Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) The UC gig is a good gig. Luke Fickell's first recruiting class is earning high marks, for its depth, its quality, and for the impact he and his staff were able to make locally and regionally, in a very short amount of time.
The new coach has revived the fan base, and he's re-established UC's place in the arena recruiting landscape, something that will bear fruit in future years.
Know what else he's doing?
He's proving the the job of Head Football Coach at the University of Cincinnati is a damn good one.
Not to take away from the recruiting work that Fickell and his guys have done - which had degrees of difficulty added with the Luke staying at Ohio State through the College Football Playoff, as well as the work done to assemble a staff and start work with the current players - but I do think that the fact that Fickell's first class of sign-ees goes to show that there are kids in this area, and beyond, who are willing to play football at UC.
They just have to be asked.
So many of the obstacles that used to plague UC coaches are things of the past. The stadium is fantastic. The practice facility has been done for years. Fan support - even as it waned in the final weeks of the Tuberville regime - is as strong as ever. There's recent success to point to and a laundry list of draft picks who've used their time as Bearcats to make the leap to the NFL. Yes, Power Five status is gone, but the program still has move going for it than ever, high school players are more aware of it than ever, and I don't think it's that tough of a sell to get a kid from this general vicinity to play at UC.
All that was needed was a coach willing to do the work.
2) Why I love Signing Day. This video illustrates why....
That's a Texas high school player named Levi Jones trolling both Florida and Florida State, their coaches and their fans.
Good for him.
Because yesterday was the last time for the next four or five years that he'll have control. Once a player signs, he's at the mercy of a dictator coach, who can randomly yo-yo his playing time, arbitrarily pull his scholarship, or smear him to the media. From today on, the player is subservient to everyone from coaches, administrators, and even boosters. The coach can block the player's transfer, or the new coach can bolt at a moment's notice and leave the player who committed to him to hope that the new guy likes him enough to keep him, use him, or at least let him go elsewhere.
If the player is good enough, he'll enter the NFL, but he won't be able to choose where he plays. He'll sign a deal that he's bound to for at least four years, and perhaps five, if he's really, really good.
So yeah, I'm all about the high school kid exercising whatever control he has, even if it's amusing, even demonstrative fashion.
Because after signing day, he's relinquished all control.
3) Don't doubt FC Cincinnati. I'm a couple days late on this on the blog, even though we did talk about it at length on ESPN1530 earlier this week....
FC Cincinnati has applied to joins Major League Soccer. Will they get in? I have no idea. Here's what I do know...
I know enough to know not to doubt FC Cincinnati. 18 months ago, they didn't exist. Now, they've captured the imaginations of soccer fans in this city, become a bona fide part of the Cincinnati sports landscape, turned into a legit entertainment option for people in a bunch of different demographics, attained a level of cache in the business community, and have silenced naysayers who initially lumped them in with all the other failed minor league teams that tried to call Cincinnati home.
They be an MLS team, they may not. If they aren't, it won't be because the people who run the franchise don't know what they're doing.
Hey dickhead: still think Kentucky is the best team in college basketball?
Uh, thanks, Leo. I got this question a lot on Twitter over the weekend.
Right now, I think Villanova is the best and most complete team. And even if they're not the best, they're the toughest out, with their experience and toughness. UCLA is the most fun to watch. West Virginia has to be the most maddening to play. Kansas is the most complete.
I think Kentucky is the team capable of playing the best basketball when everything is coming together at once. When their offense is running at a quick pace, when the shots from Malik Monk are falling, and when they're committed on defense, they're better than anyone. Unfortunately, they were out-toughed by KU and often looked like they've never seen a 2-3 zone, and play often as if they simply need to flip a switch that they just can't find.
I've also seen a few of Calipari's teams screw around for a few weeks during the season's dog days, only to ramp things up in SEC Tournament play, and then make a run in March. I don't know if that will happen, but I do think that, yes, UK's brand of ball when everything comes together is better than everyone else's.
Also, dickhead? Ouch.
I listened to your show on my way home from work today. I thought your actions regarding the last name of the young man attending Illinois State were childish and unprofessional. Not funny at all.
I hope your manager at the radio station agrees with me. Find other ways to entertain your listeners than make jokes about an individuals last name....
Steven is referring to the fun we had on yesterday's show with the name of Kobe Buffalomeat, an Illinois State sign-ee who might be the mascot of Signing Day 2017 simply because of his name.
Look, Steven. We live in a very strange, turbulent time. Tensions are high. Vitriol is running rampant. There's a lot of people questioning what kind of country we live in now, and what kind of America we're going to live in, in the future. It's hard to make sense of all the opinions being flung at us, and even harder to differentiate between information, rumor, opinions, and untruths. It's hard to make sense of the world we live in now.
But if we can't have some fun with the name Kobe Buffalomeat - especially when he's in on the joke - then we really might as well just pack it in and give up.
A world where we can't have fun with someone's name is a world I don't want to live in.
Radio Show: Lance is taking a couple of vacation days this week, so I'm in for him tonight and tomorrow on 700WLW from 6:00 until 9:00. James Rapien will handle my afternoon duties today and tomorrow on ESPN1530.