Every day there are three things, here are those three things.
1) 510 and counting. In 510 minutes of play in the US Open Cup, FC Cincinnati has surrendered zero goals. I haven't been watching soccer long, but that seems good.
The magical cup run continued last night, this time with a 1-0 win over Miami FC in South Florida in a game what toyed with nerves as it drew to a close. Another home US Open Cup match awaits - this one with the New York Red Bulls a week from this coming Tuesday - and FC Cincinnati's ownership of the summer in this city only strengthens.
But wait, there's more. From Cincinnati.com....
An exceptionally newsy day in the American soccer news cycle included some high praise for Futbol Club Cincinnati from Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber....
....Garber diverted from the stadium subject and went on to say "what's happening in Cincinnati is remarkable."
.....And while almost every expansion candidate received some form of a shout out from Garber – "we're trying to move all of them as far as we possibly can," he said at one point – FC Cincinnati received more praise than most, as well as a comparison to three organizations widely considered to be at or near the front of the expansion pack.....
"Both on and off the field – we talked about it a bit when we presented the Miami section of (Wednesday's) board meeting – you know, two games in the U.S. Open Cup more than 30,000 (fans) is just something they should be very proud of. (Owners) Carl Lindner III and Jeff Berding are doing an amazing job."
Regarding the specifics of FC Cincinnati's stadium proposals, Garber said: "We like all three sites. We don't have a preference for one. Their stadium renditions are fabulous and I think that Cincinnati has done an awesome job. Very impressed with them."
Remarkable is the right word, both at the large, macro level from which the MLS commissioner is making his assessment and on the more local level. A soccer franchise that came into existence two years ago has captured a city's imagination.
Sports teams, at their core, are supposed to make people feel good. Engender some civic pride. Give people something fun to talk about besides the daily toll of life. Unite, even.
The fact that in its second season, FC Cincinnati has managed to do those things is perhaps the clubs' greatest accomplishment.
2) Back To The Future. Robert Stephenson was solid. Jesse Winker came up big, both with his bat and his glove. Adam Duvall went yard for some insurance for Raisel Iglesias, who shut things down in the ninth.
I hope I type the preceding three sentences often in 2019.
Hopefully last night was a glimpse into the future, both in terms of the result and the guys who helped deliver it. The Reds have won three straight, mainly on the strength of good starting pitching, with three strong performances being delivered by guys who will critical to contention in two years.
Exasperation with the rebuild has come up often over the last few weeks. You feel it. I share it. I've had people ask me a lot recently either when the rebuild is going to end or how we'll know it's ended.
I hope we have an answer a year from now. If we don't, chances are the Reds will be dusting off the reset button.
The exasperation is a result, I believe of two things: More losing, and the fact that there's little mechanically that can be done to drastically change the Reds' fortunes. The Reds are going to be good one day if guys who play for the Reds - both at the big league and minor league levels - improve to the point that the Reds will have gone from being a team with a handful of good, established, Major League players to a team that has a lot of them. It's up to the organization to help develop as much of those type of players as possible.
It's up to the players to deliver on some of their potential.
You and I are stuck sitting and watching.
3) This fight won't cost you $100. In a little more than three weeks, a big fight will be staged in Las Vegas pitting a homophobic abuser of woman against his business partner. Or, as you know it, Mayweather/McGregor. To see that debacle of a sporting event, you'll have to shell out $100.
Or, for an equally-competitive fight, you can watch this one - starring UD's Sam Miller, in the drunk tank.
Recommended Link Of The Day: The Kid Who Didn't Die At Riverfront Stadium
Radio Show: It's back tomorrow. Ice Cube is among our guests. ESPN1530, starting at 3:05.