Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Cincinnati Cycle - Unabridged

It's July 2014 as I write this. Wedged in-between the second Fourth of July and the third, final, Fourth of July, you got whats called either Memorial Day and/or Labor Day (each are so similar anymore aren't they?) then you got the 'real' Fourth of July... It was just announced on the Cincinnati TV station known as 'Local 12 News at Eleven' (WKRC), of which is my favorite evening news choice at 22 o' clock. Local 12 News at Eleven actually appears on their sister station. An affiliate called Star 64 (WSTR) that doesn't have it's own news cast, so Local 12 News at Eleven shows at 2200 despite the title sequence remaining the same saying "News at Eleven" when it's really just 10'o'clock, I know, thats fucky, but that's how it is in these parts... Then, at it's 'regular' time at 2300, Local 12 News at eleven is shows again.

I suspect that they do the 2200 news then just re-play their tape again at 2300 although I can't varify that. I should varify it, true. It would be easy to do, but yet, I haven't. Why would I want to watch a (suspected) repeat of the news? What would I achieve in proving the point? In Cincinnati (as probably in most American Cities) news basically just repeats in the evening in half-hour increments giving updates small-bite by bite (if there's anything to update) giving you enticing bits of mystery so you will tun in at 1700 and 1800 to learn more about that banister collapse or drive-by shooting or home invasion. Cincinnati has it all when it cones to crime.

So, at 2300, after already watching a Local 12 News at Eleven already, I then turn on Channel 5 (WLWT) in hopes of catching errors or exposing differentiating opinions to my wife? Cincinnati's first TV station, Channel 5 whose affiliation with 'The Big One' 700 WLW-AM 'Talk-Radio' (which should be called 'listen radio') is legendary. 700 WLW boast 50,000 watts of power--as much as the FCC allows--or something close to that--of which (if the atmosphere is just right) you can hear as far away as Atlanta, Georgia... But tonight, July 23rd, I'm not going to tune in to Channel 5 at approx, 2300 because  I'm mad. So mad that the rerun of Seinfeld that follows Local 12 News at Eleven at 2200 on Star 64 is going un-noticed and under appreciated, even if I've seen the episode countless times before. I still laugh at all the same things and even some newer things I didn't notice before, but not now! On Local 12 News at Eleven at 2200, the Sports segment is the final segment of a thirty-minute broadcast. I suspect this is an industry standard, but I don't feel up for fact-checking it right now--the internet is over there a ways... And there's only so much internet left anyway right! So, I will let it be. That is my final answer.

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 (not a football one) 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 my Dad sez Votto wasn't going to be the same after that knee-thingy and he was right. 

It seems that despite a good attendance 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 that I didn't feel was worthy. Then, in true Cincinnati professional sports fashion, everything falls 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 its harsh, but it's how this cities ran... We Cincinnatians are fair-weather evil bastards that are ready in a moments 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 23rd, 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... That 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 Dad.

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 flat-screen knows... I know... Now, you know! Someone's gotta win, and someone's gotta loose. That's where the a Reds come into 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 like and follow The Reds despite the mental similarities that both teams seem to have. I suppose, that really, truth be told, following the Reds and to a verily lesser extent, the fucking Bengals... 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 a proud, bitchy Cincinnatians. There's only going to be one champion and right off the bat, no ones chances looks good. Everybody is a potential loser wether it's admitted or not. Welcome to Cincinnati, we've been waiting for you.

I realize now, after all these words... 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 all-star 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 on a phone conversation that will last or under a minute despite talking about the Reds or not. 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.


1.) This version,of The Cincinnati Cycle is the 'demo' version of this article. The 'ZISK' version was edited for its inclusion in the print edition of the zine. 

2.) To much of my surprise, George Vogel is with Channel 5-WLWT, not Local [Channel] 12-WLWT. My mistake but really, it makes very little difference because from one channel to the next, it's all the same, continuous thing.

3.) I sent a cover design along with my article when submitting to Zisk. Steve Reynolds, Zisk co-editor, said Mike Faloon, the other co in coeditor, had a cover idea so I told him it was no big deal. Much to my surprise, my cover was used after-all! The picture is (left to right) Me, My Dad and older brother Dewayne. This photo -- and yes, I was displaying the 'bird' or reference hand-signal to Department-1 (whatever the fucking kids call it) -- before a trip to an English pub and attendance at a home game for The Reds. Later that evening, I would catch By-Products of America at Northside Tavern. A couple days later after that, I got married in Inverness Florida.