Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 74

On the New Header
Courtesy of the Hubble Gallery, which continues to amazes me, this image of  of a red supergiant star in the constellation Monocerotis. We are truly blessed to be part of such a grand creation. Take this tour through Monocerotis courtesy of Hubble.

On Dancing with the Stars
Sarah Palin’s effect on my political world is one thing, but now the Palin Effect has crossed into my entertainment world. Could I be ready to boycott Dancing with the Stars?

On Political Polls
Although many political polls were correct this past Tuesday, the majority missed the Nevada senatorial race by a long short. With most polls showing Sharron Angle to win, Harry Reid wins by 7 percent. Not surprisingly, independents decided that race by going 2-1 in favor of Senator Reid. Although I’m not a Harry Reid fan, but I am happy that Sharron Angle did not win.

On Tuesday’s Fallout
Given the predictable nature of Tuesday’s election results, I appreciate these columns by David Brooks, Ruth Marcus, David Broder, and Kathleen Parker.

On from Contract to Pledge
Since Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) road the Contract with America wave into Washington, it is fitting that he is now leading the GOP’s latest venture – A Pledge to America. Although points exist that any public official should aspire, political rhetoric also exists. See this FactCheck report.

On the Sports Shorts
At the start of the season, I doubt if anyone would have predicted the struggles of the Cowboys, Vikings, Bengals, 49’ers, and Broncos. Individually yes, but not collectively.

Congratulations SF Giants and your fans. You earned it fair and square. Well done!

Cincinnati mourns the passing of legendary Reds manager Sparky Anderson. Sparky was a classic and loved in Cincinnati. Many Reds fans never forgave GM Dick Wagner for firing Sparky and trading Tony Perez. Many thanks Sparky, and rest in peace. Here’s a must-read article about the Main Spark from today’s Cincinnati Enquirer.

After two consecutive great seasons, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team has hit hard times. As many were raving about then-coach Brian Kelly’s brilliance, it was obvious to me that his scheme was great with former coach Mark Dantonio’s recruits. Coach Kelly is now at Notre Dame, thus leaving the current coach with an incomplete cupboard. Hmmm – I guess Coach Kelly wasn’t that good of a recruiter.

On Future Posts
I’m looking forward to stepping away from politics a bit.

Have a safe weekend!

On Random Cincy Sports Thoughts

On the Reds
The Reds are in the pennant race! The Reds are in the pennant race! No matter if they make the playoffs or not, the Reds are currently in the mix.

  • Although they don’t have a hammer at the top of the rotation, the starting staff is deep.
  • Although middle relief is improving, Francisco Cordero continues to create restlessness.
  • In my preseason thoughts, I mentioned the importance of productive hitters from the right side. They have done well, but can Jonny Gomes come close to his first half numbers?
  • Although only a few Reds occupied the DL during the first half, second half injuries are starting the happen.
  • Most of the offense has been from infielders, thus why Orlando Cabrera’s injury is significant.
  • OF continues to struggle at the plate. Will Jim Edmonds be able to help? Well, at least he’ll make more contact. Health is his key question, so is he worth 1-2 starts per week?
  • On the other hand, the Reds are one of the better defensive teams and now improve defensively with SS Paul Janish.
  • No problem from this fan that the Reds stood pat at the trade deadline.
  • Joey Votto is one heck of a player.
  • By thought, and I hope I’m wrong, I see the Reds falling short of the playoffs. But, stranger things have happened, thus that’s why they play the games.

On the Bengals
The Bengals’ passing game last year was poor, and no question, Bengal brass addressed the issue, including signing TO. For sure, he has created a buzz – but only time will tell what the results will be. Since the team has the potential to exceed the expectation than any Barnum & Bailey Circus could ever imagine, I hope the Brown family considers hiring Sarah Palin.

On a visit to Bengals training camp we learned that Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari’s favorite teams are the Steelers and Bengals. I wonder if he’s also a Red Sox and Yankees fan. Sure he is.

Congratulations to Dick Lebeau on his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. This was long overdue, as Canton Crazy Cuts noted on October 20, 2008. This is a great read.

College football season is around the corner. I’m still a Cincinnati Bearcats season ticket holder, thus look forward to David’s Oklahoma Sooners coming to town. Nevertheless, I fret over the distinct possibility of coming out of the gate with a losing record. The first five games include away games at Fresno and NC State, plus the Sooners at home.

Again this year I will analyze the out of conference schedules of the BCS teams. I’m looking forward to the numbers because on first glance, this doesn’t look pretty.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 62

On Sarah Palin
I’m happy she out there on the speaking trail because the more she talks, the more independents shake their head and turn away.

On Tea Party Primary Influence
The Tea Party faction had a good day in Kentucky – and to see Kentuckians go ahead Senator McConnell’s endorsement made me smile.

On Something Neither Party Really Gets
The 2008 election encountered a voting public that was unhappy with incumbents. As the Democratic Congress has spent the year and a half cramming legislation down our throat, they didn’t realize the anti-incumbent sentiment. I not convinced the Republicans understand it either.

On the Cincinnati Sports Shorts
Although the Reds just stumbled in Atlanta, their current roll has been due to timely hitting, good pitching, good defense, and good base running. For instance, the Reds are near the top of advancing from first to third – something Dunn and Junior could not regularly do.

On the Bengals front, Adam Pac-Man Jones is saying the right things. Although I was against the signing, time will tell. Interestingly, in the end many praised Mike Brown for giving Chris Henry a chance – and many of the same are saying the opposite about Jones.

Last Sunday’s Cincinnati Enquirer had a great article about UC’s dilemma with Nippert Stadium. Believe me, it is a great, classic venue. Click here for the article.

On the Weekend
Stop by this weekend for another post about a cartoon character from the past. Have a safe weekend. Here’s a song for to enjoy.

On Cincinnati Sports as of Now

The Cincinnati sports scene has been a hodge-podge of ups and downs. The past 20 years have primarily been a downer for our two main professional teams: the Bengals and the Reds. So the fact that the Reds finished strong and the Bengals are off to a good start does help. On the other hand, our memories aren’t short – so many fans are skeptics.

UC Bearcat football is currently on a roll and has captured the hearts of many in the city. Although Ohio State fans exist, Cincinnati is not a Buckeye hotbed. Although the Bearcats are currently getting high accolades, Coach Brian Kelly admits that the Buckeyes are want his team strives to be – and adds that UC is not there yet.

Fans in this area love college basketball. Sure UC and Xavier lead the way, but UK Wildcats are just down the road to they get their share of coverage – but since I hope they lose every game, I’ve already given them too much space here.

UC basketball during the Huggins era was great; then suddenly, it was gone. The team was essentially dismantled and the struggles ever since are well known. On the plus side, they seem to be turning the corner so fans are starting to get some positive vibes.

Meanwhile, a mere 3 miles away on the Xavier campus, Musketeer basketball has been unbelievably successful through various coaching changes. They are simply a hallmark of consistency and another good season is expected this year. Although hardcore UC and XU fans don’t root for the other, many fans have a have a preference, yet pull for the other in all games but one.

Bottom line – it’s all about being in the wait-and-see mode. After all, by the end of November we’ll feel totally different.