Is PacMan Jones Above The Law?

Bengals cornerback Adam “PacMan” Jones is not exactly someone you would call a “Model Citizen”.  He has had numerous scrapes with the law.  Adam has been charged in the past with the following– assault, felony vandalism, marijuana possession, felony & misdemeanor counts of obstruction of justice, felony coercion, battery, misdemeanor count of threat to life and conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.  Jones was also suspended by the NFL in 2008 for violating the league’s Code of Conduct.

On January 2nd, 2017, Adam was involved in a bizarre incident.  Jones was at Cincinnati’s Millennium Hotel & according to prosecutors was “beating on different hotel room doors.” Prosecutors also say Adam pushed and poked a hotel security employee in the eye after they came to investigate.

A 911 call was made from the hotel and a police dispatch log says the phone was apparently dropped and “a lot of…arguing” could be heard.  Jones was eventually arrested…which led to this disturbing video…

It is also alleged that Jones spit on a jail nurse that evening.  What’s particularly puzzling is that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters now discredits the jail nurse’s accusation, claiming that the nurse, Tammy Hopkins, is trying to squeeze money out of Adam Jones and the Bengals.  Hopkins denies the accusation & is upset by Deters’ inaction regarding Jones.

Even more odd is that Deters said he is unsure about prosecuting Jones & will wait to see what punishment, if any, the NFL will take against Jones.  He also said that Jones has entered anger management & alcohol-related treatment.

WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?  If Adam Jones broke the law, he should be prosecuted….and why are the Bengals being so quiet about this???  Just look at the tape of Jones in the police cruiser.  That should be enough.  Bengals Owner Mike Brown needs to grow some stones and do what is right….and that is to GET RID OF PACMAN JONES.

Do what is right for the Cincinnati community & law enforcement.  Get rid of this menace.

What’s A ‘Matta’ With Ohio State Basketball?

Image result for thad matta
On July 4, 2002 Thad Matta took the reins of the Ohio State Basketball program.  As of this writing, Thad has a  74% winning percentage (335-119) as Ohio State Head Coach.  He has taken the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament nine times with two Sweet Sixteen appearances, one Elite Eight & Final Four appearance and a runner-up performance in 2007.  The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten five times under his leadership.

So why are the rumblings of getting rid of Matta as Ohio State Head Man growing louder & louder?  For one, Matta no longer seems to be able to recruit top-notch players like the Odens & Conleys of the past and the few he did land recently (Daniel Giddens, Mickey Mitchell & Austin Grandstaff) decided to move on to other programs.  Plus, watching Nigel Hayes from Toledo dominate for Wisconsin still stings.

The Buckeyes fell in the second round of last year’s NIT (to Florida as a road team on their own court) and appear to be headed to a NIT berth at the very best again this season as they languish in the Big Ten with a 5-8 record.

So what is going on with Thad?  Is he just mailing it in as Head Coach?  It is no secret that Matta has been dealing with back issues for a few years now.  And bottom line, the Buckeyes just look flat.  There have been flashes of excitement (a win over Michigan recently gave a glimmer of hope) but for the most part this team just seems to be going through the motions.  Value City Arena has become a mausoleum this season, with many empty seats and less than enthusiastic crowds.

Now, let’s be honest, Ohio State is and always will be a football school.  But Ohio State deserves better than back-to-back NIT tournament teams.  It may be time to send Thad packing.

Thank You Brandon Phillips

I would like to thank Brandon Phillips. Thank him for finally agreeing to a trade and allow the Reds to move on with their “rebuild”. I would imagine BP was given some sort of ultimatum about his playing time, so he decided to move on. But no matter the reason, I would like to thank him for agreeing to this.
I also would like to thank him for his time with the Reds. There is NO DOUBT Brandon is the GREATEST 2nd Baseman in franchise history…..next to Joe Morgan, of course. He was spectacular with his glove and bat. He also was willing to bat anywhere in the lineup. He definitely was worth the price of admission on the field.
Now, yes…Brandon did do things off the field that frustrated me. Brandon definitely loved him some Brandon. Was he dismissive of the media at times? Sure. Was he prickly with fans at times? Sure. But I also saw Brandon do many great things with fans…especially with young fans. Now be honest….haven’t you had a time or two or three at work you may not be proud of? Yes, I am sure you have.
Bottom Line….it was time. Time for Brandon to move on. Having him on the Reds roster any longer made no sense.
Thank you Brandon. Good Luck in Atlanta.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, baseball

Why Are You Still Listening To Mike & Mike?

Mike and Mike - May 16, 2013

Bristol, CT – May 16, 2013 – Studio E: Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on the set of Mike and Mike (Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

For nearly twenty years sports talk listeners have spent their mornings traveling to work with ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike”.  For almost twenty years I have not understood why. Sports Talk is admittedly a vast wasteland for the most part, but “Mike & Mike” are the leading example why.  From their manufactured takes to manufactured disagreements on subjects to Golic’s annoying “Hellloooooooo Greeeeeeeenieeeeeeeee” on commercials, the show is akin to listening to nails on a chalkboard.  At least, I think so.

The two are supposed to be sports’ “Odd Couple” with Mike Greenberg being the uptight Felix Unger & former NFL star Mike Golic being the slobbish Oscar Madison.

Listeners tune in consistently and in large numbers.  “Mike & Mike” is usually the highest rated sports talk show in the morning in most cities it airs.  It also usually finishes highly against other mainstream radio shows.  Why?  Why do you all listen to this?  I would rather shove pencils into my eardrums than listen to this manufactured drivel.

czabe_studio - Copy
There are so many better options in morning for sports talk fans.  The problem is accessing them.  “The Steve Czaban Show” on Yahoo Sports Radio is the best sports show in the morning, and quite frankly, maybe the best sports show overall.  Czaban is a long time veteran of yakking with stints in Milwaukee and currently Washington D.C.  Czaban and his crew will not annoy you with manufactured takes and arguments.  It is more like listening to you and your buddies talk sports and take shots at those who deserve it.  The catch is, of course, finding Yahoo Sports Radio.  More likely than not, you will have to listen online.

furman - Copy
“Fox Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman & Mike North on Fox Sports Radio is also much more listenable than “Mike & Mike”.  Furman and North are both long-time sportstalkers with Furman hailing from Cincinnati’s 700 WLW & North a vet of Chicago sports radio.  As with Czaban and crew, Furman & North will not manufacture friction.  You can tell the friction between the two is real.  The only drawback is you can tell the two are not in the same studio and sometimes the back & forth between the two can be awkward.

Of course, you could just listen to some music but what does it matter?  Most of you will still listen to “Mike & Mike” trot out their tired takes and interviews with guests who are sponsored by some website.  Sigh.

FS1:Where Dreams Go To Die

fs1
Fox Sports 1 or as it is now more commonly known as, FS1, has been making some news recently with its hires of former ESPN “Hot Take Artists” Jason Whitlock & Skip Bayless. One has to wonder if FS1 learned its lesson with the much ballyhooed hiring of noted shit stirrer Colin Cowherd last summer.

Cowherd brought some initial heat for the network at first but since has become buried in the sports talk landscape.  Cowherd is consistently beaten by programming on NBCSN, MLB Network and CBS Sports Network, all of which are seen in far fewer homes.  On a related note, are any radio stations (other than in LA) airing the simulcast of “The Herd”? It seems like when given a choice between Rich Eisen and Cowherd, most Fox Sports Radio affiliates are taking Eisen.
whitlessIn what seems like desperation, FS1 has announced that Cowherd & Whitlock will debut a new show on June 13th where they will debate each other daily.  Sounds like something to avoid.

FS1 started out with grandeur after taking over what was once known as Speed.  You remember the Speed Network, right?  You should, since it got better ratings than what is now FS1.  In fact, one of the few popular shows on FS1 is “Nascar Race Hub” which came over from Speed.

Even FS1’s answer to “SportsCenter”, “Fox Sports Live” was a unmitigated disaster. Hosted by two smartassed Canadians, Jay Onrait & Dan O’Toole, it boasted an analyst roster ranging from Andy Roddick to Randy Moss…all of which gave “hot takes” on everything.  Yes, Andy Roddick attempted to talk NFL Football.

The show eventually morphed into the two Canucks showing clips and making jokes from a storage closet.

Even Regis Philbin, yes Reege, hosted a show on FS1.

I hope Cowherd, Bayless and Whitlock enjoy their financial windfalls.  Because they just sentenced themselves to “Hot Take Siberia” by joining the rolling tumbleweed known as FS1.

Bryce Harper Is A Punk

Yes, Bryce Harper is probably the best player in Major League Baseball right now.  Yes, Bryce Harper is bringing younger fans and excitement to the game.  Yes, Bryce Harper will probably end up in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done.

But one thing remains the same.  Bryce Harper is a punk.  A spoiled, arrogant punk.
harper_bryce640
Monday Night, he cried in the fourth inning to home plate umpire Brian Knight after taking a clear strike for a K looking.  Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Harper was ejected after chirping at Knight when the Nats’ Danny Espinosa took strike three looking.  Luckily for Harper, Clint Robinson ended it with a walk-off homer to win it for Washington.

After the game ended, Harper was clearly shown on camera saying “F-ck You” in the direction of Knight during the home plate celebration.  Class act, Harper.  Class act.

(Courtesy Of SB Nation’s Joe Mullinax)

I am sure the fanboys will continue to defend Harper.  I even was beginning to sway Bryce’s way when it came to “Making Baseball Fun Again”.  After his act Monday Night, I am going back to the “old rules”.  Hopefully someone plunks this punk soon.  At the very least, Dusty Baker better get his ass under control.

March Madness & Bracket Etiquette

It is quite possibly (with apologies to Christmas) the most wonderful time of the year.  It is the NCAA Basketball Tournament otherwise known as “March Madness”.  Get ready for nail-biters, buzzer beaters and three weeks of one of the things that makes America great.

Yes, CBS’ “Selection Show” was painful as hell to sit through and Charles Barkley acted as if a touch board was some sort of sorcery but it was worth it to get ready for an exciting month of hoops.

This year’s tournament looks to be as wide open as in recent memory.  There is no real solid favorite and no real superstar on any of the teams.  Sure, Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma) & Perry Ellis (Kansas) are very good players but the alleged College Basketball Player of the Year, Ben Simmons of LSU, won’t be in the NCAA Tourney or even the NIT.

Now, let’s get to the subject of “Bracket Etiquette”.
1) STICK TO ONE SET OF PICKS
That is right.  I don’t care how many “Bracket Challenges” you enter, you must stick to once set of picks.  Actually I believe you should only fill out one bracket, but I know the lure of cash and prizes can be too much.  If you make different picks on different brackets, you have no conviction in your beliefs.  You are a “waffler”, a “flip-flopper” or some other names I probably shouldn’t use in this forum.  MAKE YOUR PICKS AND STICK WITH THEM.

2) DO NOT MAKE FUN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S BRACKETS
You know why you shouldn’t make fun of other people’s brackets?  Not because it isn’t cool, no.  It is because we all know how this will play out.  Jill in Human Resources who makes her picks based on team mascots and uniforms will end up winning the office pool.  You know it, I know it.  You may think you are the “Jay Bilas” of your office branch but you will probably end up dead last.  So don’t make fun of other people’s brackets.

3) DO NOT TRASH OR DELETE YOUR BRACKETS
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to throw your brackets in the trash or delete your entry after a rough Thursday & Friday in the tournament.  But guess what?  Most of your friends are flaming out as well.  Don’t give in.  Stick with it. Who knows?  By the end of the weekend you may be back in the mix….or Jill in Human Resources may be kicking your ass. Offer to buy her lunch to keep her from talking trash.

4) DO NOT ALTER YOUR PICKS
If you are like me, you fill out a paper bracket.  You do it in pen.  This shows that you have conviction in your picks. You know (or at least you think you do) which #9 seeds will beat the #8 seeds.  Don’t be a weasel who fills it out in pencil only to try to erase it later.  We can see the spots where something has been erased.

5) DON’T GO “ALL CHALK”
This is the NCAA Tournament.  There will be upsets.  That is what makes the event so much fun.  It is true that a #16 seed has yet to topple a #1 seed.  But you know there will be some #12 seeds who take down some #5s.  Don’t be the guy or gal who picks “all chalk”.  For those who don’t know, “all chalk” is where you pick the top seed in every match up, leading to a Final Four of all #1 seeds.  Sure, your odds may be better off doing that, but where is the fun in that? It just shows your are a very dull individual.

Now that we have that out of the way, here is my one and only bracket. (Filled out in pen, by the way.)
bracket

Now for some shameless self promotion.  Join me as I talk “March Madness” with Adam Lepp on WWGH 107.1 FM out of Marion, Ohio this Thursday (3/17) at 9;10am ET.  Don’t live anywhere near Marion?  No problem.  Listen to us on the worldwide web at www.WWGH1071.com.  We will discuss the NCAA Tourney and how it affects social media & vice versa.  Listening to it should make for “One Shining Moment” on your Thursday.

John Kasich Gets Some Urban Pride

GOP Presidential Candidate and current Governor of Ohio John Kasich got a very HUGE endorsement Thursday in his home state.  Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer stated his support for Kasich in a video released by the Kasich campaign.

Kasich, who has been pretty much an also-ran so far in his bid for the GOP nomination. must win his home state of Ohio when it’s primary is held on March 15th.

It was somewhat surprising that Meyer voiced his support for a candidate.  Just last month he had told the Toledo Blade the following, “No, my job description is very clear and that’s to coach Ohio State football and the focus is on 17 to 18 to 22-year-olds,  I have strong beliefs, but I’m not going to share that with you guys. I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

Donald Trump is probably distraught by the news.  At a campaign stop last week in Columbus, Ohio he told the crowd, “I don’t know if he endorses me or not, but he’s said awful nice things about me.”

I guess we now know the answer to who Urban endorses.

2016 Cincinnati Reds: Permission To Lose?

phillips-Friday

​The 2016 MLB Season for the Cincinnati Reds will be a difficult one for fans of the team.  It will be one where there are absolutely no expectations for the team to win.  In fact the team’s President, Walt Jocketty, even expressed as much during the team’s Winter Caravan.  Much of the team’s core and fan favorite players have been traded away recently. 3B & 2015 Home Run Derby Champion Todd Frazier, Starting Pitchers Johnny Cueto & Mike Leake in addition to flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman have been dealt.  Stalwart 2B Brandon Phillips rejected, due to his status as a “10/5 Player” (10 years in the majors and five with the same team), not one but two potential trades to Arizona & Washington, which puts into question his thirst for winning as opposed to just collecting a hefty payday.  RF Jay Bruce still is the subject of trade rumors but his poor stats the past two years, due to injury in 2014 (.217, 18 HRs & 66 RBIs) and a horrible season in 2015 (.226, 26 & 87) hurts any trade value he may have.  Star 1B Joey Votto remains, mainly because of a huge contract that most MLB teams would not want and also because the Reds seem to envision him being part of a supposed resurgence in 2018.

The rest though, is “potential”.  Can new 3B Eugenio Suarez fill the hole Todd Frazier left behind?  Suarez showed potential in 97 games for the Reds last year (.280, 13 & 48) but can he do it over a full season?  If so, will fans warm to him as they did to Frazier?  Billy Hamilton is on his last chance being the Reds’ starting CF and leadoff hitter.  Billy is a demon on the basepaths with 57 stolen bases but showed no progress at the plate. (.226 batting average in 114 games).

The old adage rings true; “You can’t steal first base.”  Billy must learn how to bunt, IMMEDIATELY.

LF is a gaping hole that may take many games to fill.  Journeyman OF Adam Duvall will get a shot at the job as will top prospect Jesse Winker.  In five minor league seasons Jesse hit for a .292 average with 49 HRs & 223 RBIs.

The pitching staff will be led by RH Homer Bailey but due to injury he won’t return until mid-May.  The rest of the rotation will be filled by “Young Guns” Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, John Lamb, Raisel Inglesias & John Moscot.

Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, Jonathan Sanchez & Robert Stephenson could also be in the mix whether starting or relieving.  JJ Hoover, who rebounded from a horrendous 2014 last season (2.94 era over 64.1 innings in a set-up role) will take over the closer spot.  Hoover doesn’t have the 103 MPH fastball of Chapman but he can bring it and is a tough competitor.

Reds fans must be patient in 2016 and even 2017.  The farm system, while not stellar, is solid and should provide hope in a few years.  Hopefully Reds fans will stick around.

Last Rites For Jim Rome

rome

I used to be a BIG Jim Rome fan.
Romie used to be a big deal “back in the day”. Talking “smack”, running bad callers & gaining a huge legion of fans…his ‘clones’. Rome even had tour stops (of which I attended three) that drew thousands. The “SmackOff”, which was a competition amongst the best callers, used to generate huge buzz.

But times & people change. The smack now seems stale, the personal appearances now only draw a few & the “SmackOff” is now just cringe inducing. Hell, ESPN even dumped Rome and he is fading away on the now near dead CBS Sports Radio Network. Once in awhile CBS throws Jim a bone and lets him appear on their NFL Coverage but usually those segments are now used by those on social media to goof on “Van Smack”.

It was a fun ride Romie, but it’s over. Time to put away the smack talk & call it a career.
Time to give yourself a ‘manual buzzer’.