Taco Tuesday!

It was a very pretty Tuesday morning…

Good morning from Northside…

Today was a silly busy workday. We had Taco Tuesday tacos for dinner tonight…

I promise there were actually hard shell tacos under that massive pile of delicious shredded taco cheese. And then we took the dogs on their evening walk…

There were pretty clouds this evening…

If you look really close in the center just above the lower group of clouds, there was a plane flying on a really low trajectory that planes don’t usually fly on…

And here’s another one with the plane just to the left of the branch extending into the middle of the frame…

It’s weird how when you live someplace for a bit, you notice odd things like planes flying at weird altitudes and in strange directions.

Good evening from Northside…

It was a pretty low-key Tuesday. But the tacos were delicious! 😀🌮❤️

Later in the evening, my Minnesota United knocked Columbus Crew out of the MLS is Back tournament with what was probably the most clinical penalty shoot-out I’ve ever seen. MNUFC didn’t miss a single spot-kick. It was a thing of beauty. And then FC Cincinnati took Portland Timbers to a penalty shootout as well. But FC|C was not nearly as clinical as the Loons, and were knocked out the tournament with their heads held high after their tenacious performance. This tournament has been so much fun.

A Thursday pizza party.

Good morning from Northside…

It was grey and overcast start to our Thursday.

While we were working this morning, we watched FC Cincinnati defeat a 9-man Atlanta United 1-0. FC|C was kind of gifted the win with two Atlanta players sent off, one in just the 26th minute for a second yellow and the second a straight red in stoppage time.

We made it through Thursday. And a reward, we had an NYPD Pizza party

I wonder what happened to NYPD’s awning. I placed our order online at 5:45pm. And at 6:05pm, I was heading back to the Audi with our pizza…

And at 6:10pm, I’m back at home and we were starting our NYPD Pizza party…

Tonight, we had a large pepperoni and sausage with banana peppers…

This pepperoni had five sausages on it…

It was the best bite of pizza I had tonight. We also ordered some cheese curds…

NYPD’s boneless wings are so good but they recently decreased the quantities of their wings but the kept the prices the same and they’re just not a good value any more.

Good evening from Northside…

And good evening from our backyard…

And that was actually our Thursday. I feel like can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my work projects this week. One more day to go. 😀🌄🍕❤️

Today was Thursday.

Today was Thursday Wednesday. Good morning from Northside…

Genifer put the shelves back up in our bathroom. She did an incredible job painting…

It looks so good. I love this shade of blue, especially with the blue floor tiles…

Speaking of good, we had baked sausages with sweet potatoes and apples for dinner…

It’s one of my favorite dinners. And good evening from Northside…

There was this weird little leaf dangling from a strand of spider web in our backyard…

Tonight, we watched more of the MLS is Back tournament. It’s been a lot of fun so far. There have been a lot of really entertaining matches. And it’s been great to have live sports every night again.

And that was our Thursday Wednesday. 😀🟦🍃❤️

Timehopping.

Two years ago, I was recovering from my second hip replacement surgery…

Three years ago today, FC Cincinnati’s magical 2017 US Open Cup run continued as FC|C defeated Chicago Fire on penalties in the Round of 16. It was an amazing night that will forever be etched in Cincinnati sports lore…

Thinking about that night still gives me chills.

And four years ago, we officially moved into our house in Northside…

Unpacking is just the worst. I’m glad we’re all settled into our great big house now. And we said goodbye to our little apartment downtown…

Five years ago, Cincinnati was getting ready to host the MLB All-Star Game…

Thanks for all the wonderful memories, Timehop. 😀🦕🍕❤️

 

MLS is back!

While I’m working, I really like listening to sports on Pluto TV. I usually bounce back and forth between four main channels: Surf TV, Red Bull TV, Bein Sports Extra, and the MLS channel. This afternoon on the MLS channel, we stumbled across the selection show for the upcoming MLS IS BACK tournament which will be held in Orlando…

They drew the groups for the east first. FC Cincinnati drew Group E…

Hilariously, Columbus Crew drew Group E as well…

So there will be a matchup of the Hell is Real derby in Orlando…

In the west, my very favorite MLS club, Minnesota United drew Group D…

Also hilariously, Group F contains both teams from Los Angeles…

And the best part is all the matches will be televised…

The best summers are always the World Cup summers, followed closely by the Euro Championship summers. More than likely, this tournament won’t have the same talent level or probably the same drama as national team tournaments but it should still be a lot of fun to watch. Especially after four months without any sports at all.

And I can’t wait! Come on you Loons! 😀⚽️🏆❤️

Four years ago OR Why I’m over FC|C.

Four years ago, our first FC Cincinnati booklet of season tickets arrived in the mail…

We reserved our season tickets on forty-five minutes after it was announced that USL soccer was coming to Cincinnati.

To me, these were the FC|C glory days, back when they were in USL. They were just this little upstart second division club from Cincinnati that drew 25,000+ fans to their home games. They were competitive on the pitch. They had friendlies with major European squads like Crystal Palace, Valencia, and Espanyol. It was all so exciting and soooo much fun. During the 2016 and 2017 seasons, we didn’t miss one home match. Every friendly, every scrimmage, every single match, we were there. The 2018 season we missed three matches because of my hip surgeries and one match because of a family vacation. The 2019 MLS season started off well but by the end we skipped some of the  matches during the week because the team was so bad.

And before each season started, we would go out and each buy the new FC|C home jersey for the season and sweatshirts so we had new gear for each new season.

We were all in on FC Cincinnati. Until now.

Here comes the diatribe…

Fast forward four years, FC Cincinnati is the worst club in MLS. I mean, it’s not even close. in 2019, they earned just 24 points from 34 matches, and finished with a goal difference of -44. NEGATIVE FORTY-FOUR. They currently find themselves without a head coach. Again. Before the start of this season, they eliminated general admission tickets. And that drove the ticket prices up. Again. Every year it keeps getting more and more expensive just to watch a team that’s terrible. We decided at the end of last season that we were not going to be renewing our season tickets.

And we have YouTubeTV. On YouTubeTV, you can’t stream any of the FC|C matches…

We also subscribe to ESPN+. MLS enforces strict black-outs of even the on-demand replays of ALL FC Cincy matches…

The only way for us to watch any of the FC Cincinnati matches, home or away, is by using an over-air antenna.

And to top it off, I think their 2020 home kit is an absolute mess. But to be fair, their away kit is pretty sweet. Over the last four years, FC Cincinnati’s home kit has gone from horizontal blocks to hoops to stripes to halves. It’s ridiculous. I’ve watched a lot of soccer throughout the years and I can’t recall another side that has varied the overall design for their kit so dramatically. Usually just little details change.

With the rising ticket prices and the TV black-outs, what FC|C and MLS are telling me is this… we don’t care if you watch Cincinnati soccer matches. And I’m fine with that. I’ll wear the gear I have. But I’m not dropping another dime on this team.

I’ve really fallen in love with Minnesota United in MLS. They are a competitive side. I like their coach. Love their logo and kit. And I can watch all their matches on ESPN+. I’ve also begun really supporting Louisville City in USL. I can also watch all of their matches through ESPN+. As soon as the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, we’re planning weekend trips to both Minneapolis and Louisville to see their stadiums and watch matches. And to me, that seems like a much better use of my money.

I’m not saying I’m done with FC Cincinnati for ever. But I’m definitely over them for right now and into the foreseeable future. #AllForCincy 😐⚽️❤️

FC|C Warehouse sale.

And while they were queueing up for sneakers over on Fourth Street, I was queueing up inside the Westin Hotel for the annual FC Cincinnati warehouse sale…

Everything was pretty much half-off the original price…

I got us a whole bunch of new FC Cincinnati gear. I got Genifer the t-shirt and two tanks in the photo above. And I got an away jersey, t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, and a hoodie. With that, I’m good on FC|C gear for a very, very long time to come. 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Orlando City.

This afternoon was the final home game of FC Cincinnati’s inaugural MLS season…

FC|C was playing host to Orlando City. We’re really happy this soccer season is finally coming to an end. It’s been a ridiculously long season watching an epically bad team struggle mightily in a very mediocre league…

It was fan appreciation night at Nippert Stadium. Everyone in the stadium received a free scratcher card. On our scratchers, we both got $10 off at the FC Cincinnati team shop. We felt so appreciated…

FC Cincinnati took an early 1-0 lead…

But Orlando City came back to tie it up. And the match would end 1-1. 

Like I said earlier, it was a very long season of FC Cincinnati soccer, and we’re really happy it’s over. This was the fourth summer that we planned around FC Cincinnati. And at the end of each season, we’ve always looked forward to next season. Until the end of this season. I’ve really soured on FC Cincinnati over the course of the summer. I haven’t been able to pinpoint my exact problem or the main source of my frustration with the team. And I’ve thought about it. A LOT. I haven’t been able to put my finger on any single issue or event or happening that took me from a die-hard supporter to a very jaded observer. I still support the club. I’ll still sport FC|C gear on match days next season. But we’re done being season ticket holders. My heart just isn’t in this team anymore. A small part of it has to be that the quality of their play is just so ridiculously bad. It’s no fun watching a team lose over and over again, and not show any signs of getting better. And all the miscues by the leadership have something to do with it. The lack of appreciation for their season ticket holders played a part too. As well as the ongoing saga and bevy of issues surrounding their new soccer-specific stadium in the West End. And then there’s the Bailey and their redundant, tired, uninspired chants. It all just grates on me. But maybe it’s not you FC Cincinnati, maybe it’s just me.

I think my issue is with MLS as a whole. The arrogance of MLS thinking they can charge a premium price for such a terrible product. It’s a small step up from USL at best. The watered-down talent pool of players, the uninspired match play, the mediocrity of the referees, the ridiculous number of teams in the league, the structure of the playoffs, the lack of promotion and relegation. All of it is just so bad. USL had a certain campiness to it that I thought was fun. It was the minor league of professional soccer and with the minor league comes a certain understanding that there will be missed calls, errant passes and shots that go out for throw-ins and other mistakes. MLS takes it’s self so seriously. It presents itself that this is the pinnacle of soccer. And in reality, it’s just so bad. It’s really difficult for me to watch. Most of the time.

But then again over the course of this season, I’ve fallen in love with Minnesota United. So figure that out. Maybe it isn’t MLS. Maybe it is just you, FC Cincinnati. Who knows. But whatever the reason, I’m just glad this season is finally over. And next summer, we’re going back to more Reds games. 😀⚽️❤️

Thanks, Timehop.

These popped up in my Timehop this morning…

Oh, the good old days of FC Cincinnati Orlando City B in the USL. I miss those days. And four years ago, we stopped for milkshakes on our way up to Michigan

Also, look how little Violette and Edgerton used to be. Thanks for the memories, Timehop. 😀🦕❤️

Downtown details.

A while back, I did a kind of lackluster job of documenting my walk from work across downtown to catch the bus at Government Square. I gave it another pass tonight with similar results. I leave work and walk down McFarland Street…

This new graffiti just popped up the other day on Egan Alley…

I cross Elm Street and walk down Benham Alley…

There’s the construction site at Race and Fourth Streets with two tower cranes…

I walk down Fourth Street passed Unheardof sneaker shop…

On the other side of Vine Street, I walk by Aster on Fourth and the FC|C offices which were recently painted purple on the first two floors…

And I walk by the FC|C team shop

I walk by Dixie Terminal and Renaissance Hotel on Fourth Street and turn up Walnut Street to get Government Square on Fifth Street…

I really missed some key landmarks. Again. I’ll have to try to do a better job of documenting my walk from work down Fourth Street to catch the bus at Government Square. Maybe the third time will be the charm.  😀🏙️🚧❤️

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