Monthly Archives: June 2009

Free copies of the book

So, now when somebody asks me if they can have a free copy of Bearcats Rising, I’ll just point them in this direction. Since, you know, I don’t plan to make much money on ringtone sales.

I finished the book index late last night, and in reality, it wasn’t a terrible undertaking. I thought it would be brutal – going through each page and looking for names and events sounds awfully tedious to me – but it was more exciting than I thought (exciting, of course, being a relative term). Plus, I found a couple mistakes we could correct. After all the writing and editing and proofing we’ve done, I still don’t know why there were some mistakes I didn’t catch. For instance, there was a guy who played on the football team in the mid to late 1990s with the last name of Petrus. For some reason, I could have sworn his first name was David. But when I went to triple-check the name in the media guide, I couldn’t find a David Petrus. Instead, I located a Brent Petrus who played during those years. Sure enough, I went to quadruple-check, and yep, the guy’s name was Brent. Not David. How do mistakes like that happen anyway? Good thing, though. We’ve cleaned it all up for the book printing. There will be no mistakes, no typos, no misspellings. It’s going to be perfect.

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The extension of Mick

(10:40 a.m.): I sat down with Mick Cronin in early April, and while we discussed the end of last season and what he could expect for next year – as detailed in this blog post – we also got off track a bit.

I asked him about what I perceived as fan negativity with the state of the basketball program. Mick didn’t really address that, probably because he didn’t feel that he needed to answer those types of questions. He said he was more focused on the fans who are with the team – the 6,000 or so that entered Fifth Third Arena for games – than those who wanted to bash him and his players.

It’s perfectly understandable, and when he said that the Mick-bashers were a vast, but vocal, minority, it made sense. If you go by message boards and e-mails, the will of the people says that Mick should have been fired last season after the Bearcats had such a horrendous end to the year. But Mick comes into contact with dozens of more UC basketball fans than I do on a daily basis. For the most part, he said, those people were supportive. Those people wanted to see him stay as the Bearcats coach and to succeed there.

Read the rest here.

Adjusting to his surroundings

(10:44 a.m.): Twice a day, Lionel Jackson and Kenny Anaba find themselves in the warm weather, practicing with teammates they’re still getting to know and trying to understand what their coaches are saying. Twice a day, Jackson and Anaba – former soccer standouts for the Bearcats – feel at home in a land that sits many miles away from Cincinnati. Twice a day, Jackson and Anaba can feel comfortable at last.

“The thing about soccer that’s so beautiful is you don’t have to speak the same language,” Jackson said. “It’s a universal game. But it is really hard communicating with our coach.”

Anaba (who played his final season at UC in 2007 and led the Bearcats with 10 goals that season and finished seventh on the all-time goals list) and Jackson (a two-year starter who finished sixth in the Big East with eight assists in 2007) have spent the past few weeks playing for the Carolina Gigantes FC of the Puerto Rico Soccer League.

Read the rest of this Katz on the Cats entry here.

Cincinnati Punchline (05-19)

I had a good time writing this story for Soapbox Media, an online Cincinnati-area magazine. I’ve always been fascinated with stand-up comedy, and there’s a relatively well-known comic in this area who I wanted to write about for the web site. The editor said that was fine, but he also wanted a broader take on the state of stand-up comedy in Cincinnati. I traveled with Josh Sneed, his girlfriend and his dog to one of his college gigs in Louisville and spent the entire evening with them. It was an interesting time – getting his take on the art of stand-up and what it’s like to be a comic on the road while discussing how strong or weak the Cincinnati scene is.

I knew I wanted to lede the story with him being on the road (driving to Louisville or eating for free at the tiny dining hall on campus or something like that). After thinking about a couple ideas – and discarding them because they were all kind of stupid – I decided to go with the comic listening to another stand-up’s comedy CD and going crazy over it. I thought the lede effectively blended Sneed’s sense of humor and his appreciation for the art form in general. At least, that was the point.

My favorite line, though, was this:

Now, he’s reaping the rewards. And as Todd Barry ends his set on the car stereo, Sneed looks in the backseat once again at his girl and his dog (one of whom is snoring rather loudly). He’s about to cross the Brent Spence Bridge into Cincinnati and is close to home after a fulfilling night’s work. He shifts his body frontward and looks through the windshield, content with his career and with his life.

And funny enough, the next time I saw Sneed and his girlfriend (perhaps inappropriately enough, at a funeral), that’s the first thing she mentioned.

The work doesn’t end for bball coaches

(11:19 a.m.): Chris Goggin enters the Lindner Center in the morning, finds his way to the sixth floor, walks into his office and picks up the phone. Another day at the salt mine. Another day of punching the clock. Another day of trying to get the best game for the cheapest price.

Another day of lying the day away.

All for a good cause, though. When the UC basketball season ends in March, an entirely new season begins for coach Mick Cronin’s staff. A season of catching up on office work. A season of summer camps that allow the coaches to raise money, to teach the fundamentals to kids just happy to be in their presence and to get a first-hand look at a few potential recruits. A season of recruiting around the country. A season that’s not about preparing the team for the present, but a season that’s about preparing the program for the future.

Read the rest here.

Some Sad News 06-03

(12:03 p.m.): Heard about this a couple days ago, but we waited until we got more info before saying anything.

Mike Woods, UC’s first consensus All-American who played from 1975-77, died last week at the age of 54.

“Great guy,” said Jim Kelly Jr., who played with him at UC for two years. “Absolutely wonderful personality. He lived in Cleveland and came in with a lot of talent. A good frame, but thin. He was one of those guys who worked his tail off and put on some nice weight that made him a speciman to look at. He turned out to be a phenomenal football player.”

Read the rest here.

W. Anderson Unafraid to Do Dirty Work For Kids 05-12

I actually kind of forget I wrote this story for the NFL PA. I interviewed former Bengals OL Willie Anderson early last season, but before I could tap out this tome, Cincinnati released him and the Ravens signed him as a free agent. I still wrote the story (why waste my time interviewing a pretty interesting dude and then not writing about him, simply because he switched teams?), and many months later, it finally ran. The problem? Anderson has retired.