Gee…wonder where THIS pass is gonna end up?
Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be a fan. If you live in Cincinnati, this past week has got to rank up there as possibly the worst week in the history of our professional teams. Cincinnati fans have suffered much in the past 20 years or so. Maybe not as much as say…Cleveland, but still we have had our share of heartbreak and this week was the “Pinnacle of Pain” as far as I’m concerned.
Let’s start with NFL action on Sunday, October 3rd. The Bengals traveled to Cleveland for an interstate matchup. On paper, the Bengals SHOULD have been big winners. The Bengals have one of the most potent offenses (supposedly) in the NFL so taking on a Browns team that has floundered ever since its return back in 1999 shouldn’t be a problem…right? Well…turns out it WAS an issue as the Browns managed to squeak out a 23-20 win and send the Bengals home with their tails between their legs.
Skip ahead to Wednesday and major league baseball action. The Cincinnati Reds traveled to Philadelphia to face the Phillies in the NLDS. After winning the N.L. Central and appearing in post-season play for the first time since 1995, the city was all pumped up! Unfortunately they faced the Phillies ace, 7-time All Star and 2003 Cy Young winner, Roy Halladay. Halladay had pitched a perfect game earlier this season (the 20th of all-time) and everyone expected the Reds to struggle. Instead of simply “struggling,” the Reds shouldn’t have even bothered to show up because Halladay blanked them for a no-hitter, which was only the 2nd post-season no-hitter in MLB history.
So let’s put THAT behind us…okay? I mean…it was bad but not TOTALLY unexpected. The Reds have a young ballclub and with so little playoff experience, we can forgive a little nervousness. So Friday they go at it again with OUR ace on the mound. Bronson Arroyo was pitching well and the Reds jumped out to a 4-run lead. But the Phillies came roaring back as Reds pitchers managed to hit 3 batters and the defense committed 4 errors and the Phils scored 7 runs in the final 4 innings to win the game. I watched in amazement as this all transpired and I STILL can’t believe what I saw. I can’t recall EVER seeing such an unbelievable meltdown in all my years of watching sports! So now the Reds were down 0-2 but the series was moving to Cincinnati. Maybe a home game would do our boys of summer some good?
Then today. Sunday, October 10. 10/10/10. Maybe a good omen for our major league teams? Both teams were playing at home today. The Bengals were looking to lick their wounds from last week’s loss and face a Tampa Bay team that was coming off a huge loss 2 weeks earlier and then a bye week. Surely they would be rusty…right? Well…maybe not. The Bucs managed to intercept Carson Palmer 3 times, once for a return TD and then the most devastating shot was the INT late in the 4th quarter. The Bengals had a 21-14 lead with 2 minutes to go and then Palmer tossed a pick to Tampa Bay’s Aqib Talib. The Bucs then tied up the game with 1:26 left in the game. So…the Bung…er…Bengals had the ball and could run out the clock with a little time management and a few decent running plays. But nooooooo. Palmer threw ANOTHER interception and the Bucs kicked a game-winning field goal with 1 second left. The Bengals are now 2-3 and in jeopardy of having their entire season being blown into tiny little bits. 2 teams they SHOULD have handled easily had beaten them in consecutive weekends and now they are licking their wounds with a bye week next weekend.
So now back to the Reds. Facing the Phillies in the friendly confines of Great American Ball Park tonight, you would think the Reds would come out fired up and ready to work. But instead, they went out not with a roar but with a whimper as Cole Hamels, the Phillies 3rd best pitcher, took care of business by mowing down Reds batters left & right. Although he didn’t pitch a no-hitter, he was almost as good, allowing only 4 hits and no runs through 8 innings. It’s now 2-0 with the Phils looking invincible and I can’t watch anymore. I’m gonna go watch NFL football over on NBC…
Oh and look…the Philadelphia Eagles are WINNING their game 17-10 right now…
Yeah…I think I’m just gonna go to bed. I got an early flight tomorrow.
Night ya’ll. And to all my Cincinnati friends…take consolation that tomorrow this will all be over and there will be no losses by our pro teams again until the Bengals travel to Atlanta Halloween weekend. I’m gonna be there. It could get ugly.
Dusty can’t believe what he just saw…and neither can I.