A new year brings a clean slate, and with it people inevitably set resolutions that, for one reason or another, tend to fail more than succeed. I personally think that each and every one of you are perfect just the way you are, but if for whatever reason you feel like you need to make a change, here, in no particular order, are 10 New Years’ resolutions for Cincinnati sports fans. Remember, I’m not implying that you should do all or any of these, rather this is just a list of things I’m going to try to be better at.
1. Learn the names and faces of the players on the Reds’ 25-man roster by the end of April
Good luck with this one. The way this team is making trades and acquiring prospects, the only two players left from the opening day roster last year very well could be Joey Votto and Homer Bailey, though the latter was hurt last season. But look on the bright side, if those to players are still on the team, you’ll already be four percent finished. That’s good, right?
2. Give the NBA a shot
Normally, when players like former Cincinnati Bearcat Sean Kilpatrick and pretty much anyone that played on a Kentucky team the last few years leave college, I tend to stop caring about their career. I don’t watch NBA games, primarily because there’s no team around here to root for other than Cleveland and now that LeBron’s back, rooting for the Cavs feels like I’d be joining a country-wide bandwagon instead of rooting for a team. However, even if you don’t have a team in the race, it’s still easy to find storylines to follow in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors are trying to set win-loss records and Kobe Bryant is clanging shots all around the country on his retirement tour.
3. Pay no attention to the post-NFL draft grades
Quick, without looking, tell me which team earned the best grade from all the pundits who grade the NFL draft? Did you guess Cleveland? How about Atlanta? The truth is, it depends on where you look. Atlanta got an A- from NFL.com and Yahoo but a C+ from Bleacher Report. Vic Beasley was drafted by the Falcons in the first round to improve a pass-rush that netted just 22 sacks in 2014. Beasley tallied four sacks in his rookie year, but the Falcons’ line as a whole was still terrible, sacking the quarterback just 19 times this season. The draft grades are meaningless and vaguely arbitrary figures that are used solely to get fans excited for their team’s season.
4. Pick your March Madness bracket based on facts, not fandom
It happens to me every year. I always advance the Bearcats way too far in the tournament based solely on how I feel about the team and not at all based on any kind of statistical analysis. Could Cincinnati beat Creighton and Harvard? Sure. Will they? No, probably not, but I’ll move them on anyway. Picking with your head and not your heart gives you just as much a chance at being right as throwing darts at a wall does, but at least this way if your team does lose you can say you saw it coming. Better than nothing, right?
5. Stop getting mad at team social media accounts
I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but the people who are in charge of the Reds’ Twitter account, for instance, are not the same people that decided to trade Todd Frazier last month. You can send them as many messages as you want, but the odds of any of them ever getting above the team’s social media manager are not very high.
6. Pay more attention to the Summer Olympics
From August 5 to August 21, athletes from all over the world will descend upon Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 31st Summer Olympic games. The United States will look to defend their gold medals in both men’s and women’s soccer as well as men’s basketball.
7. Support FC Cincinnati
The United Soccer League squad, announced in August of last year, will begin play in March of 2016. It’s a new team, and unlike all of the other teams in Cincinnati it has not yet given us any reason to be heartbroken. Let’s ride that momentum while we can.
8. See what the NHL has to offer
I actually started doing this a little bit earlier last year, but as the season ended my interest waned. Which is interesting, given the people I talk to who do love hockey say that the Stanley Cup playoff race is the best time to start watching. Maybe it’s time to give hockey another shot.
9. Attend a baseball game
Baseball has been a big part of my life for the last dozen years at least, yet I haven’t been to a game as a fan since 2012. I’ve attended hundreds of games in the time since, but I was always running cameras, broadcasting or working the game as an intern. It’s been far too long between trips as a fan, and that’s something I’m going to try and change in 2016.
10. Be a better person
Doesn’t really have anything to do with sports, but it can’t hurt.