Join us for Bengals Line!
Special guests: AJ Green and Devon Still
Who: Lap, me and Bengals players
What: Bengals Line
When: Monday night, 6-9pm
Where: Holy Grail Banks
Why: To talk Bengals, hear from the players, win cool prizes, enjoy great food and drinks.
I believe the Bengals will hand out autograph tickets, prior to the start of the show.
I will forward that info if/when I get it.
Click here: Photos from Redsfest 2013 Check out gallery of guests that joined us on Sports Talk
Sportstalk from Redsfest Hour 1:
Lance live from Redsfest speaks with General Manager Walt Jocketty, Ryan Ludwick, Sean Marshall, David Holmberg, and Manny Parra.
Sportstalk from Redsfest hour 2:
Lance live from Redsfest talks with Joe Oliver, Dmitri Young, Danny Graves, Joey Votto, J.J. Hoover, and Ron Oester.
Sports Talk from Redsfest Hour 3
Lance live from Redsfest talks with shortstop Zack Cozart, Owner and CEO Bob Castellini, Manager Bryan Price, and Centerfileder Billy Hamilton.
The Meijer Team Gear Department is offering $100 in gift cards for this week's blog contest:
How many total yards of offense will Giovani Bernard have Sunday vs Indianapolis?
(rushing yards + receiving yards)
-Winner must pick the EXACT number of yards.
-Post your entry below in comment section below.
-One entry per person. In the case of multiple posts by an individual, ALL picks by individual will be disregarded.
-Include a tie-breaker to your prediction: How many points will Bengals score vs Colts?
(Winner: Closest without going over/or closer than other person)
-Deadline: Sunday, December 8, noon (eastern)
Rollover: If we don't have a winner, the contest will rollover to the following week and Meijer will add ANOTHER $100 to the pot.
-Winner will be notified through their post in the comment section below. Winner will have until Monday, December 9 to claim prize.
Big thanks to the Meijer Team Gear Department, the place to get your Reds, Bengals, UC, XU, UK and OSU gear!
Brantley on Phillips
Jeff Brantley was a guest of Bill Cunningham, on 700 WLW at 12:05 this afternoon.
Jeff Brantley said BP was sitting next to him on the plane…and Jeff is now in town.
Jeff said Redsfest is something he thinks BP wants to do, but he understands how BP feels after what has happened.
Brantley said BP was wearing something on his wrist on the flight.
"Some of this has to do w/BP, some of it has to do with Walt, Bob Castellini…and some of it has to do with Dusty Baker."-Brantley
"Walt's job, in the end, is to put the best team on the field."
"Brandon is going to speak his mind & wear his feelings on his sleeve, and you are going to have to work in thoses boundaries.....and if you can't, then he can't be here."
Here is the entire interview:
2013 Bluegrass-Buckeye Charity Classic
Louisville 31 Cincinnati 24 (OT)
Attendance: 35,097 (7th largest Nippert Stadium history)
What a final game at the current version of Nippert. (Game stats)
If it's the final game in the rivalry, what a way to go out.
The game slogged along for a while, then it got wild, really wild.
I think Nippert Stadium was swaying at times last night, loud and rocking.
Brendon Kay turned in a performance that UC fans will be talking about for years.
He led UC on one leg most of the game. He was battered and bruised, and kept getting up and kept making plays. I thought he was knocked out cold on his TD scramble. All that was missing was his OL carrying him to the next play like Marshall's Byron Leftwich, years ago.
I thought UC got too cute late in the game. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran reached into his bag of tricks multiple times and kept finding holes in the bottom of the bag. Live by the trick player (earlier in the year), lose by trick plays late in the year.
UC defense could not make tackles and get stops late, allowing back to back scoring drives of 13 and 11 plays. They were trying to tackle high all night.
The stars were out last night: Todd Frazier ant Tony Cingrani were at Nippert. They stood in the back of the end zone with Tony Pike, Mardy Gilyard, Kevin Huber, Kevin Youkilis and JK Schaffer.
Frazier and Cincrani both had "C Paws" stickers on their faces and were "rolling their hand" during the UC Chant. Bengals Terrance Newman and Vontaze Burfict were also on hand.
Bowling for Belk? Tom Groeschen says it looks like UC-UNC in Charlotte.
UL's Teddy Bridgewater made play after play late. With UC leading 14-10 in the 4th quarter, and UL facing 4th and 12 with about 9:00 left in in the game, he fought off tackles and gained 16 yards. Nick Temple had him….but could not bring him down.
Bridgewater then capped the 13 play drive with a game tying TD pass that I swear he was trying to throw away, out the back of the endzone. Amazing. UL led 17-14.
How about UC's answer to Bridgewater's TD? 2 plays: Kay to Mekale 57-yards, and then RDA4 for 6 yards, TD, UC led 21-17 with 7:00 left.
Louisville regained the lead on Bridgewater's TD pass, a tug-o-war won by DeVante in the corner of the endzone with about 2:00 left, capping an 11 play drive and giving Louisivlle a 24-21 lead.
UC look liked the were going to win in when they reached the 9-yard line with about a minute remaining. I had a feeling all week that it would somehow would come down to a big FG, Miliano entered the game just 5 for 14 on the season. UC could not reach the endzone and had to settle for a 26-yard FG. Give Miliano credit, he delivered with :07 left.
Louisville scored on their first OT possession.
UC was stopped on their first possession.
UC winds up 9-3/6-2, and sees its six game winning streak come to an end.
Central Florida clinches the AAC and BCS bid.
We heard from Ken Griffey Jr, Ryan Hanigan and Tony Cingrani last night on Sports Talk.
We didn't have a show Tuesday, due to Reds Hot Stove and UC basketball.
With news of Reds HOF and Hanigan trade happening that night, Seg was able to record interviews with Griffey and Hangian.
Ken Griffey Jr
Some outstanding stuff here from Jr about his time with the Reds, "a roller coaster", his family and what he's up to.
Ryan Hanigan (6:25), Tony Cingrani (6:35)
As I sat at the UC game last night, I found myself wondering what others seemed to be wondering: Where was everybody? The Bearcats played before a season low crowd of 5,113.
UC is averaging 6,140 per game, 46.5% capacity of 5th/3rd Arena. Mick Cronin even expressed alarm over UC's lack of ticket sales for the Crosstown Classic during his postgame last night, "we need to start selling our allotment."
UC basketball attendance this year:
6, 532 North Carolina Central
7,028 North Carolina State
6,194 Appalachian State
6,627 Kennesaw State
5,113 USC Upstate
I've attended four of seven games this season. Twice I sat court-side, as a member of the media, twice I bought tickets and sat in the upper level with Casey. During those four games I've taken notes and made observations about the team, crowd, arena, marketing/promotion, and the in-game experience at 5th/3rd arena. I've talked with alums, current and former season ticket holders and former players.
I believe UC's ticket and marketing departments have done a really nice job with their Radio/TV/billboard campaign, and offering affordable ticket packages.
Red & Black Pack: 9 conference home games including Louisville & Memphis in the Bearcat Lair (Upper Level Bleachers) for $125....an average of $13.88 per game.
Starting 5 Plan: Seats in the Upper Level Chairbacks for one (1) premium game (Memphis or Louisville) and any other four (4) home games for $125....an average of $25 per game.
I believe this team is fun to watch. The Bearcats are 7-0, with one of the best to ever play at UC in Sean Kilpatrick, a fun/emotional Justin Jackson, and a freshman class loaded with potential. The Bearcats are 81-32 (.717) in the last three plus seasons, with three trips to the NCAA tournament and a Sweet 16 appearance.
But the reality, not enough fans want to attend a UC game. That is not on the fans, that is on UC. It is up to the school to make fans want to attend games and experience UC basketball. In order to do that, UC basketball needs adjustments/improvements to the facility, schedule and in-game experience. Here is a list of ideas I've come up with:
Main points of emphasis: 5th/3rd Arena renovation, non-conference scheduling, TV package, ticket prices, in-game experience.
The place is a wreck from a design standpoint, with too much dead space and too many bad vantage points. Tear out the lower level seats and start over. Play at US Bank Arena while renovation is done. Make the lower level a bowl configuration, filling the wasted space in the V shaped open corners of the lower level with seats. Replace the seats in the upper level, they are hard and uncomfortable. The upper level seats without seat backs, need seat backs. Heck, I've paid for seats where I can't even see the other end of the court. Fans in most of the arena can't see the giant inflatable Bearcat the players run out of. We can debate what/how renovation should take place, I think all would agree renovation must happen.
I'm certainly open to US Bank Arena. As Athletic Director Whit Babcock told me, "If they built the Taj Mahal there, we've certainly have to consider it." I could see a marketing campaign of "Bearcats at The Banks!". I could see a Bearcats Happy Hour, involving Holy Grail and the other locations at The Banks.
Non-conference schedule: UC simply must upgrade the non-conference schedule. UC can't continue to schedule the likes of Campbell, Appalachian State, North Carolina Central, UMass-Lowell, Kennesaw State, USC Upstate, and Chicago State. Mick is correct when he called USC Upstate a quality opponent, quality in terms of an RPI win, but not quality in terms of fan perception. The schedule has already taken a big hit with the move from the Big East to the American Athletic Conference.
At the very least schedule area teams such as Dayton, Wright State, Western Kentucky, Indiana, Butler, Purdue, Ball State, Valpo, Indiana State, Evansville, Ohio. Fans of some of those teams might even travel to see the game.
Ticket prices: Drop the price of upper level seats with backs from $22 to $15/$10. Drop price of non seat backs to $7. Saturday we sat in section 206, Row 5 for Kennesaw State. I paid $50, including service fee. That price has to come down. Offer more in-game Red-Black Deals. During Saturday's game UC made a video board offer of $5 tickets for all remaining home games (excluding UL). Fantastic idea. Offer various future game ticket deals for fans in attendance, available for purchase during the game at the ticket office.
TV package: Do whatever it takes to get non-conference games on TV. The reality is that fans perceive a game not on TV to be a game that doesn't matter. It is difficult to get exposure for your product, create early season interest and grow a fan base when games are not on TV or stuck on ESPN3.
Upgrade in-game experience: No offense, but the dance team, delivering a pizza to the stands and t-shirt tosses don't cut it.
Consider the following……
Bearcat Happy Hour: Add pre-game activities that run one hour prior to tipoff, until tipoff. Included food/drink specials, bring in former Bearcats for photos/autographs on concourse, invite and rotate area bands to perform on concourse before weekend games. Make it a party.
Halftime entertainment: Bring in acts from the Zooperstars to frisbee catching dogs, Kyrstal Liu and the Red Panda Acrobats, the Jesse White Tumblers, and have youth basketball teams play games.
Giveaways: People like free stuff. I love the Keg of Nails giveaway for UC football Thursday night. Introduce a line of Bearcat Bobble-heads that include great players of the past, toss in UC schedule magnets, team photo posters, Bearcat Rally Towels, team cards commemorating various UC basketball teams of the past.
Grab and grow Bearcats:
*If you can get a child hooked on UC basketball today, you've got a shot at a fan for life.
*Bearcats GameStop Kids Zone: Create a hangout for kids with pop-a-shot and NBA2K video games. Let kids meet and get photos with Mr. Bearcat.
*Post-game Sign and Swish: After every weekend game, invite kids to shoot post-game free throws on the court and get autographs with selected UC players.
*Invite 10-20 area youth basketball teams to each game. Provide players with a free ticket and offer discount prices for parents/family. Mention the players on the scoreboard.
*Meijer High Five Club: Two youth teams get to form lines and high five UC starters during introductions. The two youth teams then play at halftime.
*Take A Kid to the Game: Bring a child (12 years or younger) to game and purchase general admission tickets for only $5.
*Kids make noise, that arena could use some noise.
*Add more video boards and add simple, fun stuff to get fans involved.
*Provide more scoring updates: NCAA, NFL, NBA, plus headlines.
*Improve/expand in-game scoreboard on end of courts. Instead of just listing the player jersey number/points/fouls, include players name, points, rebounds, fouls and assists.
*Phone trivia/contest: Every notice how many fans are looking at their phone during a game? Post UC trivia/games on the video board. Have fans answer on Twitter @GoBearcats or text to win prizes.
*Skyline 80 point Promotion: Fans get voucher for free cheese coney when Bearcats score 80 points.
*Skyline Chili contest: Which basketball is the 3-way under? Correct answer by fan means free Skyline for the row.
*Fan Struggle for the Steak: Fans in attendance text how many points UC will score prior to tipoff. Fan that guesses correctly gets dinner at Jeff Ruby's.
*Guess the Attendance: Fan text their guess of how many fans are in attendance and win a Bearcats prize pack and four tickets to a future game.
*Video board Player Q/A: 30-second recorded video bits with players answering funny questions to reveal things about themselves.
*Video board Coach Speak: :30 recorded videos bits with various UC coaches inviting fans to attend their upcoming game/answering fun Q/A about themselves.
In-game host: Hire an in-game host, (Xavier-Lindsay Patterson), to run contests/and do special guest interviews during timeouts. Kevin Youkiis was at Saturday's game. He was recognized by the PA announcer. Talk to him.
Dubois Bookstore Bearcat Book It: During timeouts, a UC student gets 30-seconds to shoot from various spots on floor. Each mat on the floor designates a $ amount. All winnings go towards books/supplies at Dubois bookstore.
Let's Move Down ticket app: Allow fans to bid on better seats and move down during game.
"Air Shuttle Paper Skies": During timeouts, drop coupons from ceiling of 5th/3rd. Fans grab for free stuff/discount coupons from UC sponsors.
The Staples Stat Pack: The media gets stat sheet updates throughout the game and have running stats available on laptops/iPdads. Give stat access to fans. Have ushers hand out complimentary pre-game, halftime and post-game stats or at least make them available at a designated spots in arena.
Montgomery Inn Bearcats Baseline Buffet Open the upper level dining area to all fans. Offer a pre-game/in-game buffet. It's sad to look up there during games and see it empty, sometimes dark.
The Walkthrough: Bengals practice at UC bubble
Colts.com Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano
(on what he’s seen from the Bengals in 2013):
-“Really good football team. Well-coached. Got playmakers on both sides of the ball. Special teams are solid. From an offensive standpoint, they got a great 1-2 punch at running back. The law firm (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) is a hard-nosed between the tackles guy and grinds out a lot of tough yards and makes a lot of first downs for them. Gio (Bernard) comes in. Second leading receiver. He’s dangerous. He’s quick. He’s fast. He’s elusive. Great out of the backfield again in the pass game. And wide receiver, one of the best in the league in A.J. Green. The quarterback is playing well. Tight end. They got a bunch of weapons. Defensively, they’re ranked sixth in the National Football League for good reason. They got good players. Got a good front seven, good linebacking core, good in the back end. Mike Zimmer does a great job with them. They play fast, physical. They’re big, they’re long, they’re athletic. Really, really good football team. Well-coached. Marvin (Lewis) has done a great job there for a number of years. He’s put himself together a really good squad.”