Bengals-Browns to face off in futility bowl

Published: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 2:41 PM
Updated: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 4:02 PM

            CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals fumbles the ball as he is tackled by Chaun Thompson #51of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 11, 2005 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals won 27-17. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals fumbles the ball as he is tackled by Chaun Thompson #51of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 11, 2005 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals won 27-17. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Even for two franchises with histories that fall well short of glorious, Sunday’s Battle of Ohio between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns could be an all-timer on the futility scale.

Both teams are 0-3 after the Bengals fell at Green Bay 27-24 in overtime Sunday while the Browns lost 31-28 at Indianapolis . That means the 88th renewal of the intrastate rivalry will mark just the third time both teams have been winless when meeting in Week 4 or later.

“I was urgent last week, it’s more urgent this week,” Bengals safety George Iloka said. “Starting off 0-3 is not somewhere we wanted to be. We could’ve easily been 2-1. But easily and should haves don’t count for nothing. The sense of urgency is real high right now. We’ve got to hone in on this one. We can’t look at big picture. We’ve just go to look at now.”

››RELATED: Bengals Report Card: Grading the loss to the Packers

The most recent instance was in 2008, when both teams were 0-3. The Browns came to Paul Brown Stadium and handed the Bengals a 20-12 loss.

The other time it happened was in 1999, when both teams were 0-4. That contest saw the Bengals pull off a road win with an 18-17 decision. That game holds an infamous spot in B.O.O. lore as the Akili Smith throat slash game, in which the Bengals quarterback made the gesture after throwing a game-winning touchdown pass to Carl Pickens with five seconds remaining.

››RELATED: Lewis on anthem display: We weren’t going to let divisive words divide us

A few weeks later, the NFL banned the throat slash as “an unacceptable act of violence.”

So consider Sunday’s game at FirstEnergy Stadium the rubber match of wretchedness.

Using history as a barometer, it could be one of the few highlights the winning team will experience the rest of the season.

››RELATED: 6 things to know about Bengals loss to the Packers

In 2008, the Browns went on to finish 4-12 while the Bengals went 4-11-1.

And in 1999, the Bengals wasted the spark of a last-second win by losing their next game six games to fall to 1-10 before finishing 4-12. Half of those four victories came against the Browns, who dropped their first seven on the way to a 2-14 campaign.

While that 1999 season pre-dated the Marvin Lewis era in Cincinnati, this weekend’s matchup has the feel of the coach’s career coming full circle.

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Lewis’ first season as head coach began 0-3 and was followed by a trip to Cleveland, a battle with Buffalo and a bye.

The new three weekends for the Bengals: at Cleveland, vs. Buffalo and a bye.

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Lewis’ 2003 team turned things around and finished 8-8 for the franchise’s first non-losing season in seven years and just the second in 13 seasons.

But it’s doubtful an 8-8 finish in 2017 will be as celebrated.


Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-3)

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland

TV: Ch. WHIO-TV Ch. 7, Ch. 12

Radio: Bengals — 1530-AM, 102.7-FM, 104.7-FM: Browns — 1290-AM, News 95.7-FM WHIO

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Five-run seventh inning carries Reds to fourth win

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 9:55 PM

The Reds celebrate a victory against the Braves on Monday, April 23, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
The Reds celebrate a victory against the Braves on Monday, April 23, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

The Cincinnati Reds hit a home run for the first time in eight days. They grabbed a lead for the first time in 50 innings. They scored more than three runs for the first time in a week.

» RELATED: Reds hope to ignite offense with lineup change

Most importantly, the Reds won a game, snapping a five-game losing streak by beating the Atlanta Braves 10-4 on Monday in the opener of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.

With a 4-18 record, the Reds still have the worst record in baseball, and they are still off to their worst start through 22 games in franchise history. This was the first win for interim Reds manager Jim Riggleman, whose took the reins on Friday and was swept in his first series in St. Louis.

“I was involved in a situation in Chicago many years ago where we got off to a horrendus start,” Riggleman said before the game. “I’ve been through it. A great baseball man, Buddy Bell, went through that in Kansas City. I was able to say that to the players. We’ve been through it. We can handle this. You’ve got to handle it. The way to handle it is to get out of it. We’re going to get out of it. Our players are focused and will always be giving a great effort. The sooner the better, of course.”

Here’s a quick recap of the game:

Small crowd: The announced attendance was 9,463, though there were many fewer people in the stands. At the start of the game, there were only four people sitting in the upper deck in left field.

It was the smallest crowd at Great American Ball Park this season and the smallest since Aug. 31, 2009, when a crowd of 9,087 watched the Reds beat the Pirates 6-3. That was the last time the Reds had a crowd smaller than 10,000.

» RELATED: Price says he will keep pulling for Reds

Drought ends: Scott Schebler, hitting lead-off for the first time this season, hit a game-tying, two-run home run in the fifth inning. It was the first home run for the Reds since their last home game on April 15 against the Cardinals. They didn’t hit a home run on the six-game road trip that concluded Sunday in St. Louis.

Schebler hopes this victory eases the pressure on the offense, which ranks last in baseball in runs scored.

“It’s one of those things where the whole season it felt like we never had momentum,” Schebler said. “We were great offensively last year, and I full expect us to be like that the rest of the year.”

Big inning: The Reds scored five runs in the sixth. It was only the third time in 22 games they’ve led in the sixth.

Pinch hitter Jesse Winker drove in the go-ahead run with a single. Jose Peraza drove in the second run. Joey Votto walked with the bases loaded to drive in the third run. A single by Scooter Gennett drove in the final two runs.

“We’ve been having a hard time, and I was really proud of the guys,” Riggleman said. “We were down again after losing a lot of ballgames. Then we got it going. (Schebler) had a big hit for us.”

Costly mistake: The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third thanks to an error by the Reds. Left fielder Adam Duvall’s wild throw to third base got by Cliff Pennington, allowing Dansby Swanson to score with one out.

Power display: Nick Markakis hit a solo home run in the fourth to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. It was the third home run of the season for Markakis.

Missed chance: Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart struck out with the bases loaded to end the first inning.

Quality start: Reds starter Sal Romano (1-2) allowed one earned run on four hits in six innings, lowering his ERA from 5.75 to 4.78. He struck out five and walked one.

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Dayton adds third member to 2018 recruiting class

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 9:29 PM

Dayton huddles before a game against Rhode Island on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Dayton huddles before a game against Rhode Island on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

The Dayton Flyers added to their 2018 recruiting class on Monday as Frank Policelli announced his verbal commitment.

Dayton offered Policelli a scholarship in January. He visited Dayton on April 15.  He’s a 6-foot-8 forward from Long Island Lutheran High School (N.Y.).

» RELATED: Former Flyer picks new school

“I would like to thank everyone who helped me along this journey since I was a kid,” Policelli wrote on Twitter. “This process was very hard, and there were a lot of ups and downs, but the people closest to me helped me remain humble and focused through it all.”

Policelli joins Dwayne Cohill, a senior at Holy Name High School, and Jhery Matos, a sophomore at Monroe College, in the 2018 class. Dayton now has four scholarships open for the 2018-19 season.

Maryland, Illinois, Texas Tech were among the other schools to offer Policelli scholarships. He’s a three-star recruit who ranks 262nd in the class of 2018, according to

Policelli is from New Hartford, N.Y., which is four hours from Long Island. He transferred to Long Island Lutheran for his senior year. He missed the second half of his junior season after undergoing knee surgery. He averaged 28.1 points and over 13 rebounds as a junior.

» RELATED: Transfer from Vanderbilt joining Dayton women’s program

Policelli played AAU basketball with the New York Jayhawks. Dayton freshman Obadiah Toppin also played for that team.

Policelli was one of three players from Long Island Lutheran Dayton is recruiting. In February, it offered scholarships to Tyson Etienne, a 6-foot-1 point guard in the class 2019, and to Andre Curbelo, a 6-0 point guard in the class of 2020.

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Ohio State to hold Celebration of Life in honor of Earle Bruce

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 6:07 PM

Earle Bruce at Ohio State Skull Session in 2016

Ohio State will hold a Celebration of Life on Wednesday for the late Earle Bruce, who died Friday at 87.

Bruce coached the Ohio State Buckeyes football team from 1979-87 and had a record of 81-26-1 in nine seasons. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

» HARTMAN: Bruce one of most influential Buckeyes ever

The event will take place at St. John Arena at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. The public is invited to attend. Parking is free in the North St. John Arena and North Riverbank lots.

The Ohio State Marching and Athletic Bands will perform. Among the speakers will be Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, Bruce’s grandson Zach Smith, running backs coach Tony Alford and Matt McCoy of 610 WTVN. Dom Tiberi, of WBNS 10-TV, will emcee the celebration.

Bruce’s family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday at Schoedinger Worthington Chapel in Columbus. Services and burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Family, close friends, former players and coaches are invited.

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Price: ‘I will continue pulling for the Reds’

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 6:41 PM

Reds manager Bryan Price stands for the national anthem before a game against the Brewers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Reds manager Bryan Price stands for the national anthem before a game against the Brewers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Bryan Price released a statement on Monday, four days after he was fired 18 games into his fifth season as Cincinnati Reds manager. It was his first public comment since losing his job.

“It is with tremendous gratitude and appreciation for the 8+ years I spent as a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization that I bid adieu to so many wonderful friends and co-workers,” Price wrote. “I wish Jim Riggleman great success as he takes the reins of the club and send a heartfelt thank you to a cherished group of players, coaches, trainers and clubhouse family that stayed connected, worked tirelessly together and who collectively faced challenging times head on. Many of the best people I have known in my life are, or have been, members of the Reds family.

» MORE ON PRICE: Price sixth Reds manager to lose his job during a season in last 25 years

“I will continue pulling for the Reds from my home in Arizona and am sure to follow the career paths of each and every current and former Red in the years to follow. Thank you to the ownership group, led by Bob Castellini, for giving me the privilege of managing such a storied franchise and a special thanks to my dear friend Walt Jocketty, who brought me to Cincinnati back in the fall of 2009. My wife, Judy, and I are grateful for our years in Cincinnati and for the outpouring of friendship and support offered through our time in the Queen City. My best wishes to the Cincinnati Reds and everyone in Reds country.”

This was Price’s fifth season as Reds manager. His final record was 279-387. The Reds never had a winning record in his tenure, finishing 76-86 in his first season and then 64-98 in 2015, 68-94 in 2016 and 68-94 in 2017.

» PHOTOS: Price through the years

Price, 55, replaced Dusty Baker after the Reds won the wild card in 2013. Price served as Reds pitching coach from 2010-13.

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