Cincinnati Bengals: It’s Cleveland Week!

No, it’s not the days of Boomer v. Bernie, but the Battle of Ohio is always intensely fought. It’s the beginning of the regular season for both teams. There’s lots of news and you can get it all at Bengals 101.

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College Football Week One: Random Thoughts

Rather than attempt to form a coherent analysis each week about the happenings of college football, I thought it appropos to let art imitate life and set my writing style to the game I’m writing about. So since we’re talking about college football, let chaos reign! Here are my random musings after watching this year’s first weekend:

  • Robert Griffith III can play. Yes, I know Denard Robinson was the “darling” last year after an impressive start, but TCU’s defense isn’t Notre Dame… they’re better! Griffith could make Baylor relevant again
  • Boise State can play… with anyone. Can we please stop with all the Boise-bashing now? They absolutely owned an upper echelon SEC team in they’re own back yard.
  • Ohio State is glad to be playing football again. The Bucks looked good Saturday. Yes, Mark May, it was only Akron, but Joe Bauserman looked comfortable in the pocket, Braxton Miller was impressive during his time, and the defense was dominant. New coach Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel looked like they’ve got the Bucks playing with some fire. They did exactly what they were supposed to do against Akron. And Lou Holtz was right: Mark May is an idiot.
  • You’re not in Clifton any more, Brian Kelly. Welcome to the big time. You wanted the pressure of Notre Dame, you got it. And you got it without as much talent as you had at UC. Good luck with that.
  • Preseason rankings are stupid. As another writer pointed out today, Oregon was stupid to play LSU in the first week. They should have blown out a couple of cupcakes first. Then after losing to LSU, they wouldn’t have dropped nearly as far and would still be on the outskirts of the BCS conversation. Instead, Chip Kelly and company are out of the national title picture. Dumb.
  • Maryland either needs a new state flag or to pass legislation outlawing those godawful uniforms their state university was sporting last night.
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Bengals Announce 53 Man Roster

Who made the final cut? Go to Bengals 101 to get the lowdown on this year’s stars in stripes.

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The First Saturday in September

Man, could I use one of these guys today. Usually, with the exception of Christmas Day, this Saturday of Labor Day weekend is the most exciting of the year. College football is back. Only this year, I’m in need of a mind wipe. It’s really hard to get pumped up for the band and the traditions with the pall of this past offseason hanging overhead.

I want to hear fight songs and see cheerleaders, but that can’t seem to break through the tattoos, the “bag men”, and FBI investigations. I should be thinking about Lee Corso and Lou Holtz, but they can’t get past Nevin Shapiro and Eddie Rife.

In a couple of hours in Columbus, the band will make its ramp entrance, the drum major will arch his back and touch his plume to the turf, and the strains of “Buckeye Battle Cry” will reverberate through the ancient Horseshoe.

All over the nation, the tailgaters have returned to their parking lot posts and campuses are electric with the return of this great game. And somewhere, some walk-on player who dreamed his entire life of running onto the field wearing those colors is trying desperately to calm the butterflies that probably seem like dragons in his stomach.

That’s what I want to have on my mind, but the dirty “business” of the game keeps crowding that out. So while I’ll still enjoy the bands and the pomp and pageantry that returns each Fall just ahead of the turning leaves, it’s changed for me.

Christmas Day is still magical, but not nearly what it was before I became aware of all the crass commercialism associated with it. The same has happened with me and college football. It’s still something I look forward to, but not with the same youthful exuberance I once had.

Can somebody call Will and Tommy Lee and see if they can bring one of those things over?

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Bengals-Colts Preview

The Bengals and Colts wrap up the 2011 preseason tomorrow night at Paul Brown Stadium. For what to look for go to Bengals 101. For the Colts perspective, go to Colts 101. Yes, I’ve been schizophrenic this week.

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A Message From the 2011 Ohio State Buckeyes

In one week, the off season will be history. It’s time for football.

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Cincinnati and Indianapolis: A Tale of Two Owners and How They Impacted their Cities

Both are rustbelt cities with NFL franchises and have similar histories. Read at Bengals 101 how Cincinnati and Indianapolis have taken very different paths and how Mike Brown and Jim Irsay have affected their two cities.

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