Thursday, October 1, 2009

Guest blogger: Kristin says F&%#@*^ Cincy...

Editor's note: My wife, Kristin, has had about enough of Cincinnati even though I don't think she's even been there, other than that time we drove through it on our way from Memphis to Cleveland. She wanted to blog about it, but the topic really isn't appropriate for her own blog. So I said, what the heck, you can have the floor here. Without further adieu, I give you a rant by my wife.

I wasn't always like this. I went through the first 22 years of my life not knowing anything about football. My dad would fall asleep to a Sunday afternoon game, and my sister and I would try to change the channel. Back before remotes, the click of the dial turning would wake up my father, who would growl at us to switch the game back on and go find something else to do. Fall Sunday afternoons sucked.

But then, I met Paul. And I liked Paul. And I realized quickly that if I wanted to spend quality time with him, I'd have to learn more about sports. I had a good grasp of baseball since I had played softball, but we met in the fall, just as football season was starting. I also found out that Paul is a great teacher. He patiently explained downs, offense and defense, how points are scored, and how penalties are assessed.

Now I know just enough to be dangerous. I'm like Paul Blart, Mall Cop. I can't keep up with the "real" experts, but I can finagle my way through a discussion on what positions the Vikings need help with, and why a touchdown didn't count since someone's foot was just outside the line.

But I often ask ridiculous questions, mostly to annoy Paul, but sometimes I just don't get things. Like why it's not OK to have a forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage? Why not just do anything you can to get the ball to the end zone? And if there's a red zone, why isn't there a green zone or a yellow zone? And why don't more teams use the flea flicker? I LOVE the flea flicker.

Anyway, a few years ago, Paul joined some of his cousins, uncles and brothers in a pool for NFL games. They pick who will win each game, and then the tiebreaker is done by guessing the combined score of the Monday night game. There's probably a clearer way to explain it, but again, I'm not a sports junkie like Paul.

Anyway, Paul didn't do well in the pool at first. He lost a lot. And he's a sports writer. He should know more about this stuff than his lay relatives, right? [Editor's note: I covered mostly high school sports. That does not qualify one as an NFL expert, despite what my relatives think.]

One weekend I got mad he was losing and said I'd help. He was pretty desperate and let me. He did better. He didn't win, but he improved. He asked me to help the next weekend, and the next. Now we do the picks together, and we have little rituals that go along with it. I don't buy the ritual thing, but I play along. Greasing the wheels, you know.

Here are some of my quirks about doing these picks. Streaks make me itchy. If a team has been on a streak, it's bound to break. We picked the Lions last week. I knew they were due. And the Colts can't win every game, and neither can the Patriots. No one can. Or they can for a long time, but not forever. And if there's a pick-em, I go for the team with the stronger mascot. A Viking is going to beat down a Patriot. An eagle is going to claw through a raven. See? We look at a lot of things, like point spreads, experts, etc., but who knows?

This brings me to Cincy. For the past few years, Cincy has been nearly impossible to pick. They are listed as favorites, have home-field advantage, and a strong winning record, so we pick them. And they lose. Or, they look terrible the week before, and the spread has them in the gutter, and they're playing away. We don't pick them. They win. Consistently, this happens. We cannot pick them.

This has lead me to start saying, "I hate the Cincy," when it comes time to do the picks. And when we watch the scores come in on Sundays, my constant refrain is, "Hate the Cincy." It's gotten to the point that I dislike anything to do with Cincinnati.

For example, we were watching a baseball game on TV this past summer. Everything the color commentator said annoyed me. He would state the obvious. "Wow, that ball went a long way." Yes, it did. Then he'd spend lots of time talking about his playing days. "When I played ball, I never would have swung at that ball." Who cares? We're watching THIS game, not you. If I wanted to watch what you would do, I'd watch ESPN Classic. As I voiced my displeasure, I asked Paul who this bozo was.

"That's Joe Morgan. He used to play for the Reds," he said, looking up from his laptop.

"Of course he did! I HATE the Cincy!" I exclaimed. Paul was laughing.

I don't care that Cincy had the first professional baseball team, or that the city was the first to license a public television station, or that three U.S. presidents resided there. It's also the home of Pete Rose, and Jerry Springer was its mayor. Those are pretty good reasons to be suspicious of the city.

And I know a tiger could eat a Viking, but only if it made it past the swords, clubs and armor. So there, Cincy. You can be damned, at least until I can make a decent pick and win some of the money back that we keep putting into senseless sports gambling.


  1. Nice hyperlinks. I didn't see them until after Paul had posted this. Evidently Paul has an elevated self-image. But only a little elevated.

  2. I think there is a mistake in this column. I clicked on the word Paul and it was picture of Superman. By the way, what's hyperlink?

  3. It's irony, Wendy. Everybody knows I'm more like Iron Man.