NEW YORK -- Greetings from The Back Page, a sports bar on Manhattan's Upper East Side where a group of about 10 Cincinnati alumni and friends have gathered to watch their upstart Bearcats take on No. 4 Oklahoma.
As I wrote yesterday, I came here out of curiosity. Despite having spent the first 18 years of my life in the Queen City (plus breaks during college and two internships at The Cincinnati Enquirer), this is the first time I have ever met actual UC football fans. I was under the impression no such species existed prior to 2006 -- but I've found a few exceptions.
James, a 2002 graduate who now works here as a graphic designer, said he attended most games in college. Why? "[Nippert Stadium] is one of the only stadiums you can still have a beer."
Kenny, a 2007 graduate, got to enjoy the beginning of the current renaissance. He was in the stands on Nov. 18, 2006, when the Bearcats stunned a top-10 Rutgers team. "I would definitely say that was the highlight of my UC experience," he said. "That was the first time we ever stormed the field or anything like that."
Unfortunately, there have been two hitches to this well-intentioned party. For one, the effects of Tropical Storm Hanna have reached New York -- it's pouring outside -- and the bar's Direct TV feed keeps going out. And in the few patches we have seen, Sam Bradford has basically shredded the Bearcats' defense en route to an early lead.
More reports to follow ... if the satellite comes through.