It's July as I write this. George Vogel, a Cincinnati Standard reporter and sports anchor for local 12 News at Eleven announced that the Cincinnati Bengals training camp opens tomorrow. Yeah, I know, this is Zisk, a baseball magazine, but the training camp announcement couldn't have came at a worse time. The Cincinnati Reds are at a season low. Everybody—well, not everybody, but actually my Dad said Votto wasn't going to be the same after that knee-thingy and he was right.
It seems that despite a lot of players on the disabled list, things were looking up before the all-star game. I was actually warming up to the new manager Bryan Price, after the nasty surprise ousting of Dusty Baker. Then, in true Cincinnati professional sports fashion, everything fell apart.
You see, with the Bengals Training Camp starting-up, Cincinnatians have/will call it done with the Reds season and get 'all-about' football. That will last until the Bengals fuck-up and then talk of the Reds spring training begins and the vicious cycle begins again. The Bengals are ditched for hopes of the Reds next season. I call this The Cincinnati Cycle.
I know it’s harsh, but it's how this city’s run. We Cincinnatians are fair-weather evil bastards that are ready in a moment’s notice to throw whoever they have to under a bus or fucking street-car. We're fickle like that. We're not in it for the long-haul. Cincinnati fans are eager for championships! World Series and Super Bowl victories and all it's surrounding hoopla. We mean business.
On this fateful night of July 23, even before anyone said anything on the news, you could see it on the Reds’ faces already! It was over. Channel 12's George Vogel and his announcement of Bengals Training Camp just gave the jar a lid. In an after-game interview Bryan Price hinted at a possible turn-around after an off-day before a series at Great American Ballpark. A turn-around would be nice. That's a nice dream to have and hold onto. That's the sort of dream you build a wall around. Whereas there's still definitely room for a really tremendously awesome comeback, it's not going to happen. Trust me. Trust my
I watched the highlights and those Brewers, those fucking Brewers, just won the physical victory as well as the mental victory. Price would dare not admit it but he knows. George Vogel knows. My Dad, watching from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, in the back bedroom of an add-on trailer, watching a 15" LED flatscreen knows. I know. Now you know! Someone's got to win, and someone's got to lose. That's where the Reds enter the equation.
I'm always going to be a Reds fan and will never forget my decision to start watching Cincinnati Reds games so my Dad and I would have something to talk about besides how well my car was running and when I was going to get the oil changed. I'm glad to have made that decision. I don't follow the Bengals the way I follow the Reds despite the mental similarities that both teams seem to have. I suppose, that really, truth be told, following theReds and to a verily lesser extent, the fucking Bengals, we, the collective we, we are Cincinnati! We are Greater Cincinnati and we have learned the valuable lesson of defeat, failure and more importantly moving-on.
All of these lessons are hard to face but are essential for living here and becoming proud, bitchy Cincinnatians. There's only going to be one champion and right off the bat, no one’s chances looks good. Everybody is a potential loser whether it's admitted or not. Welcome to Cincinnati, we've been waiting for you.
I realize now, after all these words, that I thought I was better than all of this. I thought I was a much bigger fan, a more loyal fan, than to just give up so soon after the allstar break. Long before there's talk of a “magic number” but truly, I'm not. I admit it! I'm a product of my environment and a slave to my ingrained Southwestern Ohio doom-culture. I'm from Cincinnati! I am Cincinnati! I'm gonna go call my Dad who will agree and solidify my newfound admissions with a phone conversation that will last less than a minute. My Dad on the phone, is all killer and no filler. He will verify that for the 2014 season, The Reds are DONE.
So, 'fuck-it'. Let's move-on. We are Cincinnati so you don't have to be.