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A lifelong Bengals fan. God help her.
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Did you know Tracy played on 5 major league teams?
MO' Favorite Links
MO' Favorite Links
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My favorite site. Not for those easily offended.
This is a great NBA blog. The NBA (National Basketball Association) is a professional men's basketball league, consisting of 29 American teams, and one Canadian team. It was founded in 1946. Cincinnati used to have a team. I wish it did now.
Better Off Red
Jamie Ramsey is the Assistant Media Relations Director of the Reds. He takes you behind the scenes of a Major League team. And he writes funny captions for his photos.
Plenty of scenery and funny stuff on Big Smudge. I'll be honest, these guys told me they were fans of my show, and even if they didn't mean it, that gets them linked.
Bugs and Cranks
If it's about baseball, these guys usually have something to say about it. And it's usually funny.
Booze, Ladies, and Football.
Calling It Like It Is
A guy from Cincinnati, who uh, well he calls it like it is.
Chris Sabo's Goggles
A Reds fan stuck in Chicago does a blog. He says the purpose of the blog is to inform people of the Reds without the geeky stuff, like facts for example. My kind of guy.
You're probably thinking this website is about me. Actually, it's not.
Local college basketball blog by two guys...one a UC fan, the other an XU fan.
The Godfather of sports blogs.
My favorite baseball blog. I thought I loved the game, then I read these guys.
Stuff guys like. At least stuff normal guys like.
Hugging Harold Reynolds
Very funny sports blog with one of my favorite names.
John Clay's Sidelines
John is an outstanding writer who covers everything and anything UK-related.
Larry Brown Sports
The other Larry Brown, not the guy who's coached half the teams in the NBA.
Look At Me Shirts
Be the guy in the ironic shirt. Take credit for someone else's joke.
Mo Egger's Blog
Did you really think my blog wouldn't be on a list of "favorites?"
Do you like mind-numbing statistical analysis of the Reds? Do you treat every game like the fate of the world rests on it? This site is probably not for you.
Most negative man in America. And I usually agree with him.
Pro Football Talk
Not daily, but almost hourly reading for NFL fans.
Everything and anything Reds...and more, by Reds fans.
Rush The Court
The Ubiquitous college basketblog.
A little UK, a little Louisville. A lot of funny.
Anything and everything hoops.
A Cincinnati guy based in Vegas. What I'd write if I could write.
Because some things can't be taught.
I admit, I'm a geek.
Who Dey Revolution
No site better captures the frustration of being a Bengals fan better than this one. Fan empowerment at its best.
A FEW MO' THINGS, 1/5/11
(Photo courtesy of Cincinnati.com)
-I can't come up with anything to compare it to. I've never seen anything in sports like this: two teams with such different role reversals in such a short period of time.
It's not that UC is winning, it's how they're playing and how suddenly visually appealing they've become. 26 days ago the words best used to describe the Bearcat basketball team and its style of play. Less than four weeks later, they've morphed into a damn entertaining squad by transforming their offense and turning up the heat on defense. A team who's offense featured more standing around than a line full of losers waiting for a new iPhone all of a sudden features ball and player movement. They find the open man on the perimeter and they hit cutters to the basket, they run the floor on both ends, they make open shots, but most important they've developed a chemistry and cohesiveness that was missing for the first month of the season.
These guys are incredibly fun to watch.
That doesn't mean they're not flawed, and it doesn't mean they're not in for a rude awakening when they enter teeth of the Big East schedule (after Saturday UC's next five games included tilts at Georgetown, UConn, and West Virginia, with #1 Syracuse at home), but it does mean that the Bearcats have at least temporarily turned around a season that looked hopeless after the Shootout. It means they've become relevant again, not just in terms of making the NCAA Tournament, but to a suddenly awakened fan base that all of a sudden cares about basketball again.
They've gone from can't-watch to must-see. They've gone from a team that looked lost to one that's exuding confidence and one that's finally identified on-court leaders (Cashmere Wright has most visibly embraced this role. He's like a different person on the floor from a month ago) Their levels mental toughness and focus have been startling, especially given how bad they were at the end of the two losses against Presbyterian and Marshall, which seemed like they occurred a decade ago.
The last 26 days have represented Mick Cronin's best coaching. It might have been easy to survive the Crosstown Throwdown's aftermath with a schedule that included teams that might struggle to beat good intramural teams, but the way he kept them together in the days after the XU game and kept the bad vibes from the fight from lingering is one of the best examples of leadership you'll see. For a team to play its best basketball in the weeks after one of the ugliest chapters in program history all while changing both its personality and style of play is nothing short of remarkable. Even the biggest Mick detractors have to recognize what the man has done with his team in less than a month.
And yes, I think Yancy Gates can fit just fine into what they're doing. Let's give the maligned big-man some credit. Maybe he didn't stand out statistically (if teammates are playing as well as they have been, he won't), but he fit in seamlessly last night, knocking down three of his four shots and grabbing eight boards. But there was more: Yancy did a lot of little things, he blocked shots and tipped them to guards to start fast breaks, he busted his ass up and down the floor, he delivered a great feed on a give and go, he kept balls alive, he played hard and he played smart. He did the things he's often accused of not doing (and often unfairly) on a night where the focus was squarely on him.
There was a sequence in the second half that was telling. Yancy got knocked down underneath the Bearcat hoop and immediately four Bearcats rushed over to help him up. Same thing happened in the first half of the Shootout and one guy slowly came over while three stood there and watched. Maybe it's a small thing, but given every other way this team has evolved since the Xavier game, it doesn't seem so.
Maybe this changes. Maybe it's easy to say these things with the team winning. Perhaps better teams take the Bearcats out of their rhythm and in turn the work of the last four weeks is undone. Maybe in another month these guys go back to being painful just to watch, but their remarkable aesthetic improvement at least makes the next two months far more intriguing than they appeared to be 26 days ago.
-And then there's Xavier.
What's happened to the Muskies is one of the most puzzling things I've ever seen. In less than a month a team that looked like it might lose four or five games all season appears almost incapable of ever winning again. It's to the point where last night's 16-point halftime deficit wasn't even that eye-opening. XU has the comfort of the A-10 schedule, plenty of time to get the ship back on course, and there's no denying the Musketeers have a lot of talent, but still....how can one team completely lose its way so drastically?
Maybe tough wins early against Purdue and Miami obscured some flaws, but at the same time this team looked dominant against Butler, Purdue, and for the most part against Cincinnati. Most important, they looked as mentally tough as any Xavier team we've seen. Four weeks later, they've still allowed the effects of the Shootout to linger.
It goes beyond players not being available, an excuse that was really only applicable in the Oral Roberts game, these guys have clearly lost their way, completely looking lost, lacking the cohesiveness that's been an XU trademark forever. They've gone from oozing with swagger (too much so), to having the swagger of your average marching band.
This is on Chris Mack, a coach I like a ton, and who had appeared to have "it," "it" being the leadership gene and "it" being the ability to guide a team through the inevitable rough patches in a long college basketball season. This season though, he hasn't had "it." It's on him to ensure that his team not only moves on from the embarrassment that was the UC game, but thrives in the aftermath. That obviously hasn't happened. He talked often before the season about being interested in what happened when XU finally faced adversity, that the true mark of his team would be how they passed the test when things weren't going well. So far, the Muskies have failed miserably.
I'm a UC fan, but I take no delight in what's happened with Xavier. The better the teams do post-Shootout, the less we talked about what happened during, and after, the Shootout. It's hard to move on unless the teams do, and the Muskies clearly haven't. I also think it's unfair to make this solely about a comparison between the two schools, their coaches, and teams. XU's collapse would be just as bad if UC hadn't gone 7-0 since the Shootout, and each team's makeup and character is different. For XU, it's not about how well UC has done since December 10th and how poorly the Muskies have done, it's about finding whatever it was the team had before that Saturday afternoon at the Cintas.
Xavier has the same players and coaches they had 26 days ago. Their team however, couldn't be more different.
-OK, so I didn't do much on the playoffs on today's blog. I'm sure Bengals vs. Texans will come up today at 3:04 on ESPN1530. And the "you should talk more college hoops crowd" is welcome to call the program this afternoon as well. Show up to this on Saturday....