would include Bruce leaving the team. With a twinkle in his eye, Dusty Baker said today he expects a flurry of trading after teams leave the meetings in Nashville, making you wonder if the Reds are using these meetings to simply 'line their ducks' up.

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

Random thoughts on a random Tuesday night waiting for 'white death' to hit the Tri-State. Nothing like a forecast for a good inch or two of snow to set off panic...OK, you go out and drive in it with those morons who think rear wheel drive is the only way to go....Oh, wait a minute, I have rear wheel drive...ooops.

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, 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 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

Oklahoma wins, Ohio State is in. West Virgina loses, LSU is in. If you’re a Buckeye fan, I’m happy for you. If you’re a college football fan, someone who loves the sport, not the individual team, I feel for you.

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.