The NFL schedule is being released tonight at 8. It’s on TV somewhere. Maybe you’re throwing a party. Maybe you’ve been doing Mock Schedules since you found out who (but not precisely when) the Bengals will be playing in the fall.
Somewhere, experts are rating the schedules. . . for 2023.
It’s all ridiculous, of course. But hand it to the NFL. No league does ridiculous better. Just when you thought you’d catch a football breather, the NF of L decides to turn the dates and times your favorite team plays into just another Christmas Day.
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It’s presumptuous even to suggest you need a football breather. Maybe you don’t. Super Bowl to Combine to DraftDraftDraft! to Schedule Release to OTAs to Training Camp. It’s all one big pro football sportsapalooza.
Bengals schedule 2022:Breaking down Cincinnati’s opponents for the 2022 NFL season
Bengals news:Left tackle Jonah Williams didn’t mince words about protecting Joe Burrow
Bengali roster:Here’s the latest on Jessie Bates, and an update on Logan Wilson
Think about it. You already know who the Bengals will play, and where they will play them. The start of the real season is four months away. So basically, you’re on pins and needles over what week The Men will be in Cleveland.
You’re showing your age again, Doc.
Oh, no question. And yeah, it is harmless fun. And I do remain fascinated by the hold the NFL has on our national sports psyche. I fully expect the NFL Network to have a reporter in Munich tonight, slamming a few Hefeweizens with the locals who are crazed with anticipation over when the Bucs and Seahawks will play at Allianz Stadium next fall.
As I’m sure you are as well.
Doc: Zac Taylor came in strutting, without actually strutting. He was right all along
Daugherty: Mothers really are the true champions
One nugget does emerge from the hype machine:
Going into 2022, the Bengals have the most difficult schedule in the AFC and the third-most difficult schedule overall. Out of their nine road games, the Bengals will play five of them against teams that went to the playoffs last season (Steelers, Patriots, Titans, Buccaneers and Cowboys).
For many, many years, my biggest interest in the Bengals involved their road schedule. Their games were the penance I had to do for the trips I got to make. The Men were bad. Seattle never was. (The city, not the football team.)
The best part of this gig has always been the travel. Any season that involved roadies to the West Coast was a good season, 3-13 be damned. When I’d arrive at the trip site, the last thing I wanted to do was go to a bar and watch, say, college football.
Here ‘s an entirely self-indulgent Greatest Bengals Roadie Hits, from a guy who has seen the country on the newspaper’s dime. Clip and save.
San Diego, when it had a club: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. A couple of hours east of town. Good hiking, once saw a mountain lion there.
LA. . . Griffith Park, Sunset Boulevard, the Coastliner (train) south to San Clemente.
Oakland, when it had a club. . . spectacularly underrated. Mount Diablo State Park, the suburb of Walnut Creek.
SF. . . North Beach. Angel Island is pure magic.
Seattle. . . Queen Anne Hill.
Denver. . . Boulder. Breckenridge Brewery.
Phoenix. . . Superstition Mountains.
New Orleans. . . Magazine Street, The Gumbo Shop. St. Charles Streetcar
Miami. . . Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove, a hand-rolled cigar in Little Havana.
Tampa. . . The family estate in Bradenton.
Jacksonville. . . St. Augustine.
Baltimore. . . DC. My annual walking tour of where I came from, documented ad nauseam in This Space.
Cleveland. . . Great Lakes Brewery.
Pittsburgh. . . The suburbs of Sewickley and Mt. Lebanon, the bar atop Mt. Washington, the spectacular downtown view emerging from the Fort Pitt Tunnel, the little walking tour where Forbes Field used to be, including a plaque marking the landing spot of Mazeroski’s Game 7 homer that beat the Yankees in the ’60 Series. Another underrated town.
Boston. . . Providence. Historic, charming walkable, a few minutes from Newport. Cape Cod.
New York. . . my son in Brooklyn.
No special kudos for anywhere else. Best of the rest: Nashville. Skip ’em: Buffalo, Houston, Charlotte, Atlanta, KC.
Now, then. . .
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN VOTTO AND SENZEL RETURN? Specifically, what do you do with TJ Friedl and Brandon Drury?
Friedl hasn’t been very good until lately, but Drury has been a revelation. In the last 7 days and 34 plate appearances, he’s batting .357 with an OPS of 1,120. Eight runs scored, 10 driven in.
If you are using this year as an audition for next year and beyond, you let Friedl and Drury play every day until they show you they’re not worthy. Everybody loves Joey, but there is no future there. As for Senzel, bless him, if his future is like his past and present, what kind of future does he have?
Reds injury update:Joey Votto, Nick Senzel may not rejoin Cincinnati on an upcoming 9-game road trip
Tyler Stephenson:Catcher continues to shine as a breakout player in a Reds win over the Brewers
I play Drury until he drops. If the Reds can deal Pham / Naquin / Moustakas in July or sooner, this stuff will sort itself out. Until then, don’t ignore the fact-finding.
PRIME TIME ON NIL . . . The Jackson State coach tweeted this about Name, Image, Likeness:
“When you start paying athletes like they’re professionals, you get athletes acting like they’re professionals. And you don’t have staffs large enough and equipped enough to handle a young man with money. Let me go deeper. Handle a young man that’s making more money than some of the coaches on staff. “
The man surely knows of what he speaks. He’s also in the conga-line of coaches wringing their hands over players’ new-found ability to make money. Something Sanders knew how to do better than anyone who has ever played the game. Image is everything.
BENGALS TREND-SETTERS. . . A recent story on The Ringer website talks about the latest NFL rage: Pairing QBs and wideouts who went to the same colleges. Reasons for it are obvious:
Paying a top-tier quarterback and a top-tier receiver is nearly impossible. The Packers and Chiefs traded Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, respectively, this offseason because they were unwilling or unable to foot that bill
When a franchise drafts a quarterback or a receiver, the clock starts ticking until their first big payday. So teams want to spend as little time as possible waiting for those players to develop. Reuniting a college duo can speed up the process and beat that clock, maximizing the potential for success while both quarterback and receiver are still on rookie deals.
SOMETHING THAT FOREVER TICKS ME OFF. . . Fox signed Tom Brady to a $ 375-million, 10-year TV deal to analyze games when he stops playing.
Just because he’s Tom Brady.
Will he be any good on TV? Maybe. I say probably not. Brady is guarded and stiff in public. TV is very in public. While there’s no doubt he’d do his due diligence to prepare, he doesn’t have a huge personality.
No worries. Here’s $ 37.5 mil, Tom.
AND NOW. . .
Imbiber Dave plays golf, too.
I’m an avid sports fan, but please don’t ask me to rattle off stats. For some reason that data does not stick, which could be a possible over imbibing side effect?
My favorite sport to play is golf. Even if you don’t belong to a club, we have quite a few nice public and semi-private options to maintain your interest and handicap throughout the season. Since I live close to downtown, I frequent the classic Avon Fields, which sounds somewhat strange at par 66 with zero par 5s, but it is a joy to walk to and play.
Today is the start of dawn patrol, snagging the first tee time at a club in the morning, and getting your round done before you miss too many of your precious Zoom calls with your work friends. Blue Ash is a great public course, and if you can grab an early time during the week you will like it even better than what looks like a scene from Happy Gilmore on the weekend.
No doubt the fact that you can also imbibe while playing golf adds to its allure. I guess you could technically drink beer or a cocktail during the middle of a basketball game, but most other sports safe the refreshments until after the competition has ended.
Enjoy a John Daly, which is an Arnold Palmer spiked with vodka, or keep it light with beers like MadTree Lift or Rhinegeist Puma Lager. Hope you get out there this year!
Hey Michelle! has your weekend covered, as usual.
One Good Party ~ Sounds cool right? Madtree is holding this event May 14th from noon-midnight. They’ll be serving up great beers and four of those on tap are named after local non profits that emphasize sustainability efforts – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati Parks, Ohio River Valley Groundwork and Adventure Crew. There will be food trucks and family fun activities.
The Who Concert ~ I still hold on to my brother’s whole ticket from the last Who concert in Cincy because I wanted to go, but I was too young and that may have been a good thing. I’m very excited to finally see them and in a totally different situation at the TQL Stadium Sunday at 7:30.
Art in Bloom at the Cincinnati Art Museum ~ This weekend only May 13-15 is back in full bloom .. This is a ticketed and family friendly event that shows artistic floral interpretations of the fine art displayed at our wonderful CAM. There will be guest speakers, activities, conversations with Doan Ly famous floral designer and photographer, free outdoor events and more. Check out www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org
Cincinnati Alchemy Fest ~ Cocktail Competition, Art & Music Fest Sunday May 15th at Arts on the Ave. 2141 Central Ave. 3-10pm. It will be a blast! Celebrity judges like Molly Wellman will crown the winner.
TUNE O ‘THE DAY. . . An unheralded nugget from the Eagles