Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Wednesday

As Johnny Taylor once sang..."I can see clearly now..." Thank you Dr. Rick Abrahamson for my new eyes!

Couple of days before Christmas so I thought I'd dust off one of my all time favorites. And this version was a classic from the old Dean Martin show.

I asked this question on 700 WLW last Sunday morning. 40 years from now, what will be considered Christmas classics from this decade? I think the answer to that question is, nothing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

Wondering today just how low the Bengals will be seeded in the upcoming playoffs. It went from best case scenario of #2 at 4p Sunday to worst case scenario of #4 today. No bye week and maybe the Broncos or Ravens in round one. Too early to determine who it'll be. Look at all those 7-7 teams in the AFC right now.

The Bengals are struggling. Their offense is stagnant, both in production and creativity. They can’t score points. To beat the Chargers today, they’ll have to score a lot of points, a lot more than the 17 or so they’ve been averaging over the course of the last two months.

And then, you mix in the death of Chris Henry this week. I don’t know whether or not you follow Ochocino on twitter. I do. He’s been a mess since Henry was injured in that truck accident on Wednesday and his subsequent death Thursday. It’s genuine, real grief.

Carson Palmer, who rarely shows his emotions, was shaken Thursday when he met the media. Palmer didn’t take questions, just made a 45 second statement. Palmer took a real interest in Henry this past off season. He truly believed that Henry was a life and a career that was salvageable. They worked out together this past spring at Palmers home in Southern California. They had a real bond.

Dealing with the death of a friend and channel grief is no small trick. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. You want to move on with your life, but not soon and not until the myriad of emotions have been dealt with, understood. The Bengals are far from that today.

The news of Henry’s accident came after the team had left practice on Wednesday. It was a series of cell calls and text messages that delivered that news. Then Thursday, Henry’s death was delivered to the team at 10am. Friday, the team boarded a flight to the west coast, where the team has historically played poorly.

Still ahead is Henry’s funeral on Tuesday in New Orleans. The cocoon of football, the focus on one of the most important games of the season will tough for this team to wrap itself around. Everywhere it goes this weekend, it’s reminded of Henry, right down to the sticker the Bengals players wore on their helmets Sunday.

Some thought that Henry’s death at an early age was inevitable. You’re reading and hearing a lot about that from national writers and broadcasters this weekend. Full disclosure, I thought the guy was a train wreck who only recently got his cars back on the track. I was happy for him, for that. But I wasn’t ready to canonize him lot a like of people around here have been doing this week. Henry was flawed, like a lot of us. He made some bad mistakes, like a lot of us. He cost himself some serious money by his bad choices. But like all of us, he was human. And sometimes, that what human being do. The ‘light bulb’ goes on for all of us at a different time in our lives. Maybe it went on for you at 17 or 18. For others, it’s in their 30’s. Some of us never have that moment, that ‘light bulb goes on’ moment when we finally ‘get it’. I think Henry had his ‘light bulb’ moment in the summer of 2008, when the Bengals cut him loose and no other NFL team wanted him. I think he finally figured out that the one thing he could do better than anything else had been taken from him, by his own doing.

Say what you want about Mike Brown, and most of us have. The guy probably saved Chris Henry’s life, extended for a year and a half by taking him back in August of 2008. Without football, a lost soul like Henry would have been long gone before now. Brown realized that, when most of us, me included, thought he was playing a fools game. But Brown helped Henry find his ‘light bulb moment’. It was in Brown’s DNA to do that. His father did the same thing with Stanley Wilson. Until last week, Henry appeared to be Stanley Wilson 180, someone who finally got it.

I don’t know what happened in those final few minutes of Chris Henry’s life. And you don’t’ either. I don’t’ know if his fiancĂ©e was at fault, or it Henry was to blame for his own death. And you don’t either.

But I know this: nobody should die at the age of 26. And because Chris Henry his team mates mourn.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Good Morning!

Here's what you gotta ask yourself, if you're University of Cincinnati Athletic Director, Mike Thomas: do you really want Brian Kelly coaching your team in teh Sugar Bowl IF he takes the head coach's job at Notre Dame. I have a one word answer.


Think about it. If Kelly is leaving for his dream job, why keep him from it any longer than necessary? If it's fervent wish to coach the Irish, give Kelly your blessing and send him on his way. Thank him for making UC football relevant again and move on. Do you really want Kelly and a part of his soon to be in South Bend staff hanging around UC, a school they'll be in competition with for future players (a lot from the Greater Cincinnati area) on the recruiting trail?

Years ago, when then Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Lindy Infante signed a future deal to coach in the upstart USFL, Bengals owner Paul Brown booted him from the Spinney Field premises. Brown simply said, "I don't want a fox in my hen house", knowing that the USFL had been poaching away a lot of NFL players.

I'm not saying Kelly is disingenous. I'm not saying he'd do anything unethical. But letting him coach a team he's decided he's better than is simply bad business.

Do you think it's been bad for UC fans, having to endure Bob Griese, Kirk Herbstreit and the myriad of faceless play by play guy speculating on Kelly's future as the Bearcats marched to a perfect season? Well imagine what the Fox Sports Sugar Bowl coverage would be like, when everytime Kelly's face is flashed on the screen, the talk immediately turns to what he'll be doing at Notre Dame.

It would be a four hour commerical for the Irish at the Bearcats expense. Sorry, if I'm Mike Thomas, that's not the show I'm looking for.

The question then becomes, who coaches if Kelly leaves? Do you hire a head coach within the next ten days and charge him with getting a team he's completely unfamiliar with ready for the biggest football game in school history? Doesn't seem like a good idea.

Do you take someone from Kelly's current staff, name them interim head coach with the promise of full consideration for the job permanently when the Sugar Bowl is over? Maybe. But what kind of deal is that for the coach? Unless Thomas works out a deal with Notre Dame that the interim coach can join Kelly's staff at Notre Dame should he not get the gig here in Cincinnati, that option makes sense for no one. Besides, we all remember how it went for Pat Narduzzi, when Dantonio split. He wound up at Michigan State, after his dignity and resume took a 'hit'.

If you're Mike Thomas, as you shop for your next head coach, these are things you have to be thinking of. There is no good answer. Except for this one: you can't let Kelly coach the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl IF he's leaving for Notre Dame.

You stand to lose more than a game if you let that happen.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's a Fantastic Friday...

Check out my new Broo View Podcast with my guest, former Red Eddie Milner. It's on the front page of If you're in a hurry, you can listen to it here.

Also, the latest Bengals Report Podcast is up and ready for your downloading pleasure. That's also on