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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reds Making Changes To Great American Ball Park For All-Star Games


Steve Watkins of the Business Courier details changes the Reds are making to Great American Ball Park for the 2015 season, in which Cincinnati hosts the All-Star Game.

See Watkins article by clicking the link below.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Musketeers Out Run Racers


The Murray State Racers are picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference but the Xavier Musketeers were too big and fast for them.  As evidence I offer you the 89-62 final score, the fourth win of the young season for the young Musketeers.

Murray fell to 2-2 after a close loss to Houston at home and wins over Middle Tennessee and Brescia.

"We absolutely decimated them on the glass," Xavier coach Chris Mack said.

Xavier's 56-23 rebound edge turned into 16 fastbreak points and 27 second chance points.  Xavier had more offensive rebounds (27) than Murray State had total rebounds (23).

Trevon Bluiett scored 19 points, the first Xavier freshman to score 16 or more in their first four games since Mark Lyons did it in 2009.

"He's a great teammate," Mack said of Bluiett. "He's humble and a coachable kid.  He has to get better on the defensive end, but we're glad he's on our team."

The two seniors on the team, Matt Stainbrook and Dee Davis scored in double figures.  Stainbrook scored 19.  Davis had 13 points and five assists.  Jalen Reynolds scored 12 points and garnered 11 rebounds.  James Farr scored 10 and led all rebounders with 14 rebounds.

Xavier had a 20-point lead at the half and expanded it in the second half by seven.

Potential OVC Player of the Year, Cameron Payne led all scorers with 23 points and led the Racers with seven rebounds.

Xavier freshman sharpshooter J.P.Macura went down hard trying a layup after a steal.  Murray State senior Terron Gilmore fouled Macura in the air.  Macura landed hard on his tailbone and had to leave the game.  The officiating crew ejected Gilmore for the foul and Jalen Reynolds for leaving the bench.

"It wasn't a flagrant foul," Mack said.  "J.P. was in the air and Gilmore tried to block the shot, he just hit him with his body.  You can't change momentum once you're in the air.  I told Steve (Murray coach Prohm) that.  Jalen left the bench.  He didn't go after Gilmore.  He went to aid Macura, but rules are rules.  The good thing is it is just for this game and Jalen will be able to play all the games in Anaheim."

The officiating crew of Mike Roberts, Roger Ayers and Doug Shows took control immediately.  The Cintas Center was the scene of an ugly fight between Xavier and the University of Cincinnati in 2011.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Xavier Fells Jumberjacks For Third Win


For the second time in three games the Xavier Musketeers defeated Lumberjacks of Stephen F Austin, 81-63..

There are only two teams in Division 1 with that nickname.  Last Friday Xavier defeated the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 93-60.

These Lumberjacks wood, excuse me would prove to be a much tougher opponent.  The smaller Lumberjacks shot 25 3-point shots, making 10 of them to hang with the Musketeers.

At the 15:19 mark of the first half, Xavier had to look at its first deficit of the year.  They never trailed Northern Arizona or Long Beach State in their first two wins.

Xavier's largest lead in the first half was eight points, finishing the half with a seven-point lead.  The :Lumberjacks were within five points at 66-61 with 5:44 left in the game.

Xavier pulled away from there with 15 unanswered points fueled by Dee Davis' 12 assists.

SFA won the Southland Conference last season with an 18-0 record.  They had a 14-game road winning streak snapped at the Cintas Center.

"That was a tournament team, in my mind," Xavier coach Chris Mack said.  "That is one of the hardest playing team the Cintas Center has ever seen."

Matt Stainbrook scored a team-high 20 points.  Freshman Trevon Bluiett scored 16 and Remy Abell contributed 12 points.

The Lumberjacks' Jacob Parker led all scorers with 21 points and five 3-point shots out of 10 tries.  Thomas Walkup scored 17 and Ty Charles added 10.

SFA outrebounded the taller Musketeers 40 - 36 with 16 coming on the offensive end.

"That was disappointing," Mack said.  "Our guards at this point of the season don't want to box out."

"We have to get better," said Stainbrook, who grabbed six rebounds.  "We can't let them show more heart the us."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gunner Kiel Out Guns Pirates Shane Carden

Gunner Kiel and Shane Carden both threw for more than 400 yards in a shoot out at Paul Brown Stadium but it was Andrew Gantz and a fumble return by Terrell Hartsfield that sealed a 54-46 Cincinnati victory over East Carolina.

With 4:47 left Kiel threw his fourth touchdown to seemingly ice the game for the Bearcats but Carden passed the Pirates down the field in 57 seconds to bring East Carolina to within a score. Carden missed a two-point conversion attempt.

Cincinnati needed to run out the last 3:34 to ice a 45-40 victory.  That didn't happen.

Kiel fumbled on a fourth and two play from the Bearcats' 33.  Lamar Ivey recovered on the Cincinnati 27.

"It was a stupid call," Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville admitted.  The Bearcats were setting up a pooch kick by Kiel unless the Pirates gave them a certain look on defense.  They got the look they wanted but not the results.

The Pirates had 2:03 to score the go-ahead touchdown.  They ran eight plays, two of which Cincinnati was called for pass interference.  The Bearcats thought they had a stop on a fourth and goal from the seven but Howard Wilder was flagged, giving Carden a chance to run it in from the two.  The second two-point try fell incomplete.

The quick score left Kiel with 57 seconds to get the Bearcats into field goal range from his own 35.

Kiel found Casey Gladney for 15 yards.  He found Mekale for four and 16 yards on the next two plays to put the ball on the East Carolina 30 with a timeout left.

A clock play and two incompletions left Cincinnati with a fourth down and 19 seconds in the game.

Gantz kicked a career-high 47 yard field goal with nine ticks left on the clock to give the Bearcats a 48-46 lead.  The freshman from Centerville, Ohio had never kicked a game winner before at any level.

"It is something everybody dreams of.  I can't describe the feeling," Gantz said.

East Carolina tried a hook and lateral play but the last lateral fell loose at the Pirates 20.  Hartsfield scooped it and jogged into the end zone for the final six points of the game.  UC celebrated its sixth win of the season rather than tacking on the extra point.

Though Carden had just two touchdowns throw in the game, he set up rushing touchdowns by Breon Allen, Marquez Grayson and Justin Hardy in addition to his own running score.

Cincinnati improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference to tie Memphis, who beat the Bearcats 41-14 on October 4.

East Carolina suffered its second straight conference loss.  The Pirates are 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the AAC.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gunslingers Gunner Kiel and Shane Carden Shoot It Out At PBS

Shane Carden from Houston, Texas is the only quarterback in East Carolina University to pass for more than 4,000 yards (4,139) in a season and 10,000 yards (10,046) and counting in a career.

Bengals fans should note that Jeff Blake, who quarterbacked the Bengals in the mid-90's played for the Pirates.

Gunner Kiel from Columbus, Indiana has had an astounding start of his career with the Bearcats in spite of a pair of rib injuries.

Kiel is the only quarterback in the 127-year history of Cincinnati football to pass for four or more touchdowns in three straight games.  He threw for six against Toledo in his first game,

Only four Cincinnati quarterbacks have thrown four or more touchdowns in more than one game in their career.

Zach Collaros threw four or more on four occasions in a two-year period.  Greg Cook, another former Bengal quarterback threw four or more touchdowns twice.  Brendon Kay had four games. Gene Rossi had two games.

Kiel is the only quarterback with at least three such games in one season.

Xavier Makes Big Changes At The Cintas Center


The Business Courier's Steve Watkins outlines interesting changes to enhance the fan experience at Xavier basketball games this season.

Xavier opens the season against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks Friday at the Cintas Center at 7:00pm.

Among them is an extensive selection of craft beers.

See Watkin's article by clicking on the link below......



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lauren Hill Wins The Day


Lauren Hill played just 43 seconds and scored four points in Mount St. Joseph University Lions' 66-55 win over the Hiram College Terriers..

We will forget the score.  We will forget who won.  We won't forget Lauren or her fight and that is how she wants it.

"I am so thankful for the awareness," Hill told a room full of sports reporters, who had the rare privilege of writing a story more important than a college basketball game. "This shouldn't end with this game.  When I was first diagnosed in October, I felt so alone."

She wasn't alone on Sunday.

Hill played high school basketball at Lawrenceburg High School just 11 miles from Mt. St. Joe.  She committed to play for first year coach Dan Benjaman in October.

"Forty-nine days later, she told me that she was diagnosed with DIPG," Benjamin said.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma is a type of high-grade glioma, a brain tumor that comes from cells called glia that surround, protect, and otherwise support the nerve cells in the brain.

It is found in school age children most often with 150 diagnosed every year.  Lauren is older than most patients.  She has been able to articulate what younger children are going through.

Mariko Dewire MD, a neural oncologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital is Lauren's physician.

"We are currently learning about the biology of these tumors," Dewire said.  "We hope to find drugs to find drugs that are specific to its mutations and pathways."

Hill is sensitive to light and loud noises.  She wore sunglasses and ear plugs when she was off the court.

Hill scored on the opening tip off, a set play that Benjamin and his team has been working on in practice.  Benjamin shared with the Hiram College head coach, Emily Hays.

"They all played their parts beautifully," Benjamin said.  He was not surprised.

"Lauren is strong.  She has come to practice looking tired but once she was on the court, she found energy," said Benjamin, who almost resigned because of personal problems.  He came back because Lauren Hill insisted that if he wasn't the coach, she wasn't going to play.

The Mount controlled the tip and Lauren Hill drove to the basket left-handed and put the ball in easily with her left hand.  Her dominate hand has always been her right.

Only 17 seconds elapsed.  Timeout was immediately called to make substitutions.

Tara Dennis scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds for the Lions, who led 51-30 with 6:03 left in the game.  Helped by Merideth Harfiel's 13 points and Bristyl's 14 the Mount stretched its lead to 64-53 when Erica Walsh hit a jump shot with 1:44 left. 

The Terrier's leading scorer Keisey Koskinen cut the lead to nine with 1;20 left but after a missed shot by Taylor Ratliff with 29 seconds left.  Hartfiel collected the rebound and passed the ball to Brilyn Webb, who frantically called timeout as the crowd chanted, "Lauren Hill."

There was 25 seconds left and Hill returned to the court.  Hill took the inbounds pass and missed her shot but Dennis grabbed the rebound.  Dennis gave the ball back to Hill who put the ball in the basket to put the Mount up 66-55 as time ran out.

Brooke Desserich lost a daughter to DIPG.  She spearheads a charity, A Cure Starts Now, to help find a "home run cure."

"When I met Lauren last June, she really wanted to be that voice for children, who couldn't speak for themselves," Desserich said,  "It was amazing to listen to her.  She felt a weight of responsibility to speak for these kids and that' what moved me."

"This isn't the end of the support," Hill said. "I want people to keep supporting it. I want people to keep with it. I don't think I will ever be aware of how many people this effective.  Now that more people know about DIPG, I'm so happy that more people are aware of it.. I'm probably not going to be around to see it but its going to help a lot of people.  It is going to help everybody."

Lauren Hill Helps Us All Feel This Moment


It is a cliché.

You have to live in the moment because you're not guaranteed tomorrow.

Lauren Hill is guaranteed very few tomorrows with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. All she wanted to do was to feel alive, to feel the thrill of taking the basketball floor with her college teammates.

Doctors don't think she will make it to December and her motor skills are declining quickly.  She feels dizzy when she is ready to shot the basketball.  She is right-handed and losing that side of her body.

The benefit of her desire has allowed others of us to feel alive.  Sometimes we don't we just go through our lives but really don't cherish it or even feel it.

Hiram College, Mt. St. Joseph University and host Xavier University made sure that as many people as possible could feel this with Lauren.  Hiram College and Mt. St. Joseph University will play a basketball game to celebrate the short life and future of a typical college student athlete.

Today Lauren knows that even in a bleak future she is not alone.

The outcome of the game will be recorded but soon forgotten.  The feeling of being alive will be remembered forever.