I had a mild case of FOMO yesterday, watching on TV the #MLS2CINCY celebrations at Rhinegeist and at Fountain Square yesterday. Sometimes, life and work get in the way, and yesterday both got in the way of me being able to join the party.
And if you've spent any time checking out this space at all, you know I love a party.
I got to watch a lot of the coverage, though, and as much as I wanted to be a part of what was happening, it was fun to watch people actually celebrate something sports-related in our town.
The thing I couldn't help but notice as I watched on TV were the faces. Not just the pure expressions of joy, but how young they were.
I've talked before about watching a 2014 US Men's World Cup match on Fountain Square as a total soccer newbie and being struck by not only the size and passion of the crowd gathered to watch on the big screen at the Square, but the demographics.
I was 36 years-old at the time, and I might have been the oldest person there.
I'm sure there were people of all ages getting after it on Fountain Square yesterday, clad in their FCC scarfs and adorned head-to-toe in orange and blue, but overwhelmingly, the folks celebrating the big announcement were, again, younger than me. Lots of people in their 20s and 30s, people who've grown up with this sport, and who've grown up not really knowing what it's like to celebrate significant Reds and Bengals victories. It's this demo that FC Cincinnati has connected so well with, and it's this demo that will ensure that the growing passion for soccer in this city and this country is not going anywhere.
It's this demo that will ensure FC Cincinnati's success.
Here's some stuff...
I wrote two different soccer-related things for The Athletic yesterday. One was about how FC Cincinnati has consistently proven doubters and skeptics wrong.
I'd love it if you read the entire thing, but I believe strongly in this passage (which, I guess, is why I wrote it)....
Damn, it was refreshing. Man, it was deserved. And good God, was it overdue.
Forget for a minute the mechanics of how FC Cincinnati’s move to Major League Soccer will work. To hell for now with how easy the transition will be. And spare us for the time being the details of how the new stadium will be built. This was, and is, a moment that needs to be preserved, at least for a little while longer. It’s a moment about dreams being realized, goals being accomplished and limitless optimism for what’s next.
It’s the reward for the franchise and the people who run it, of course, but it’s also a well-earned chance for loyal supporters that insisted this team could work.
More than anything though, this moment is the justification to finally celebrate something that can’t be taken away. It’s a reason to feel good, finally, and something to be proud of, at last.
Most importantly, it’s been a reminder of what sports are supposed to do for us and the way they’re supposed to make us feel.
Tuesday’s announcement wasn’t merely significant. It was an absolute necessity.
I think I nailed it. Maybe. Anyway...
Regardless of how into soccer you are, isn't that the main thing about yesterday? Celebrating something? The realization of a vision? The accomplishment of a goal? Togetherness? Sports are supposed to give us those things.
Yesterday, it did.
Reds lose. Tough one to watch late last night in Arizona. After the big four-game sweep in LA, we've returned to the realization that the Reds are still pretty lousy.
A question: Are we still sure the Reds are going to avoid 100 losses?
They need to play .415 ball (44-62) the rest of the way, with starting pitching that's not getting better, an outfield that's not producing, and the genuine chance that some of the team's better players won't be here for the push to avoid 100 defeats.
I'm not sure it matters whether the Reds lose 100 games or, say, 97 of them, but weeks ago, everyone was quick to dismiss the idea that they'd hit the century mark.
I'm not so sure it isn't going to happen.
Thank God for that Dodgers series though, right.
Homer's new home. It's likely to be the bullpen, according to C. Trent Rosecrans. It's fair to wonder whether he or Sal Romano should be bumped from the rotation, with Anthony DeSclafani's return imminent. Romano, coming into today's start against the Diamondbacks, has an ERA is 12.79 over his last three starts.
1) Romano can still be sent to Louisville.
2) Moving Bailey to the bullpen, to me at least, is more about the thinking that's going into it. Mainly, the fact that he's making so much money isn't precluding them from making what might be the best baseball decision.
That's a step in the right direction.
Mez is raking. Devin Mesoraco is surging, with an OPS of 1.208 and four homers in his last 40 plate appearances. He says the credit belongs to his new hitting coach in New York...
Roessler saw that Mesoraco was hunched over too much, causing him to be late on pitches. The catcher straightened up, a “pretty big adjustment,” he said, and the hits started coming. On Monday, he hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning of the Game 1 loss, his fifth home run since the May 8 trade from the Reds. All the homers have come in the eighth or later.
“It’ll continue to be a process, but getting at-bats helps, getting everyday playing time helps,” he said. “I think getting some confidence. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a good player, so you have some days where there is more doubt than others.”
My thoughts are....
A) Good for him. I like Devin Mesoraco.
B) Tucker Barnhart deserved the playing he was getting.
C) It's worth pointing out that opposing basestealers are abusing Devin, having swiped 11 bags without being thrown out.
D) Uh, Don Long? Hello?
Here's some other stuff...
Andy Dalton's seat is getting warm. Marvin Lewis' seat is getting hot. Of course, neither of those things are true, but it's that time of year again.
I ask an important question: Do the Reds have to trade Scooter Gennett?
No Reds or NBA tonight, so I'm all-in on the pucks this evening. I needed this... A Bandwagon Guide to the Unlikely Capitals-Golden Knights Stanley Cup Final
Radio Show: Preston Brown of the Bengals at 3:45. More FC Cincinnati/MLS reaction, our continuing search for a World Cup team to root for. And the market that I think is under-served in this city. The fun starts at 3:05 on ESPN1530.