Paul Daugherty has been an Enquirer sports columnist since 1994 and has been chronicling Cincinnati sports since 1988. He has covered almost every major sporting event in America, as well as five Summer Olympics. Along the way, he has been named one of the country's top-5 sports columnists four times, and Ohio columnist of the year on seven different occasions. Last year, he was voted 2nd-best sports columnist in the country, by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
need some reds help
will be in sarasota beginning wednesday... here's what I'd like to try... send me an idea for a column you'd like me to do...it might be on my list already, it might not interest me... or it might be something I haven't thought of... anyway, if you've got a notion, send it along... I'll do my best to see it gets in the paper... Live big...
short attention span's guide to uc-nova
I was on deadline, so i didnt get to the post-game press conference, but i have to feel devan downey acted alone on uc's crucial next-to-last possession... hicks has to have the ball there... and the charge on downey was legit... don't ever recall 5/3 being any louder than in the last minute thursday night... nova has a very nice club... guards are crucial in march and nobody has 2 better than foye and ray, but you have to wonder why lowry was the guy with the ball mostly down the stretch... uc needs to beat either seton hall or wvu to feel OK about its madness chances... a question is, how many big east teams get in? top 4 are a lock, then there are marquette, georgetown, uc, seton hall and even syracuse... do they take 6? 7? 8?
coaching wheel... paul hewitt is up, karl hobbs is down, skip prosser treads water... kevin stallings very much in the loop, mike montgomery currently not a factor... and of course AK will be seriously considered... he was never out of the loop, as so many have suggested... given how the season has gone and the potential to mend fences w/fans, boosters and alumni, AK is very much in the running...
as James Spader said to William (Denny Crane) Shatner at the end of Boston Legal last week: "Live big.''
Live big, my friends.
uc coaching search
not based on much but a hunch and an ear to the ground...AK will get more than a courtesy interview...skip prosser is down, mike montgomery is up, kevin stallings is right there... montgomery worked at stanford, a lure for zim, and is accustomed to working under stricter admissions guidelines..same for stallings... conventional wisdom says AK is guilty by association w/BH... I havent heard anyone involved in the process say, on or off the record, that that's a big issue... in fact, one person close to it says AK is very much in the mix... maybe the bigger question is whether he'd ratherv start over elsewhere...
In case you missed it, and props to you if you did: US speedskaters Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick didnt hug after their 1,500-meter final... at the winter olympics, this amounts to high drama... hugging ... Lacking sport -- or at least what most of us recognize as sport -- the winter games go for theatre... who's hugging? Who's not? Is he. . .crying? What lame excuse did Bode Miller offer today? Let's watch the Italian skating couple, to see if they hug. After their stumbling the other night, they didnt speak to each other. Let's see tonight if they. . . cry. While Bryant Gumbel did make a fool of himself the other night -- Shani Davis, winner of a gold and a silver, is very much a black athlete -- Gumbel was on the mark with the rest of it. I don't know how my colleagues in Turin do it, but they manage to write with authority and apparent passion about activities they know little about and, as a rule, care less about... maybe that's why the summer games are more about sports and the winters are more about hugs... everyone understands hugging.
spoke last night at the purcell HS hall of fame dinner... am always amazed at the loyalty and enthusiasm cincinnatians have for their high schools, especially the parochials... having grown up in the D.C. area, I left high school in the rearview mirror on grad day, never considered going back to live, even if I could afford it... one of the things that truly defines our town is the love people have for their high schools... it speaks well of cincinnati's affection for community and family... thanks to all at P-M for inviting me...
Short Attention Span's Guide to the last few days
Forrest Whitaker should be emmy-nominated for his role in The Shield this year... ryan freel said that tampa cop recognized him? sure... bryant gumbel will get a pass for saying the winter olympics were too white... going to the Masters this year, 1st time? Lemme know... eric hicks replacing erik martin as my favorite bearcat, ever. nobody ever has gotten more from his skills, nobody has ever come further in that program, as a person or player... it will take awhile, but castellini reds don't look much different from lindner reds, unless casey-for-williams thrills you... tony womack?... van morrison in nashville march 7... love van, and he's notoriously shy about playing in public... anybody going?
North College Hill
been accused today by a few e-mailers of "player hating'' after the column this morning re NCH and Oak Hill. "Player hating'' is a buzz-phrase for "racist.''
Just stop it.
Trust me: I dont care if every kid at NCH and Oak Hill Academy is equal parts lime green and cherry red. IMHO, high school sports are about rivalries, longstanding friendships created among kids and families, and a pride in representing your school, among other things. This game is a money-making event between 2 teams of all stars. The biggest thing it has in common with high school sports is that everyone participating is of high school age. I'd write that if every kid playing were whiter than elbow macaroni.
Accusing me of "player hating'' is sadly reflective of a destructive wrong-headedness all too pervasive...
pro bowl finale
before going to the arizona memorial this morning, a last thought about the game... if nothing else, the pro bowl shows you that the nfl is arguably the ultimate team game... the best players in the world often looked like the 3 stooges yesterday... that'll happen when you only have a week to work together... that may be why teams like the steelers do so well, so consistently... they keep their core players and fill in around them, especially on the offensive line... meanwhile, teams like the washington redskins flounder, at least until this year, because a football-dumb owner with lots of money thought he could buy his way out of his team's problems...
if you only have a day
Short Attention Span's guide to one day on Oahu... walk waikiki in the morning, before all the tourists from minnesota fill the beach... hike diamond head... drive east 30 minutes, to another world... honolulu is big, loud, crowded, ordinary... Sandy Beach is straight out of South Pacific...perfect hunk of crescent sand, maybe 300 yards across... try to ride 6- 8-foot waves... wipeout... drive to haleiwa, a funky, surfer town on the north shore... buy some leather sandals...drive to Banzai Beach, 10 minutes up route 83... watch surfers do amazing things you've seen only on wide world of sports... 12-foot waves, wetsuited people disappearing under the curl, reappearing unscathed, sliding as if the water is ice, hypnotic, physical poetry like you've never seen... stay for sunset, watch as puffy clouds change colors as the sun slides down the horizon like an over-easy egg from a skillet... take pictures.. impress your friends... be thankful that there are waves and surfers and sunsets (and cameras) in this world, and you are a part of it...aloha
Hiked it yesterday... easy walk from parking lot, through the crater... trail switches back for awhile, then goes straight up... 142 steps, steeper than any at great american ball park... felt sorry for the older folks... they call it diamond head because stupid western explorers in the late 1700s mistook calcite crystals in the rocks on the slopes of the crater for diamonds... the summit is very small, holds no more than 30 people at a time, but the view is spectacular, worth the risk of a coronary provided by the 142 steps... all of waikiki beach, downtown honolulu, central part of the island, and the gorgeous and less well traveled eastern shore... saw probably 40 dolphin running fairly close to shore...
chad and steve
there are stories you have to write and stories you want to write... the one about chad johnson and steve smith was the latter... as much as we complain about the money they make and the attitudes they have, there is much about pro jocks worth our admiration... some of it is the persistence they need to be the best... chad johnson and steve smith had so many chances to quit or fail, it's a wonder either became the player he is... they attended the same junior college, in LA..like most juco kids, they wanted to play in the NFL... unlike most, they stayed true to their dreams... neither was raised in a two-parent family, though johnson did live w/his grandparents, and his mother was in constant touch... neither had much growing up but his own ambition and desperate desire to be better than his surroundings... for those of us raised in relatively comfortable and stable environments, with two parents who were there and cared, it's hard to imagine what people like johnson and smith overcame to get to the pro bowl... their stories are worth admiring, and learning from
If pro jocks were this accessible and agreeable all the time, nobody would complain about them. The Pro Bowl is absolutely the best environment I've seen for fans to bother their favorite NFL men. There is almost no place Joe Fan can't go when the players are around. More, the players dont seem to mind. Joey Porter, posing for pictures with kids and adults and babies, smiling without being asked, signing everything thrown in front of him. Steve Smith, normally reserved and untrusting of the media, talking at length about anything and everything. Not one player I've seen and interviewed here is anything like the guy I've seen and dealt with during the season. (Except Chad J... 85 is the same, always, the media's Oscar winner, daily)...
75, sunny, breeze off the water...
Short Attention Span Travel Guide to Oahu: Honolulu: Traffic with a beach; Waikiki: A beach with (tons of) human traffic. Think LA beaches, without the big rock at one end; North Shore: Isolated, country, 10-foot waves, curling like a postcard. Sunset at waimea bay: priceless...Diamond Head (the big rock): striking, but not as impressive as some of the other Heads around the island... shrimp trucks: along the side of the road, walk up, buy them, eat them... like a good humor truck with crustaceans... Luau: duck and pork and mai tais.. fireworks over the bay at Ko Olina...I'd recommend it.
Winter Olympics: What winter olympics?
Song of the day: Jack Johnson, "Where've all the Good People Gone?
True directional story, given to me by a valet at the hotel: Right on Kalia, left on Ala Moana, right on Kalakaua, cross Kalaimoku, right on Ala Wai...Uh huh
They film the TV show lost on Oahu. No wonder.
Oahu could use a little vowel surgery. Aloha.
from the hellhole of honolulu
This is my first crack at this, so a little explanation...this blog won't always be about sports because i'm not always about sports... it'll have music references and references to TV and things I read and things that annoy me and things that make me glad to wake up every day... i'll be just as likely to write about steve forbert as andy kennedy.. you'll know what I think of Desperate Housewives and The Shield and truckers who insist on doing 55 in the center lane... from my mind to your eyes, unfiltered... also look here for explanations about why I write what I write... and the process involved...
The State of the World In 30 Seconds or Less, Super Bowl Edition: Full-time refs needed... Fortunate Steelers... Mick: It's time to go.... Too damned hyped... Again.
Re No-Show Joe... they honored all the SB MVPS before the game. Only three skipped it... Jake Scott (who cares?), Terry Bradshaw (on TV more than Vitale, Raftery and the BK king combined) and Joe Montana... Joe does what he wants, always has, gets away w/it b/c he's Joe... said he wanted to be with his sons...did none of the other guys have the same want? It was lame. aloha.