Pamela M Hampton Former county sheriff celebrates 80th birthday Missing Adams County man is found Lady Hounds fall to Whiteoak in slugfest Calvert’s walk-off gives Hounds 9-8 win over Whiteoak Charles A Benjamin Give My Regards to Broadway Joyce Berry Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson

Two teams, one city, two different directions

Let me begin by saying that my whole life I have considered myself fortunate to live in such close proximity to the city of Cincinnati. A 50-minute drive down US 52 and Kellogg Avenue gets me to Great American Ball Park or Paul Brown Stadium and you can’t beat that. There are millions in this country who would give anything to be that close to a professional sports franchise (and that includes Browns fans), but lately it is obvious that the two professional franchises in Cincinnati are heading in dramatically different directions.

Let me begin with the 10-2 Cincinnati Bengals, on their way to what might be the best season in team history, though there are a couple of obstacles still in that path. It is safe to say that the Bengals have left their “Bungles” days far in the rear-view mirror and have quietly become one of the best-run franchises in the National Football League. Who’d have ever thought that we could say that? The Bengals have put together one of the most talented rosters in the league, mainly through loyalty to their own and a string of very good drafts. (Everyone thank a guy named Duke Tobin.) How about Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in the first two rounds of the same draft?

Bengals fans now expect a win every week, instead of the days when fans sat back and wondered how many ways the team could figure out to lose on that particular day.

Though sometimes it pains fans to do so, give some credit to owner Mike Brown. Unlike Jerry Jones who seems to get interviewed after every game, Brown just stays in the shadows and quietly lets the people around him do their jobs. Would you have ever guessed that Marvin Lewis would be the second longest-tenured coach in the NFL? Yes, Lewis still makes us crazy sometimes with his clock management issues and his news conferences are legendary for their non-information, but right now he is a winner and that’s what counts.

Will this be the year that the playoff jinx is broken? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Of course, I want to see another Super Bowl team since I remember how much fun I had with the first two even thought they turned out the wrong way, (Darn you Joe Montana!) As I was just telling my Monday morning Who-Dey partner in the office, otherwise known as Terry Rigdon, it is just nice to know that at the beginning of every season the Bengals are considered a playoff contender. A fan can’t ask for much more than that.

On the other side of the fence are our beloved Cincinnati Reds fans, Bless our hearts, if we are nothing we are certainly loyal to our team. I found that out first-hand last weekend with a trip to Redsfest. Even with a team that lost over 90 games in 2015, the place was packed with red and white. That has to be loyalty, or in my case memories, because it is a good thing now that the Reds have such a storied history.

Now to be fair, it wasn’t long ago that the Reds were a playoff team, but much like their neighbors down the street, they have no recent playoff wins to show for it. I still say that Game 3 against the Giants in the playoffs a few years ago was the beginning of this franchise’s downfall. Nothing has been the same since.

Of course, the Reds’ problems mostly revolve around the economics of baseball where the rich get richer and the small market teams get lost, at least some of them. Because of some unwise financial decisions, the Reds are now forced into the dreaded fire sale, if they can get a team to take anyone off their hands. They tried to dump Aroldis Chapman on Monday, but that isn’t working out too well at the moment. They don’t even get a trade right as it seems Aroldis choked his girlfriend or something like that. (Check out her supposed “choking” photos on tmz.com. Betting you won’t notice any choke marks.)

So how do the Reds sell this team to their fans if they do trade away their “big” names? I wondered that myself until I went to Redsfest and saw the crowd. I talked to one Reds fans while standing in line and he said that he was looking forward to this season as much as any before, excited to see what these young kids could do. Likely finish in last place again I’d guess. Is that something you can sell to the fan base—come see the new generation of Reds even if you can’t name any of them? How many bobbleheads can be given away to attract fans? I’m thinking they could have a unique Chapman bobblehead now, but let’s not go there.

Here’s hoping that the direction that the Reds are going in will pay off. Let’s hope that if they trade off the “stars” of the team, they actually get players in return who can help them right away instead of languish in the minors. Let’s hope that whatever product the team puts on the field next year will be one that is at least fun to watch. If no one gets traded, which seems highly doubtful, a core of Mesoraco, Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Frazier, Suarez, Hamilton, and Bruce really isn’t all that bad. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that core will be anywhere near a Reds uniform come spring training and the starting pitching is still questionable at best. So Reds fans will wait and wonder, and try to look at the bright side, if there is one.

But who wants to think baseball now? Let’s celebrate the orange and black and what could happen in the next few weeks, or at least we hope so. I may be writing in a few weeks about playoff success or I may be writing about another playoff disappointment. Either way, just be thankful and remember those immortal words of Sam Wyche, “You don’t live in Cleveland.” Who-Dey!

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Reach Mark Carpenter at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.

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