Doc: Alternative sports facts – Cincinnati.com (blog)
Be with you in a sec, Mobsters. Just makinâ sure I have all my alternative facts straight.
I love that. I mean, who wouldnât? I will never make a mistake again. I will just be offering alternative facts. The Patriots arenât going back to the Super Bowl. The Bengals are. If I say it, itâs so. Â And you are a liar. Beautiful.
Alternative Fact No.1 on this moody Monday in Grayville:
The Reds made a great farm system greater by trading Dan Straily.
This is true, in an alternative fact kinda way. They added two big arms, and everyone loves big arms. Itâs OK that the Marlins already had tried to trade Castillo once, and were unsuccessful because another of the principals failed his physical. True, too, that Castillo is a highly rated prospect in a low-rated system.
And really, if youâre going to trade Cueto, Frazier, Leake, Chapman and Bruce for kids, your farm system better have its own beat writer from Baseball America.
Not saying this wonât be a good deal for the home team. Buy low, sell high and all that. Just saying accumulating unproven talent can be as much serendipity as skill.
Alternative Fact No. 2:
The Xavier Musketeers will go as far as Edmond Sumner takes them.
I happen to believe this. XU took off Sunday v. Georgetown when Sumner got assertive. This was maybe halfway through the 2nd half, when a 3-point lead blew to 12.
Sumner is a point-guard-in-progress. At his best, heâs driving and dishing, or driving, stopping and popping. Thatâs true for any point guard, but not all of âem have the skills and 6-foot-5-ness Sumner has.
Xavier doesnât have a lot of guys good at creating their own shots. T. Blueitt, yes, and sometimes JP Macura. It needs Sumner at his smartly aggressive best, driving the train. Sunday, he had 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover. It wasnât coincidence the Musketeers rolled in the 2nd half.
Alternative Fact No. 3:
The Pittsburgh Steelers make a game of it with LeâVeon Bell.
Not even close. I can give you a million to a million-and-a-half reasons, but I only need one: The Steelers secondary stinks. Almost always has. How much does it stink? Coaches tried to protect it by playing zone almost the whole game, even when Brady was dissecting it like a frog in anatomy class.
The Pats have resourceful receivers. All of âem together might equal one Julio Jones or AJ Green. And yet there the Stillers were, laying back so as not to get beaten deep. This is how they play, yes, but it wasnât going to work v. NE. Might have wanted to take that into account. Add the fact they had no pass rush, and it was an easy W for the Belichicks.
In this week’s Media Circus, Richard Deitsch spoke with FOX lead producer Richie Zyontz on preparing for the Super Bowl 51 broadcast.
In gushing all over A. Rodgers, we forgot that Matt Ryan has been even better.
. . . and had healthier receivers, playing on the sure indoor surface of the dome. Ryan is playing out of his mind. How many times did Green Bay have good coverage on a receiver, yet get beaten by a perfect throw?
If Ryan keeps the mojo for one more game, the Falcons whom nobody knows will win Big Bowl 51.
ALL THAT SAID. . . as much as I dislike Smarrogant Bill, there is no team like the Patriots, in all of pro sports. Iâm watching yesterday and every few minutes I asked myself, âSelf, ever heard of that guy?ââ This occurred mostly when New England was chumping the Steelers offense.
What Belichick does better than any coach ever is to find players that fit his way of doing things. Not necessarily the best players. The players who fit.
Forgive me, but Alan Branch was not a household name in my household. I knew Chris Hogan because the Bengals faced him in October. Guy played one year of college football, at powerhouse Monmouth. He had 9 catches for 180 yards and 2 TDs yesterday.
AN NFC GM TOLD PETER KING THE KEY TO SUCCESS WAS. . .
âItâs pretty clear with those four teams, if you have philosophical alignment, you can win.â
Well, since 2010 at least, the Bengals have philosophical alignment.
Now, then. . .
Yep, gotta âestablish the runââ to win in the NF of L. From P. King on SI.com:
No running back had a 20-yard run in either championship game.
â¢ SundayâsÂ four rushing leaders by team gained 46, 42, 34 and 47 yards.
â¢ SundayâsÂ four passing leaders by team threw for 392, 287, 384 and 314 yards.
THIS MATTERS ONLY IF ATLANTA WANTS TO WIN. ESPN.com:
Atlanta’s pass-rush has come on strong in the playoffs. Per ESPN Stats & Information data, the Falcons pressuredÂ Aaron RodgersÂ on 42 percent of his dropbacks.
Atlanta had two sacks, seven quarterback hits and five tackles for loss. The Falcons picked their spots with when to blitz and kept Rodgers uncomfortable throughout the game.
REASON 1 TO BE THANKFUL TODAY. . . Chris Berman did his last Sunday Countdown on ESPN yesterday. No more rip-offs of other peopleâs shticks, no more forced nicknames. (Even his own. Right, Boomer?)
REASON NUMBER 2. . . No more Nantz and Simms for another 8 months. No more calling that city in the Rockies âDinverââ no more stating and restating the obvious, no more âhello, friends.ââ
No more âthe football,ââ in case we were forgetting what sport we were watching. I would die a happy man if Simms were contractually required to say âthe cantaloupeââ or âthe mayonnaise jarââ or âthe fire-breathing dragonââ during one entire broadcast.
TEN PLAYOFF GAMES, EIGHT BLOWOUTS. . . Just sayinâ
AND BY THE WAY. . . The Falcons W Sunday was their last game in the Georgia Dome. The place is scheduled to be blown up this year. Itâs all of 24 years old. That makes it ancient compared with Turner Field, where the Braves started playing in 1997, and stopped this past year, to move into a new playpen in the suburbs.
What a waste, yeah?
By that logic, the Bengals and Reds will be needing stadia any year now. PBS opened in 2000, GASP in â03.
A recent study said this:
âArticles published in peer reviewed economic journals contain almost no evidence that professional sports franchises and facilities have a measurable economic impact on the economy,â the study says. âThis finding should not be surprising, given that team revenues typically constitute a small share of a cityâs economic output and teams do not employ a substantial number of people.
âIn addition, given that most consumers have a relatively inflexible leisure budget, any economic activity generated while attending a game will largely if not entirely be offset by reduced spending on other local leisure activities.â
So there goes the Economic Benefits argument. Again.
Howevuh. . .
I do think itâs fair and balanced to at least suggest that without Stadium World on the river here, The Banks doesnât get done, GE doesnât build, Ft. Washington Way doesnât get fixed and the entire central riverfront languishes.
We needed the âcritical massââ of stadium goers to make it work. And as much as I loved and propped Broadway Commons, without the Reds 81 times a year, the riverfront is a non-starter. That doesnât mean that the Reds at Broadway would not have enriched that particular area of northern downtown. It would have. We just wouldnât have the riverfront the way it is now.
Thank you, Bob Bedinghaus. The haters will change their tune about you, one of these centuries. Thatâs my Alternative Fact Oâ The Day.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. Best column Iâve written in awhile appeared in Sundayâs TM.
RUFUS ALERT. . . We saw Fences last week, the Denzel Washington interpretation of the August Wilson play. Good not great, would have been better had it felt more like a movie than a play. As it was, it was hyper-talky. The good thing was, the dialog crackled and the performances by DW and Viola Davis (Oscar winning) were outstanding.
I give it an 8, Dick. Decent beat, OK to dance to.
TUNE Oâ THE DAY. . . IMO, George had the best solo career of any of the Beatles. This one is kinda un-George-like, but itâs my favorite Harrison solo effort, one you donât hear much. Joyful and makes me happy.