Once upon a time, I used to regularly populate this space with fresh content. Let's try to get back to that time.
Today feels like as good of a launching point as any to re-commit to making my blog great (again). Our soccer team is getting the invite to join Major League Soccer.
If you're skeptical of their chances to make this work, I wrote for The Athletic about the folly in betting against FC Cincinnati so far and why it'd be perilous to bet against them moving forward.
I remember hearing about the launch of FC Cincinnati nearly three years ago and being almost dismissive about having a new soccer team in town. In fact, I believe I rolled my eyes at the suggestion that the new club was going to be a success.
Three years later, the possibilities for FCC seem endless.
Questions do linger as the club's hopes of joining MLS become reality. Mainly, I wonder how much the affordability of tickets and the charm of Nippert Stadium have had to do with the team's success and whether more expensive tickets and a newer stadium can help in replicating what the team has enjoyed as a USL club.
Those questions, and others, can and will be answered later. Today is the rare day to celebrate a significant Cincinnati sports accomplishment, and a day for those of us who were a little cavalier about what was happening three years ago to tip our caps to the team, and the people who passionately - and even casually - support it.
It's also a testament to a "yes we can" spirit that's often been absent in our otherwise awesome city.
Maybe that spirit can stick around here for a while.
Here's some stuff...
As soccer gets set to occupy a larger presence here in town, I'm reminded of this blog I wrote during the 2014 World Cup. It was a post aimed at people who do what I do...
Most sport-talk radio hosts, like me, did not grow up playing or watching soccer. Very few, if any, have any background closely covering the sport. And so it makes some sense that there aren't that many people in my field as familiar with the sport as you would expect with football, baseball, and basketball. A majority of people talking about sports are middle-aged, which contrasts with the younger-skewing audiences tuning into the World Cup.
But we do want those young people listening to us.
In 2018, pleading ignorance won't work. I could never go on air and talk about the NFL while prefacing my opinions with "I'm not that familiar with the sport, but..." No host could get away with that. But it's almost become second nature for hosts like me to talk about how much knowledge about a growing, mainstream sport we lack before we fire off our takes on it.
Does anyone actually want to hear someone talk about something he admits he has very little knowledge about?
We're not talking about an exceptionally complex game here. You kick a ball into a goal. If you kick the ball into the goal more often than your opponent, you win. You can't use your hands, and you can't maim the guy you're playing against. Is it that hard? Sure, soccer has its intricacies and nuances like every other sport, but listening to American sports-talk radio hosts like me, you'd think we were talking about some graduate-level stuff here.
Every six year-old I know plays soccer. All understand the basic rules. If a kindergartner can grasp the game, a guy who gets paid to talk about sports for a living can grasp it too.
There's no shortage of soccer on TV, even during the other 47 months between World Cups. There's an infinite amount of resources available to learn more about the sport, its biggest events, and backgrounds of the teams and players competing. If you don't know anything about the sport, it's because you don't want to.
And if you have a job like mine, if you don't know anything about any sport, particularly one that's only going to increase in popularity, it's because you're lazy.
And a lazy host is a crappy radio host.
The blog applies as much here in 2018 as it did around the country four years ago. We need to do a better job talking about this team, and speaking solely on my behalf, I'm no longer going to be able to gloss over FC Cincinnati games speaking in generalities and talking to guests like they're explaining something that's beyond my comprehension.
My industry as a whole needs to be better when it comes to soccer. I need to be better when it comes to soccer.
The Reds had a lousy weekend. They lost two of three in Colorado, then dropped one in Arizona yesterday. Chances are, you didn't need me to remind you. Two main things from this weekend..
*Scooter Gennett is having an amazing season. I continue to wonder what he can be signed for, for (somewhat) long-term.
*I really don't want to watch Homer Bailey pitch anymore. I'd suggest he make a phone call to find out what the greatest catcher of all-time is seeing when he watches...
It’s time for Homer @Reds to change his delivery. For 4 years I’ve watched and he just shows the ball too long. No deception. I just think the change would benefit him. The hitter sees the ball for 63 ft almost.— Johnny Bench (@JohnnyBench_5) May 29, 2018
*The NBA Finals are set, and the two teams playing are the two teams playing that we thought would be playing.
I'm very okay with this, even though I think this year's Finals will look like last year's, with LeBron James putting up killer numbers and yet being helpless against what they Warriors will do to his Cavaliers.
I'm going to write more about the Finals this week, including the significance of it historically, and the odd thing that I think might happen. But here's what I think it most interesting about this year's series...
That the public - which will watch, by the way - has shifted over the past four years. I believe this run to the Finals has brought more people over the LeBron's side than ever. I'll bet that people who were rooting for the new, fun Warriors in 2015 are now rooting for LeBron as a significant underdog.
This has been a lackluster effort by me. Thanks for reading anyway. I've got a lot of irons in a lot of different fryers right now, and the blog has suffered because of it. That's inexcusable on my behalf. And I plan on changing that now.