Wednesday Wraparound: Helping Houston; Burfict; Huber's fast move
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Welcome to another edition fo the Wednesday Wraparound, where we have to begin with the biggest story in the country.
Houston needs help
I try to keep this column very light and give you some items to make your day a little better, but the devastation in and around the Houston area is too big to overlook. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said on Tuesday that he still has extended family members awaiting rescue in a Houston suburb. The Bengals have many ties to the city and we talked to a bunch of them (Randy Bullock, William Jackson III and Trey Hopkins) who all said they couldn't believe the images they were seeing, couldn't believe the places where they grew up were completely flooded and destroyed.
The sports world has come together in support. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt started a twitter campaign looking to raise $200,000 for relief efforts. As of this column posting, Watt has raised $6 million.
It would be impossible to aggregate all of the professional athletes' efforts to raise money for Houston relief. There are several ways to donate, including dropping off a check right here at Local 12. Our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group is launching a Sinclair Cares initiative, and matching all donations up to $100,000. I have donated, and would ask that you consider doing the same. In the meantime, let's get back to the less important items of the Wraparound.
Burfict. That's all.
Looks like Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is back in the principal's office. The league slapping Burfict with a five game suspension after a hit Burfict leveled on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman. Here's the play in case you've been on a cruise ship for a week or two.
Our own Richard Skinner wrote a very comprehensive column on the situation. The Bengals are hoping a ruling is made on Burfict's appeal before Saturday when the team will have to make roster cuts.
I'm actually shocked that Kevin Huber's move avoiding a punt against the Redskins didn't go more viral than it did. The behind the back okie-doke that even the potential blocker of the punt had to praise.
The Bengals also had a suggestion for the video game folks.
You've got to hand it to the Cleveland Browns. As they embark on another season where they are starting an unproven quarterback, they at the very least have the ability to laugh at themselves. This week's Sports Illustrated regional covers feature one main player, and then a player from every team attemptiing to climb the mountain. The Browns saw it completely differently.
The Browns have accepted the one absolute truth in the NFL: if they can't laugh at themselves, they will be the only ones not laughing at the Cleveland Browns. Related: the CFL doesn't want Johnny Football.
The UC football season and the Luke Fickell era begin tomorrow at Nippert Stadium when the Bearcats host Austin Peay. You can see Coach Fickell's weekly press conference and game notes right here. A few notes on Fickell's press conference:
1. That Under Armour quarter zip he's wearing is amazing. I want 10 of them.
2. Fickell's first word of the press conference? Obviously. I'd love to see someone do research on coaches press conference and how often that is the first word. I think people would be shocked to know that it's the first word of ANY coaches' presser more often than not. Keep an ear out for it.
High school football is out in full force this year in the Tri-State. Here's the latest Local 12 Tri-State Top 12.
Is this guy the one?
There really hasn't been an American male tennis player worth writing home about since Andy Roddick left the scene. On Tuesday night we got a glimpse of the next great American male tennis hope: Frances Tiafoe. The 19-year-old American came this close to upsetting Roger Federer in the first round of the U.S. Open, earning some major praise in the process. You can read a match recap and see highlights here. If you're a tennis fan, Tiafoe is one to watch.
If you were one of the poor souls who paid $99 for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight but couldn't watch, the UFC is stepping up and offering refunds. If I were you, I'd take $69.99 of that $99.99 and invest it right back into boxing. The fight of the year, way better than the one this past Saturday will be Canelo vs. Golovkin on Sept. 16. If you've got a free half hour, check out this wonderful preview put together by HBO.
This will be the fight of the year.
Ric Flair update
Seems like the Nature Boy is doing siginficantly better after a big health scare. The man himself sending out this tweet on Tuesday.
Ric's daughter Charlotte, also a professional wrestler, spoke for the first time recently updating her father's health.
Could I do another wrestling book recommendation? Oh yes, I certainly can. Here's a great biography on Flair. Glad the Nature Boy is feeling better.
Stick to sports
It's shocking to me that Kanye West's album "Late Registration" is 12 years old on Wednesday. I remember listening to this album in college. College! I am getting significantly older as time passes. Kanye has done some interesting things over the years, but back when he only cared about making music, there were few parallels. Back in 2005, Rolling Stone called "Late Registration" the top album of the year, and it regularly appears in the magazines top 100 or 500 lists every few years when they roll them out. Obvously the music and the subsequent interviews I would link you to in this space contain sensitive language - so I'll keep this family freindly and trust that you can find the album and subsequent stories on the album on your own if you so choose.
That's it for the Wendesday Wraparound. See you all next week.