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About me

Let me introduce myself

A bit about me

"I am the straw that stirs the drink." -- Reggie Jackson

This is my portfolio page. Please look around and check out my work. Afterwards, I encourage you to reach out and connect for a conversation! (Hopefully over drinks!)



Personal info

Eduardo (Eddie) Maisonet, III

Lets connect!

Birthday: July 28
Phone number: 213.537.3873
Website: www.thesportsfanjournal.com
E-mail: ed@edthesportsfan.com


Know more about my past


  • 2014-future

    Fox Sports Digital @ Yardbarker Editorial Producer

    Editorial and digital strategist for FOX Sports interactive media team, focusing on Yardbarker's social media engagement, publisher relations and new media verticals.

  • 2010-2015

    SB Nation @ Senior Writer

    Contributed to the news desk and editorial direction for NBA and college football.

  • 2013-2014

    Google @ Operations Coordinator

    Led onboarding of small and medium-sized businesses onto Google My Business platform.

  • 2009-2011

    Nielsen @ Retail Consultant

    Served as a retail consultant and consumer market researcher with a focus on Kroger and Safeway.


  • 2016

    University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA

    Sport Management Masters Program

  • 2005

    Langston University Langston, OK

    Bachelors in Organization Management

  • 2010

    Media Bridges Cincinnati, OH

    Radio and Broadcasting Certification

Skills & Things about me

I Love Social
Social Reach
I Love Strategy
Clients & Counting
I Love Writing
9 Years
Writing Exp.


My latest projects

R.I.P. Sean Taylor - The Greatest Hit Sticker of All-Time

R.I.P. Sean Taylor - The Greatest Hit Sticker of All-Time

When I first heard of Sean Taylor, better yet...the first time I saw Sean Taylor was when I watched Florida play Miami in their annual rivalry a couple of years ago. Florida's tailback at the time was Fantasy Hall-of-Famer Earnest Graham. Rex Grossman was at QB and they ran a toss left. Graham cut it up right inside of the left tackle and got to the second level, cleared the linebacker and broke towards daylight...


Next thing I knew was #26 didn't let him cut to the outside. #26 lowered the boom on Earnest Graham...Earnest Graham. The ball squirted out-of-bounds and Graham came out the game and got chewed out by then ball coach Ron Zook. I'm pretty sure Graham didn't hear anything he said because he was still knocked-the-f*ck out...by #26, Sean Taylor.

By far one of the most ball-hawking, headhunting, quickest and savviest safeties I've ever seen. He was almost TOO instinctive. In his first couple of seasons he made some mistakes and overplayed on tendencies. But he improved, and started showing the potential to be the best safety in the NFL.


Then it ended. Sean Taylor was killed last year on November 27th by an 18-year old who was trying to get a quick come up. From playing with him on Madden being the reason the "Hit Stick" (flick of the R3 button on PS3) was invented on the video game. Yeah, Sean had some personal issues, and had some growing up to you, but he was trying to do better.

The NFL, NBA, MLB, and other leagues have to do better on educating and supporting their players from getting into high-risk situations. But let me say this to the players, STOP DOING DUMB SH*T! We need you for fantasy football, among other things, and its a detriment to a lot of us when our premiere athletes go down. Give thanks to those around you, and give thanks to yourself! Be easy, and have a happy Thanksgiving.



Langston University 20, Mid-America Nazarene 14 - LION UP!

Langston University 20, Mid-America Nazarene 14 - LION UP!

One of only two visiting schools to win on the road was THE Langston University Lions, in their first NAIA FCS appearance since 1994, posted their second ever FCS win by taking out MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 20-14. The LU defense forced four turnovers in wiping out MNU from the first round for the second straight season.

Up next for LU in the 2nd Round lies unbeaten & #2 Ranked The University of Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls, S.D. USF is currently riding a 33-game winning streak and are ranked #2 in the nation. These two teams have never faced each other in FCS play. USF is looking for its eighth shut-out on the year, which would tie the national record in a single-season.

This is a big deal for Langston, there aren't that many HBCU's that are highly competitive in NAIA College Football (NAIA = D2/D3 College Football) and they are putting the smack down on these cats. At 9-2, both losses this year came against NCAA Division I opponents Grambling State and Stephen F. Austin. This article is more about the crib and my school, so if you don't feel it then come back tomorrow. But I know you do, because tiny LU is about to take over the college football landscape. GET AT ME!


The 2009 BCS Title Game...Texas vs. OU

The 2009 BCS Title Game...Texas vs. OU

**This article is provided by featured writer Kenny Masenda**

When the latest BCS standings came out, I was happier than a kid at Christmas. Granted, some things will have to happen for my dream matchup to take place, but I’ve seen weirder, stranger things happen in college football, so I won’t put this past the realm of possibility. With this said, these things need to happen:

1. Texas must CRUSH Texas A&M this week. Even though I hate UT, I’ve never accused Mack Brown of being a poor sport, or ever running up the score on an opponent. However, his team needs to make a statement. Not only must they defeat A&M, they must EMBARRASS them.

2. Florida State needs to beat Florida. I don’t know the last time this happened, but I need the Seminoles, MORE THAN EVER, to shock the world, and knock off the Gators. It helps it will be a home game for them, and if they can do it, that should effectively knock Florida out of contention for the national championship.

3. Oklahoma must beat Oklahoma State. Admittedly, this game concerns me way more than the Tech one. I just knew that Tech couldn’t carry their mojo into Norman, but this is way different. I can’t see Mike “I’m a man! I’m 40!” Gundy allowing his team to not be prepared for the Sooners this weekend. Even as a die-hard OU fan, this game has me worried, but if we play with a chip on our shoulder like we did last weekend, we should be straight.

4. OU needs to go to the Big XII Championship. With Texas at #2, I think, at worst, they’ll stay right there. OU is #3, and even if they win on Saturday, it won’t be enough to justify them jumping Texas, so OU needs to go to Kansas City, beat Missouri, and then they MIGHT have a chance.

5. Florida needs to beat Alabama. The Crimson Tide are the biggest factor in this entire thing, because they are the lone undefeated team (Utah is as well, but be for real: they aren’t jumping any of the teams we’re talking about). Florida beats Alabama, knocks ‘em out of it, and since Florida would be out, due to their previous loss against Florida State, it allows the #2 and #3 teams to slide up, which would be…

6. Texas and Oklahoma. We don’t need a playoff; we just need this scenario to work, and BAM! The National Title game will be set.

Be easy.

OU 65, Texas Tech 21 - We're Back!

OU 65, Texas Tech 21 - We're Back!

You might know Ed enough by now that I do not post on Sundays...but I felt too good this morning waking up and watching SportsCenter and seeing the newly re-minted "Big Game" Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma Sooners sitting atop of college football, staking the claim of being one of the best college football teams in the land.

Go read the article from earlier this week, I wasn't the most confident about this game. Why would I have been? Oklahoma had lost SO MANY big games in the last 5 years that my faith was shook a bit.

Yes, I admit it. To be honest, ever since Darren Sproles ran for 235 plus 88 receiving for Kansas State in the 2004 Big 12 Championship. Ever since we couldn't protect Heisman Trophy QB Jason White vs. LSU in the 2004 National Championship. Ever since we got LAMBASTED against USC in the 2005 National Championship. The sacred land in Arizona known as the Fiesta Bowl, Boise State and West Virginia. And worst of all, losing 3 of the last 4 against Texas. Tuck Fexas.

So to see Oklahoma play the way they did last night made me believe again. Because that's the Oklahoma that I got to know when Bob first got to Norman, with Josh Heupel, Quentin Griffin, Rocky Calmus and "Superman" Roy Williams. That's the Oklahoma my Uncle Bill used to root for back in the 70's and 80's when Barry Switzer led the way with Bosworth, Jameel Holloway, Marcus Dupree, The Selmon Brothers, Joe Washington and company led the way. That's the Oklahoma my grandpops used to root for, with Bud Wilkinson at the helm, the wishbone (which we stole from Texas and perfected), Billy Vessels, Billy Sims, Steve Owens, and some mean cusses from the prairies.

That's the Oklahoma I know. And if we can play like that, we can beat anyone in the country. Alabama, Florida, USC, Texas, Penn State, Ohio State, and for next's week purposes for Bedlam...and you know I love you guys, but Oklahoma State...be on notice. Because I got two words for ya...



The #9 Langston Lions make the NAIA Championship Playoffs!

The #9 Langston Lions make the NAIA Championship Playoffs!

Some of you may know, some of you may not. Here's an ETSF public service announcement...

Ed The Sports Fan is a graduate of THE Langston University aka The School on the Hill. Langston University is the Westernmost HBCU in the United States and the only HBCU in Oklahoma.

Our football team was filled with past glory. You Dallas Cowboys fans might remember in the 70's (none of you remember the 70's, but its ok...) a feared linebacker named Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson. "Hollywood" excelled as an outside linebacker, earning All-Pro honors for the 1977 season. Thomas was such a good athlete that the Cowboys used him to run reverses on kickoffs from time to time, with him scoring on one occasion. He was one of the first linebackers to run a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. He was also addicted to the crack cocaine, but that's beside the point...

Just heard some news of the university wire (www.lugazette.com) and heard some great news...


The 9th ranked Langston University Lions will make a 307 mile journey to face their 2008 NAIA Football Championship Series first round opponent. The Lions will face #4 MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., Saturday, November 22, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. After finishing the regular season 9-2 and a perfect 4-0 in the Central States Football League, LU makes a trip to the post season for the first time in 14 years and their fourth overall appearance. The Lions defense is third in the nation in total defense and averages nearly four sacks per game.

MNU finished the season 10-0 and the champions of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. MNU, who is making their sixth overall appearance in the postseason, is first in the nation in total offense, averaging 475 yards of total offense per game. Langston and MidAmerica Nazarene have never faced each other in the Football Championship Series.

I dunno who Mid-America Nazarene is, but they're gonna lose to the fighting Lion Pride of Langston University. Its going down! Oh yeah, for those of you who are not familiar with the "That's My Hood!" Reference...it comes from these boys from Texas named the Dirth South Ryders. Big Tuck, Tum Tum, and company. Back in the day (like early 00's...) they came out with this song that was raw as hell. Really don't know what the name of it was. But by far the crunkest anthem, chant, ass-whupping-est song I'd ever heard. We just replaced all the Dallas hoods with "LU". It went something like this...

"LU! That's my hood! Put it in they face, get that sh*t understood! YEAH! This ain't what you want! HUH! Cause that's how we do! YEAH! CAUSE LU, THAT'S MY HOOD! YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

(random fights, shirts coming off, mosh pits, and other shenanigans ensued...ahhh, college life)


(yeah Ed's got school spirit, and our band is the truth. and have you seen our Golden Felines?)


Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma - God Help Sooner Nation

Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma - God Help Sooner Nation

This one's gonna be tough.

I just feel it. I don't have a good feeling about this game, usually I can trick myself into thinking otherwise but all the positive signs are the signs I don't usually like.

Oklahoma's a touchdown favored to beat a team ranked higher than them. Don't like it.

Oklahoma's two best defensive players (MLB Ryan Reynolds & DE Auston English) are not playing in this game. Don't like that either.

Oklahoma's bread and butter used to always be its defense, OU's defense is putrid. Definitely don't like that.

Have you not seen Mr. Pitch (QB Graham Harrell) and Mr. Catch (WR Michael Crabtree), they're ridiculous. Texas Tech's O-Line is very good and they can run the ball. Their defensive front 4 has shown to be disruptive (ask Texas and Oklahoma State) and they make plays on all levels of the field.

I dunno, like I said, I'm not comfortable with this game. OU's offense is ridiculous, but they still really haven't shown me they can run the ball. They have very good runningbacks, and they do well when they get the ball in open space on pass plays, but what about just lining up and getting 4-5 yards? OU's starting free safety (Nic Harris) at the beginning of the season is now playing middle linebacker, WTF??? And have you seen Oklahoma's kickoff return coverage? By far they are the worst in D-1...excuse me, FBS...and it scares the living daylights out of me.

But that's why they plays the games folks...

Oklahoma 100, Texas Tech 99...

What do you think? Ohio State vs. Michigan is this week too...


ETSF to become Obama's Secretary of the College Football Playoff

ETSF to become Obama's Secretary of the College Football Playoff

On Sunday night, President-Elect Barack Obama restated his position that initially shocked the world, as his unabashed support for a college football playoff on the eve of his election, a controversial move that I believe pushed him over the top in the final 24 hours of the campaign. Now, with the power of the nation's highest executive office at his command, the President-Elect laid out his playoff plans in further detail in his much-discussed appearance on last night's 60 Minutes:

"It would add three extra weeks to the season," he said at the conclusion of a wide-ranging interview. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do." - Barack Obama

Finally, a man in the Oval Office who shares the hopes and values of his people. A college football playoff is the right thing to do. I've said it many times over many years. I can back it up. And if Mr. Obama is serious about throwing his weight around, I would like to officially throw Ed The Sports Fan's hat in the ring to become America's first Secretary of the College Football Postseason, based on my long list of qualifications:

• 2008 Black Weblog Award, Best Sports Blog in 2008. Get at me.

• No one has argued more about playoffs with friends and family than me. From my early days at
Langston University, to my new stomping grounds here in Buckeye Nation It's an issue close to my heart and mind, and for all its dirty tricks and appeals to the bogus sanctity of the past, the opposition will not catch me by surprise.

• A record of reaching across the aisle. With all due respect, sir, you are mistaken when you say "no serious fan of college football" disagrees with you about the urgency of a playoff. There are quite a lot of anti-playoff conservatives passionately engaged in the national discourse, and they are quite serious. They must be assuaged by someone who understands their point of view and concedes some of its points. I am that man.

I can work with bowls by assuring all bowl games will continue to exist, even the ridiculous ones in awful places no one wants to go to. I can work with conference commissioners by introducing flexible standards that allow automatic entry for conference champions if (and only if) those teams meet certain criteria, which would be at least 9 wins, 10 if there is a conference championship. I, too, highly value the tense, competitive regular season that has always defined college football, and would never allow a bracket to grow too large and inclusive to undermine that key element of its appeal. Which brings us to my next point...

The 2004 undefeated Auburn Tigers...Yes, You Can Too

• I have strongly endorsed your eight-team policy. Here is the construct of success for future seasons. Take the 6 Conference Champions, plus 2 at-large teams would then be ranked by the BCS. Here's your 8-team playoff! If the season ended today, here's what you'd get.

#1 Alabama (SEC Champ) vs. #8 Miami (ACC Champ)
#4 Florida (at-large) vs. #5 USC (Pac-10 Champ)

#3 Texas (at-large) vs. #6 Penn State (Big 10 Champ)
#2 Texas Tech (Big 12 Champ) vs. #7 Cincinnati (Big East Champ)

Now, I hear the people from Utah, Oklahoma, Boise State, and Ohio State crying foul. Rest easy and that there is plenty of season left. Miami and Cincinnati get in from the anemic ACC and Big East conferences. We are considering enacting a new rule taken from European Soccer. If you are rated the crappiest conference in the BCS, you can be dropped from the BCS big 6. I would firmly say that the Mountain West conference is stronger than the ACC. (Utah, TCU, BYU, Air Force all have at least 8 wins) No one in the ACC has 8 wins.

• I recognize the historical mandate of Change. As you clearly understand, Mr. President-elect, we're at a turning point in America. The direction is clear, and you need someone on your college football playoff team who understands that trajectory.

Twenty years ago, the bowls were a mishmash of lawless, backroom handshakes with no accountability to the polls. Today, through the Bowl Alliance, which beget the Bowl Coalition, which beget the endlessly-tweaked BCS, the top games are part of a rigidly organized system whose sole purpose is to determine a so-called champion. Ten years ago -- even two years ago -- no president, athletic director, commissioner or other establishment power broker would be caught dead considering the idea of a playoff in public. For too long, we heard, "They will never let it happen." Now, in consecutive offseasons, a small insurgency of the men always said to be staunchly barricading the castle from the bracket-wielding barbarians has not only publicly promoted the idea of a playoff on multiple occasions, in an official capacity, but declared a playoff an inevitability. Its time will come.

I will seek the advice of experienced men of vision such as Pete Carroll, Bob Stoops and the most poll-scorned of them all, Joe Paterno. Together, we can make that time sooner rather than later.

• I will not extend special circumstances to special interests. I understand Domers are a key element of your constituency in Chicago, but it's time to put an end to the cronyism and good-ol-boy networks of the last century once and for all. Notre Dame will operate under the same conditions as all at-large teams until it joins a conference and wins it. "Change" means real change.

For all these reasons and more, if you want someone who has put a great deal of thought and work into the issue and who believes in your vision, Mr. Future President, get at me!


Cincinnati - as nasty as it wants to be

Cincinnati - as nasty as it wants to be

**As some of you know, I currently reside here in Cincinnati, Ohio (technically in Northern Kentucky, but it takes me 30 seconds to get to Cincinnati, anyways...) but I'm originally from Oklahoma. These are just my thoughts, let me know if I'm crazy or not. Easy.**

CINCINNATI...There is no easy explanation for this place.

Cincinnati is a cocktail of contradictions, a town too conflicted for easy labeling. Its outside doesn't readily match its inside, making this a real-life Wisteria Lane: What looks like quintessentially normal America seems to have a ragingly weird undercurrent sluicing through it.

It is famously conservative and proudly prudish, yet it launched the porn career of Larry Flynt and once elected Jerry Springer as its mayor. (Springer later ran for governor, and part of his campaign was a TV ad wherein he admitted paying for a hooker -- with a check.)

It counts among its most famous women residents both Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and Marge Schott, who once referred to two African-American Cincinnati Reds as "my million-dollar n------."

A concealed weapons charge had wide receiver Chris Henry leaving his fingerprints on more than a football.It has been called bigoted, segregated and racially regressive, yet what other downtown has a nonprofit hip-hop youth performance center next door to the city ballet? B-boys and ballerinas pass on the sidewalk, one group walking in from the jagged surrounding neighborhood and the other popping out of BMWs from the 'burbs.

It is either America's southernmost Midwestern city or its most Midwestern Southern city, sitting a river's width to the north of the Mason-Dixon Line. One thing it definitely isn't: in step with the rest of Ohio.

It just might be the strangest city in Flyover America.

"I can't explain why it is the way it is," says Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist Paul Daugherty. "I don't know why we attract eccentrics." Daugherty moved here from New York in 1988 and has rarely been without column fodder. That's because the cultural inconsistencies in identity cross over to sports as well.

Cincinnati places a premium on propriety and civility, yet fiercely champions the dishonest (Pete Rose) and the profane (Bob Huggins).

It is part of a legendary football state, yet its biggest collegiate sporting event every year is the Xavier-Cincinnati basketball game.

And it is a place with a low crime rate -- except among its pro football players, who lead the National Football League by a wide margin in recent arrests.

Heading into an NFL draft that has put unprecedented emphasis on "character issues," the Cincinnati Bengals' draft decisions could be more closely scrutinized than any team's. That's what happens when you're dogged by a dirty reputation harder to shake than gum on your shoe.

"One of the ways we're trying to clean this up is through the draft -- drafting good-character guys," said then former Cincinnati running back Rudi Johnson. "If that means passing some guys up, so be it. We've already learned that doing it the other way didn't work out in our favor."

Doing it the other way, Cincinnati drafted guys such as Chris Henry, Odell Thurman, Frostee Rucker and A.J. Nicholson. Every one of them came with a character red flag that was ignored, and all of them have been arrested since they joined the Bengals.

That hasn't played well on Wisteria Lane. Cincinnati is the oldest of baseball towns, but it is passionate about its NFL team, too. Passionate enough to be pissed off by the run of bad behavior.

Bengals Blotter …

These Cincinnati Bengals have been getting their names in the paper (and on web sites) for all the wrong reasons in the last couple of years:

- Johnathan Joseph CB Possession of marijuana
- Deltha O'Neal CB Driving while intoxicated
- Reggie McNeal WR Resisting arrest
- Matthias Askew DT Resisting arrest
- Eric Steinbach G Boating under the influence
- Chris Henry WR x-Total of five
- Frostee Rucker DE Spousal battery
- A.J. Nicholson LB Burglary, grand theft
- Odell Thurman LB Driving while intoxicated
x-unlawful transaction with a minor (three counts), speeding, operating a vehicle under the influence, felony possession of a concealed firearm, possession of marijuana. First arrest was in December 2005.

"It's an old German Catholic city, where you behaved properly and went to Mass," says Howard Wilkinson, a 25-year Enquirer political writer. "People here over the years have looked to sports stars with great reverence; and when you mess up, people are disappointed. The only one who seems to get a pass is (Pete) Rose.

"It's kind of an old-fashioned place. I think that's had a big impact on how people look at the Bengals now. It's embarrassing, and people don't like that around here."

There have been 13 Bengals busts since Jan. 1, 2006; and even though it's been nearly four months since the last player got nailed, the wife of a former player has stepped in to fill the crime-blotter void. According to the Enquirer, 51-year-old Jeni Lee Dinkel, wife of former Bengals linebacker Tom Dinkel, entered a not guilty plea last week to charges of having sex with an underage boy in suburban Cincinnati.

Combine that with the eight-game suspension handed out by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to serial Bengals miscreant Henry last year, and you have a sordid story that never seems to stop.

"It comes up in every interview I do," Chad Johnson says wearily.

It comes up daily on the streets, too.

A tale of two cities
In the middle of a forbidding urban neighborhood sits an incongruous athletic oasis.

It's the football stadium at Taft High School, a thoroughly modern edifice with high-quality artificial turf surrounded by an all-weather track. Many of the schools in the Cincinnati Public League play their games here. On a perfect spring afternoon last week, the Taft Senators were having track practice.

Mike Martin is one of the assistant coaches. He's also the head football coach at Taft. He's also a former Cincinnati Bengal, a wide receiver for seven seasons in the 1980s who led the NFL in punt returns in 1984.

In six years, Martin has rebuilt Taft football, literally from nothing. The 2001 season was canceled when just five players came out for the team. Since then, he has breathed life into the program and become a powerful, positive influence in his players' lives.

Martin expects to have one of his best teams this fall. He's also hoping he might have a volunteer assistant coach come work with his players -- a guy named Chris Henry, who didn't have much to do during the first half of the 2007 NFL season.

Martin has floated the idea to the Bengals' front office about Henry working with Taft while he serves his suspension. Martin says head coach Marvin Lewis was very receptive to the idea. It remained to be seen how receptive Henry is. The Bengals have put him off-limits to the media while he's suspended.

Being around a quietly charismatic guy like Martin might help Henry, who has been arrested four times since Dec. 15, 2005, making him the honorary captain of Team Mug Shot. Being around Martin's players might help, too.

"My guys will keep it real with him," Martin says. "They won't pull any punches. They'll ask him about everything he's been doing. Maybe it'll be good for him to hear it from these guys -- remember where he came from, and see how privileged he is to be in the NFL. A lot of these guys want to get where [the Bengals] are. Just listening to their conversations, it's amazing to them that someone would want to throw away such an opportunity."

It should be noted that the majority of the Bengals have seized their opportunity and made a positive impact in the Cincinnati community. But the steady stream of problems has overshadowed those good deeds. And Martin's players aren't shy about saying what they think of the Bengals' legal embarrassments.

"They've been crazy," says Kenneth Trimble, a highly recruited strong safety.

"They're disappointing the fans," says cornerback Ronald Hicks.

"Why they act like that?" asks Ronald's brother, Keyonta Hicks, also a cornerback.

"Most of them," says Darryl Robinson, another corner, with a mixture of amusement and amazement, "act like we do."

From the mean streets to the office suites, the kids aren't the only ones wondering. Bengals alums such as Martin and Reggie Williams are chagrined by the behavior.

"As a Cincinnati Bengals lifetime player, I find myself continually besmirched," says the 14-year Bengal linebacker Williams, who was the anti-Chris Henry in his day: an Ivy League grad so respected off the field that he successfully ran for city council. Today, Williams is vice president of Disney's Wide World of Sports, but that executive job has not insulated him from disparaging remarks about the Bengals' character.

"They come up out of the clear blue, at any time," Williams says. "It equally rivals that distasteful era when they weren't winning."

Conservative and uncomfortable
When it was founded in the 1700s on the northern banks of the Ohio River, Cincinnati quickly grew into what has been called America's first inland boomtown. It rapidly became a gateway to the untamed West.

Today, nobody calls this a boomtown. The metro area population is around 2 million, placing it in the top 25 nationally, and there are many major corporations located here. But its residents admit that Cincinnati is as likely to think small as it is to think big: resistant to change, wary of the outside world and happy within its own cultural cocoon.

"From the day I got here [from New York], I was totally struck by how much better this place is than our own people give it credit for," says nine-year Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski.

For comparison's sake to other cities, Cincinnatians might need to get out more. Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer says he has neighbors in his suburb whose idea of a vacation is to go downtown and stay in a hotel.

Not even the widespread passion for Ohio State football resonates much in Cincinnati -- the Enquirer doesn't have a Buckeyes beat writer.

And you can forget any kinship with the state's largest city, Cleveland, well to the north.

"Cleveland is an East Coast city," Daugherty says. "This is a Southern city. I'd say it has more in common with Louisville.

"I think Cincinnati is sort of an island unto itself, because it has nothing in common with the rest of the state."

Which seems to be fine with the locals.

"I don't really think of myself as an Ohioan," says Cincy native Tori Meeker, a bartender at the Rock Bottom Brewery downtown. "Cincinnati is very self-contained."

Cincinnati is almost its own nation-state, its life separated from Kentucky by the river and from the rest of Ohio by the I-275 beltway. Provincialism is fairly predictable.

"This is the only city in America where if they ask what school you went to, they don't mean college," says Cincinnati Bearcats basketball coach Mick Cronin, a Queen City native. "They mean high school."

The city basically has two factions to it: the gritty, working-class West Side and the more affluent East Side. Cronin describes the difference in terms of youth sports.

"On the West Side, they play to win," he says. "On the East Side, everyone gets to participate."

Pete Rose is the ultimate West Sider -- the hometown tough guy who made it big. You do that, and the headfirst slides count more with your constituency than the years of lying about betting on baseball. A recent reader poll in the weekly magazine CityBeat said Rose is still the favorite athlete in Cincinnati.

"We're homers," Cronin says, "which explains our affinity for Pete Rose. If the people in this town could vote for Pete to get into the Hall of Fame, he'd get in unanimously."

Similar affection has been extended to another famed-but-flawed hard-ass, Huggins. Certainly, Huggins' winning percentage dictated most of his popularity, but his unpretentious, combative style played well here, too.

"He was perceived as a blue-collar man of the people," Dougherty says. "We love our white-bread, Chris Sabo, Cris Collinsworth, shut-up-and-play, dirty-shirt heroes."

Don't underestimate the "white-bread" part of that quote. Cincinnati has championed several minority sports heroes: Oscar Robertson, Anthony Munoz, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, among others. But it's probably easier to be Carson Palmer in this town than T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

In terms of demographics and lifestyle, this is a long way from New York, Miami, San Francisco and even Atlanta.

There are a lot of adjectives tossed around about Cincinnati: family-friendly, affordable and safe, to name a few. But one word that comes out of every mouth, without fail:


The last time Hamilton County voted Democratic for president (before Obama) was 1964, when the unappealing alternative was Barry Goldwater. The bigfoot AM radio station in town, WLW, is a fire-breathing bastion of right-wing oratory. The personality page on its Web site features 14 white males, led by the divisive Bill Cunningham, who last year ridiculed the emotional, multicultural memorial gathering at Virginia Tech in the wake of the mass murder there.

Cunningham ripped the fact that the first speaker was "some Muslim dude," followed by a Buddhist.

"Was there a Hindu?" he asked on the air. "Did they have a Hindu, too?" Later he lamented the lack of "mainstream, normal stuff."

"It's multiculturalism run amok," Cunningham railed. " … It's sad, but it's the way college campuses operate today."

Multiculturalism wasn't real big with Marge Schott -- another Cincinnati native. She was generous with her money and kept Reds baseball affordable for the common folks, but the old German woman was off the charts with her political incorrectness.

Upon her death, Daugherty wrote, "She was Archie Bunker for real, at a time when Archie Bunker was no longer acceptable."

So you wonder how comfortable the city of Bill Cunningham and Marge Schott is for a clubhouse full of affluent, young African-American football players. Race relations historically have been troubled here, though they have calmed considerably after the riots of 2001 to protest what many in the black community believed to be brutal treatment at the hands of white cops.

"I live up north [of the city], and there are plenty of times I will be followed home [by police]," says Martin, who is black. "One time a guy pulled me over and asked if I'd been drinking. I said, 'Why? Did I do anything wrong?'" Martin says the cop told him he was swerving. Martin responded that he avoided a pothole, never even leaving his lane. "You don't have anything to do tonight, do you?" Martin says he told the cop. "He just started laughing and walked back to his car."

So: Are the Bengals who have been arrested for DUI, marijuana possession and other charges being targeted by cops who might let them go in other cities?

"It's more on the person's responsibility, not on the city at all," Ocho Cinco says.

He lists all the ways the police and the Bengals front office have tried to help the players avoid trouble: a meeting with the chief; e-mails advising where sobriety checkpoints will be set up; free limousine service from owner Mike Brown.

"What else do you want guys to do?" Johnson says. "How much can they do for you? At some point, you've got to take personal responsibility."

Which brings us back to Chris Henry.

"Across-the-board condemnation"
The feel-good story of the year in Major League Baseball is Josh Hamilton, the 26-year-old former member of the Cincinnati Reds, now a home-run champion (even though he didn't win) and budding superstar for the Texas Rangers. Hamilton has become a fixture in the Rangers lineup and was a local fan favorite after he missed nearly four full seasons because of drug addiction.

Hamilton's suspensions from baseball -- which did not happen on the Reds' watch, or in detriment to the organization -- dwarf the half-season suspension levied against Henry.

So why the radically divergent attitudes in the city? Why is the white baseball player embraced and the black football player scorned?

"This is a totally different deal," Daugherty says. "One guy admitted he messed up and is trying to change his life. The other guy has not showed any remorse.

The city embraced the former Red Josh Hamilton, maybe because he's expressed contrition for his past problems."We like to knock people down and then pick them up. That's what's happening with Josh Hamilton. They perceive him, rightly or wrongly, to be contrite about what he did.

"There is across-the-board condemnation of Chris."

That's unfair, according to Katie, a dancer at The Foxx gentleman's club in Covington, KY.

In a puritanical purge in the 1970s, Cincinnati shoved most of the porn outlets across the river into northern Kentucky. They've stayed there. Covington has cleaned up its image and actually has turned its waterfront into a more vibrant area than Cincinnati's, but it still has the gentleman's clubs on its street corners.

And according to its employees, The Foxx is a place Chris Henry has been known to frequent. "I know Chris," Katie says. "I walk into Chris' house, take my shoes off, get in his refrigerator. "Chris doesn't have any alcohol in his house. Chris doesn't smoke weed. I just think he's involved with some of the wrong people."

Katie says she met Henry at The Foxx. Cindy, another dancer, says she hasn't seen Henry in her three weeks working there, but was told by a bouncer that the wide receiver tried to come in last week and was turned away at the door for his own good. On the night Chris Henry allegedly was sent home from The Foxx, fireworks were erupting from Great American Ballpark. They thumped and echoed over the Ohio River in traditional celebration of a Reds victory.

Viewed from the Kentucky side of the river, the smoke from the fireworks formed a hazy halo over the illuminated stadium.

Just down the riverfront at darkened Paul Brown Stadium, there are no halos in sight.


McGrady Thought He Was Big, Then Came Shaq

McGrady Thought He Was Big, Then Came Shaq

Clearly, T-Mac should pick on folks his own size. Shaq was like, "Hell naw, you are not going to be knocking down the person that feeds me...the ball that is." The funny thing about this was the fact that Rafer Alston kinda waited until Matt Barnes turned around to get swole on him, yet he came in all shoulders and no hands. Noble, yet not hood enough for me. I'da just cracked him in the back the neck. Karate chop style. He'd been dead for at least 3-4 minutes.


Tuesday's Musings...On Ice

Tuesday's Musings...On Ice

**This article is provided by featured writer Kenny Masenda**

Joe Calzaghe def. Roy Jones Jr. (unanimous decision)
The fight between Roy Jones and Joe Calzaghe was a damn disaster for anyone who is a fan of RJ. After an early knockdown by Jones, Calzaghe shook off the cobwebs, and proceeded to give him the whupping of a lifetime for the remaining 11 rounds. Jones was bloody AND bowed. He looked like an old man on Saturday night, while Calzaghe has solified his legacy as one of the realest that’s ever been in the squared circle. Roy, this is coming from someone who watched you dominate in the mid 90’s, and remains to be a loyal fan: PLEASE let it go, my brother.

Texas Tech def. Oklahoma State 56-20
Another massacre took place in Lubbock, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders pummeled the Oklahoma State Cowboys, to the tune of 56-20. Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree are showing the world how dominant of a duo they truly are, and everyone has taken notice. They have the week off, before they travel to Norman to take on my beloved Sooners. Hopefully, OU will put a stop to this madness on the 22nd, but it will not be easy. Tech seems to score at will, and even more, they pile it on, which seems to demoralize just about anyone they play (with the exception of Texas). Right now, for argument’s sake, my front-runner for the Heisman is Michael Crabtree, followed by Graham Harrell. This week also saw Alabama get by LSU, by the score of 27-21. For now, both teams remain 1-2 in the BCS, and that’s not likely to change, until the SEC title game, when Alabama takes on Florida.

Texas High School Football
Also, this week marks the opening round of the high school football playoffs in the great state of Texas. I recommend everyone, regardless of where you are, take in a high school game sometime before the season is over (which for most states in mid-December). It’s football at its most pure form. The atmosphere is electric, the food is fantastic, the bands are sick, and the play is 100%, all the time. One of my buddies and I have been on an expansive high school football tour all season long, and plan on watching at least two playoff games a week, until the state championship. Be easy.

Randall Cunningham - The Best QB That Should've Ever Lived...

Randall Cunningham - The Best QB That Should've Ever Lived...

This is a personal reflection on how I feel. I will understand if you don't believe how I feel, but I've been meaning to write this for a long, long time.

When I was 7 years old, I remember sitting down with my Grandfather (RIP) and watching the Philadelphia Eagles play on Monday Night Football as they went up against the Buffalo Bills. On this particular evening, I remember seeing something that was not present on football fields all that often in 1990. A gangly wide receiver ran onto the field and stepped into the huddle, until I realized that he was wearing #12 with "Cunningham" on the back and was not a wide receiver.

On that day, I realized that Randall Cunningham was a bad motherf*@#$%...

In that '90 game against the Bills, Cunningham throwing from his end zone, was about to be sacked by Bruce Smith. Let me rephrase that, Bruce Smith was trying to rip his face off, Cunningham ducked and threw a pass 60 yards to wide-receiver Fred Barnett, resulting in a 95-yard touchdown. By far one of the greatest plays I've ever seen.

I know you see that caption on the picture...

There wasn't anything Randall couldn't do. Do you not remember playing with him on Tecmo Bowl? With the bootleg sweep left play that "#0 Eagles QB" would always work no matter what the other team did? Randall ran a legitimate 4.4 40-time, and he had a cannon of an arm with deft touch as well. All you Dallas Cowboys fans might not remember but Dallas wanted no parts of that Philly machine. Much like the Philly of 2008, the Philly Eagles of the early 90's probably didn't give Cunningham enough weapons to get them over the hump. Oh, and let me not forget. Randall could also punt. He currently holds the team record for the longest punt in Eagles history with a 91-yard punt vs. the Giants in 1989. 4th in Eagles history with 32 rushing touchdowns (more than Ricky Watters), 3rd in Eagles history in passing touchdowns and yards.

But that's just as an Eagle. After retiring in 1995 (called pulling a Jordan) he came back in 1997 and took the Minnesota Vikings starting QB position and helped lead the team to new heights. Reunited with former Philadelphia Eagle Cris Carter and new rookie WR Randy Moss, the Vikings soared to one of the greatest offensive seasons in NFL history. He threw for 34 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions while the Vikings scored a then record-high 556 points in the '98 season.

He was plagued by injuries that ended his 1991 and 1993 seasons. However, he is still the league leader for most rushing yards for a QB. Dude laid it on the line every time he suited up. Even for the Dallas Cowboys...respect his gangsta as McNabb has even said that it was Randall who's game he followed.

He will probably always be my favorite player, and for that you get my ultimate respect. But he did it after the NFL too. Cunningham returned to UNLV to finish his college degree at UNLV. Cunningham has also been active in the Gospel music business since his retirement from the NFL by opening a recording studio and producing a Christian rap group called "Humility". Their album "Our Purpose" have yet to be released in 2008 under Cunningham's label. Cunningham, a born again Christian, became an ordained Protestant minister and founded a church called Remnant Ministries in Las Vegas in 2004.

Oh yeah, didn't even mention he was a black QB. With all due respect to Warren Moon, Randall can take that #1 spot. Easy.


The Weekend...On Ice

The Weekend...On Ice

**This article is provided by featured writer Kenny Masenda**

It’s been four days since 'The Trade' was made, and I’m still trying to make sense of it all. Granted, the coverage of Brother President has dominated the airwaves (and RIGHTFULLY SO), so just in case you didn’t know, Chauncey Billups was traded from Detroit, along with Antonio McDyess along with a third player, for Allen Iverson. Anyone who knows me knows Allen Iverson is my favorite athlete of all-time. On top of that, Chauncey is one of my favorite players in the league. Still though, I don’t know if this will work out, especially for Detroit. I want to see The Answer get a ring, and this will be his best shot. I just don’t know if the pieces are there for them to do it. Plus, Iverson will be wearing #1, so that’s going to take some getting used to, but after seeing KG rock #5, we saw more than ever, that a number is simply that: just a number.

PLEASE tune into two big events on Saturday night. One will be in Lubbock, as the Oklahoma State Cowboys take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Tech shocked the world last week, but OK State is far from a pushover. Don’t be surprised to see the Cowboys upset the Raiders tomorrow night. Also, The Great Roy Jones will be taking on the undefeated Joe Calzaghe. I don’t know much about Calzaghe, except that he “beat” Bernard Hopkins earlier this year, so he’s got to be legit. My memories of Roy Jones are from beating people like a drum, but that was a long time ago. Hopefully, we’ll still be able to call him The Great and not Old-Ass Roy Jones after tomorrow night. We’ll see.

Be easy.

Joey Porter = The Lightning Rod of the NFL

Joey Porter = The Lightning Rod of the NFL

This is Joey Porter, LB/DE for the 4-4 Miami Dolphins. Dude is off the chain. And by off the chain I mean, he's more rambunctious than two 3rd graders fighting over the last push pop. Look at all of the things that are factual about the man as we speak:

He leads the NFL with 11.5 sacks thru 8 games this season. Check.

He has taken over the leadership role for Miami that was once filled by Pro-Bowler Zach Thomas. Check.

One of the league's most stupendous trash talkers of all-time. Check.

This leads me to believe two things about the man. #1. He gives no flying f*ck who you are, he will probably try and talk trash to you to win the game. Even his own mama probably. #2. Almost everyone in the NFL probably hates him, yet wants him on their team.

On Tuesday, WR Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos, who's team just lost to Miami last week 26-17, spit poetical justice about the linebacker, saying..."Yeah, Joey Porter's one of them guys, when you got guys who talk a lot of trash, just want to talk about people or put people down, they have their own insecurities, and his insecurities I don't know. But he's definitely one of those guys who all those muscles are popcorn muscles. He's soft."

People think Joey Porter has popcorn muscles, and he's soft. Check.

"He's one of those soft receivers, where he has to have the ball all the time. If he don't get it, he's going to mope and cry. He did it to himself," Porter suggested.

But Marshall wasn't done. He essentially went out of his way to say that Porter was full of "Bitchassness" and we quote...""You know, we hear stories floating around the league all the time about him as far [as being] in nightclubs dancing with his shirt off like a girl or in the playground getting beat up back in California, he's one of those guys that no matter how big he is, he can still get knocked on his butt and he's soft. He's soft at heart and you can tell by the way he talks."

"And his nickname is 'Peezy.' I don't know what 'Peezy' is," Marshall added, then paused and leaned forward to deliver the punctuation: "Joey!"

By the way, Brandon Marshall just earned the #2 ranking in ETSF's latest talk sh*t poll. Here's my top 5.

#1. Joey Porter
#2. Brandon Marshall
#3. Chad Johnson
#4. Ray Lewis
#5. Antonio Pierce

Porter followed up on his 'popcorn muscles' comment with..."Nope. I know Orville Redenbacher. I know popcorn, but I'm not worried about that. That game is over. I'm looking at Seattle. For him to still be on that, I did get in his head, obviously. He's wasting time. They have a game tomorrow. I'm worried about me. I left Denver three days ago."

But we're not done with Joey. He's also against the crack cocaine.

"He got caught with cocaine and Matt Jones is still playing football. How does he get away with that? And then you fine people $20,000 for making comments to the media about the refs. The guy got caught with cocaine."

Talking about Matt Jones, WR of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Don't do CRACK!

Life lessons are great, easy.


Ed The Sports Fan Approves This Message

Ed The Sports Fan Approves This Message

Ed The Sports Fan officially endorses the Senator from Illinois, Democratic Nominee Mr. Barack Obama as the next President of the United States of America.

I don't care who you personally decide who you vote for, just make sure you go out there and vote. Be heard.

A Voteless People, Is A Hopeless People...and if you can wait in line for some Jordan's, Madden 2009, Beyonce Concerts, and iPhones, you can wait in line to vote. Yes We Can.



Oh What A Weekend...

Oh What A Weekend...

Wreck 'em Texas Tech - Texas Tech 39, Texas 33

Tremendous finish. It’ll be debated, but we think Texas Tech let Texas score with 1:30 left just to get the ball back with plenty of time for Harrell to operate. In addition to the all-night party in Lubbock, we’re sure Gainesville will be rockin’. Your next game of the century: Alabama at LSU in Baton Rouge next week. If the Tide survive, the SEC title game vs. Florida will be for a date with Penn State. No, we didn’t forget about Texas Tech - it still has to face the Oklahomas.

“They tried to man-up Crab, and there’s not a man in the country who can man-up Crab.”

Great quote from QB Graham Harrell about WR Michael Crabtree, about the game-winning play from the guy who just threw for 474 yards. But what happens to the Big 12 South? Which by the way is the greatest sub-division in college football history. The top 4 teams all have the dreaded one-loss, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State all have to go against each other in the next three weeks. Should be interesting to see what goes down in the next 5 weeks.

WTF is a 'Bollinger'? - Giants 35, Cowboys 14

This is not to re-tread on Dallas, but I'm gonna let all of you know right now.

Romo is not the issue here.

That offensive line, that defense, that coaching staff is your issue. Let me be clear, the NY (football) Giants did not play their "A" Game, and the game was not competitive. At this point, Ed The Sports Fan is predicting that Bill Parcells' Miami Dolphins will have a better record than the Dallas Cowboys.


Just wanted to make sure you heard me. Again, its not Romo that's causing the team to lose. There is not a leader on the field offensively and defensively. The head coach is over his head and know he could be replaced by the offensive coordinator at a moments notice. Terrell Owens is your most vocal leader. Enough said.

Halloween was Great, Jacksonville made me look bad, Obama killed it in Cincinnati

Just wanted everyone to know, I was a Gynecologist for Halloween. Yep, named Dr. Seymour Bush. To my left was Kim Kardashian, what was below this photo was a real problem. Oh boy.

Went to the Jaguars-Bengals game here in Cincinnati, thought I'd go support my favorite football team. Look how they treat me! Cincinnati 21, Jacksonville 19. WTF...

Barack Obama came to Cincinnati and gave a hour-plus speech at UC's Nippert Stadium and it was good times all around. Ed The Sports Fan endorses the Senator from Chicago, Mr. Barack Obama. As if you didn't know. Enjoy your Monday, should be an interesting 48 hours...

GO VOTE! Easy.



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