Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

Sunday, February 10, 2019

On Playing Political Football In Cincinnati

If you ever wanted a lesson on the ills and faults of political and social discourse, expression, and action in America, then look no further than the latest episode surrounding building a Soccer Specific Stadium here in Cincinnati.

The details of the latest confrontation to fire up the local media, social media, and varied activists & advocates are immaterial.  Yep, you read that correctly, I am saying the details don't matter. I am sure you are shocked, but what matters is just a simple fact: in 2021 FC Cincinnati is going to begin play in a new stadium in the West End.

What is happening now with the latest episode is just noise for most of us.  Yes, if you want to know about the details of how things will happen, that is certainly understandable.  It is also understandable for people to want to influence the details of how the stadium will be built.  What is not reasonable is for people trying to change the one basic fact, the Stadium will be built.

What is ironic is that the sides to this issue have reversed from another contentious project, the Streetcar.  When that was built and continuing right up to today, its opponents, including the Mayor and his cabal, are taking actions (often through inaction) to hinder or hurt the project.  Based on my observations, many (not all) of those who support the Streetcar were opposed to building the Stadium in the West End or even at all.  So, what should be happening is that both sides should be examining how the other side's shoes feel.

We didn't get much of that this week.  We instead got knee jerk reactions online and in real life.  Local media capitalized on the controversy, but they were mostly reacting to the actions of local politicians, local arts organizations, and FC Cincinnati leaders.

My interactions saw multiple attitudes that made little sense to me.  Some local politicos (office holders and activists) sought to either wage a last ditch Quixotic effort to derail the project or at least try to damage it and the Soccer Club.  Another different, but allied, segment were some of the arts supporters, who let loose on social media with virulent viewpoints that varied from being anti-sports to anti-conservative, which sports far too often is attached (unfairly). This was just unproductive on so many levels.  For the politicos, it is just wasting powder on future struggles they could wage effectively to hold the team and the Mayor accountable to deliver on their promises.  For the arts supporters it is shooting themselves in the foot.  Alienating potential arts goers is just foolish.  Even if they think that sports fans are not arts fans (which is also foolish,) you have to want any exposure to the neighborhood that you can get.  A few thousand people hanging out in Washington Park are a marketer's ideal group to be exposed to a pre-match concert or event.

The Cincinnati Ballet gets its own separate call out.  They are in direct conflict with FC Cincinnati and are using this as a ploy to pressure the club, with their latest press release to delay a zoning vote.  The problem is that they are hurting themselves.  Along with the CAA releasing the sound report without listing the possible solutions to whatever sound issue exists at Music Hall, this attitude is not going to win over any NEW patrons and may hurt some of their existing patrons.  Sure, it appeals to their base, but unlike politics, the arts really do need a wide group of people to support them.  This makes them look elitist and to be very frank, like prima donnas.  I respect the musicianship that goes into every performance at Music Hall and this may have a noticeable effect on some performances and rehearsals, but to the average person it is not going to make sense.  The average person likely wasn't the intended audience, the donors and city officials were, but doing it such a public way doesn't help in the end.

The other side of the coin were conservative FCC supporters unleashing simplistic and divisive attacks on the arts organizations themselves and local politicians.  I say conservative FCC supporters not because they are all conservative, I am a four year season ticket holder myself, but because there is what I see as a divide amongst the political stance of the supporters. It is my observation that those who hit hardest on this were suburban and critical of city government.  That logically stems from conservative viewpoints.  This must stop. Mixing politics with anything makes it suck, and sports, especially soccer (football) are greatly damaged when politics is layered on. A noticeable section of sports fans in general act like pricks. Soccer has them, but for the first three years of the club’s existence that mentality has not dominated the discourse, like it has surrounded other big sports like baseball, basketball, and American football. I hope it remains a small group and they learn to scream at the TV and radio and not spout crap online. I won’t be holding my breath.

What I believe needs to happen now is for all city leaders (Mayor and Council) to make thoughtful decisions and then either support the project or get out of the way, like the Mayor SHOULD have done for the Streetcar. The arts supporters should focus on finding solutions, not making enemies. FCC fans should be more understanding of the effects the stadium will have on the surrounding neighborhoods, not act like entitled jerks.

I don’t expect this to happen and that really disappoints me. If people continue to take the same aggressive attitudes they invoke on national issues and apply it locally,  they are going to regret the repercussions. We need to live together and make things work. Part of that is accepting when you lose. The Mayor failed at that, opponents of the stadium are failing at that now. We need the Mayor to stop blocking the traffic study and give the Streetcar better signal flow and enforcement of blocking the tracks. The arts supporters should work on solutions to issues that might arise, like scheduling.  FCC Fans should be open minded and respectful of the people who will be living, working, and playing near the stadium. Let’s be neighbors and not enemies, at least more often than we are.

What is most awkward is that FC Cincinnati is holding an event on Monday at Music Hall. I hope everyone is on their best behavior.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

What Do You Make of the CincyTrollFarm? Porn, Soccer, and Politics, Oh My!

If you use Twitter and post something that criticizes Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Smitherman, a Republican, then a "pack" of Twitter accounts comes out from under their respective rocks and starts liking and retweeting Twitter posts from a small cabal of Smitherman supporter's Twitter accounts or other aligned Conservative Twitter accounts.  Some of this pack of accounts have profiles that appear to be some type of porn advertisement that also likes local soccer. 

It is disappointing that some FC Cincinnati fan is also a right wing conservative troll that has some type of online porn business. I know there are conservatives into Soccer, but here in the US the fandom is younger and has a much more progressive fanbase.  American based sports have fans that are traditionally more conservative on the whole, so having Soccer fans without the Bud Light walking commercials is refreshing. It is more disappointing that he/she either forgets what Twitter account they are on or they are knowingly mixing their politics, porn business, and soccer fandom.  An odd mix.

That being said, recent articles about the NYCFC "Proud Boy" fans makes me concerned that there are facist idiots hanging out in the Bailey.  I am NOT talking about Republicans or Conservatives, I am talking about Fascists and misogynistic White Nationalists.  They don't belong in any supporter group.  I know of one FC Cincinnati supporter group who has been the most confrontational and quite frankly acted like juvenile assholes on many occasions over the last three years.  I hope they DO NOT let fascists into their midst.  I hope the same for all other supporters groups, but this one group has the reputation for being the closest  on the spectrum of being like European hooligans.  Soccer hooligans in Europe have in many instances been affiliated with far right wing political groups that push fascist stances. So, with no evidence, I am looking with both eyes at the group who are most likely to hold those views.  Call it unfair or not, but those in the FCC fandom community know the group in question, who sit to the far front left side of the Bailey (when facing the pitch), and keeping watch on our fellow supporters groups is part of what must be done to make Soccer in Cincinnati grow and prosper.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Die Innenstadt hat einen langen Schnurrbart

I joined an organization this year. It's not a secret group.  It's a very open group. There are few limits to joining the organization, other than $20.  You get a scarf.  You don't have to actually do anything once you join.  The group's purpose is to support FC Cincinnati.  If you like soccer and like Cincinnati, especially OTR/Downtown, then consider joining and watching some local sports.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Enjoy Opening Day!

Get out and enjoy Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds. Even if you are not going to the game find a party going on and celebrate a Red's win!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anthony Munoz and Jim Breech Support Anti-Gay Group

It isn't new news, but something people should know: at least two former Bengals Anthony Munoz and Jim Breech are supporters of CCV. CCV is the anti-gay group that helped lead the effort to ban gay marriage in Ohio, among other hardcore social conservative political efforts. Munoz and Breech have been supporting CCV since at least 1992.  Former Bengals head coach Sam Wyche also reportedly was as supporter at least in 1992.

I wonder how much gay bigotry still exists in the NFL.  I would be guessing a lot.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Why Can't an Opening Day Holiday Just Be a Council Ordinance?

Three is a big effort happening this weekend to make Red's Opening Day into an offical city holiday. My question is why would this take a ballot issue to happen? Is there something in the city charter limiting the number or reasons for a city wide holiday?

If not, I would guess there would be enough votes on Council to pass an ordinance making this official. The only hindrance to full council support might be the existence of ramifications of holidays to union contracts or city requirements, which is where a charter amendment might be necessary to limit the scope of the holiday, making it revenue neutral.

UPDATE: After reading the proposed ballot language, it sounds like it wouldn't take much for City Council to do, it has no teeth and is just "ceremonial." I don't see the need to put this on the ballot.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Entire County Should Unify In Telling Mike Brown to Shove It.

There are few things that Hamilton County voters can agree on, uniformly, but I am hoping we can all unite in telling Mike Brown "No new scoreboard for you!" Yes, the County must help maintain Paul Brown Stadium, but only what needs to be replaced. The scoreboard works just fine.  If Mike Brown wants luxury, he can pay for it himself. If he doesn't like that deal, then he can pack his bags and move the team.

I am serious. If any Tea Party person is serious about what they say, they should be the FIRST group to support the County playing hard and fast with Mike Brown. We don't need professional football. We do need public services. Brown has become a parasite.  He must pay his own way, and he has the ability to do so and still make himself plenty of money.

A unified front is the only way the public can succeed.  We need every County official on the same page.  We don't need Joe Deters out there shooting his mouth off about contracts, in hopes of currying favor with Brown.  One voice must speak and tell Mike Brown what he is going to get.  That voice must not waver, must not cave into the fear of losing the team.  Instead, that voice should publicly announce what it will pay for and then pay nothing more and "if Brown doesn't like the deal, he can move the team."

A way many people can show their personal displeasure is for current season ticket holders to give them up and buy Reds season tickets instead.  Show Mike Brown how sports teams can work well with the County and get support from the public.  Let us use the power of the purse to force Brown to either comply or just move.  I think local bars would do better sales with 65,000 more fans going to their neighborhood bar on Sundays to watch better football on TV, anyway.

Stop buying Bengals jerseys and hats and anything that will make Brown any profit.  Show him that the Customer is what matters.  Tell him to shove it.  If he wants your business, he can beg.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Miami Wins MAC Football Championship!

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand,
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay,
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.

Miami won on a last a minute touchdown pass to beat NIU 26-21. Miami was 1-11 last year and finishes the year 9-4 and bowl bound. Miami's 2nd year coach Mike Haywood won MAC Coach of the Year this year for good reason. Read about the game Here

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Miami 75 Xavier 64

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand,
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay,
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.

Read about it Here

Monday, October 25, 2010

Miami Hockey Unanimous #1 In the Nation

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand,
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay,
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.

Read about it Here

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thank You Cincinnati Reds!

If you had told me at the start of the season that the Reds would make the playoffs and lose in the first round, I would have been excited for a great season. Well, the Cincinnati Reds had a great season. They were not the best team in baseball, but they were near the top.

Last night I witnessed that loss in the first round from the upper deck at GABP and it was thrilling. The crowd was the biggest ever at GABP and they stood a majority of the game. It was what baseball is supposed to be. Our team was playing and that was enough to cheer about. We wanted the Reds to win, but it was just great being there.

The team played well this season and shows great promise. They made watching baseball fun. I want to thank the team for helping me find that fun again in baseball.

2011 will be a good year for the Reds. We have something in our baseball team most other cities don't: character. Let's build on that. Let's Go Reads.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

No-Hitter Rant

I just posted the following to my facebook page. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

Halladay was terrific yesterday, and what he did was historic. But let's not pretend that he joined Don Larsen. Larsen is still in a class of his own. Larsen pitched a perfect game, not just a no-hitter. And he did so in the World Series, not the league semi-finals. And finally (though not Halladay's fault), while I love my Reds, the 2010 Reds are not the 1956 Dodgers.


For the uninitiated, the playoffs did not even begin until 1969. Before then, the best team in the AL and the best team in the NL, based solely on season record, met in the World Series. Larsen threw a perfect game (27 batters retired consecutively, with none reaching first base safely) against the best team the National League had to offer. Halladay threw a no-hitter against the third-best team in the National League.

And with all due respect to Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, I see no one with the stature of Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, or Roy Campanella on the Reds Roster.

Here's the box score to Larsen's perfect game. Here it is for the Reds-Phillies game last night.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Let's Go Reds!

With the playoffs about to visit Cincinnati for the first time since 1995, a couple quick notes:

ESPN's Howard Bryant has a terrific profile on Dusty Baker. Go read it. You'll learn a lot. (Did you know that Dusty was on deck when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run?) For those of you who still don't like Dusty, what will it take to get you on the bandwagon? He's probably the NL Manager of the Year. You say he can't manage young players. Really? Joey Votto had an MVP season a year after leaving the field with panic attacks. You say he can't handle a pitching staff. Right. On April 2, if I'd told you the Reds would make the playoffs but Harang wouldn't be on the playoff roster, would you have believed me?

Anyone who hasn't enjoyed watching the Reds this year just doesn't have a soul. The Reds have played baseball the right way. They're fun to watch, and easy to root for.

We're going to be ignored by the national media for a while. The stories will be all Atlanta Braves, all the time. The national media love the thought of Cox winning a ring in his last season. That's OK. Just smile and let the Reds take care of business, the way they have all season.

The Enquirer is asking what you're more likely to watch on Sunday: the NL Central Champion Reds or the barely .500 Bengals. (To me, that choice is easy.) I think local people will have a harder time deciding where to spend Friday: at home watching the Reds, or at a high school football game. (Again, to me, it's an easy choice, but I'm not so sure for alumni and parents from certain high schools.)

And finally, who do you think is a better leader of young men: Dusty Baker, Marvin Lewis, Butch Jones, or Mick Cronin?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Too Much Time On Their Hands

After seeing some Reds players light up cigars to celebrate their clinching first place in the National League Central the other night, five people called the state anti-smoking hot line.


I was (and am) in favor of the smoking ban. But good grief, folks. Get a life.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

MIAMI 31, CSU 10

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand,
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay,
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.

Read about it here. I have more hope of bringing the Bell back to Oxford this year. October 9th is coming up!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Opening Day On Thursday?

The 2011 Reds Schedule was published yesterday and Opening Day is on a Thursday. Yes, it normally is on a Monday, but MLB has decided that games need to start earlier to avoid playing the World Series in November. The time of the game has not been published, but local support would be for an afternoon game, preceded by the traditional Findlay Market Opening Day Parade in the morning.

It feels kinda of cheap to move the day, but since the Reds lost the right to play the first game every year, this may be an opening to gain back that tradition.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Number 5 is Alive....

Bengals fans (including me) had better hope the offensive line provides Secret Service-like protection for Carson Palmer this season. Jordan is the backup? Really? Most people assume he only gets a roster spot because of some rider in Carson's contract. And now he's #2 on the depth chart.

There aren't many Frank Reich's in the league. But a playoff-caliber team has to have a viable backup QB to get through a couple of games if the starter goes down. Does anyone think the Bengals can win any of the games on their schedule if Jordan has to play the second half, much less start a game?

Someone better be making sure Carson is eating his Wheaties....


That's the magic number for the Reds. The Enquirer now has a permanent spot for the magic number on its sports page. Wish I had seen it before removing my socks and shoes to do the math myself.

Barring some sort of historic breakdown, the Reds will be in the playoffs this year. But this weekend's series against the Cardinals has to give us some concern about how they'll do once in the postseason. Those two losses (3-2 Friday and 4-2 Sunday) looked like playoff games will look. Big, hostile crowds. Great pitchers. Low scoring, grind-em-out games. Can the Reds win these games? Colin Cowherd is a blowhard, but he usually has a point. Maybe he does this time, too. Maybe we're just a pitcher or two away (or a season or two away for the pitchers we already have) from the Reds being ready to go deep into the postseason.

None of this changes the following: the Reds are a lot of fun to watch this year, and I'm going to be a little sad when the season ends, whether that comes following the regular season or at the end of the World Series.