FC Cincinnati is coming to the West End.
If Major League Soccer ever gets around to choosing its next expansion city, and if said expansion city ends up being Cincinnati, then the new home for the newest MLS entry will be on the West End.
Unless there's more political hoops for the team to jump through that I'm not aware of.
Couple of qualifiers here: I would've found the positives in any of the potential stadium locales. Also, I'll never be completely on board with the idea that public money should go to funding a sports stadium. But those are issues that have already been beaten to death.
I want to talk for just a second about the West End.
I live in the West End. Have for five years. First, in an apartment that'll be mere feet from where the stadium is likely to go. Then, in a house just a few blocks from the proposed stadium site.
I love where I live.
Now for full disclosure, we are probably not going to live where we live for very long. When we bought our house, there were two of us, and we had little intention of adding a third. Since then, we've had our daughter, and while we would gladly raise her in the neighborhood we live in now, we need more space and we could use the help that living closer to family while raising a child will provide. But I'll leave the West End reluctantly, and hopeful that one day, we could return.
It's been a great place to call home, though. Hopefully, it'll be a great place for FC Cincinnati call home as well.
I bring this up because through this long, exhausting stadium process that I admit to tuning out, I've heard people who've never stepped foot in the West End describe it as "Cincinnati's Beirut," and the "Fallujah of the west." I've heard people go on airwaves that I also use and describe West End-ers as having to wear bulletproof vests who are smart to not wander far from home at night.
I've not been to either Beirut or Fallujah, but I have a hard time imagining that those places are as nice as where I live, and no, I don't wear a bulletproof vest. I also walk all over my neighborhood and to and from places in OTR and downtown regularly.
The West End is a fine, diverse place. We have a mix of families, young professionals, empty-nesters, and people who want to live within quick walk to OTR without paying what it takes to live in OTR. We have hard-working people who want the best for their community and care about decisions made that affect its future.
We aren't without our problems. No neighborhood is. There are places in the West End I would've venture to alone. I can say that about a lot of places, some of which I've previously called home.
It's not a perfect place by any stretch, but the attempts to mis-characterize by people who've never ventured to the West End have been misguided, lazy, and misleading. I don't know if FC Cincinnati's stadium will work in the West End. I do hope that those skeptical of my neighborhood being a place where it can work will come give my part of town, and my neighbors, a chance.
That would, of course, require actually coming to the West End. Probably for the first time ever.
Here's some stuff....
The Reds are undefeated indoors this season. Get solid starting pitching and some two-out hitting, and you have what the Reds did to the Brewers last night. Luis Castillo's final line - six and two-thirds innings/four runs - isn't indicative of how good he really was.
The final line for the Reds offense - ten runs/14 hits - is very indicative of how explosive the bats were.
They're 3-13. That's all I've got.
Lamar Jackson visited the Bengals yesterday. This is not necessarily big news on its own merits. The pre-draft process exists for as long as it does to allow teams to do due diligence and exhaust every possibility by gather as much information as possible. It's interesting to think about what the Bengals would do if Jackson is available when they're up with the 21st pick, and it's interesting to think about the interest they'd draw from other teams looking to trade if they actually had a chance to draft Jackson. But my guess is that Jackson will be off the board by the time it's the Bengals turn to pick.
What is interesting is that the Bengals allowed Lamar Jackson to saunter through the locker room while the media was allowed in, something pretty un-Bengal-like, considering how much they'll avoid even the tiniest amount of quarterback controversy to hover over their team.
They wanted Lamar Jackson to be seen. And thus talked about.
Here's some more stuff...
This story about Michael Jordan's last game, written right after Michael Jordan's last game, is very, very good.
It was fun watching Dwyane Wade channel his younger self last night. Here's a nice recap of his evening, which James Rapien has probably read 138 times.
I'm a week late on this, but here's a good look at the NFL's receiver crisis.
No way the ball is juiced, right?
Radio Show: Doing the show from Columbus this afternoon, catching Jackets/Caps game three tonight. You and I will talk Reds, some Bengals, and if there's any FC Cincinnati news, we'll talk about that. And we'll have the voice of the Blue Jackets, Bob McElligott, at 4:20. The fun starts at 3:05 on ESPN1530.