About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blackout, Brownout Give NFL a Black Eye

The most exciting wins the Cincinnati Bengals have had in decades went unseen by all but the relative handfull of fans in the 75-mile radius of Cincinnati.

The majority of followers of the NFL's least successful franchise in terms of on-field performance missed the action.  They had to settle for the Cleveland Browns game instead.

The irony is the Browns have a decent following in the Queen City.  Those fans that never switched allegiance from the team by the lake are just as happy that the Bengals stubborn owner won't voluntarily lift the blackout of home games for the sake of 15% of the empty seats that were left unsold.

Before the Bengals played its first season in 1968, families in Cincinnati gathered around the TV and watched the Cleveland Browns. Television built such a following that even bringing an NFL franchise to Cincinnati could not shake the loyalty of many Cincinnati football fans. There are still, 44 years later, Browns fans all over Cincinnati

The community made a $400 million  investment propping up a franchise that gives nothing back to the community.

Mike Brown, the largest welfare recipient in the state of Ohio, not only fails to give back to the community,  he misses a golden opportunity to build his team's following.  His shortsightedness is leading to the shrinking of the team's loyal fan base.

Television made the NFL.  The lack of televison will destroy it.  The group of capitalists that act like socialists prop up poorly run organizations, like the Bengals and Arizona Cardinals.  Those two franchises are famous for pocketing the revenue shared by the league instead of investing in the players required for improved play.

The NFL has relaxed the requirements for ticket sales that trigger a local blackout.  Hosting ownership now has the option to lift the blackout.  Brown's failure to do so erodes the loyalty that ensure future ticket sales.  To say it is shortsighted is an understatement.

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Colerain Football Family Puts in a Long Day

Dan Lozier's appetite is gone.  He won't waste away any time soon but his parental nerves are keeping him away from the table.

Dan's son Colin is a member of the University of Cincinnati Bearcat football team that played Big East leader Rutgers at Nippert Stadium at high noon Saturday.  The Bearcats lost a defensive struggle 10-3.

Twin sons Corey and Casey take that same field for the Colerain Cardinals against the Moeller Crusaders to decide who goes to the Ohio State Division I Football Final Four.

"It is nerve racking," Lozier said, as he pensively strolled the Nippert Stadium gridiron more than 90 minutes before the high school matchup.  "It is very difficult to stay focused."

The youngest of his five sons put Lozier into a thoughful, reflective mood.

"I was just thinking that this will be the last time that we will play a high school in Cincinnati for a while," Lozier.  "These are the youngest of my five sons and we had one on the 2004 team (State Champion)."

Colin, a UC senior, walked on to the Cincinnati roster.  A linebacker, Colin Lozier, was used as a fullback on goal line offense in the Sugar Bowl at the end of his freshman season.  Lozier has appeared in two games for the Bearcats as a middle linebacker.  He is currently working to gain back playing time on special teams.

"Colin made it back from Temple at halftime last week to watch his brothers play," Lozier said.

The twins waited three years to earn playing time on a Colerain defense that only had three starters return from last season.  The pair worked their way to the starting lineup, one at linebacker, the other at defensive end.  Casey was second in the Greater Miami Conference with four quarterback sacks. Corey had 2.5 sacks, recovered two fumbles and scored two touchdowns.

The Colerain defense is undersized and the Lozier twins are no exception but the defense plays very well as a team with solid fundamentals.

"We are undersized but there are very coachable kids on the defense," said Lozier, who leads the team prayer before the Cardinals take the field.

"This team is special," said Lozier.

The long day of football has to be special for him as well.

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Rutger's Shuts Down Bearcats

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights pulled off a rare defensive feat skunking the Bearcats in a hard fought defensive, 10-3 win.

The Bearcats scored in 90 straight games. The last shutout of the Bearcats since West Virginia blanked the Cats on November 9, 2005. 
The only points Rutgers needed came on a 71-yard pass play from Gary Nova to Mark Harrison.

Other than the big pass, UC played its best defensive game, intercepting a pair of passes and blocking a field goal attempt to frustrate the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers defense was aided by  a record setting day by sophomore Savon Huggins.  He carried the ball for a school record 41 times for 179 yards in relief of the Big East's second leading rusher, Jawan Jamison. The Rutgers starting tailback was limited to four carries for 39 yards.  He was slowed with a bad ankle.

Tony Miliano kicked a 36-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to avoid the whitewash.

Rutgers Breaks Through in the Second Quarter to Earn Halftime Lead

The Cincinnati Bearcats ran into a very stingy Rutgers defense.

The Cats best scoring chance went wide right on a 34-yard field goal attempt by Tony Miliano.

Camerron Cheatham intercepted a pass by Gary Nova at the Cincinnati 17 to thwart the Scarlet Knights best scoring chance.

Nova made up for the gaffe.  Ryan Logan gave Nova a chance when he picked off Brendon Kay's attempt at a touchdown pass at the Rutgers' three yard line.  Nova found Mark Harrison behind the Cincinnati secondary for a 71-yard touchdown pass, four plays later.

The score with 6:13 left in the half was the only score of the half.

Dominque Battle intercepted a pass in the end zone to save the Bearcats from a larger halftime deficit.  The interception came on a third and eight from the Cincinnati 18 with 32 seconds left.  Rutgers would have probably attempted a 35-yard field goal without the pick.

Rutgers operated without its leading rusher, Jawan Jamison, for most  of the half.  Jamison, who came into the game with a tender ankle, had just two carries for 29 yards.

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Cincinnati Takes on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights For Big East Lead

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights invade Nippert Stadium with a 4-0 Big East record.  Cincinnati is 3-1 and would forge a tie, while putting themselves in a great position to earn the conference's automatic BCS bid.

Rutgers and Cincinnati boast the top two Big East rushers.

Cincinnati's George Winn leads the conference with 108.89 yards per game.  Rutgers' Jawan Jamison is second with 105.89 yards per game.

Rutgers has a top-notch defense.  It is in the top 25 in five major defensive categories; scoring defense 5th, total defense 14th, pass defense 25th, pass efficiency defense 17th, and rushing defense 17th.  The Knights have allowed just five touchdowns on the ground and just 14 overall.

Two former Rutgers players are on the roster of Cincinnati's pro teams.

Running back Brian Leonard plays for the Cincinnati Bengals.  Todd Frazier, who just finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, plays for the Cincinnati Reds.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Xavier Bests Butler in Made for TV Marathon

ESPN brought together two long-time rivals in a late afternoon matchup at the Cintas Center.

The Butler Bulldogs and Xavier Musketeers have a rivalry that goes back to the days of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.  The pair battled for 16 seasons.

The Bulldogs are one season removed from back-to-back appearances in the NCAA final games. Led by youthful coach Brad Stevens, 36, who can pass for half that age, Butler lost to Duke in the 2010 final game 61-59 and to Connecticut 53-41 in 2011.

The Bulldogs joined Xavier in the Atlantic-10 this season.

Xavier defeated the Bulldogs 62-47 behind the scoring and rebounding of Jeff Robinson (17 pts, 8 rbs) and Travis Taylor (15 pts, 9 rbs).

Xavier won its third straight meeting betweeb the teams.  The ESPN Tip-Off Marathon matchup is a non-conference game.  The two will meet on March 9, 2013 at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in the conference game.

Xavier built a 36-29 halftime lead by shooting 58 percent from the floor, including 3-for-7 from three-point range.

Butler was never closer than four points at the 18:00 minute mark.  Xavier put on a 10-1 run to give them a cushion, eventually stretching the lead to 60-40 with 4:28 to go.

Travis Taylor quietly joined the Thousand Point Club at 1,010 career points that included two seasons at Monmouth University.

Xavier improves to 2-0.  Butler is 1-1.  The Bulldogs own a win over Elon in the Maui Classic.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Xavier Beat Outmanned Fairleigh Dickinson in Season Opener

The Xavier Musketeers put seven players in double figures to beat the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights 117-75,

Both teams were missing players and one Xavier player was missing teeth but played anyway.

Fairleigh Dickinson threw former Cincinnati Princeton High School star, Lonnie Harris, off the team and suspended four others, including three starters.  Xavier's Semoj Christon from Winton Woods High School was in Christ Hospital.  He collided with St. Xavier grad Tim Whelan in practice, costing the 5'9" Whelan two front teeth.

Dee Davis (22), Travis Taylor (20), Brad Redford (19), Jeff Robinson (16), James Farr (14), Erik Stenger (12) and Justin Martin (11) were the double figure scorers.

The Knights were led by Lonnie Robinson (20) and Melquan Bolding (17), the only two starters left after the disciplinary action.

Xavier jumped out to a 68-32 halftime lead and emptied the bench.

Xavier shot a whopping 62 percent from three-point range with Redford making six  of his seven long range shots.  Davis made five of his seven three-point attempts.

Xavier took advantage of missing Knight center Kinu Rochford by out rebounding Fairleigh Dickinson 41 to 11.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Winn Big in UC's Big Win

George Winn ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns as Cincinnati stopped a two-game losing streak, besting the Syracuse Orangemen 35-24.

And by the way, Winn fooled the Syracuse defense by completing a fourth and one pass for his first career touchdown pass.

On the first play of the second quarter, Winn took the hand-off from Munchie Legaux and appeared to rush toward the middle of the line.  He stopped abruptly and lobbed a pass to a wide open Travis Kelce, who scraped off a block and ran untouched into the end zone to complete a 37-yard pass play.

"It was crazy," Syracuse Jay Bromley said. "I saw him (Winn) slow down and thought, 'why is he slowing down'.  It was crazy.  You can't prepare for a play like that.  You just have to take it in the butt and keep playing."

The two teams traded scores most of the afternoon. After Jerome Smith put the Orangemen up 24-21 at the 6:39 mark of the third quarter, the UC defense became stingy.  Syracuse amassed 408 yards in the first three quarters but just 71 the rest of the game.

Kelce caught his second TD pass of the game from backup quarterback, Brendon Kay, with 2:03 left in the quarter.  Less than two minutes later, Winn finished the day's scoring with a two-yard plunge.

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Butch Jones Goes to His Bullpen to Put Up Two Touchdowns.

Munchie Legaux started for Cincinnati against Syracuse.  Jordan Luallen and Bredon Kay also played at the quarterback position for Cincinnati.

Cincinnati and Syracuse traded 75-yard drives.  Munchie Legaux led the Bearcats on the first one.  He apparently scored on a three yard run but a reviewed play revealed that he fumbled on the six-INCH line.  George Winn ran it in for the Bearcats.

Jerome Smith's one-yard run capped Syracuse's 75-yard march to a score.

Kay answered after UC recovered a fumble on the Orangemen's 15.  He found Travis Kelce on a 13-yard pass to put Cincinnati ahead 28-24 after three quarters.

Trick Play Gives Bearcats a Brief Lead

Facing a fourth and one from the Syracuse 37,  Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux handed off to George Winn on a plunge up the middle.

But Winn stopped, jumped and lobbed the ball to Travis Kelce, who slipped behind the closing defensive backs.  Winn's first career touchdown pass gave the Bearcats a 14-10 lead, one play into the second quarter.

Syracuse drove 67 yards in eight plays but Colerain grad Brandon Mills blocked the 25-yard field goal attempt.

However, Syracuse recovered Ralph David Abernathy IV's fumble that thwarted Cincinnati's 69-yard drive at the Orangemen's 11 yard line.

Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib led the Orangemen on a 10-play, 89-yard drive.  Nassib's 14-yard pass to Alec Lemon put Syracuse ahead 17-14 at the half.

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Turnovers Lead to Scoring In UC - Syarcuse First Quater

Syracuse's Jeremiah Kobena fumbled the game-opening kickoff to give the Bearcats possession on the Syracuse 28 when Jeremy Graves recovered.  George Winn ran for five yards to put UC up 7-0.

Syracuse got the touchdown back when Anthony McClung fumbled a punt that the Orangemen recovered on the Bearcats 11.  Ryan Nassib's one-yard run tied the game.

Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux's pass was intercepted by Ri'Shard Anderson leading to a 24-yard field goal by Ross Krautman.

Syracuse 10 Cincinnati 7

Cincinnati Takes On Historic Foe in Syracuse

The Syracuse Orangemen have had an important impact on professional football in Ohio.

Jim Brown, the Hall of Fame running back for the Cleveland Browns, played for the Orangemen.  Brown excelled in the Syracuse backfield and starred in Lacrosse as well.  Ernie Davis followed Brown at Syracuse.  He was drafted by the Browns with the first selection in the 1962 draft.  Cleveland traded for the right to pick first in the draft.  Unfortunately, Davis contracted leukemia and never played a down in Cleveland.  He died of the disease on May 18, 1963.

Davis was the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy.

Brown led Cleveland to its last NFL Championship in 1964.  Brown retired after nine seasons as the NFL's all-time leading rusher.  He became an actor and is in both the College and Pro Halls of Fame.

Both Cincinnati Bengals broadcasters, Dan Hoard and former Bengal lineman, Dave Lapham, graduated from Syracuse.

Other notable Syracuse alumni include former Miami Dolphins fullback, Larry Csonka, Oakland Raider owner, Al Davis and current vice president of the United States, Joe Biden.

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