Last Rites For Jim Rome

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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’.

What Are Your New Years Sports Resolutions?

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It’s the beginning of a New Year and with that time once again for each of us to make our New Years  Resolutions.

What are your ‘Sports Resolutions’ for 2016?
Is it to be a better fan of your teams?
Is it to be more critical of your teams?
Is it to actually get off the couch and participate in a sport?
Is it to lessen your sports spectating?
Is it to watch more sports?
Is it to ‘cut the cord’ and go to more streaming services to watch sports?
Is it to give up on sports altogether?
Is it to maybe start watching and following a new sport?
Is it to maybe help in coaching youth sports?

Feel free to share your New Years ‘Sports Resolutions’ with us and tell us how you do as the year progresses.  The Sports Bus cares.

Christmas Wishes for Ohio Sports Fans

It’s the Holiday Season…so why not give our “Christmas Wishes” for fans of Ohio’s major sports teams?

CLEVELAND BROWNS- Hope, any glimmer of hope. All the fans of this downtrodden franchise want is a sign that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train.

CINCINNATI BENGALS- Success on the “big stage”.  This is the season where the Bengals need to show their fans that they can deliver in ‘primetime’. Yes, Andy Dalton is injured…but AJ McCarron should keep the ship afloat until the “Red Rifle” can return in the playoffs.

OHIO STATE FOOTBALL- A convincing win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.  Yes, the dominating victory over Michigan was nice but Buckeyes fans need a big win over the Irish to take the sour taste of no return to the College Football Playoff out of their mouths.

CINCINNATI REDS- A blueprint of a true, concrete plan.  Most reasonable Reds fans probably understand the need for the mid-market team to shed payroll.  But those fans also need to see what is being done to rebuild….or maybe just get some more sweet bobbleheads.

CLEVELAND INDIANS- A sense of direction.  Is this team really in it to win it or just to keep their heads above .500?  The franchise has made some vaguely interesting moves so far this offseason to pique interest among the fanbase but is it enough to compete in the AL Central?

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS- Leadership from within.  Yes, the hiring of John Tortorella as head coach should provide discipline but the team needs leadership from the players themselves.  Nick Foligno was elected captain but it still seems like someone, anyone, needs to start being a bit of an asshole in the locker room.  Nice guys finish last especially in the NHL.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- A NBA Championship. Pure and simple.  This team is the only real hope Cleveland has of bringing a title to the city.  If they fail this season, it doesn’t look possible anytime soon.

OHIO STATE BASKETBALL- A .500 season with maybe a couple of Big Ten Tournament wins would be nice.  Kentucky win aside, this is a very young team and is due to disappoint Buckeyes fans a few more times this season. If they could sneak into the NCAA Tournament, that would be a bonus.

UC & XAVIER BASKETBALL- To use a cliche, “You keep being you”.  Both of these teams exemplify why  the city of Cincinnati is a true college basketball gem.  UC & X are very good teams with great coaches at the helm.  Added bonus, neither coach looks to be wanting to go elsewhere which should mean continued success for a long time.

Thank You For Being Part Of 955 The Game

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955 The Game signed on April 1st, 2013 to give Columbus Sports Fans an alternative when it came to sports talk in the Capital City. With the power of CBS Sports Radio and personalities like Jim Rome, it began an ambitious quest to gain the ears and loyalty of Central Ohio sports fans.  Long-time QFM96 stalwart Arch Madness was the first local personality to be heard on the station.  Bringing his high spirited energy and sense of fun, Arch was soon joined by former Buckeyes & NFL star Matt Finkes to create the “FnA Show”. Yes, “FnA” covered the ins and outs of our obsession for Buckeyes sports but also made sure to give fans of the Blue Jackets, Crew, Reds, Indians, Browns, Bengals, Cavs & the PGA an outlet on a regular basis.  Even NASCAR & Auto Racing were given ample coverage with Michael Shank Racing.
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Crew games were broadcast on 955 The Game for one season (and no, we didn’t hate soccer fan much to the belief of some).  Neil Sika, Frankie Hejduk and other Crew dignitaries were heard on a regular basis.

Sadly though, radio can be a cold business and Arch was let go & Matt went solo with “The BIG Show”. Personalities like Bleacher Report’s Ben Axelrod & former Buckeyes Basketball Star George Reese became regulars on the show.  We also would like to think we had a small hand in helping The CBJ Artillery’s efforts in getting “We Are The 5th Line” off the ground for Blue Jackets fans.
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Browns & Cavs games also became part of 955 The Game’s coverage.  Heck even Super Bowl 49 made 955 The Game’s airwaves.

Eventually Finkes & 955 The Game parted ways and a long time Columbus favorite, The Torg, returned to sports talk with a hour long show at Noon.  Torg brought a lot of fun to The Game with segments such as “I’ve Got Some Bad News” & his very own rant line. Plus, WWE talk…yes, the show was not ashamed or afraid to have some ‘rassling talk.  Torg, of course, would also like you to know that he is the only sports talk host in Columbus qualified to talk Blue Jackets hockey. Humble braggart that he is.
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“The Stiller Project” also became part of The Game lineup at around the same time as Stiller, a native of Northwest Ohio, finally realized his dream of being able to talk Ohio State Football & Basketball in Columbus itself.  Of course, Stiller couldn’t resist taking shots at his producer “Research”, who sounded a lot like Torg’s producer “Lovestain”.
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Stiller was a driving force for the Clark Kellogg Classic Radiothon, which aired on 955 The Game.  With the help of many Buckeyes luminaries, the Radiothon raised funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Columbus, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio.
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So many were instrumental in making 955 The Game a reality from Ron O’Harra to Eric Reiser to Adam Sabie, who I am grateful to for letting me be a part of “Columbus’ Sports Station” when the opportunity to blog and do social media for the station opened up.

I am a lifelong Columbus resident and sports fan & when the chance was presented to me to blog and post for 955 The Game, I pounced on it.  I enjoyed it very much…the opportunity to see what was on the mind of sports fans in Central Ohio.

Sadly though, 955 The Game has come to an end.  The reality of the radio business means stations are sold and when stations are sold, formats are changed.  I would like to say on behalf of those who were a part of 955 The Game, thanks.  Thanks for listening, thanks for calling, thanks for tweeting at us and thanks for posting on our facebook page…yes, Kenny McCoy, even you.  Thanks for being a part of it.

What? It’s A Buckeyes Bye Week!? Noooooooooooooo…

It’s the point in the fall that every Buckeyes fan dreads.  The bye week.

What will we do without Buckeyes Football?  What will we do?

What will this guy do?
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And this guy?
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And especially this guy…?
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What are we going to do?  Pick pumpkins?  Bob for apples?  Actually talk to our families?
Wait?  What? There are other college football games we can watch? Whew.  Let’s go for that.
We can make it to next Saturday…

Let’s Take “Harbaugh To Hell”

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It’s been 25 years and those lovable scamps (I’ll never forget the night Bo Biafra flipped me off at the LC Pavilion or whatever the hell they are calling it now) and haters of everything maize and blue, The Dead Schembechlers, are at it again.  They have released their ode to Wolverines’ coach Jim Harbaugh, “Harbaugh To Hell”.

So put on your best Buckeyes gear and give it a listen…

“Weird Al” Nails Sports Media

I am not a fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic.  The only thing of his I even remotely like is “Amish Paradise”.  Everything else of his I find rather annoying.  But I will be damned, Al & Company just perfectly captured the world of sports media in a 3:30 skit.
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Watch the genius that apparently I have missed all of these years–

LOOK INTO THE FACE OF SADNESS

So, on “Back To The Future” Day & being tortured by a man named Murphy, the same name held by the goat that cursed them, the Chicago Cubs were swept by the New York Mets and knocked out of the MLB Postseason.  And once again, Cubs fans experienced deep sadness and disappointment that has haunted them since 1908 (yes, their last World Series win).

So why not brighten your day at work or home by realizing “Hey, at least I am not one of these sad sacks….”
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Now, now…this is nothing that an “Old Style” & Deep Dish Pizza can’t fix.

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Don’t try to overthink it, young man….your team is cursed.

cubs6Child abuse?  Yeah, your parents making you a Cubs fan should qualify.

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What is up with this?  We always thought the Wrigley Bleachers were a fun place where no one cared about winning.

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We sure hope this older Cubs fan was around to see their World Series win.

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Befuddlement also seems to be a common look among Cubs fans, even for Jack Benny on the right.

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The sad moment when you realize you are not only a Cubs fan but also dressed up like a clown.

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It’s ok…at least you have a really nice sweater….ok, maybe not.

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Thanks for coming, Cubs fans….and always, wait till next year.

(Screengrabs courtesy of TBS)

The 2015 Reds. Well, It Was Baseball…

The 2015 Cincinnati Reds Season has mercifully come to an end & what can you say?  At least Cincinnati got to host the All Star Game & festivities.  It was truly a thrill to see Todd Frazier win the Home Run Derby, but it was not a thrill to watch him tank the second half of the season.  I always thought it was such a fallacy to hear about how Home Run Derby destroys a player’s swing afterward but I saw it happen right in front of my face this year.  Frazier was a shell of himself in the second half.  What seemed like a lock for 100 RBIs did not happen.
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The Reds overall had one of the worst seasons in their storied history.  They finished dead last in the NL Central at 64-98 and lost 14 of their last 15 games in a stretch that was painful to watch as the team quite obviously was “mailing it in”.  It was a dreadful end to a season that actually started out with four straight wins in the team’s final at-bat. The Reds once again showed a propensity to not be able to hit with runners on base and with the exceptions of Aroldis Chapman and JJ Hoover, the bullpen was a dumpster fire.  Of course trading away Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake did not help things but those deals were pretty much assumed before the season started.  Plus, the Reds did acquire some very good young pitching from the Royals in exchange for Cueto.  It is just going to be very painful to watch Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb learn trial by fire in the majors.  In addition, young, green starters Michael Lorenzen, Anthony DeSclafani and Raisel Iglesias will also be run out in the 2016 starting rotation until Homer Bailey can return.
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There were a few highlights.  1B Joey Votto had a stellar year (.314, 29 HRs, 80 RBI) and finished the year with a streak of getting on base 48 straight games, tying Pete Rose for a Reds record. 2B Brandon Phillips had an under the radar good year (.294, 12 HRs, 70 RBI) and played, for another year, stellar defense.  Eugenio Suarez showed some flashes of stardom after taking over at SS for Zack Cozart, who was injured early in the season.
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But that’s about it…back to the bad…RF Jay Bruce continues to underachieve & frustrate Reds fans and CF Billy Hamilton may be the fastest man in baseball, but you can’t steal first base.  Too bad some of the magic that Dee Gordon had for the Marlins this year (NL Leading .333 Batting Average & 58 Stolen Bases) couldn’t make it to BHam.

The 2016 Reds, for a very early glance, look to not be much different than this season’s version.  GM Walt Jocketty & Manager Bryan Price will return.  It is probably a smart decision to go ahead and have Price finish out his contract since next year looks to be a lost one for the Redlegs.  Pieces like C Brayan Pena and Pinch Hitting OF Skip Schumaker will be gone but much of what you saw this season will be back.  The main question will be…what to do with Suarez/Cozart?  Cozart was actually having a pretty good season before injury.  Look for one, most likely Suarez, to move to LF.

Buckeye Nation Needs To Chill The F–k Out

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So after lackluster wins against Hawaii & Northern Illinois, Buckeye Nation is officially in a state of panic.  Yes, the win against the Huskies was a nail biter, but let’s be honest, Ohio State did shut out the Rainbow Warriors 38-0.  And let’s not forget, this team did win a freaking National Championship last year after losing both Braxton Miller and JT  Barrett at QB.  But how soon we forget.  Now the world is coming to an end in Columbus because both Cardale Jones and the aforementioned JT Barrett are playing below expectations.  We are even outraged because, GOD FORBID, Ohio State players like Cardale and Joey Bosa have the AUDACITY to tweet!

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Listen, I am a HUGE Buckeyes fan, been living in CBus my entire life (nearly 50 years) and yes, I was concerned throughout the Northern Illinois game but Buckeye Nation…you need to chill the f–k out.  This is freaking Urban Meyer leading this team and as the kids say, “He’s got this”.  I am sure Urbs will find a way to fix this minor blip, whether it’s kicking the offensive coordinator upstairs or taking more responsibility calling plays.

Now as far as Cardale goes, dude has done nothing to help his NFL Draft Stock.  Instead of trolling the media last winter, he probably should have capitalized on his upward trending curve and declared himself pro ready.  I do think it appears JT is the way to go as far as starting QB.  But hell, shouldn’t Braxton be ready soon to throw at full strength?

Since I seem to be on a roll here or just typing stream of consciousness, could we all also take a “chill pill” when it comes to the sign taking a shot at Urban recently on College Gameday?
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It’s a joke, people…does anyone remember laughter?  Trash talking is common and expected among fan bases…but must we pull out the “politically correct card” when it hits home?  Sure seems that way to me.

So in summation, let’s remember Buckeyes fans, Ohio State is still Number 1 and Urban Meyer is still the coach.  It’s all good and the sky is not falling….at least not yet.

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