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Grayson Allen from the Top Rope

posted Jun 23, 2017, 1:01 PM by Jacob Geiser

I'm not a big Grayson Allen fan. Like at all. I think he is a dirty player who whines about every no call or foul he commits. But...

I'm a fan of his ability to troll the shit out of the Big Baller Brand. I was scrolling through twitter and I see him just come out of the rafters to put Lavar Ball and company in a damn body bag.

Alright Grayson, I see you. I still don't like you as a basketball player whatsoever but I do think I can get used to you pulling stunts like this on twitter. Taking shots at the Big Baller Brand has been a running theme for many basketball players, both at the pro and collegiate levels. The only reason I like this tweet and move on his part is because I think 99.9% of the country is in the same boat as Allen when it comes to the Big Baller Brand.

You got to do what you got to do to get people to stop hating you. If this is his way of making up the ground he lost from all the tripping incidents and crying like a spoiled 5 year old who didn't get a toy at the toy store... I can get on board with that. 

Who needs Triple-A?

posted Jun 23, 2017, 11:31 AM by Jacob Geiser

The Cincinnati Reds (30-41) are sitting 8 games out of first place. The Reds have gone through flashes all year. One week they look like world beaters and the next week they look like the Bad News Bears. Hitting as never been the issue for the Reds this year, but I can't say the same for the starting rotation. They own a league worst 6.12 ERA as a starting rotation. Not good at all. Now, some of it is expected due to the lack of veteran pitchers. Anthony DeSclafani, Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan have been on the DL for what feels like ages. Scott Feldman has been hit or miss, and the rookie pitchers have looked like well, rookie pitchers. I can't remember a time when they strung together 4-5 quality starts. The rotation has struggled to throw strikes, so Bryan Price has made a change.
Homer Bailey is ready to go and will start Saturday. I have never been so excited to see Homer Bailey start a game. Its about damn time. The guy has only started like 7 games since getting a 6yr/105 million dollar deal. As long as he can throw strikes, I'm on board.

Now, what I'm most excited for. Luis Castillo, a 24 year old right handed flame thrower is getting the start for the Reds tonight. Castillo was signed by the Giants in 2011 and was traded to the Marlins in 2014. The Reds acquired him when they traded Dan Straily to the Marlins in the offseason. What a god damn steal on the Reds part.

Castillo was the #12 rated prospect coming into the season (#5 pitcher) Castillo has done well in Double AA Pensacola so far this season. He is 4-4 with a 2.58 ERA. In 80.1 innings he has only allowed 68 hits and has a 81/13 strikeout to walk ratio. Castillo has a live arm. His fastball has been clocked between 95-100 mph. He has struggled throwing the slider and change-up for strikes at times in the past, but not this year. All Bryan Price cares about is Castillo throwing strikes, which he has. When your starting rotation has struggled to throw strikes, you feel helpless. Well, why not bring the young gun up for a few games and see what he has?

I'm not expecting Castillo to come on to the scene and mow down every batter he faces. All I want to see is a starter last more than 4 innings. Doug Gray has been covering Reds minor leagues games this year and here is what your going to see from the right hander.
"So what can we expect from Luis Castillo on Friday night? Well, assuming he looks like he has the rest of the year, we can expect a fastball in the 95-98 MPH range that touches 100. That fastball will be located well, too, as he tends to pound the zone with the pitch.
Coming into the season the scouting reports from when he was with the Marlins suggested his slider was the better of his two off-speed pitches, but it seems that has been flipped. His change up has been getting glowing reports with some calling it a plus offering that comes in between 87-89 MPH. The slider will flash itself as a plus pitch at times, too, but it’s still a bit inconsistent during the games." 
I really like Castillo. I can't wait to see him perform against a really good hitting team in the Washington Nationals. I think he has the tools to be an important part of the Reds rotation in the years to come. How his stint in the pros goes will give us a good understanding of what he is capable of and what he will need to work on so he can be a mainstay in the Reds rotation in the years to come.

Castillo Spring League

Give it the Academy Award already

posted Apr 12, 2017, 2:14 PM by Jacob Geiser

In recent years, Disney has slowly started to recreate some of the old classically animated movies we all loved as kids. It started with Alice in WonderlandMaleficent, and Cinderella. It has really gained traction with the recent remakes of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.  

Well, they decided to remake THE BEST Disney Movie of all time. 

The Lion King. 

Give me this all day, everyday. Give me Mufasa, Simba, Timon, Pumba, Rafiki, the whole damn crew. You know how great this is going to be? There will be people who get offended with them remaking the instant classic. Well they don't need to go see it. The Lion King was my favorite movie growing up. Watched it every time I went to my grandma and grandpa's house. I had a Lion King cutout above my bed from the age of 3- probably 8? It is still in my basement to this day. I starred in a play as a hyena from Lion King when I was like 5. I hated the hyenas. Shenzi, Banzai and Ed were maybe the most annoying characters in the movie. Didn't matter, it was the Lion King. 

It is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time, to this day. I say that with no shame. 

I mean, who doesn't want to see this? Simba and Scar battling for Pride Rock in HD. Are you freaking kidding me? That will be sooooo intense. My heart will be pounding and I already know how the fight ends. Simba after Mufasa appears to him in the sky, and he runs back to kick Scar's ass... GIVE IT TO ME. This movie animated with the technology now will be so cool to see how it transforms an already incredible movie. 

How can the movie get better you ask? Well for starters, the original voice of Mufasa (James Earl Jones) will come back to voice Mufasa. This is huge, don't think I can picture Mufasa without Jones being the voice. He was the voice of Darth Vadar and he was the grumpy old man, Mr. Mertle in The Sandlot. Pretty good resume if you ask me. Singer/celebrity Donald Glover will voice Simba. I can dig that. 

This picture alone has me hyped. I hate Scar as much as the next guy, but this picture of him has me pumped. He low key looks like a bad ass. When Simba throws him off the cliff, I may or may not fist pump in the movie theatre. 

Now if I have one real question, I wonder how good the songs will be throughout the movie. If they mess up Hakuna Matata, then I we may have issues. 

Just picture some of these scenes reanimated, it is like I'm 5 all over again. I think this is why I'm so excited. I'm going to get to relive what gave me so much joy as a child. Odds of me being there opening night is very high. Never experienced Lion King with the beauty that is movie popcorn. My mouth is watering right now thinking of that... 

Good news is that the movie will hit theatre's in 2017, hopefully that holds true because I need to see this ASAP. Jon Favreau has just been given the keys to a Lamborghini, better not wreck. 

When I was writing this I went to youtube and looked at some of the best clips from The Lion King. No lie, chills went down my body watching these and picturing how bad ass this is going to be. Here they are, enjoy these gems. 

Hakuna Matata

You had to know that Hakuna Matata is at the top of the list. I'm really interested to see how this will turn out in the remake. Especially the scene when Simba, Timon and Pumba are walking across the log and you see the transformation of Simba. 

Remember who you are

Rafiki, what a guy. If not for Rafiki, would Simba have ever gone back to take back Pride Rock? This scene always was one that hit you in the feels. "Remember who you are." Mufasa couldn't have said anything better than that. That saying, with that voice. Perfection at its finest. 

Simba Returns

Maybe one of the most underrated scenes throughout the movie. Nothing like seeing Simba absolutely cooking to get back to Pride Rock and take back what is his. Chills man. Chills. 

Simba vs. Scar

You knew I had to follow up with this clip. Simba and Scar for Pride Rock? That is like Game 7 of the World Series. One fight for all the marbles. This scene should be incredible in the remake. 

You may ask what does this have to do with sports? Nothing at all. But, I mean the websites namesake is based off a cartoon dog, so animals are apart of this company's foundation. 

Why not the Reds?

posted Apr 12, 2017, 12:42 PM by Jacob Geiser

Coming into this 2017 baseball season, no one thought the Cincinnati Reds would amount to anything. Bottom of all the rankings, last place finish in the division, all that good stuff. Fans had low expectations for this very young team. It is still early in the so called "rebuilding" process, but the Reds are playing really solid baseball to start the year.

Now, it is only 8 games into this 162 games season. I'm not saying the Reds are going to win the World Series. I'm not saying they are going make the playoffs. I'm not even saying they are going to have a winning record.

But, what I am saying is this...

They have absolutely NOTHING to lose. A team full of young players (lets not forget they are talented) no one knows what they are capable of. Only the Reds coaches and players know. The Reds have done an exceptional job bringing in talented players over the past few years. On top of that, the players they have drafted are starting to make it to the bigs. Guess what? They aren't all even in the bigs. Nick Senzel, Luis Castillo, Jesse Winker, Tyler Stephenson are just a few to name who are still in the minors. Can't forget the guys on the DL either. Homer Bailey, and Anthony DeSclafani should be back by the middle of the season.

Amir Garrett has all the makings of a future ace. 
Nothing to lose, and low expectations? That is a very dangerous combination for a young team. I said this team has the talent, if everything goes right, to win 75+ games. I personally believe that a lot of that young talent has developed more than most people thought. They aren't that bad of a team, I was shocked so many people thought so little of this years team.

They are fun to watch. I'm interested in seeing how the young prospects will do on the big stage. That is what will make this season fun. I have a reason to watch every game. My dad texted me after their 7-1 win when the bullpen DOMINATED the Pirates. 21 straight batters sat down, very impressive for a young bullpen. My dad isn't the biggest believer in Cincy sports. The general mediocrity, year after year rubs him the wrong way. Tired of the heartbreak, can't blame him. He says, "God the Reds are young, kinda winning one or two here." Coming from my dad, that is saying something. Even he is excited to watch this young ball club. The fact that he was watching them to begin with is surprising.

There is a lot to be excited about this summer. I plan on watching as many games as possible this year. I think we can see what this team is capable of. They are playing some pretty good baseball right now. 8 games in of course, not trying to jump to conclusions. Last year, the first 8 games the bullpen was horrible. This year, it is looking very good. The Reds have the best ERA in the NL through 8 games. As a collective staff, it is 2.76. The bullpen? 1.53. Incredible considering how bad they were in the bullpen last season.
Not only can Lorenzen throw gas, he can rake too. 

The Skyline Chili call to the bullpen isn't as terrifying anymore. Last season, a 5 run lead didn't feel big enough. This year, a 1 run lead seems like it is enough.

Hell, the pitcher can rake. Lorenzen has already went yard once, and it was no fluke. In addition to the bat of Lorenzen, there is Rookie Davis. The rookie had a double off the wall in first ever AB in the bigs. We at BSN are all about #PitchersWhoRake.

Last season, people tend to forget that the Reds were a pretty solid team at the plate. Not great, but not horrible. The bats are off to a hot start this season. Leading the way of course is Adam Duvall. The guy just rakes. He makes hitting home runs so easy it is kind of stupid. Huge shoutout to the Giants for giving us an All-Star for 3 months worth of Mike Leake. Hell of a trade off. Love my boy Leake, but the Reds got away with highway robbery. Zach Cozart and Eugenio Suarez are also off to great starts. Those 3 guys are all batting over .350 through the first 8 games. That hitting has seemed to be contagious. In fact, one of the most important players on the team is seeing the ball well. Billy Hamilton is known for his speed and flashy defense. His achilles heel has always seemed to be his performance at the plate. Can't stress this enough, it has only been 8 games. However, it is great to see Billy swinging the bat well. Hamilton is currently batting .323. If your a Reds fan, you take that and run with it. That means Billy and his speed is on base a lot more and that generates more runs.

On top of that, the new kid on the block, Scooter Gennett is playing well. First off his name is great. I love it. Scooter seems like a great baseball name. Gennett was picked up off waivers from the Brewers late in Spring Training. Scooter is a hometown kid who grew up a Reds fan. It is a match made in heaven. Gennett is batting .263, which is where he has been at all his career. He adds some power to the lineup. Which is something I didn't expect. He has 3 HR's early on in the 2017 campaign and leads the club with 8 RBI's.

The Redlegs are hitting and it is without maybe one of the best hitters in baseball, Joey Votto. The first basemen seems to start ever season slow and pick it up. He is only batting .161, but he is being much more aggressive at the plate. I'm not too worried about Votto batting that bad all year, he will hit over .300 this season.

The players aren't buying that they are"rebuilding". They are here to win, and I love that approach. It is basically a big showing of their middle finger to the NL Central and the rest of the MLB. You may think they are rebuilding, but they don't.

This team can potentially win 80 games this year if they get solid contributions from the bullpen and hit the ball well. Last year was a nightmare, this year seems different. Buckle up Reds fans, the next few years are going to be a good time. 

This video is just for your own personal amusement. I promise you, it will get you hyped for the future of the Cincinnati Reds. 

YouTube Video

The Boys are Back

posted Apr 11, 2017, 2:29 PM by Jacob Geiser

They're at it again.

Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas are taking on Spring Break. Just 2 days after completing the Masters, Fowler, Spieth and company are living it up at Baker's Bay.

The group took the golf world by storm last year when the crew went to take a break from golfing. Well, they still were golfing but not in the traditional sense. Playing to just enjoy the sport and probably the occasional friendly wager among the group. The boys really embody the "No shoes, no shirt, no problem" mentality. I mean does anything sound better than golfing at a resort, doing it with your buds, with nothing but bathing suits on, and drinking in the process? I don't think so. 

Last year this was all the buzz. The trip happened shortly after Spieth collapsed at the Masters. It was one of the first stories that BSN's own Austin James wrote to kick start the website. I have stayed "friends" with Rickie Fowler on Snapchat specifically for this moment to arrive again. I mean, you know this trip is as legit as it gets when they have their own Snapchat filter.

This is one reason why I love sports. The comradery among all athletes in their given sports, especially golf is incredible. I'm not a huge golf fan, but after their trip last season I started to follow the group more. Seeing Spieth and Fowler paired up for the final round at the Masters was awesome. I was hoping for a Spieth/Fowler showdown on Sunday. That would have been amazing. As we all know, it didn't happen. I wouldn't be surprised if they had #SB2K17 on their mind.

I'm sure Smylie brought down a few cases of Natural Light for the boys to drink while golfing. The guy has maybe one of the best sponsorships of all time. Natural Light? Are you kidding me... The things college kids would do to lock up a sponsorship like that. Woof. Smylie also has already broken out the Dab and it is only Day 1, this trip is going to be electric.

If you are interested in following the boys throughout their trip. Add Fowler (RickieFowler15) and Thomas (jlthomas34). I think they are worth the add.

Breaking Down the South Region & UC's Draw

posted Mar 14, 2017, 9:55 AM by Jacob Geiser

UC has been given a gift from above! They get a favorable path to make a run in the NCAA Tournament! False. UC has been given the South Region, which can basically be considered as death row.

Here is what the South Region looks like for those of you who may not know.

Looks like a whole lot of fun. Minnesota getting the 5 over UC makes no sense. Minnesota was never, NEVER ranked higher than UC all year. They didn't make their conference championship game and UC resume looks better than the Gophers. But, they gave UC a 6 seed. That is sweet.

Along with that, they gave UC probably the hardest play in game opponents you could give them of the 4 options. Kansas St and Wake Forest were 2 teams I thought were at least 8-9 seeds, but apparently not.

My first thought is that the South Region is loaded with teams who can make a run to win it all, and teams who are sleepers to make a run. The adults at the dinner table are UNC, Kentucky, and UCLA. They are the ones who are eying Glendale, Arizona. However, the big kids who want to be at the adult table but may not be old enough yet are UC, Butler and Wichita State. Then there is the kids table. I liken those teams to the kids from Cheaper by the Dozen. When they soak Ashton Kutcher's underwear in meat so the dog can go to town on him. They are the ones who are planning to ruin the dinner party at all costs. That is where Winthrop and Middle Tennessee fall into place.

UNC is the favorite to come out of the South after that UK and UCLA are clear favorites. Those teams have met in some way during the regular seasons so it wouldn't be surprising to see them play again. UCLA beat UK, while UK turned around and beat UNC. Butler and Minnesota as the 4/5 seeds are good teams, but flawed. Butler didn't last long in the Big East tournament and some of their inconsistent play against suspect teams has me skeptical of a big run from the Bulldogs. Winthrop is no slouch at the 13 seed. They have great guard play and seem like a team who can play Cinderella. Minnesota is good, but not #5 seed good IMO. Also, Middle Tennessee is a dangerous 12 seed. March could be short for the Gophers. I'll go into UC later. The 7-10 game with Dayton and Wichita State is really intriguing. Dayton limped to the finish line, while Wichita State never really beat a good team during the regular season. These are 2 of the most famous mid-majors who can make runs. That game will be a good one. The 1st timer NKU draws Kentucky in the first round for another exciting matchup. UK will run away late, but NKU isn't going to let big brother slap them around. The South Region is Death Row, but my oh my is it filled with intriguing matchups.

Don't sleep on the Cats making a run.
UC got the losing end of the wishbone from Thanksgiving. Their draw could've been A LOT better but it isn't. I'm moving past it and thinking positive. UC will get the winner of the Kansas St./Wake Forest game. UC wants to see Kansas State. Wake Forest is a very good team led by 1st team All-ACC John Collins. The center averages 19 ppg, and about 10 rebounds per game. Along with some solid shooters, I'd rather stay away from them. Kansas State is a much more favorable matchup and UC should have its way with them. UC should beat either teams regardless.

Then if all goes right, UC gets a matchup with the high powered offense of UCLA led by Freshmen phenom Lonzo Ball. UC is ranked #12 in RPI to UCLA's #16. That matchup is a lot more intriguing than people may think. UCLA is a fast paced team. They love to move the ball around as much as possible and shoot the 3. Offensively, they are one of the best in the country. Scoring roughly 90 ppg to Cincinnati's 75 ppg. However, UCLA isn't a very good defensive team and UC is one of the best. One thing will have to give. UC has the chance to really control the tempo of this game and keep this game closer than people think. UC can score and defend this year for a change and that should bode well for them.

Looking deeper into UCLA they struggle in their losses a lot. In their 4 losses they have turned it over on average 12.7 times ppg. That is something UC can use to their advantage. UC's adjusted defensive efficiency is ranked #11 at 91.9, while UCLA is sitting at 99.8 (78th). Along with turning the ball over, UCLA has shot horribly from the 3 point line in those losses.

UCLA's 4 losses:
4-25 (16%) = 86-75 loss to Arizona -- TO's: 14
6-20 (30%) = 84-76 loss to USC -- TO's: 17
10-31 (32.3%) = 96-85 loss to Arizona -- TO's: 6
11-25 (44%) = 89-87 loss to Oregon -- TO's: 14

Clearly there is an achilles heal to the Bruins. If the 3 doesn't fall they struggle. Even if it does they tend to turn the ball over a lot in those losses. Even with the solid shooting in the 89-87 loss to Oregon, TO's made the difference.

UC CAN beat UCLA, I'm not saying they will. I'm just saying it can happen. This matchup is more favorable than some people would like to think. Little fun fact, the last time UC was a 6 seed. They went to the Sweet Sixteen and weren't supposed to beat the respected 3 seed, Florida State. Just a little reminder to the Bearcat faithful.

I'll show you guys my bracket later this week before the first set of games on Thursday. March Madness is finally here...

Bracketology: Our Teams'

posted Mar 2, 2017, 9:52 AM by Jacob Geiser

This post will mark the end of the 1 month and 5 day hiatus of no new content being posted to BSN. Oh my we are killing it over here.

BSN has a good variety of teams that we root for. We got UC, UK, South Carolina, Xavier and the Bobcats. Most of these teams, will be dancing. Who needs to Joe Lunardi when you have Bolt? I look into their last few games and preview their respected conference tournaments.

#18 Cincinnati: 25-4 (14-2) RPI:15
Cincinnati is a lock to dance this season. In the American, solid wins are hard to come by and that will effect UC's seeding. UC will most likely end up being a 5, but could end up being a 4 seed. If Cincinnati wins out, including the AAC Tournament, that will give them at least 3 more wins against Top 50 RPI teams. Houston has played their way into that grouping. Those 6 wins could go a long way in the committee's eyes. Cincinnati squares off with Houston on Senior Night and the last game in 5/3 for Caupain, Johnson, and Tobler. As well as Clark, Washington and #QuadSquad. Then a date with UConn and its seniors on their Senior Day on Sunday. UC should finish the regular season at 27-4 (16-2). UC earned the #2 seed in the AAC Tournament and it honestly my be for the best. SMU, UConn, and UCF will all be on the other side of the bracket.

Why does this matter? Well UConn is UConn. In March, they could be 9-20 and still find a way to make it to the tournament. I don't know how but that team just plays really good basketball in March. Considering the tournament is hosted in 1 of the 2 arenas UConn plays their home games in... I'll pass. SMU on the other bracket will give UC the potential to square up in a rubber match, for all the marbles. SMU/UC for a chance to move up to a 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament will be on the line. UCF has given UC bigs fits, well Tacko Fall at least. I'm cool with them getting beat by UConn or SMU. The only real challenge on UC's side would be the #3 seed Houston. Sign me up.

#9 Kentucky: 25-5 (15-2) RPI: 8
Kentucky is dancing again this season, what is new. After a win on Senior Night vs. Vandy, Kentucky is rolling. Their last home game is at Texas A&M on Saturday. UK is looking more and more like a 2 seed. If they just take care of business they will most likely earn themselves a 2 seed. UK could however maybe pull of a 1 seed if a team collapses or just doesn't get the job done. Odds are though this team will be a 2 seed.

When it comes to the SEC tournament, UK needs to worry about 2 teams. Florida and South Carolina. Florida has already beaten UK once, and played them tight until it became the Malik Monk show. UK has scared some people with their play against some of the weaker teams in the SEC. However, I wouldn't worry about them to much.

South Carolina: 22-8 (12-5) RPI: 29
The Gamecocks will be dancing in 2 weeks. Unlike last season, their will be no end of the season train wreck. Only one game left as well for the Gamecocks as they square off with the Ole Miss Rebels. South Carolina predicted by most Bracketologists to be a 7 seed, but I think they will fall to the 8 seed. 

I think the Gamecocks could be bounced early from the SEC Tournament, don't see it happening but they won't win. I think teams on the 8-9 line (Xavier), could play up a few seeds due to potential wins over top RPI teams. Regardless, their shouldn't be any worrying for our boys Tito and Ben down in Columbia.

Xavier: 18-12 (8-9) RPI: 36
What was supposed to be other magical season didn't really turn out that way for the Musketeers. Xavier has gone 4-5 since the Crosstown Shootout, and has lost key players along the way. Sumner went down with a gruesome injury, Bluiett hurt his ankle and missed some games. This team just hasn't been clicking this season. Xavier with their last loss to Marquette has dropped them into the Last 4 In according to Lunardi.

If I'm a Xavier fan I'm nervous. They are trending downward and a bad loss to DePaul this coming Saturday could be the final blow to Xavier this season. I don't think Xavier will lose to DePaul, but they are struggling. I think for them to be "safe" may be winning a few games in the Big East Tournament. Xavier's got more work to do than most people may have thought. I still don't think they will completely collapse and miss the dance. Xavier is looking more and more like than 10 seed or 9 seed who could do some damage if they right the ship within the next two weeks. The talent is there to get hot but it needs to start now or Xavier may miss the dance.

Ohio: 18-10 (10-7) RPI: 124
Oh the Bobcats. They have some work to do. Ohio's season had all signs pointing to a NCAA berth. MAC POY Antonio Campbell. Campbell averaged 16.4 ppg. He only played 14 games then went down with a broken foot. To show you how much he meant to the team, no one has matched his average of leading scorer. Jarron Simmons is now the teams leading scorer averaging 15.5. OU is your typical Mid-Major team, lives and dies by the 3. If they are hitting they are lethal, if not they are just average.

With one remaining game at Miami (OH), they will be the #3 seed in the MAC tourney. The one thing benefiting OU is that the MAC is wide open. As my good friend Donovan Hester once said, "It is the wild west out there." Anyone can win. That is why I won't count them out. Everything is on the line for OU when they head to Cleveland for the MAC Tournament. 

What the Crosstown Shootout means to the 513

posted Jan 26, 2017, 9:05 AM by Jacob Geiser   [ updated Jan 26, 2017, 9:06 AM ]

Article by: Dominic Lynd

Those of us who love sports all know the feel of the big day. The buildup for a Super Bowl lasts two whole weeks of media coverage. The common phrase states: “The sweetest two words in sports- Game 7.” These game seven matchups can have people on the edge of their seats for hours at a time. Well, if you're like me then there are two more important words in sports- Crosstown Shootout. Unlike game seven, this lasts more than one night. No, this lasts 365 days a year. For us, this is bigger than the upcoming Super Bowl. 

Unmatchable pride on both sides, fighting for one city that seems too small for the both of us. In most places, you can put the name of the city on your uniform and assume it's your’s. You can place the city skyline on the court and claim yourself the king of the city. The problem with our city? We have two kings and only one crown. One game to settle disputes of the previous 364 days.

This isn't a normal rivalry. This isn't Notre Dame and Miami jawing cross country. This is one city, and a battle for who's better. There isn't disdain in this rivalry, but hatred. Depending on who you you are, that could be good, or bad. It really brings out the worst in everybody. In grade school arguments have thrown punches, punches have been thrown at me. Nothing could bring this out of what we're usually such good friends, except for these two bitter rivals with such an inflammatory history. We'd fight about games, history, hell, we fought about fights, and who started them. 

The pettiest insults could only get away on this subject. I have a cool iPhone background that tells me what time it is, and informs me if Xavier still sucks or not at that current time. The answer has always been yes, so I really enjoy it. The attractiveness of coed students has been insulted. The resemblance of a coach to a leprechaun, the complete and utter stupidly of a mascot, and the “vandalization” of statues on each school’s campus…. you name it, it's happened.

Over the course of my life? It's been complete domination, and I've been on the wrong end. Does it bring me immense sadness and total darkness? Yes. Would I give it up for anything in the world? No. I love this game, this city, and this rivalry. As a kid, I've cried over this game multiple times. I've embarrassed myself on this matter more times than I care for, and have even worsened several friendships. I've also made some good friends on this matter. Even though he may tell you otherwise, I even converted a lifelong best friend from the cold depths of midnight navy to warmth of red. Anyone can make fun of me for it, but I truly live for this rivalry, and for this beautiful city.

Would it be an article without a prediction? 78-69 Bearcats victory. Troy hops on his trusty white steed and rides into the sunset, in the beautiful Clifton streets. 

Crosstown Shootout Preview with Bolt and Ben Dirr

posted Jan 26, 2017, 7:30 AM by Jacob Geiser

Well it is here. The Crosstown Shootout will take place Thursday Night at 7:00 P.M on ESPN2. The #19 Cincinnati Bearcats (17-2) will put their 10 game winning streak on the line when the #24 Xavier Musketeers (14-5) come to Fifth Third Arena.

UC leads the all-time series at 49-34, but sadly Xavier has controlled the rivalry as of late winning 7 of the last 9. Xavier has won the last 3 games convincingly except for a nail bitter at Fifth Third Arena when XU won 59-57.

This preview will not go without fair Xavier coverage. BSN analyst Ben Dirr will give you a Xavier preview along with his prediction. I of course will give you the Bearcats coverage.

Who to watch for UC:
Cincinnati has been efficient offensively, which is surprising for a Mick Cronin led team. UC is shooting 48% from the field, something fans aren't used to seeing. UC averages 77.3 ppg, a vast improvement from teams in the past. Sophomore Jacob Evans III is the Bearcats leading scorer. Evans III recently has come out of a little dry spell as is back to his normal ways. The sophomore is shooting 50% on the year and has been the Bearcats go to scorer. Normally, that would be UC's only player averaging double figures, not this year. Senior Troy Caupain (10.8 ppg) and Junior Kyle Washington (13.4 ppg) are also scoring threats.

Evans III, Caupain and Washington all will do their thing but my player to watch is Senior guard Kevin Johnson. The Cincinnati native is possibly having the best season he has had at UC. Johnson is averaging 10.8 ppg in conference play and has really been really big for them down the stretch. It seems like whenever the Bearcats need to make a run or are on a run, Johnson is playing some of his best basketball. Johnson gets criticized a lot by fans on twitter, but you can't deny he has played well this season. This is a game where Johnson will need to be a threat offensively. Every basket counts in the Crosstown Shootout. UC will need to have the starting 5 playing some of their best basketball. It is Johnson's final Crosstown Shootout and I don't think he wants to graduate not beating Xavier.

Why UC will win
UC's starting 5 is starting to click more and more as a group. 3 of the 5 starters average double figures. Gary Clark and Kevin Johnson are the only two who don't and Clark averages 9.8 ppg. I think the senior leadership of Troy Caupain and Kevin Johnson will be a big reason why they win. These are 2 hungry seniors who haven't beat Xavier yet, I don't think that is sitting right with them.

Why will they win is a tough question because their are many ways this team can win. I hate to be that UC fan but I just think UC is playing better basketball. I think Xavier has all the talent in the world to make a run to the Sweet 16, but right now UC is the hotter team. I think their 3 point shooting will be the difference in the game. UC has shot the ball more efficiently than in years past and Xavier has struggled to guard the 3 this season. Jacob Evans III (41.3%) and Kyle Washington (42.1%) can kill you from deep if you don't rotate quick enough. You can't sleep on anybody from UC. All of the players shoot the 3 very efficiently for their given amount of playing time.

I just think UC is on a roll. They are playing at home and everything seems to be clicking for them. Xavier just seems like they are missing something and trust me I have watched plenty of XU basketball because of my roommate Dave Heisel. I can see Washington having his way in the paint and the guards doing their thing. I just have this feeling that UC is starting to click on all cylinders. I don't think we have seen the best of this team yet. The Crosstown Shootout might be the coming out party.

Why UC will lose
Xavier hasn't clicked all year. Finally pulling their best basketball out of their ass is such a Xavier thing in the Crosstown Shootout. Just look in the past few years. Dee Davis and Myles Davis have had the game of their lives playing UC. Myles Davis was more consistent throughout his career IMO. So when Dee Davis decided to drop what felt like 40 against UC in 2014-15, I was pissed. I know plenty of Xavier fans and they all complained about him, but that one game they all loved him.

It wouldn't surprise me for Xavier to chose this game to start clicking. The talent is all there. I think the 3 point shooting will the difference for both teams. Who is making them and who is defending them well will be the biggest part of the game. UC will win the rebounding battle, but Xavier could make that useless if they are firing from deep. Trevon Bluiett shoots the 3 a lot, but he can get hot real quick. Xavier's backcourt is top in the country. Edmond Sumner, Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura are as good as they come. Those 3 could be the reason why UC would lose this game.

Bolt's Prediction:
This is going to be one of the best Crosstown Shootout's in recent memory. It also is one of the biggest. It is UC's last big game when it comes to resume builders and for Xavier, it is a chance to get back on track. I think UC will come out hot but Xavier will match them and keep the game close.

However, the Bearcats will get a big win as they pull away late with big free throws. UC wins 76-68. 

Who to Watch for the Muskies
Obviously when talking about this year’s Xavier squad it starts with, and basically ends with, their Big 3 Backcourt in Sumner, Bluiett, and Macura. The three of them are averaging 47.0/14.0/9.4 combined with each scoring at least 27 points once this year. Other than that there isn’t much the Muskies have to offer consistently on the offensive end. Gaston has a chance to go for a double-double every night but has been streaky so far this season. Bernard can knock down a shot and O’Mara can make some wide open layups if given the opportunity.

Keys to Victory
Offense has been the main struggle in the losses this year. If Coach Mack can get the 47/14/9 that they average there is no reason they should lose this game. It’ll be very important that Tre and JP see one of their first coupe of shots go down to get them going. They will win the rebounding battle no matter how much of a problem Gary Clark is, the Bearcats won’t be able to command the boards even though their team averages are similar. It just depends on by how much and how many of them are on the offensive end and get extra possessions. The things that could cause X to be scrambling after this one would be if only one of their guys can get going on the offensive end, they let UCs pressure get to them, or go through long 5-10 minute scoring droughts (all of which have been a problem this year).

Dirr's Prediction
Macura has a 25+ point night and taunts the student section as he hits the sealing free throws. The best way I’ve heard it put is first to 65 wins.  XU 71 UC 67. Go Muskies. Just pains me to know that Myles won’t be able to finish his 4-0 career against the Cats.

Johnny Manziel Comeback?

posted Jan 23, 2017, 11:41 AM by Jacob Geiser   [ updated Jan 23, 2017, 11:48 AM ]

Johnny Manziel's NFL career was short lived and full of off-field incidents. Everybody knows that. Manziel was on the Browns roster for 2 seasons, and for how successful and electric he was in college, it was disappointing.

I am a Johnny Manziel fan, I loved watching him in college. Manziel tore it up at Texas A&M. Johnny Football was like that player you created in NCAA Football who was 99 overall, could scramble for days and had a cannon for an arm. He was ridiculous. He did so well that he was the first freshmen in College Football history to win the Heisman Trophy. That fame may have contributed to how we have ended up here.

Manziel was your average college kid. He would party like all college kids do, but it just seemed that everyone hated that about him. How you can hate a college kid for partying is beyond me, but that isn't the point. He got a half suspension for signing autographs and accepting money for it. He missed the first half of the Rice game and then came in and proceeded to be Johnny Football, ball out. Johnny Manziel became Johnny Football. I am not the only one who thinks the fame of being 'Johnny Football' contributed to how his football career went after Texas A&M. We do need to appreciated what he did do in college.

Picture via ESPN.
His college stats were impressive. He threw for 7,820 yards and 63 TD's while running for over 2,000 yards and 30 TD's. He led the SEC in completion percentage for the 2 years he was at Texas A&M. He led the NCAA in total touchdowns his freshmen year with 47. He had a 20-6 record as QB1 of the Aggies.

Alcohol and drugs were the reason Manziel's NFL career was short. In and out of rehab, Manziel never got his feet under him in the pros.

Fast forward past the partying and we are here on January 23rd. A few days ago Manziel came out with 2 statements, both hinting at a return to the NFL. The other message was Manziel saying he is sober and done with the pop star life he previously was living in.

One of his most recent Instagram posts was a heartfelt message, and hinting that he is ready to be the QB he once was at Texas A&M.

If you ask me, I believe that Manziel is ready to make football his #1 priority. Whether or not he gets the chance is a different story. I get why someone may not take a chance on him, but I think he deserves one. He was lost, confused and made some mistakes. We all make mistakes, what makes Manziel so much different?

I don't know if the NFL will come calling for Johnny Manziel. If they do, I will be ready to see what he is able to do. He has a lot of people doubting him, but that wouldn't be the first time the kid was doubted in his life. The whole Instagram post was based off him silencing the haters and making everyone pay for what they said.

Manziel will have chances to prove what he is made of. In fact, the Spring League has offered him an invitations to show everyone how he has changed. The Spring League isn't affiliated with the NFL, but according to ESPN and other sources, NFL teams will be sending scouts to check out players. Manziel isn't the only one who is looking at a second chance. Vince Young and Ray Rice were given invitations as well. The league debuts in April, and it will be interesting to see what Manziel will do with the offer.

Obviously the NFL isn't the only option for Manziel. The CFL has expressed that they would love to get Manziel on board and get him back on track. I personally would love to see that. I think Manziel would make everyone look silly, but that is just my opinion. It could be the perfect way to get back on track. If he does well enough who knows the NFL may be calling Johnny Manziel for round 2.

Johnny Football could be done playing football, but if he isn't I hope he proves everyone wrong. Let us all be honest. Who wouldn't want to see this again? Good luck Johnny.

Ultimate Johnny Manziel Highlights

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