Really Early Thoughts: Cincy Football

We’re a little over halfway through July and I am really jonesing for some football…

…so here are some thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals as Training Camp approaches.

The Bengals have three running backs that they think are of starting caliber. Just about everyone else that knows football thinks its Joe Mixon and everyone else fighting for the second-string spot. It would probably be a more closely contested match if Giovanni Bernard were healthy, but he isn’t.

That pits Mixon against Jeremy Hill. For what my unprofessional opinion is worth, I like Mixon.

The Bengals’ offense, overall, should be far more entertaining this season. John Ross adds the kind of receiver opposite the awesome A. J. Green that the Bengals missed last season (Should have kept Sanu/Marvin Jones). Green will catch pretty much anything you throw at him while Ross is supposed to be the kind of guy who can speed past the furthest defensive back. Add in a healthy Tyler Eiffert (full disclosure, I am getting tired of waiting for Eiffert’s health) a sophomore Tyler Boyd, and the play-making ability of Mixon and the Bengals, with some amount of blocking from a decimated o-line, will be fun to watch.

Defensively, the Bengals got younger.

No more Rey Maualuga, who Cincinnati fans had become so accustomed to seeing that most of them may not realize he is gone, and enter in Kevin Minter, who came over from the Cardinals. The 2017 season will be Minter’s fifth, his first four all spent in Arizona. In his last two seasons in the desert, Minter compiled 175 total tackles, 20 of them for no-gain or negative yardage. Another key newcomer to the defense is rookie Carl Lawson. For what opinions from OTAs are worth, he’s really fast.

Another interesting watch will be the kicker…and now I’m done talking about that.

…………………………………

On the college side of things, the UC Bearcats will be completely different.

Luke Fickell has come to Clifton and put everyone on notice. As of right now, the only thing that is known about the new Bearcats is that they are intense and well-conditioned. Other than that…well…we’ll find out August 31st when they host Austin Peay. Yours truly has season tickets to Nippert, so expect a little more writing regarding the college football team from Cincinnati.

I love baseball, but the past few years, during the All-Star Break, I’ve gotten pigskin fever. This year feels like the fever upgraded to a virus…

August 31st can’t get here soon enough.

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A Movie Review Nobody Asked for – Spider-Man: Homecoming

It’s been tried twice before. Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield gave it their best shots, but ultimately they fell short. Given the past showings, they may have attempted to capture the essence of the most difficult superhero to accurately portray.

Spider-man has always been my favorite superhero. Batman is great, Superman is…well…super, but there’s something about Spider-man. He was always a kid trying to figure out life stuff while at the same time trying to calm down a genius with robotic tentacles coming out of his back or a man who is really a scorpion. At the end of the day, when the baddies were put away, he’d go back to algebra homework and figuring out how to talk to Mary Jane.

Tom Holland captures that with his performance in Spider-Man: Homecoming. We get the awkward teeny-bopper that Maguire and Garfield just can’t evoke. Holland shows the ability to get a laugh out of a tense situation, and that is my favorite part about Spider-man’s character. When the Green Goblin is tossing little pumpkin bombs at him, Spidey has the kind of personality to say “Hey, you forgot this!” while throwing the bomb right back at the Goblin.

You also really get the feeling of Spidey trying to fit in with the superhero world. Sure, it’s written in as a plot point, but you really feel the frustration that Peter Parker has whenever Tony Stark tells him he needs to keep focusing on the little things. Holland easily plays a teenage Spidey who feels unappreciated.

Another area where Homecoming hits the nail on the head is with the villain. Michael Keaton is a terrific actor who has played many roles. In Homecoming he plays a dude you could almost level with. Sure, he makes a living stealing things and turning them into his own creations but his reason is sort of admirable. The government screwed him over, so he now does what he does to get back at them. Plus, his suit is pretty cool. I like the pseudo-robo Vulture.

Overall the movie was good. I’d give it 4 out of 5. A little word of warning heading into the movie, the beginning is slow and it takes a minute to get going. One of the biggest victories for this rendition of Spider-man, though, is that they don’t spend half of the movie telling you what you already know. In the movie, Uncle Ben died a while ago. So much so, I do not remember a conversation between Aunt May and Peter where they mentioned Uncle Ben. Big plus, I say.

So go see it. Go see it if you like action, go see it if you like superheroes, and definitely go see it if you’re a fan of the Web-slinger. For this installment, the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man, will have you walking out of the theater satisfied.

Passing Down a Little Knowledge

If you like IPAs, you will love Rhinegeist’s newest year-round brew, Knowledge. Having had a few I can tell you straight up, I will be having more.

Let me get this out of the way first, I am not going to sound like an expert. From www.thegnarlygnome.com:

Intense & refined, Knowledge delivers notes of resinous pine, dank sap, pithy grapefruit, & ripe pineapple. Chewy hops, a zesty punch; this erudite Imperial India Pale Ale sharpens perceptive depths in the studious night.”

That dude knows how to say stuff about beer in a really “guy wearing a monocle and drinking out of a snifter” sort of way. Check out that website for more stuff like that.

What I have to say about beer will make sense, but won’t sound studious/scholarly/smart, just straight average Joe talking about beer. So here it goes.

Knowledge is crisp and refreshing. I love drinking it with food. It’s great with hot dogs or pizza or burgers. It also rocks out with some Doritos.

Also a plus, it sounds like it makes you smarter (even though we know with beer, that isn’t true).

I hope you don’t mind…but I’m going to get back to drinking some Knowledge.

Mitch Said No!

THE most important thing in Cincinnati sports for 2017 happened Wednesday.

FC Cincinnati played some soccer against the Chicago Fire in a U.S. Open Cup match. The beloved FCC against the big brother MLS team from the Windy City. It took every second of the clock to figure out the winner…and then some penalty shots, but the good guys pulled off their biggest win of the franchise’s short history.

Orchestrating such a win was the team’s stellar goalie, Mitch Hildebrandt. Mitch said no…a lot. Like every single shot that came toward the net, except for a penalty shootout goal by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Soccer fans will remember that name as the former captain of the German national team in the World Cup a few years back.

Yeah, FCC beat down some big dogs on Wednesday.

A little unprofessional analysis:

  • Jimmy McLaughlin was the runner-up to Mitch for man of the match. Chicago was stuck on defense for the bulk of the time McLaughlin roamed the pitch.
  • Second highest attendance ever for the U.S. Open cup. No biggie. But, ya know, Cincinnati doesn’t have a big enough media market for some MLS pundits. Uh huh…
  • No Djiby, no problem. The man who leads FCC, by a wide margin, in goals scored was not present. They still found a way.

The underdogs now become the top dogs as FCC goes to Miami in a few weeks for the next round of the tournament. Miami is in the same boat as FCC as they are in an underling division looking to rise up.

Win in the Sunshine State and FCC is looking at a pairing with either New England or Philadelphia, both MLS teams.

Are FC Cincinnati done yet? Mitch says no!

Welcome!

Writing is enjoyable. I have written for money before. Whether it was for a paper, for a website, or for an athletic department, I have put pen to paper fingers to keyboard and written about sports and other things. Mostly sports, though.

I also know myself. I love sports, but I get bored of sticking to one lane for an extended period of time. I enjoy movies, music, video games, and lots of food, beer, and wine. In order to write about whatevs, I figured I’d create my own space. Insert Frederick’s Folio.

Fun fact, my middle name is Frederick, so that’s where that came from. Then I googled what folio meant, and found out it worked, and voila. This will be the place where you can get a unique perspective on just about anything. I hope I bring a smile to your face, all 3 of you who will end up reading this, and maybe enlighten you. Though, I’m not counting on the latter…

So, just as the President is fond of ending his tweets, “enjoy!”

P.S. – If you feel like doing some sort of sponsor thing with me, email me at carrj1003@gmail.com