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Cincinnati sports: heartbreak at its finest

Cincinnati has been in a long struggle to field a championship winning team.

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Cincinnati makes people think of ever-changing weather and great food. But the Queen City also has sports teams that like to break their fans’ hearts. This is a look at some of the most gut wrenching moments in Cincinnati sports history.

Cincinnati Bengals wild card playoff meltdown

 The first moment to talk about is about the Bengals wild card meltdown. This happened in 2015 when the Bengals had a great regular season, finishing 12-4, which was their best record since 1988 at the time.

Cincy could have even finished at an even better clip if it wasn’t for big losses against Arizona and Pittsburgh. The Bengals ended up finishing well despite those two key losses. Their playoff matchup was against the dreaded and hated Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals were the favorite to break their 20 plus year playoff victory drought. The game was at home and the team looked poised for to win.

The game ended up swinging in the Steelers favor. Big Ben Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh to a 15-0. Cincy looked awful during the first 30 minutes then the second half came and things changed as the Bengals found some offense. AJ McCarron, who played for the injured Andy Dalton, pulled Cincy in by three with minutes to go

The turning point of the game occured when a Roethlisberger pass was picked off by Vontaze Burfict. The Bengals pulled ahead by one point after being down all game long. Then the unthinkable happened when Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball which gave time to the Steelers, but the most unfortunate event occurred after that fumble.

Roethlisberger threw a pass to Antonio Brown and he was hit helmet to helmet. The culprit of the play Vontaze Burfict. That one penalty sealed the fate of the Bengals as Pittsburgh ended up kicking the game winning field goal and the city was in heartbreak.

The Bengals performed a choke job after losing in the final minute to Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati Reds lose 2012 NLDS after 2-0 series lead

The next moment has to be a tough one to swallow. The Cincinnati Reds came into 2012 with high hopes. MLB critics and sources picked the Reds to be a World Series contender. This made the team and the city of Cincinnati fired up. The team was packed with loads of all-stars with Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and many others on the offensive side. The pitching was the really strong point of this team. Johnny Cueto, Matt Latos, and Mike Leake were three solid starters. Cincy didn’t disappoint in the regular season. Finishing with a 97 win season and looking ready for the postseason.

The Reds divisional opponent was the San Francisco Giants. The Reds had great success against them in the regular season winning most of the games. What made the series hard for the Reds is they played the first two games at AT&T Park. Most thought they would go down by two in the series well, the Reds turned the tables on the critics and won games one and two in San Francisco.

All Cincinnati needed to do was win one more game and they would have ended up in the NLCS. Game three was a tough battle; Cincy went up 1-0 until the fifth when the Giants offense woke up and won the game in ten innings. Game four was a massacre San Francisco ended up winning the game 8-3 which set up a game. Game five started out very well four scoreless innings. The fifth inning rolled around and Mat Latos laid an egg and gave up five runs. The heartbreaker came when Buster Posey hit a grand slam. Cincy tried all they could do to attempt a comeback. They ended up failing in the end and the Reds still have not won a playoff series to this day.

A look at the grand slam hit by Buster Posey that silenced the reds in the 2012 NLDS

U.C and Xavier meltdown in NCAA tourney

2017 was a very exciting year for both UC and Xavier University. Both basketball programs ended up finishing with great regular season records. The NCAA tournament was going to be an interesting one with both of those teams being high seeds; UC at number two and Xavier at number one. Both won their first round games easily. The second round matchups came around and both teams got off to fast starts UC had a 22 point lead againstnumber seven Nevada and Xavier had a 12 point lead against Florida State.

The second half looked to have both teams moving on but, heartbreak came. UC blew a 22 point lead against a team should they beaten easily. As for the Muskies they could have sealed the deal in their game and moved on. It is surreal to watch two teams lose on the same night; especially two dominant teams.

 

U.C. had a 22 point lead after giving it up in the second half against Nevada

 

 

Reds lose one game “playoff” after 96 win season in 1999

The 1999 Cincinnati Reds, this was a team that was picked to finish in the middle of a mediocre division. The team had wonderful talent that was mostly young. Sean Casey, Pokey Reese, Aaron Boone were some of the spring chickens on this team.

The veteran leadership that helped the young bucks is what made this team so good. Barry Larkin who had won a World Series in 1990, knew what it was like to win. Greg Vaughn who clubbed 50 home runs in 1998 with San Diego hit 45 with the Reds in ’99. He had almost won a Series title with the Padres and knew what winning mentality was.

What really charged this team was the bullpen. Scott Sullivan and Scott Williamson really proved their worth. So much so that Williamson won rookie of the year.

The downfall for the Reds came at the back end of the year. Houston only led the NL Central by one game and the Reds were in the hunt for a wild card. Standing in the Reds way of making a potential playoff run was the New York Mets who were led by catcher Mike Piazza and had veteran Rickey Henderson as the lead off man.

The Mets ended up starting Al Leiter and he was masterful, pitching a complete game shutout to foil the could have been storybook season for the Reds.

 

a look at the celebration following the Mets 5-0 victory at Cinergy field in 1999 against the reds. 

Cincinnati Bengals lose Super Bowl

1988 was a great year in the history of the Cincinnati Bengals. So much so that it warranted a Super Bowl berth. The opponent was the San Francisco 49ers and Joe Montana. The game didn’t have much action until the third quarter when Cincy scored to take a 13-6 lead and break a tie. Joe Montana led the comeback effort by driving 92 yards on 12 plays and eventually nailed the victory by throwing a 34 yard pass to John Taylor to win the game. It was the second Super Bowl loss for the Bengals following a 20-16 loss in 1982. The loss to the 49ers has to be the biggest loss in Cincinnati sports history.

1988 was the best year for the Cincinnati Bengals earning them a Super Bowl berth.

 

 

 

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About the Writer
Michael Frogge '19, Staff Writer

A second year Quill member. I love my Reds, Bengals, and Ohio State. My favorite baseball player of all time is Ken Griffey Jr. In my opinion, he is the...

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Cincinnati sports: heartbreak at its finest