So you might be looking at the title of this post, and at my profile, and wondering to yourself, “Why is this guy from Indiana talking about Lebron James on a site dedicated to Riverfront sports? Cincinnati doesn’t even have an NBA team, for Pete’s sake!” Well, I do have a point to make, so just hear me out.
You see, I’m the new editor at Riverfront Ball (and thrilled to be here), and I intended to post a sort of introductory welcome message right away, but then the Reds signed Raisel Iglesias and thumped the Giants last night, so those stories got my first attention. Now, though, I can take a breath and explain myself a bit.
I “found” the Cincinnati Reds back in the summer of 1983 when I stumbled across a local broadcast on an evening when there was nothing else on television. To that point, my mom had bought me a few baseball cards, and my dad had tossed the horsehide around with me a couple of times, but I pretty much hated baseball. Sitting in front of our old set listening to Marty Brennaman and watching Cesar Cedeno shag fly balls that hot night, though, that all changed.
The rest of my childhood was a blur of Reds games and Hit King records and shattered hopes, year after year, all punctuated by a growing avalanche of baseball cards. By the time the Reds finally climbed the ultimate mountain again in 1990, I was 18 years old and the Redlegs were fully baked in as part of my everlasting sports soul.
Through college and graduate school, I continued to make my yearly sojourns to the Riverfront with my dad to watch the good guys play, and the city itself started to grip at me, as well. My first real job was in Dayton, OH, and the truth is that one of the major attractions was proximity to the Queen City, with its Reds and Bengals and college basketball, and its memories.
I’ve since moved back home to central Indiana, but as anyone who has ever loved Cincinnati sports, or any part of the city, can tell you, the old river town never truly releases its hold. I still bleed Cincinnati Red, and I still shake my head at the woebegone fortunes of the Bengals. I keep coming back, one way or another.
Which brings me back, in a roundabout way, to Lebron James. Here we have a superstar among superstars who just can’t seem to get fully comfortable with his surroundings. He left his home in Cleveland to take his talents to South Beach four years ago, and now he has opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat, and another Decision looms. Perhaps it’s time for Lebron to pay a visit to Cincinnati?
After all, for those of us who have, we’ve found a forever sports home that keeps calling us back. No NBA team, you say? That’s OK, we’ll always have the Reds and Bengals and Musketeers and Bearcats, and we have the rich tradition of Oscar Robertson and the Royals. Lebron is bound to find something that makes him feel at home, as the rest of us have.
It’s great to be back and spreading the Cincy gospel.