SPORTS NEWS FOR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2002
Demolition goal: A gentle explosion
At some points, on the site some call the "Wedge," the new ballpark is literally, at its closest point, an arm's length away from Cinergy Field, which is to be imploded at 8 a.m. Dec. 29.
Police working to keep public out of danger
Implosion wheres, whens, and don'ts
Camera to give its life capturing inside look

Former Bengals: Hire GM, think championship
If Bengals owner Mike Brown hasn't heard enough from disgruntled fans about his team's perennially poor performance, members of the Bengals "family" are willing to chime in publicly. Five former Bengals players, at the Enquirer's request, wrote open letters of advice to Brown.
Louis Breeden's letter
Dave Lapham's letter
Mike Martin's letter
Bob Trumpy's letter
Solomon Wilcots' letter

History in making for Bengals
Today could be an historic day at Paul Brown Stadium. And the legacy the 2002 Bengals could leave behind is not the one they had planned in training camp.
Bengals GameDay

Talk preceded Finn's steal and scuffle
No brawls or fights broke out, but the incident between Dedrick Finn and Ball State's Chris Williams at the end of Friday's game almost sparked what would have been an ugly scene.
UC: Huggins unimpressed with upset of Oregon

Daugherty: Students help man take his measure
It started with basketball. At a girls camp last June at Fairfield High, Steve would begin demonstrating the basics of a pick-and-roll and suddenly forget what he'd just said. He'd been coaching basketball for 23 years. How could he not demonstrate a pick-and-roll?

For Xavier, the Salad was more than just an appetizer
Xavier University might be undefeated in football since 1973, but its crowning moment came more than 50 years ago.

UK 70, IU 64
LOUISVILLE - For two states so passionate about basketball, it might have been fitting that their game Saturday ended with a passionate debate.
Ohio State 71, Seton Hall 54

High school sports report
Complete coverage of Ohio and Kentucky basketball and other sports.

Weekend sports on TV
TV sports schedule

REDS
Pitchers scramble for spots
Jim Bowden was rattling off minor-league pitchers who could help the Reds in 2003.


Reds Q&A
I sorted through the e-mail in search of questions, not rants about payroll or lack thereof.

BASEBALL
Mizuno bat maker works with Matsui
TOKYO - Godzilla knows he's only as strong as his bat. Hideki Matsui has asked his Bat Meister to craft the perfect piece of lumber, allowing the Japanese slugger to succeed in the majors with the New York Yankees.


Kent has Astros excited
We know Christmas is the time of miracles and all, but think Houston Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker overdid it last week? At a news conference where Jeff Kent was introduced as the newest Astro, Hunsicker opened by saying, "If any of you that came here today didn't believe in miracles, I would ask you to rethink that."

BENGALS GAMEDAY
Isolation Booth: Horn vs. Roman
Season-ending injuries to free safeties Lamont Thompson and Cory Hall have put pressure on converted cornerback Mark Roman to hold down the position.


Keys to the game
Two themes have emerged for the Bengals this season.

Life as a Rookie
Each Sunday, Bengals first-round draft pick Levi Jones talks about life as an NFL rookie.

Saints-Bengals by the numbers
13: Record for losses by the Bengals in one season, done four times. The 2002 team could set a new futility mark with a loss today.

Curnutte's NFL picks, power rankings
Fourteen of 16 AFC teams are still alive for playoff spots in Week 16. The two that aren't are the expansion Texans and the Bengals, who have the NFL's worst record and can clinch the first overall pick in April's draft with a loss today against New Orleans.

Eagles whip Emmitt, Cowboys
IRVING, Texas - The Philadelphia Eagles have scored the most points in franchise history and have matched their most wins ever. All that's left is wrapping up home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Bitter rivalry spiced up by playoff picture
BALTIMORE - For once, the Browns' incentive to beat the Baltimore Ravens has little to do with Art Modell's exodus from Cleveland. This time, it's about survival.

NFL owners willing to publicly criticize coaches
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Surf to a certain Internet outpost and you'll find a Web site intended to incite. Let your mouse to do the walking to: www.firetomcoughlin.com.

Jones, Parcells discuss Cowboys
NEW YORK - Bill Parcells met with Dallas owner Jerry Jones for five hours earlier this week, discussing what the former coach said was "pro football, philosophy and the Cowboys."

NFL parity comes at a cost
The folks who run football got just what they wanted this year in the AFC. Fifteen weeks gone, two teams down. Everybody else - unless the math is wrong, that means 14 teams - head into the season's penultimate weekend with a chance at a postseason berth.

Patriots, Jets hang by thread
FOXBORO, Mass. - The New York Jets and New England Patriots were two of the NFL's hottest teams. Now they're in trouble.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
1-2 matchup doesn't dispel BCS grumbling
The Bowl Championship Series has three years left in its contract with ABC. But talks already have begun that might pave the way for a playoff in 2006.


Additional games doesn't concern Tressel
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is an expert on college football playoffs. At Division I-AA Youngstown State, he won four national championships before becoming the Buckeyes' head coach in 2001.

UK's Barnhart on lookout for football coach
LOUISVILLE - University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said Saturday he is in the "paring-down" stage of hiring a football coach, but he hasn't offered the vacancy to anyone.

Raiders three-peat in D-III
SALEM, Va. - His uniform dirty and eye black fading, Dan Pugh looked nothing like a running back who had carried the ball a record 49 times in leading Mount Union to a 48-7 victory in a national championship game.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Davis sorry for meltdown
LOUISVILLE - Mike Davis couldn't avoid stating the obvious: He's obsessed with University of Kentucky basketball.


Wildcats feel Hawkins' presence
LOUISVILLE - Cliff Hawkins was humble in victory. There would be no gloating in what's, for him, a one-game season.

Ohio State 71, Seton Hall 54
COLUMBUS - Sean Connolly scored eight points in a 21-6 first-half run and then made several key plays as Ohio State pulled away in the second half to beat Seton Hall 71-54 Saturday night.

Top-ranked Arizona falls
BATON ROUGE, La. - Jaime Lloreda registered a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds as LSU stunned top-ranked Arizona 66-65 on Saturday night.

Northern Kentucky men extend start to 8-0
Quentin Smith scored a career-high 16 points and also grabbed 15 rebounds as Northern Kentucky University defeated Ohio Northern 68-47 on Saturday at Regents Hall.

Former Warriors adjust to college game
Last basketball season, the Winton Woods senior trio of DeForrest Riley, Robert Hite and Byron Fields led the Warriors to a runner-up finish in the state Division I tournament. The players lost only four games in their prep careers and went 59-1 in the regular season.

REGIONAL SPOTLITE
Hamilton drills Mighty Ducks
HAMILTON, Ontario - Jason Ward scored two goals, leading the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 4-1 American Hockey League victory over the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks on Saturday at Copps Coliseum.
Enquirer Page Two Power rankings

PREP SPORTS
Madeira's Unger earns national honor
Madeira boys soccer coach Jon Unger, whose team won the Division III state title last month, has received national recognition.


Hallman finds her bearings with Jayhawks
So much for Erica Hallman easing her way back. The Holmes grad, just four weeks removed from tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee, rehabilitated in time to open her freshman season at Kansas on schedule.

Walnut Hills beats Aves
Zach West scored 13 points and Dave Oestreicher had 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Walnut Hills to a 49-47 victory over Sycamore Saturday night.

Wulfeck, CovCath hold off Purcell
Covington Catholic used a balanced scoring attack to beat Purcell Marian 54-48 in a Catholic Social Services Classic game at Thomas More College Saturday.

Third-ranked Mercy tops No. 7 Sycamore
Allison Simendinger scored 11 points to lead Mercy, the No. 3 team in the Enquirer's Division I area coaches poll, to a 40-35 victory over seventh-ranked Sycamore Saturday night.

Top-ranked NewCath suffers its first defeat
Nicole Chiodi scored a game-high 19 points, but she couldn't keep Newport Central Catholic from losing to Jackson County, 60-46, on Saturday.

Wrestling: Harrison makes mark in Mason
Indiana power Evansville Mater Dei and Harrison rose to the top Saturday in the Southwest Ohio Coaches Association Classic at Mason High School.
Saturday's Prep sports results

NBA
Portland says it's not sorry for fight Friday
The Portland Trail Blazers weren't apologizing for their latest trouble. "It's not about reputation," Portland's Scottie Pippen said. "They lost the game. It's about their reputation, too. Are we supposed to lay over as cowards? No."


SPECIAL COVERAGE
Rose brings the house down
Pete Rose came home and rewarded the sellout crowd that gave him a tumultuous standing ovation with a head-first slide in an emotional and fitting sendoff to the riverfront stadium.
Photo gallery

Local golf news and course guide
Where high school stars are going to college
Kentucky Speedway coverage
Local college football schedules
2002 Flying Pig Marathon, including searchable results