Every day there are three things, here are those three things.
1) The Trip. I made my maiden voyage to Lambeau Field for the Bengals loss yesterday, getting home around 5am, them stumbling out of bed to author this blog post which reflects my thoughts about the way the Bengals played and what it means.
In short: I'd be very okay with what happened yesterday had the Bengals not gone to cheese country 0-2.
Also, you can't leave Aaron Rodgers 3:46 when he needs a touchdown to win it, and you can't go three and out when you get the ball to start OT when Rodgers is the other team's QB.
The trip itself, minus the loss, was fantastic. We did three cities and three sporting events, in three days, starting with a visit to Chicago and my first White Sox game on Friday, a day and evening in Milwaukee, including a Brewers/Cubs game on Saturday, and yesterday's trip to Green Bay and Lambeau.
More on the baseball experiences tomorrow. The crown jewel of the trip was Lambeau. The pregame atmosphere was the most festive I've been a part of, the stadium itself is absolutely beautiful, and as is the case with fans that are used to a lot of out of town visitors, every Packers fan I met was friendly, even welcoming.
Even as they've expanded the seating, they've maintained enough of the place's charm and integrity that you can still look out onto the field and see Paul Hornung running around. I've been to a decent number of NFL stadiums by now, and yesterday's game - and pregame - experience were by far and away the best. I'd wanted to see the Bengals play at Lambeau Field since I was a kid and my first visit yesterday exceeded my expectations. The Bengals won't be back until 2025. I'm already planning on being there.
2) The NFL, man. I wrote last week about how brutal the first two weeks of the NFL season were, aesthetically and competitively. And then, week three offers up some of the best and most exciting finishes you'll find, especially if you're a Red Zone subscriber.
The game, for all of its many faults, can be so, so, fun sometimes, almost enough to make all the BS worth it.
Everything that occurred yesterday happened against the backdrop of league-wide protests and statements during the national anthem.
Someone asked me yesterday if I'd planned on talking about them.
I told them no.
Not that I don't have thoughts on what NFL players are doing during the anthem - I have many, it's just that we are now to the point where so many people are shouting at each other about the issue while ignoring both nuance and the other side, that anything I say or write will either not be new or will get lost amid all the shouting.
I like discussions. I enjoy debates. I choose more and more to sit out the shouting matches.
3) Navy's ground game. I tried to come up with some sort of crafty play on words involving Navy beating UC with a great ground game, but I'm tired. I enjoyed a few cocktails in a hotel bar on Saturday while watching the Bearcats get run over by the Midshipmen.
The bad: UC's defense looked exhausted as the game wore on, and even a little under-prepared for the triple option.
The good: Even without Mike Boone, the offense came to life and even if I yelled bad words at the TV when he fumbled to seal the game, I was impressed with how Hayden Moore played and comfortable the offense looked as a whole.
The takeaway: The best-case for this UC team through four games always was a 2-2 start. That's where they are, with a winnable game coming up on Saturday night.
This team, and this program, are going in the right direction.
Bonus....If I had time this weekend, I'd have banged out about 800 words about Carmelo Anthony being traded by the Knicks to the OKC Thunder, who are now exceptionally interesting, even if I have no idea how good they'll be.
As a Knicks fan, there's a part of me glad that Melo's time in New York is over, because the drama accompanying him was exhausting. More than anything, I'm hopeful that he finds success in Oklahoma City. I've always felt like Anthony was under-appreciated for what he did well, and even if the success the Knicks enjoyed four years ago fizzled quickly, his arrival in the Big Apple made the Knicks matter after a decade of being irrelevant. He did more to help the Knicks than hurt, and he handled the bullshit of last season like a pro.
I was pretty ambivalent about Carmelo Anthony before he played for the Knicks. I'm now a fan of his for life.
Radio Show: Tony Pike and I wall-to-wall Bengals and more, at 3:05 on ESPN1530.
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