Tuesday, August 31, 2021

How to Go to a Wake Forest Football Game

This Friday night, Wake Forest University open their 2021 football season at home, at Truist Field in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, against Old Dominion University of Norfolk, Virginia.

Like ODU, Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons, are better known for basketball than for football. But I pledged myself to do all the major college football conferences' teams, and Wake Forest are the last Atlantic Coast Conference team that I haven't yet done.

Before You Go. Being in the South, it's going to be warmer in Winston-Salem than in the New York Tri-State Area. For next Saturday, the local newspapers are predicting low 80s for daylight, but dropping to the high 50s for night. But no rain for the entire weekend.

Winston-Salem is in the Eastern Time Zone, so you won't have to fiddle with your timepieces. It is in North Carolina, a former Confederate State, but you won't need your passport or to change your money.

Tickets. Wake Forest's stadium seats only 31,500. But they don't always fill it. Tickets should be easy to get. They cost $41.

Getting There. It's 567 miles from Midtown Manhattan to the Wake Forest campus. It's in that tricky range: A bit too close to fly, a bit too far to go any other way.

If you're going to drive, take the New Jersey Turnpike/Interstate 95 South all the way from New Jersey to Petersburg, Virginia. There, Interstate 85 will split off. Take that South to Exit 131. Take Interstate 40 East, and Exit 206 will put you on U.S. Route 421 West. From there, it's 14 miles west to Winston-Salem.

You'll be in New Jersey for about an hour and a half, Delaware for 20 minutes, Maryland for 2 hours, inside the Capital Beltway (Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia) for half an hour if you're lucky (and don't make a rest stop anywhere near D.C.), Virginia for 3 hours, and North Carolina for 2 1/2 hours. Throw in traffic at each end, rest stops, preferably in Delaware, near Richmond and near Raleigh, and it'll be close to 13 hours.

Greyhound, round-trip to Winston-Salem, costs as much as $479 round-trip, though it can be as low as $277 on advanced purchase. The trip takes 13 hours, including a long layover to change buses in Richmond. The station is at 2210 Capital Blvd., 3 miles northeast of downtown. Take the Number 1 or 3 bus in.

Amtrak's Carolinian leaves Newark's Penn Station at 7:25 AM, and arrives at the Clark Campbell Transportation Center in Winston-Salem at 8:50 PM. Round-trip fare is $287 even. The station is at 100 W. 5th Street, downtown, 3 miles south of the stadium. Take the Number 106 bus in.

Perhaps the best way to get there is by plane. If you fly United Airlines out of Newark, and you order your ticket online at this writing, you could get a nonstop round-trip flight for $467. Even then, it's 86 miles from Douglas International Airport in Charlotte to the Wake Forest stadium, and 96 miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport. You'd have to rent a car.

Once In the City. Both North Carolina and South Carolina were named for the King of England at the time of their initial settlements, King Charles I. Salem was founded in 1796, named for Salem, Massachusetts. Winston was founded in 1849, and named for Joseph Winston, a hero of the American Revolution, a cousin of Patrick Henry, and an early Congressman. The towns were consolidated in 1913. Today, Winston-Salem has a population about 250,000.
The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was the biggest developer of the combined town, producing cigarette brands named Winston (with a familiar red box) and Salem (with a green box). Their most popular brand, however, was Camel, the brand my grandfather smoked to his death. And so, Winston-Salem is known as the Camel City.

The aforementioned Campbell Transportation Center is the base of the buses of the Winston-Salem Transit Authority. A ride is just $1.00. Main Street is the East-West divider, and 1st Street is the North-South divider.

The sales tax in North Carolina is 4.75 percent. ZIP Codes for Winston-Salem start with the digits 271. The Area Code for the area is 336. There is no "beltway" for the area. Duke Energy runs the local electricity, and Piedmont Natural Gas the heat. The main newspaper is the Winston-Salem Journal. The area is about 48 percent white, 35 percent black, 15 percent Hispanic and 2 percent Asian.

North Carolina is known for its beaches on "The Outer Banks," or "OBX." This includes Kill Devil Hill, with the Wright Brothers National Memorial, on roughly the location where Orville Wright, with brother Wilbur Wright watching, took off in Flyer I on December 17, 1903, marking the 1st heavier-than-air human flight. The Outer Banks are centered on Nags Head, about 300 miles to the east.

Once On Campus. Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute was founded in 1834, and became Wake Forest College in 1839, and Wake Forest University in 1967. Until 1941, the school was actually in Wake Forest, North Carolina, north of Raleigh, which is in Wake County.

Although the school is geared toward North Carolinians, it is not limited to them. Their alumni from outside of sports include:

* Journalism: Al Hunt and Melissa Harris-Perry, both of MSNBC.

* Entertainment: Carroll O'Connor started there, but dropped out due to World War II and never returned. Sopranos creator David Chase also dropped out.

* Politics, from North Carolina unless otherwise stated: Governors William Kitchin, J. Melville Broughton, Bob Ehrlich of Maryland and Charlie Crist of Florida; Senators Josiah Bailey, Furnifold Simmons, Bob Morgan, Jesse Helms, Kay Hagan and Richard Burr.

Their best sport is basketball, having produced Billy Packer, who played for their Final Four team of 1962 and then became one of the sport's great broadcasters; Charlie Davis, Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Rodney Rogers, Josh Howard, Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan, and probable future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul. In other sports:

* Baseball: Yankee World Series winners Tommy Byrne, Ray Scraborough, Rip Coleman and Mike Buddie; as well as Willard Marshall, Erik Hanson and Ryan Braun.

* Soccer: Michael Parkhurst.

Going In. The official address of Truist Field at Wake Forest is 411 Deacon Boulevard, about 3 miles north of downtown, and about a mile and a half east of the main campus. Parking is $15. If you're using public transportation, use Bus 106. The field is aligned northwest to southeast, and has been artificial, FieldTurf, since 2006. The Southeast end is a grassy area known as Deacon Hill.
The stadium opened in 1968 as Groves Stadium, named for its financiers, brothers Harry and Earl Groves. In 2006, BB&T, a bank headquartered in North Carolina, announced it would finance upgrades to the facility, and it was known as BB&T Field until 2020, when Truist Bank bought BB&T and the naming rights. Despite the upgrades, seating capacity is still listed as only 31,500, making it barely enough to qualify for the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Food. This is the South, tailgate party country, and North Carolina is among the places in this country particularly known for good barbecue. According to the website Stadium Journey (which hasn't been updated to include the stadium's new name):

BB&T Field offers a wide range of food offerings from its concession stands and the increasingly popular food trucks. The main concessions stands offer Nathan’s Hot Dogs, chicken tenders, and a cheeseburger basket (with fries) at eight, nine, and eleven dollars respectively, as well as various snacks for five dollars; Chick-fil-A sandwiches and Domino’s Pizza are also offered.

There are also Pepsi products, with a regular fountain soda size for three dollars, a bottled soda for five dollars, and a souvenir option for six. Coffee is also offered for three dollars, while canned domestic beer such as Budweiser and Miller Lite go for eight dollars, and for seven dollars you can get a bottle of the local brew Foothills. There are also numerous places throughout the stadium to get domestic and local brews if you don’t feel like standing in line at the concession stands.

Going beyond the main stands, there are some local favorites such as Henry’s Gourmet Popcorn Shop, Hoka Hey Legendary Popcorn, and Ghassan’s Fresh Mediterranean Eats which serves up gyros, pitas, and more. Another favorite local food truck is Curb Your Appetite which offers a Curbside Soul Burger, which is a burger stuffed with peppers and onions and the eatery’s own seasonings with your choice of toppings. Other options from this truck include a 24-hour marinated ribeye steak sandwich, a club sandwich, a three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich, and a chicken or Philly Cheesesteak sandwich; this food truck is truly a place to check out.

Finally, the Greensboro based Porterhouse Burger Truck offers a variety of burgers, including the Twisted Carolina, the Jam-Tastic, and the “Some Like It Hot” Burger. My personal favorite is “The Big Lebowski” Burger, which at thirteen dollars is a little more expensive than the other options but comes with everything the truck has and tastes delicious.  This truck also serves other sandwiches as well as pulled pork egg rolls and fries. 

And, if you have room for dessert there is a stand selling funnel cakes and Dippin’ Dots, but the two main highlights are a Duck Donuts truck outside the stadium and Chewy on Top, which offers funnel cake bites and sticks. In addition, Chewy offers four types of funnel cake, fried Oreos, cinnamon roll bites, and a brownie sundae – truly something for everyone with any sort of sweet tooth.

Team History Displays. Wake Forest have been playing football since 1888, but without much success. Their all-time record of 465-665-33 (.414) is one of the worst in FBS. They were members of the Southern Conference from 1936 to 1952, and never won its title. They are charter members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC, founded in 1953), and have won it only twice, in 1970 and 2006.

They've had better luck in bowl games, reaching 15, and winning 9. They won the 1st-ever Gator Bowl in 1946, beating South Carolina in Jacksonville. Then they lost the 1949 Dixie Bowl, and never made it to another bowl until losing the 1979 Tangerine Bowl.

But they won the 1992 Independence Bowl, the 1999 Aloha Bowl, the 2002 Seattle Bowl, the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl, the 2008 EagleBank Bowl, the 2016 Military Bowl, the 2017 Belk Bowl, and the 2018 Birmingham Bowl. But they haven't played in any of the bowls traditionally played on New Year's Day since that 1st Gator Bowl.

They have 5 retired numbers: 16, for 1950s quarterback Norm Snead; 19, for 1970s defensive back Bill Armstrong; 31, for 1960s running back Brian Piccolo (made legendary by his fatal illness and his friendship with Chicago Bears teammate Gale Sayers); 33, for 1950s running back Billy Ray Barnes; and 47, for 1940s linebacker Bill George.

Other notable Wake Forest football players include former Giants executive Ernie Accorsi, Giants' Super Bowl XXI-winning guard Billy Ard, former Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, Pittsburgh Super Bowl IX & X-winning center Jim Clack, Edmonton Grey Cup-winning linebacker James "Quick" Parker, St. Louis and Indianapolis Super Bowl-winning receiver Ricky Proehl (of Hillsborough, Somerset County, New Jersey), Baltimore Super Bowl XXXV-winning defensive end Michael McCrary, and New Orleans Super Bowl XLIV-winning safety and now Jets assistant coach Chip Vaughn. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and former Governor Charlie Crist of Florida also played football at Wake Forest.

Perhaps Wake Forest's proudest football achievement is sweeping their three "Tobacco Road" rivals -- Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State -- 8 times: In 1924, 1951, 1970, 1984, 1987, 2006, 2007 and 2019.

The 1st college football game in North Carolina was played on October 18, 1888, and Wake Forest beat North Carolina 6-4. That said, UNC leads the rivalry 68-36-2. N.C. State leads Wake Forest 67-41-6. The rivalry with Duke is closer, but Duke still leads 58-40-2.

Stuff. There is no big team store at the stadium, just small souvenir stands. Your best bet is to go to the University's Taylor Bookstore, at 1834 Wake Forest Road. There are no notable books or DVDs about Wake Forest football.

During the Game. Wake Forest fans are not known for being rough. As long as you remain civil, so will they.

The teams are called the Demon Deacons. This would seem to be a contradiction. The school was founded by Baptists, so the "Deacon" part is easy to understand. In 1923, Wake Forest beat Trinity, soon to be renamed Duke, and the editor of the school paper, Mayon Parker, called them "Demon Deacons," saying they had "devilish play." The school's head football and basketball coach, Hank Garrity, and its publicity director, Henry Belk, both liked it, and the name stuck.

In 1941, WF junior Jack Baldwin put on an old tuxedo and top hat, and became the 1st Demon Deacon mascot. Eventually, the Deacon became a costume with a big foam head, and his suit became black and gold to match the school's colors. Oddly, he rides a motorcycle onto the field (perhaps part of the "Demon" image), and even has a statue outside the stadium.
The Marching Band is known as the Spirit Of The Old Gold And Black, or "SOTOGAB." The fight song is "Here's to Wake Forest."

After the Game. You will most likely be safe. If you drove in, so should your car. Finding a good postgame meal shouldn't be difficult. About a block west of the stadium is a restaurant called the Last Resort. Another block west of that is University Parkway, with several chain restaurants.

If you're a fan of a European soccer team, your best bet to watch them is at Small Batch Beer Company, at 241 W. 5th Street, downtown.

Sidelights. From 1940 to 1955, Wake Forest played at Groves Stadium, behind Wake Forest High School, at 420 W. Stadium Avenue, in Wake Forest, which is closer to Raleigh. As I said, the University moved to a new campus, not long after that stadium opened. This stadium is now named Trentini Stadium, after a WFHS player.

From 1956 to 1967, the Demon Deacons played at Bowman Gray Stadium. They had first played there in 1937, but the facility's most common event is stock car racings. It seats only 17,000 people, hence WF's need for a bigger stadium, although Truist Field isn't even twice as big.

They also needed a stadium closer to campus: Bowman Gray is at 1250 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 6 miles southeast of the campus, 5 miles southeast of Truist Field, and 2 miles southeast of downtown. From there, take Bus 86. The campus of Winston-Salem State University, a historically black school, is adjacent.

Wake Forest's much more successful basketball program plays at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, at 2825 University Parkway, across Deacon Boulevard from Truist Field. The Coliseum opened in 1989, and seats 14,665.
The Demon Deacons have won the Conference regular-season Championship in 1939, 1960, 1962, 1995 and 2003; the ACC Tournament in 1953, 1961, 1962, 1995 and 1996; both in 1962 and 1995; and reached the NCAA Final Four in 1962.

Naming the arena for Joel was a big step, because it made WF one of the few schools in major college sports with a stadium or arena named for a black person, and in the South, no less. Lawrence Joel was a medic who was awarded the Silver Star and the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam on November 8, 1965. He was the 1st living black person to receive the Medal of Honor since the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Specialist 6th Class Lawrence Joel, U.S. Army,
receiving his Medal of Honor citation
from President Lyndon B. Johnson, March 9, 1967.

Since he was a Winston-Salem native, the city gave him a parade after he received the medal in 1967. Diabetes did what the Vietcong could not, ending his life in 1984. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Winston-Salem has a long history of minor-league baseball. Their teams were usually called the Twins, since Winston and Salem had previously been "twin cities," like Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Winston-Salem Twins won Pennants in 1928, 1950 and 1951. The Winston-Salem Red Sox won Pennants in 1964, 1970 and 1973, and helped build the Boston Red Sox Pennant winners of 1967 and 1975. The Winston-Salem Spirits won the Pennant in 1986. The Winston-Salem Warthogs won the most recent of the city's 9 Pennants in 2003.

From 1945 to 1956, they played at South Side Park, at 1533 S. Main Street, about 2 miles south of downtown. Bus 104 will get you within a few blocks. The North Carolina School of the Arts is on the site now.

From 1957 to 2009, they played at Ernie Shore Field, named for the 1910s Red Sox pitcher, a North Carolina native. After the team left, the University took it over, and renamed it David F. Couch Ballpark, after a WF graduate who made a big donation to the University. 401 Deacon Blvd., just to the east of Truist Field.

Since 2009, the team has been known as the Winston-Salem Dash. Since 2010, they have played at Truist Stadium, at 951 Ballpark Way, at the southwestern edge of downtown.

Wake Forest's closest major league teams are not close. Charlotte, home to the nearest NFL, NBA, and soon MLS teams -- the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets, and the 2022 expansion team Charlotte FC, respectively -- is 84 miles to the southwest. Raleigh, home to the nearest NHL team, the Carolina Hurricanes, is 103 miles to the east. And the nearest MLB team, the Atlanta Braves, is a whopping 320 miles to the southwest. Trying another direction won't help: The Washington Nationals are 341 miles to the northeast, and the Cincinnati Reds are 418 miles to the northwest.

Elvis Presley sang 3 shows in 1 day, February 16, 1956, early in his career, at the Carolina Theater in Winston-Salem. It still stands, under the name of the Stevens Center. 405 4th Street NW, downtown. 


Wake Forest basketball can be successful and fun. Wake Forest football can be fun -- just don't expect success.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Yankees Streak Reaches 13 Before Reversing

The Yankees went into a 4-game series away to the Oakland Athletics with an 11-game winning streak. Things haven't looked this good for the Yankees in the regular season since the last title season, in 2009.

Jameson Taillon started the Thursday night game, and he didn't have it. He allowed 5 runs and didn't get out of the 4th inning. The rest of the way, the bullpen did get it done: First Albert Abreu, then Clay Holmes, then Jonathan Loaisiga.

Part of the problem was that the Yankees blew a 6-0 lead. Giancarlo Stanton and Brett Gardner hit solo home runs in the 2nd inning. In the 3rd, Andrew Velazquez and Anthony Rizzo doubled, Aaron Judge walked, and Joey Gallo homered. That made it 6-0, but the A's came right back with 2 homers in the bottom of the 3rd, they scored 3 runs in the 4th, and tied it in the 5th.

With 2 out in the top of the 9th, Rizzo drew a walk. Tyler Wade was sent in to pinch-run for him. He stole 2nd. Judge singled him home.

Aaron Boone put Aroldis Chapman in to pitch the bottom of the 9th. He got the 1st 2 outs, and we were calm. Then he allowed a single and a stolen base, and, oh, boy, here we go again. But he got a groundout to end it. Yankees 7, A's 6. WP: Loaisiga (9-4). SV: Chapman (24). LP: Lou Trivino (5-7, not to be confused with golf legend Lee Trevino). That's 12 in a row.


Gerrit Cole started on Friday night, and was great, again. He allowed no runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 9. The game was scoreless going into the top of the 4th, in which Stanton and Luke Voit hit solo homers. Judge hit a 3-run blast in the 5th.

The A's pulled 2 runs back in the bottom of the 7th, but the Yankees added 3 in the top of the 9th, including a 2-run homer by Kyle Higashioka.

Yankees 8, A's 2. WP: Cole (13-6). No save. LP: Sean Manaea (8-9). That was 13 straight, the longest Yankee winning streak since the 1961 season, the year of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and all those home runs.


Nestor Cortes started the Saturday afternoon game, but was a bit shaky, allowing 3 runs in 5 1/3rd innings. One of the runs Cortes allowed was a home run by Matt Chapman in the 4th. I guess, for the Yankees, 2021 is the year that guys named Chapman are going to be a problem.

Albert Abreu finished the 6th and pitched the 7th, and Lucas Luetge pitched the 8th, without allowing any more runs. But they didn't score until the 9th. With 1 out, Rizzo singled, and Judge hit another homer. But Stanton popped up and Gallo grounded out to end it. A's 3, Yankees 2. WP: Frankie Montas (10-9). SV: Andrew Chafin (20). LP: Cortes (2-2).


The Sunday night game was started by Jordan Montgomery. He went 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and no walks. Loaisiga added a scoreless 7th. That should have been enough to win.

It wasn't. Once again, the Yankees just didn't hit in a game started by Montgomery. They got the 1st 2 men on in the 1st; a man on 1st with 2 out in the 3rd, the 5th and the 6th; and the leadoff man on in the 3rd and the 4th; and had nothing to show for it.

They tied the game in the 7th, with a walk, a wild pitch, and 2 errors. But Chad Green gave up a home run in the 8th. A's 3, Yankees 1. WP: Deolis Guerra (2-1). SV: Chafin (2). LP: Green (7-6).

So in the 4 games, the Yankees won when they scored at least 7, and lost when they didn't. Or, they won when they scored at least 3, and lost when they didn't.


After winning 13 straight, and 34 out of 45, the Yankees have now lost 2 straight. And my weeks-to-games-behind rule no longer favors them: Although the Yankees are 76-54, and would host the American League Wild Card Game if the current standings hold, they are 6 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL Eastern Division lead.

Someone on Twitter said, "The Yankees finally letting the reigns off Giancarlo Stanton and letting him play the outfield is the best thing to happen to this team."

No, the best thing to happen to the Yankees is Brian Cashman realizing he plays more games at Yankee Stadium with a short right field porch than he does in Boston and Houston with the close left field fence, and getting some lefty power.

But the last 2 games, they looked like the Yankees who fell to 41-41.

They continue their roadtrip in Anaheim tonight, against the Los Angeles Angels.

How to Go to a UConn Football Game

Downtown Hartford

This past Saturday, the University of Connecticut opened its 2021 football season in ignominious fashion, losing 45-0 away to Fresno State University. This Saturday, they play their home opener, against the College of the Holy Cross, making the short trip from Worcester, Massachusetts to East Hartford, Connecticut.

Before You Go. Hartford is a bit to the north of New York and New Jersey, but the weather won't be appreciably different from home on the same day. This game will be played in late September, so no jacket will be necessary. The Hartford Courant is currently predicting the low 80s for Saturday afternoon, and the low 60s for the evening.

Hartford is in the Eastern Time Zone, so you won't have to adjust your timepieces.

Tickets. NYCFC have been averaging 23,428 at Yankee Stadium, but this game is a one-off, so as for how hard it will be to get tickets, your guess is as good as mine. But the club have said that all fans who had tickets to the match before the move will have those tickets honored.

In the lower level, midfield tickets are $30. In the upper level, they're $25. In both levels, corner seats are $15, and end seats are $10.

Getting There. Hartford is too close to fly, and doesn't have much of an airport, anyway. If you're driving, it's 124 miles from Midtown Manhattan to Pratt & Whitney Stadium. Take Interstate 95 to New Haven. Take Exit 48 to Interstate 91 North, to Exit 29, bypassing downtown Hartford. Take State Route 15 North to State Route 502 East, that's Silver Lane, and the stadium will soon be on your right.

If all goes well, once you get past the City Line into Westchester, you should spend about half an hour in New York, and about an hour and 45 minutes in Connecticut before reaching the arena. Depending on from where you leave, the trip should take between 2 and a half hours to 3 and a half hours.

Union Station, which is served by both Amtrak and Greyhound, is 2 blocks to the west of the Hartford Civic Center, at 1 Union Place between Church & Asylum Streets. But Amtrak is out of the question this time. The 1st train of the day out of Penn Station doesn't get there until 2:08 PM, over 2 hours after kickoff. Round-trip fare would have been $54.

Greyhound runs 13 buses per day between Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York and Union Station in Hartford. The fare is $98, but can drop to $52 with advanced purchase.
Union Station

Once In the City. Connecticut is named for a Native word meaning "long tidal river." The Connecticut River bisects the States of Connecticut and Massachusetts, and serves as the border between Vermont and New Hampshire.

Hartford, named for the English country of Hertfordshire, is home to about 125,000 people, making it around the same size as New Haven and Bridgeport, each competing to be the largest city in the State of Connecticut. When the Hartford metropolitan area is separated from the Boston metropolitan area, it's got about 1.5 million. Hartford is the State capital.
It is known for being the home of the Colt Firearms Company, Stanley Tools, and several insurance companies. (Hence "Hardware City" and "Insurance City.") The sales tax in Connecticut is 6.35 percent. It does not rise within the County or the City of Hartford. The Hartford Courant is the largest-circulating newspaper in Connecticut, and the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in America.
The State House

Hartford doesn't seem to have a centerpoint, from which street addresses increase. However, the addresses do seem to increase from south to north, and from east to west. This is also true of the City of East Hartford, across the Connecticut River. CT Transit runs the area's buses, and a 1-Day Pass is $3.00.
Hartford Electric Light Company runs the area's electricity. "White flight" after the 1960s led to a de facto segregation: The city's North Side is mostly black, the South Side mostly Hispanic, and the West Side and suburban East Hartford mostly white. The city was about 64 percent white in 1970, but is now about 43 percent Hispanic, 39 percent black, 15 percent white, 3 percent Asian.

East Hartford is home to about 51,000 people, and is quite diverse. Pratt & Whitney, maker of aircraft engines, is the city's largest employer.
Main Street, East Hartford

ZIP Codes in Connecticut begin with the digits 06. They're 060 to 062 around Hartford, 063 and 064 in the South, 065 around New Haven, 066 around Bridgeport, 067 around Waterbury, and 068 and 069 around Stamford, in the part closest to New York. Area Code 203 serves the part of the State that tilts toward New York, including New Haven, with 475 overlaid. In 1995, Area Code 860 was split off of 203, to serve the part of the State that tilts toward Boston, including Hartford, with 959 overlaid. The city does not have a "beltway."

Once On Campus. The University of Connecticut is not in Hartford, or even in East Hartford. It's in Storrs, a town of 15,000 people in Tolland County, 25 miles east of downtown Hartford, 22 miles east of the stadium, 80 miles southeast of Boston, and 133 miles northeast of Midtown Manhattan. Make no mistake: This is Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins country. Pinstripes, Gang Green, Blue & Orange, and Scarlet & Black need not apply.
The University of Connecticut, or "UConn" (pronounced "YOU-konn") for short, was founded in 1881 by Charles and Augustus Storrs, brothers in the manufacturing business. It was the Storrs Agricultural School until 1899, then the Connecticut Agricultural College until 1933, then Connecticut State College until 1939. In other words, if the UConn identity hadn't been adopted then, we might now be calling them "Conn State."

Notable graduates from outside the world of sports include:

* Entertainment: Welcome Back, Kotter actor Ron Palillo, Saturday Night Live performer Bobby Moynihan, and Real Housewife of Atlanta Kim Zolciak.

* Journalism: Leigh Montville, David Ushery and Randall Pinkston.

* Business: Special Olympics chairman and Kennedy family member Tim Shriver, and Bob's Discount Furniture founder Bob Kaufman.

* Politics: U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Connecticut State Senator Edward M. Kennedy Jr.

In sports, UConn is especially known for its basketball programs, men's and women's. The names are legendary: Tate George 1990, Donyell Marshall 1994, Scott Burrell 1995, Ray Allen 1996, Richard Hamilton 1999, Caron Butler 2002, Emeka Okafor 2004, Rudy Gay 2006, Kemba Walker 2011, Andre Drummond 2012; Rebecca Lobo 1995, Jennifer Rizzotti 1996, Kara Wolters 1997, Nykesha Sales 1998, Sue Bird 2002, Swin Cash 2002, Ashja Jones 2002, Diana Taurasi 2004, Tina Charles 2010, Maya Moore 2011, Breanna Stewart 2016.

UConn is also the alma mater of baseball notables Walt Dropo, Rollie Sheldon, Charles Nagy, Rajai Davis, George Springer, Matt Barnes.

Going In. The official address of Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field is 615 Silver Lane. Parking costs $15. It is about 3 1/2 miles east of Union Station, across the Connecticut River. Bus 83 or 121 from downtown.

Built in 2003, Rentschler Field was meant to be the 60,000-seat new home of the New England Patriots, thus enabling them to keep their regional name. But team owner Robert Kraft merely used the Connecticut capital as a pawn to get a new stadium from Massachusetts, next-door to the old one in Foxborough. As a result, the East Hartford stadium was replanned, and seats 40,642. (Foxborough is 99 miles northeast of Hartford.)
"The Rent" was built on the site of an airfield, also named Rentschler Field. Frederick B. Rentschler founded Pratt & Whitney, and later its now-parent company, United Technologies. P&W bought the naming rights in 2015.

The field has always been natural grass, and runs northwest-to-southeast. It is home to University of Connecticut football and the high school State Championships. The U.S. national soccer team is 4-1-2 while playing there, most recently in a 1-1 tie with Peru on October 16, 2018. This includes a 1-0 win over Costa Rica, 1 of 2 games played there as part of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. women's team is 6-02 ties there, including a pair of 4-0 wins over Mexico this past July.
A crowd of 15,000 attended Whalers Hockey Fest 2011, which featured games of the UConn men's and women's hockey teams, a game between alumni of the Hartford Whalers and the Boston Bruins (a 4-4 tie), and a regular-season game between the Connecticut Whale and the Providence Bruins.

Food. P&WS@RF is not kidding around: Roma Pizza, Hot Dog Nation at Sections 100 & 129; Fresh Classics (including loaded baked potatoes) at 102, 118 & 130; Tamales (including Mexi Bratwurst and Bacon Jalapeño Mac & Cheese) at 108 & 136; Chicken Fry Fry (including fried pickle chips) at 109 & 139; Grill Masters (including "gourmet burgers") at 110 & 137; Chef Express (including New England-style clam chowder) at 125 & 145; Bears Smokehouse Barbeque at 126.

Team History Displays. UConn have only been Division I-A/Football Bowl Subdivision since 2000, although they did win co-championships in the Big East in 2007 and 2010, and 24 titles in minor conferences before that. The Huskies won the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy, annually awarded to "the best college football team in the East," in 2010. There is no notation for these titles in the fan-viewable areas of the stadium.

They belonged to the Athletic League of New England State Colleges from 1897 to 1922, the New England Conference from 1923 to 1946, the Yankees Conference from 1947 to 1996, the Atlantic-10 from 1997 to 1999, the Big East from 2004 to 2012, and the American Athletic Conference from 2013 to 2019. Since 2020, as they were from 2000 to 2003, they have been an independent.

They have been in 6 bowl games: They won the 2004 Motor City Bowl, the 2008 International Bowl and the 2009 PapaJohns.com Bowl; and lost the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl, the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, and the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl.

They have no retired numbers. Probably the most notable UConn football players are known for coaching elsewhere: Sam Rutigliano, who got the Cleveland Browns to the 1980 AFC Central Division title; and Kirk Ferentz, the longtime head coach at the University of Iowa. They have 16 current players in the NFL, including Giant offensive tackle Matt Peart, and Jet tight end Ryan Griffin and defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi.

In spite of their promotion to FBS, UConn have maintained rivalries with the Universities of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. UMass moved up to FBS in 2012, making a continuation of the rivalry make more sense. They lead UConn, 37-35-2. UConn played URI every year from 1919 to 2000, but only 3 times since, the last in 2018. UConn leads, 52-34-8.

Had the football version of the Big East lasted, UConn and Rutgers could have been a good rivalry. But it didn't, so it's not. Rutgers leads, 6-3.

On campus, the Husky Heritage Sports Museum is at 2384 Alumni Drive in Storrs, a 3-block walk from Gampel Pavilion.

Stuff. UConn do not own the stadium, so there is no team store, just souvenir stands. Your best bet may be to head for the UConn campus, and go to the bookstore, at 2075 Hillside Road in Storrs.

There are books and DVDs about UConn basketball, men's and women's, but not about the football team.

During the Game. Hartford does not have a reputation for a crime problem. East Hartford, even less so. You should be safe. If you drove in, so should your car.

The University of Connecticut Marching Band is nicknamed "The Pride of Connecticut." No word on whether they play the old Hartford Whalers' theme song, "Brass Bonanza."

The mascot is Jonathan the Husky, named for Jonathan Trumbull, the last colonial and 1st State Governor of Connecticut. They have a live mascot, currently Jonathan XIV, and a costumed one.

After the Game. You should be safe walking back to your car or the bus, but if you're looking for a postgame meal, or just a pint, you'll have to go back to downtown Hartford. There are several places around Union Station and the Civil Center. I don't know of any that are known hangouts for New York or New Jersey teams' fans.

If you get into Hartford early enough to watch your favorite European soccer team, your best bet is the home bar of the local branch of the U.S. national team supporters' group, the American Outlaws: The Tavern Downtown, at 210 Ann Uccello Street, across the street from the west side of the Civic Center. (Uccello was the 1st female Mayor of Hartford, and the street was previously Pleasant Street.)

Sidelights. Hartford's sports history isn't much, and is even less since Peter Karmanos took the Whalers away 20 years ago. But there is some.

The official address of the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum is 1 Civic Center Plaza. It's bounded by Church Street (north), Trumbull Street (east), Asylum Street (south) and Pleasant Street (west). The name of the arena was changed to the XL Center in 2007, after XL Group, an insurance company.
Known simply as "The Civic Center" or "The Mall," because it's attached to one, it opened on January 9, 1975, seating 10,507, and the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association moved right in.

The University of Connecticut (UConn) basketball team, based 25 miles to the east in Storrs, also began playing selected home games there. The Boston Celtics played an average of 8 games a year there from 1975 to 1978 and again from 1980 to 1995, until the FleetCenter opened. Elvis Presley sang there on July 28, 1976. (The Beatles never played a concert in Connecticut.)

On January 17, 1978, UConn played the University of Massachusetts in basketball, in a game sparsely attended due to snowfall. It kept on snowing, and, just 6 hours after the final horn -- in the middle of the night, fortunately, when the arena was empty, so no one was hurt -- the roof collapsed. The building was just 3 years old. (In contrast, the Boston Garden stood for 70 years before it was finally demolished, and it never had a structural issue.) It took 2 years for the building to be repaired, while the Whalers played 25 miles to the north in Springfield, Massachusetts, and UConn and the Celtics returned to Storrs and Boston, respectively.
January 18, 1978. It could have been a whole lot worse.

On January 17, 1980, the Civic Center reopened, with a new seating capacity of 14,460. It is now 15,635. The Whalers moved back in, and UConn and the Celtics resumed their partial home schedules there.

The New England Blizzard of the all-women's American Basketball League played 2 seasons there, 1996-98, before the league folded. The now-defunct Connecticut Coyotes of the Arena Football League played there. The Civic Center has also hosted both men's and women's NCAA basketball tournament games.
Immediately after the Whalers moved, in 1997, a minor-league team was brought to the Civic Center, named the Hartford Wolf Pack. Although they were named the Connecticut Whale from 2010 to 2013, as a tip of the hat (or helmet) to the Whalers, they remain at the XL Center, having reclaimed the Wolf Pack name. And the Civic Center Mall was redeveloped in the mid-2000s, creating residential, office and retail space.
The Whalers played their 1st 2 seasons in Boston, alternating between the Boston Garden and, when the Bruins (who owned the Garden and now own the new arena) shut them out of available dates, the Boston Arena (Matthews Arena at Northeastern University). Fed up with this, they signed the deal to move to Hartford as soon as the Civic Center opened.

Except it wasn't ready for the start of the 1974-75 season, so the Whalers moved to the Eastern States Coliseum, better known as the Big E, longtime home of the AHL's Springfield Indians. It was old (built in 1926), it was small (just 6,000 seats), it wasn't in Hartford (28 miles to the north), and it wasn't even the best arena in town anymore, but they had something they'd never had before: First choice of scheduling in an arena. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Big E. Already, by this point,
they should've stopped calling themselves the Whalers,
and started calling themselves the New England Wanderers.

When the Civic Center roof collapsed, the Whalers went back north, and played the rest of the 1977-78 season, all of 1978-79, and the first part of 1979-80 at the Springfield Civic Center. Opening in 1972, it hosted the Springfield Indians until 1994, and the Springfield Falcons since then. It seats 6,866. Elvis sang there on July 14 and 15, 1975; and July 29, 1976.

The Springfield Civic Center is now known as the MassMutual Center. It still hosts minor-league hockey. The Big E does not, but it is still open for various events.
The MassMutual Center

Boston Bruins legend Eddie Shore long ran the Springfield Indians, and is buried in Springfield, at Hillcrest Park Cemetery, 895 Parker Street.

Of course, Springfield's biggest connection to sports is as the definitive birthplace of basketball. Dr. James Naismith invented the game at the International YMCA Training School, which grew into Springfield College. That's why the Basketball Hall of Fame is located in the city, at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue, on the Connecticut River.
It sort of resembles the "Trylon and Perisphere"
centerpiece of the 1939-40 New York World's Fair.

The best way to reach any site in or around Springfield from Hartford is by Amtrak. Fortunately, it's one of their cheapest runs, since it's not on the Boston-New York-Washington Northeast Corridor.

The New Britain Red Sox, a Class AA team in the Eastern League, played at the 4,700-seat Beehive Field from 1983 to 1995.
In 1996, they became a Minnesota Twins farm team, and changed their name to the New Britain Rock Cats, playing at the 6,146-seat New Britain Stadium, which was built next door, at 230 John Karbonic Way, 13 miles southwest of downtown Hartford. Bus 101 to New Britain Station, then transfer to Bus 510 or 512.

The "BritSox" won the Pennant in 1983, but the Rock Cats have yet to win a Pennant in their new stadium. The Rock Cats were in the EL Championship Series in 2001 when the 9/11 attacks occurred, with the series being canceled and co-champions being declared.
In 2014, it was announced that the Rock Cats would move to Hartford for the 2016 season. They are now the Hartford Yard Goats, a farm team of the Colorado Rockies, playing at Dunkin' Donuts Park, at 1214 Main Street at Trumbull Street, just a walk over I-84 from the XL Center. In the meantime, the former Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League moved into New Britain Stadium, to become the New Britain Bees.
According to an April 23, 2014 article in The New York Times, the Yankees are actually the most popular MLB team in Hartford proper, with about 49 percent of those polled, to about 35 percent for the Red Sox. However, when you get into Hartford's eastern suburbs, the Sox take over, about 44 to 40 percent.

In spite of the Yankees' strength in the area, the Bruins are easily the most popular NHL team now (probably because of Bobby Orr, who gave them a toehold even before the Whalers came along), the Celtics are far more popular than the Knicks (due to their "home games" at The Mall as much as to their 1980s success), and the Patriots (who do, after all, call themselves "New England") are more popular than the Giants.

Veterans Memorial Stadium is a football field at 635 South Main Street in New Britain. The U.S. soccer team played 4 games there between 1973 and 1996, going 3-1. Dillon Stadium is a football stadium at 250 Huyshope Avenue at Curcombe Street, near Charter Oak Landing, a mile and a half southeast of downtown Hartford. The U.S. soccer team beat Bermuda there on September 9, 1973.

Hartford briefly had a major league team in the early days of baseball. The Hartford Dark Blues played at the Hartford Ball Club Grounds in the seasons of 1874 and 1875 in the National Association, and 1876 in the National League, before finances led them to move to Brooklyn. Good Shepherd Church was built on the site. 155 Wyllys Street at Osten Blvd., about a mile southeast of downtown.
Best picture of it that I could find.

There was also a Hartford Blues playing in the NFL, albeit only in the 1926 season, finishing just 3-7. They had Harry Stuhldreher of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen at quarterback, and future Giants legend Steve Owen as a two-way tackle. They played at the East Hartford Velodrome, at a site bounded by Pitkin Street, Founders Plaza, Hartland Street and East River Drive. Albertus Magnus College and a Hampton Inn were built on the site.
This team photo was the best picture of the Velodrome that I could find.

Don't get any ideas about major league teams returning to Hartford, with the possible exception of in the NHL. The area's low population base would rank it 31st and last among MLB markets, 32nd in the NFL (ahead of only New Orleans), 28th in the NBA (ahead of New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Memphis), and 27th in the NHL (ahead of only Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, and last among U.S. cities). Hartford has no professional soccer team.

Since 2003, the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA have played at the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena. This Arena also hosted a Heavyweight Championship fight, with Lennox Lewis defending the title by beating Zeljko Mavrovic on September 26, 1998.

The Arena is at Casey Plaza, in Uncasville, 46 miles southeast of Hartford, 106 miles southwest of Downtown Boston, and 132 miles northeast of Midtown Manhattan. Mohegan Sun advertises itself as "closer to New York than Atlantic City." This is true: Caesar's Atlantic City is 128 miles from Times Square. What Mohegan Sun doesn't tell you is that it's closer to Boston than to New York, and will have as many Chowdaheads as Pinstripers.
Nearby is Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, 139 miles from New York, 97 miles from Boston, and 48 miles from Hartford. Neither Mohegan Sun nor Foxwoods is reachable by public transportation from Hartford, but private bus companies run service from Hartford, New York and Boston.

The Sun won the WNBA's Eastern Conference in 2004 and 2005, but lost in the Finals both times. Despite being a natural attraction for players from the University of Connecticut -- UConn's Harry A. Gampel Pavilion is just 30 miles northwest of Mohegan Sun -- they've never won a title.

They've retired 3 numbers: 12, for Margo Dydek; 23, for Katie Douglas; and 42, for UConn graduate Nykesha Sales. Former Sun player Lindsay Whalen was named to the WNBA Top 20 at 20 in 2016 -- in the 20th Season, rather than at the 20th Anniversary.
Gampel Pavilion

Hartford isn't all that close to any beach towns. Old Saybrook, Connecticut is 43 miles to the southeast; Newport, Rhode Island, 86 miles to the east; and Cape Cod, Massachusetts a minimum of 140 miles to the east.

The Travelers Tower, headquarters of the insurance company of the same name, opened in 1919, and is Hartford's most familiar landmark besides the State House. It is 527 feet tall. In 1980, it was surpassed as the tallest building in the State of Connecticut by City Place I, at 185 Asylum Street, a short walk from the Civic Center: 534 feet.

Hartford is home to the nation's oldest public art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum, at 600 Main Street at Gold Street. The Connecticut Science Center is at 250 Columbus Blvd. at Grove Street. The Mark Twain House, the last home of the author born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is at 351 Farmington Avenue at Forest Street, adjacent to Hartford Public High School, about a mile west of downtown. Bus 60.

No President has ever been born in Connecticut, although George Bush grew up in Greenwich and attended Yale University in New Haven. William Howard Taft also graduated from Yale, and, like Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton, went to Yale Law School. But New Haven is 36 miles from Hartford.

Yale is also the only Connecticut-based school to win hockey's National Championship, in 2013.

His son, George W. Bush, was born at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1946, and, like his father and grandfather, is a Yale graduate (however the hell that happened). But you'll never be able to convince him that he's anything other than Texas through and through.

The 1st Presidential Debate of 1996, between Clinton and Bob Dole, was held at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center. 166 Capitol Avenue, across Trinity Street from the State House.

There's another Presidential site nearby: Calvin Coolidge, although from Vermont, was Mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts before being elected that State's Governor, and Vice President, and becoming President in 1923 when Warren Harding died. His Presidential Library and Museum is there, at 20 West Street, a 10-minute walk west of the bus terminal. 45 miles north of Hartford, and 17 miles north of Springfield.

In addition to Hartford, Elvis Presley sang at the 11,171-seat New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum on July 16 and 17, 1975; and July 30, 1976. State and George Streets. The Coliseum replaced the 4,000-seat New Haven Arena, which stood from 1926 to 1974 at State and Grove Streets, 5 blocks away. Like its successor, it hosted minor-league sports, especially hockey, and concerts, including the one on December 3, 1967 when Jim Morrison of The Doors got arrested onstage. Built in 1972, the New Haven Coliseum was demolished in 2007. It has not been replaced.

Lots of movies have been filmed in Connecticut, but none that I can find were shot in Hartford. The play and film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? were set at Hartford's Trinity College, but not filmed there. Same with TV shows: Bewitched was set in Westport and Who's the Boss? in Fairfield, but neither in Hartford. I guess the capital city simply isn't glamorous enough for Hollywood honchos.

Various versions of Mark Twain's story A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court include Connecticut scenes. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House had the house in Connecticut, but considerably closer to Manhattan than to Hartford (or Boston). Eugene O'Neill's play Long Day's Journey Into Night and its film versions have been set in a seaside community in Connecticut, although the best-known version, from 1962, was filmed on City Island in The Bronx.

Holiday Inn, the 1942 film that debuted Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas," has its "country" scenes set in Connecticut, although the 1955 film White Christmas takes place in Vermont. Orson Wells played a Nazi war criminal turned prep school teacher in fictional Harper, Connecticut, in The Stranger.

Rally Round the Flag, Boys! takes place in fictional Putnam's Landing. Beetlejuice takes place in fictional Winter River. Mystic Pizza actually was filmed and set in Mystic. The Ice Storm was set in New Canaan, but that's closer to New York than Hartford. So is Stepford, the fictional setting of Ira Levin's novel The Stepford Wives and its film versions.

Christmas in Connecticut was filmed twice, in 1945 with a fraudulent food writer played by Barbara Stanwyck and a returning World War II hero played by Dennis Morgan; and in 1992 with Dyan Cannon as the host of a TV cooking show and Kris Kristofferson as a hero fireman. The remake was the 1st movie directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has a brief cameo. Until I learned of the 1945 version, I presumed the remake was a parody of Martha Stewart, who famously lives in Westport.

Judging Amy took place in Hartford, running on CBS from 1999 to 2005. Gilmore Girls, which ran on The WB from 2000 to 2007, did some filming in Hartford, but was set in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, said to be half an hour's drive away. Late in the run of I Love Lucy, the Ricardos and the Mertzes moved to the New York suburb of Westport, Connecticut, which also became the setting of Bewitched, and the hometown of Josh Lyman on The West Wing.

New York suburbs of Connecticut also include Fairfield, the setting of Who's the Boss?; and Stamford, the setting of My Wife and Kids. In addition to Stars Hollow, Connecticut's fictional TV settings include Castleberry, established as the hometown of Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw in the prequel series The Carrie Diaries; and Dunn's River, the setting of Soap. Benson established that Gene Gatling was a cousin of Soap's Jessica Tate, but it didn't specifically say that the State of which Gatling was Governor was Connecticut, or any other.


University of Connecticut football is not at the level of UConn basketball, men's or women's. But it can still be a nice adventure.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Scores On This Historic Day: August 29, 1967, The Fugitive Finale

TV Guide that week: Barry Morse as Lt. Gerard (left),
and David Janssen as Dr. Kimble

August 29, 1967: The final episode of The Fugitive airs on ABC. It becomes the most-watched program in the history of American series television.

The Fugitive premiered on September 17, 1963. The premise was delivered in the series' opening narration:

The Fugitive, a QM Production. Starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, an innocent victim of blind justice. Falsely convicted for the murder of his wife, reprieved by fate when a train wreck freed him en route to the death house.

Freed him to hide in lonely desperation, to change his identity, to toil at many jobs. Freed him to search for a one-armed man he saw leave the scene of the crime. Freed him to run before the relentless pursuit of the police lieutenant obsessed with his capture.

This narration was read by William Conrad. "QM" was Quinn Martin, who specialized in crime dramas. In the 1970s, he created and produced The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, and Cannon, starring Conrad.

"Dick" Kimble was a pediatrician in Stafford, Indiana. The town is fictional, but in the series finale, it is suggested that it is near South Bend, home of the University of Notre Dame. His story was based on the case of Dr. Sam Sheppard, a neurosurgeon in the suburbs of Cleveland, whose wife Marilyn was murdered in 1954. He was convicted, but insisted on his innocence all the way. He never escaped, but got a 2nd trial, and was exonerated in 1966, while The Fugitive was still on the air. 

The show's creator, Roy Huggins, always insisted that the show was not based on the Sheppard case, but that claim wouldn't have held up in court.

In 1960, Route 66 had pioneered the theme of a TV show without a single set location, with a protagonist (or, in that show's case, two) going all over the country, helping people when they could, and then, when the job was done, moving on. The Fugitive added the man-on-the-run angle, which would be copied by many shows, most notably the 1978-82 CBS version of The Incredible Hulk.

Barry Morse played Lieutenant Philip Gerard, who was accompanying Kimble to the prison where he was to be executed, and thus "lost" him. It's a matter of honor for him to bring Kimble back to justice. He doesn't care that Kimble says he's innocent: Gerard is upholding the decision of the people in accordance with the law. This made him the 1st TV show antagonist who wasn't a stereotypical bad guy: He was fighting for justice in an official way, just as Kimble was in an unofficial way.

A few times, Gerard almost caught Kimble. On some occasions, they even saved each other's life, at which point Gerard's sense of honor let him give Kimble a head start on the next phase of his run.

At first Gerard has no doubt as to Kimble's guilt. He attended the trial, and was witness to the evidence. But as the series went on, doubt crept in. At one point, when someone asked him if Kimble killed his wife, he said, "The law said he did," but he said it without conviction -- if you'll pardon my choice of words.

This fascinating dynamic made the show one of the most popular of the 1960s. And so, in what was a rarity at the time -- but not unprecedented: The Dick Van Dyke Show had already done it -- a definitive final episode was written for the show, without the network canceling it outright. Huggins knew that people wanted "the one-armed man" to be caught, and for Kimble to be vindicated.

The actual killer was played by Bill Raisch, and he was a hero in real life: He lost his right arm when he was badly burned while serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine in World War II. Before, he had been a dancer, hard to believe because of his appearance. He took to acting, and had a good career of it until his death in 1984.

And so, on Tuesday night, August 22, 1967, "The Judgment, Part I" aired. At the end, Kimble, having tracked "the one-armed man," whose name he now knows is Fred Johnson, to Los Angeles, having made contact with a relative living there, and having even found love again after 6 years on the run (an origin story, not the pilot episode, established that timeline), is about to get into a taxi, when Gerard catches him. He takes no pleasure in the arrest: "I'm sorry. You just ran out of time."

Seven nights later, "The Judgment, Part II" begins the way the pilot began, with Kimble and Gerard handcuffed together, sitting on a train. Kimble now knows that Gerard has doubts as to his guilt, suggests that Johnson is also going back to Stafford, and begs Gerard to allow him 24 more hours to prove his innocence. Gerard goes for it.

Spoiler alert for a 54-year-old TV episode: At an abandoned amusement park, there is a final confrontation. Johnson shoots Gerard in the leg, and runs up a tower. Kimble chases him, they fight -- the stub of Johnson's missing right arm being a more effective weapon than you might think -- and Kimble beats a confession out of Johnson. But Johnson regains the advantage, and is about to shoot Kimble, when Gerard picks up a rifle and shoots him.

Coming down from the tower, Kimble knows that Johnson's confession is now useless. But Kimble's detective work had forced a friend who had witnessed the original murder, afraid to come forward at the time, to admit what he saw.

The episode ends with Kimble and his new girlfriend walking out of the courthouse. He sees Gerard, and shakes his hand. Both men got what they wanted: The law upheld, and justice done. A police car pulls up. Kimble stops, but the policemen walk right past him, having no reason to pursue him. Conrad's closing narration: "Tuesday, August 29: The day the running stopped."

According to the Nielsen Ratings, over 78 million people watched, breaking the record of the February 9, 1964 edition of The Ed Sullivan Show, when The Beatles made their American debut. The Fugitive finale held the record until 1980, surpassed by "Who Done It," the episode of Dallas where it was revealed who shot J.R. Ewing. That record lasted until 1983, the finale of M*A*S*H. Although several Super Bowls have had more viewers, these remain the 3 highest-rated episodes of American TV shows.

David Janssen had previously starred on Richard Diamond, Private Detective. He would later star on O'Hara: U.S. Treasury, and as another private detective on Harry O. He did not live long enough to see Dallas break The Fugitive's record, or even to see J.R. get shot: He died on February 13, 1980, only 48 years old, of a heart attack while filming the movie Father Damien. (Ken Howard of The White Shadow was cast as his replacement.) Barry Morse had called Janssen "one of the hardest-working actors in the U.S.A.," and it appears he worked himself to death.

My generation was too young to have seen The Fugitive -- to this day, it doesn't seem to be in regular syndication -- but we did know Barry Morse, as Dr. Victor Bergman on the 1975-77 science fiction series Space: 1999. He continued acting almost up to his death in 2008.

The Fugitive has lived on: A 1993 film starring Harrison Ford, and Tommy Lee Jones as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, and, this time, the one-armed man does not act alone, but is a hitman for an enemy of Kimble's; the 1998 film Wrongfully Accused, a spoof film starring Leslie Nielsen; a 2000-01 CBS series, starring Tim Daly as Kimble and Mykelti Williamson as a black Gerard; and a 2020 Quibi series, which rewrites the premise by having Boyd Holbrook play a completely different character, accused of a completely different crime, and Kiefer Sutherland as a detective who immediately finds evidence that the accusers have the wrong man, and pursues both man and angle.


August 29, 1967 was a Tuesday. It was the off-season for the NFL the AFL, the NBA, the brand-new ABA, and the NHL. But these Major League Baseball games were played -- not that any fan of The Fugitive was going to leave his TV room to go watch them: 

* The New York Yankees also had a 2-parter, against the Boston Red Sox at the old Yankee Stadium. The season was an anomaly for the era: The Red Sox were challenging for the Pennant, and the Yankees were nowhere near it. The twi-night doubleheader began at 5:00 PM, and Mickey Mantle didn't play in either game.

The Red Sox won the opener, 2-1. Jim Lonborg, on his way to winning the American League Cy Young Award, outpitched the Yankees' ace, Mel Stottlemyre. Jose Tartabull (father of future Yankee Danny) brought home a run with a suicide squeeze bunt in the 3rd inning.

Both teams scored in the 7th: Lonborg helped his own cause with an RBI single, and Tom Tresh got the Yankees on the board with a home run. Other than that, Lonborg only allowed 3 baserunners: Singles by Steve Whitaker and Bill Robinson, and he hit Mike Hegan with a pitch. No walks. 

The 2nd game, the rescheduling of a June 19 rainout, remains the longest game in the history of the Yanks-Sox rivalry. Ken Harrelson hit a home run in the top of the 2nd to give Boston a 2-0 lead. Whitaker tripled home a run in the bottom of the 4th. Roy White hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 7th. The game stayed tied, and went to extra innings.

The Red Sox had men on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs in the top of the 10th, but Dooley Womack -- yes, Ball Four freaks, the Dooley Womack -- got the 3rd out without allowing a run. Former Yankee Norm Siebern singled home a run off Womack in the top of the 11th, but Whitaker tied it with a home run in the bottom of the 11th, against a rookie reliever who hadn't yet discovered mustaches: Future Yankee Albert Walter "Sparky" Lyle.

The Yankees got 1st and 2nd with 2 out in the bottom of the 12th, and again in the bottom of the 13th, but didn't score either time. Elston Howard, recently traded by the Yankees to the Red Sox, walked to lead off the top of the 14th. This time, the cliche about walks, especially the leadoff variety, being a killer did not hold true. 

The Red Sox loaded the bases with 2 outs in the top of the 15th, but Joe Verbanic got out of it. The Yankees had 1st and 2nd with 1 out in the bottom of the 15th, but couldn't score. The Yankees got a leadoff walk from John Kennedy (no relation to the late President) in the bottom of the 16th, but couldn't bring him around. Mike Andrews walked to lead off the top of the 17th, but was stranded. The Yankees again got 1st and 2nd with 2 outs in the bottom of the 17th, and again in the bottom of the 19th, but couldn't score either time.

Jim Bouton was now pitching in the top of the 20th. With his elbow shot, his great fastball gone, and not yet having sufficient confidence in his knuckleball, he loaded the bases with 2 out. But he got Howard to ground out to end it. With 1 out in the bottom of the 20th, Kennedy singled, Bouton (nobody was left on the bench, so he had to bat for himself) was hit with a pitch, and Horace Clarke singled Kennedy home.

The Yankees had won, 4-3, in a game ending near 2:00 AM. Bouton, later to be the author of Ball Four, was the winning pitcher. The losing pitcher was Darrell "Bucky" Brandon, who was to be his teammate on the 1969 Seattle Pilots.

* The New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0 at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis. Cal Koonce pitched a 5-hit shutout. The Mets only got 4 hits themselves, but 1 was a solo home run by Ron Swoboda.

* The Washington Senators beat the Chicago White Sox, 3-0 at District of Columbia Stadium in Washington. Dick Bosman pitched a 5-hit shutout. The stadium would be renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 1969.

* The Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-3 at Atlanta (later Atlanta-Fulton County) Stadium. Hank Aaron went 1-for-4, his hit a solo home run. Roberto Clemente went 1-for-4.

* The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. Jim Bunning only allowed 2 hits, but 1 was a leadoff double by Vada Pinson in the bottom of the 7th. He advanced to 3rd base on a groundout, and Lee May drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Gary Nolan pitched 7 scoreless innings, and Billy McCool and Ted Abernathy were needed to finish off the 7-hit shutout.

* The Houston Astros beat the Chicago Cubs, 5-3 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

* The Baltimore Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-3 at Metropolitan Stadium in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota.

* The Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Athletics, 9-8 at Kansas City Municipal Stadium. Chico Salmon got the winning run home on a fielder's choice in the top of the 10th inning.

* The Detroit Tigers swept a doubleheader from the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium. They won the 1st game 4-2, and the 2nd game 2-1.

* And the San Francisco Giants beat their arch-rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11-1 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Willie Mays went 2-for-3 with a solo home run.

How to Go to a University of Cincinnati Football Game

This coming Saturday, the University of Cincinnati open their new college football season against their arch-rivals, Miami University of Ohio.

Before You Go. Cincinnati can get really hot in the Summer, and September 4, being the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend, counts as "Summer." The Cincinnati Enquirer website is predicting low 80s for Saturday afternoon, and low 60s by night. They are not predicting rain.

Cincinnati is in the Eastern Time Zone, so you won't have to set your clocks back.

Tickets. Cincinnati isn't in a major college football conference, but they're playing their arch-rivals, so getting tickets might be a problem. Sideline seats are $70, end zone seats are $60, and upper deck seats are $45.

Getting There. It's 641 miles from Times Square in New York to Fountain Square in Cincinnati. This will be Labor Day Weekend: Availability will be less than normal, so fares may be higher than normal.

Flying may seem like a good option, and don't let the fact that Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport is in Florence, Kentucky fool you: It's just 13 miles southwest of downtown, a little closer (and in the same direction) than Newark Airport is to Midtown Manhattan. And if you order now, you can get a round-trip nonstop ticket on United Airlines for under $500.

Greyhound's run between the 2 cities is not good, a 16-hour ride that costs $488 round-trip (but it can be dropped to $267 with advanced-purchase) and forces you to change buses in either Cleveland or Columbus. The terminal is at 1005 Gilbert Avenue, less than a mile northeast of Fountain Square. Take the Number 11 bus to get downtown.

Amtrak's run to Cincy is problematic as well, as it only offers service out of Penn Station to Cincinnati, on the Cardinal, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and it'll be nearly 19 hours, from 6:45 AM until 1:31 AM outbound and from 3:27 AM to almost 9:58 AM back. At least it'll be cheap by Amtrak standards, $318.

Union Terminal, now also a museum and shopping mall, is at 1301 Western Avenue, about a mile and a half northwest of downtown. And you'd have to walk 5 blocks to Linn & Clark Streets just to get to the closest downtown bus (Number 27).
In the 1970s, Cincinnati-based Taft Broadcasting owned
Hanna-Barbera Productions, producers of the cartoon Super Friends.
Union Terminal became the model for the Justice League's headquarters.
As Ted Knight did the voice: "Later, at the Hall of Justice... "

If you decide to drive, it's far enough that it will help to get someone to go with you and split the duties, and to trade off driving and sleeping.

You'll need to get on the New Jersey Turnpike. Take it to Exit 14, to Interstate 78. Follow I-78 west all the way through New Jersey, to Phillipsburg, and across the Delaware River into Easton, Pennsylvania. Continue west on I-78 until reaching Harrisburg. There, you will merge onto I-81. Take Exit 52 to U.S. Route 11, which will soon take you onto I-76. This is the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the nation's 1st superhighway, opening in 1940.

The Turnpike will eventually be a joint run between I-76 and Interstate 70. Once that happens, you'll stay on I-70, all the way past Pittsburgh, across the little northern panhandle of West Virginia, and into Ohio all the way to the State Capitol of Columbus. Then leave I-70 at Exit 99 and get on Interstate 71 south to Cincinnati.

If you do it right, you should spend about an hour and 15 minutes in New Jersey, 5 hours and 30 minutes in Pennsylvania, 15 minutes in West Virginia, and about 3 hours in Ohio. That's about 10 hours. Counting rest stops, preferably halfway through Pennsylvania and just after you enter Ohio and around Columbus, and accounting for traffic in both New York and Cincinnati, it should be no more than 14 hours, which would save you time on both Greyhound and Amtrak, if not flying.

Once In the City. Founded in 1788, Cincinnati was named by Arthur St. Clair, then Governor of the Northwest Territory. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization that was a tribute to George Washington, then called "the New Cincinnatus." Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was, like Washington, a farmer who had previously led his country, in his case ancient Rome, into battle, and was called back to lead the nation as a whole in 458 BC. He defeated the Aequi in battle, and then, just 16 days after he took charge, resigned and retired to his farm.

Germans, including "Pennsylvania Dutch" (including some Amish, and many remain in Ohio) were among the first settlers, which explains why the city had a strong brewing tradition, and why the 1882 version of the Cincinnati Red Stockings founded the original American Association, known as "The Beer and Whiskey League" because, unlike the National League, they refused to prohibit the selling of alcohol in their stadiums.

Even in the early 20th Century, sportswriters would refer to that team's spiritual (if not lineal) descendant, the Reds, as "the gingery Germans of Zinzinatti." Like Notre Dame's nickname of "The Fighting Irish," the nickname no longer has much ethnic relevance; unlike "The Fighting Irish," however, it's not still used.

Cincinnati is one of the smallest markets in the major leagues, with the city being home to just 309,000 people -- and even that 2020 Census figure is a gain over the 2010 figure of 299,000. If you count Tampa and St. Petersburg as one city, that would make Cincinnati the smallest in Major League Baseball. The metropolitan area is home to only 2.2 million people, making it the 2nd-smallest, ahead of only Milwaukee. However, if you count nearby Dayton, then it jumps to a little under 3 million. That makes it 25th in MLB, and 22st in the NFL.

Cincinnati also got hit hard by "white flight": It was 84 percent white in 1950, 72 percent in 1970, 61 percent in 1990. Today, it's 48 percent white, 43 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and 2 percent Asian.

Cincinnati has a bit of a crime problem. The city had race riots in 1829, 1836 and 1841, and was one of many stricken with them in "The Long Hot Summer" of 1967, from June 12 to 15, in the Avondale neighborhood north of downtown. Another took place from April 9 to 13, 2001, something rarely seen in America since the 1960s until the 2010s' and 2020s' rash of police brutality protests.

Despite this, and despite having lost their NBA team in 1972 and never regained it, Cincinnati has never been in serious danger of losing either the Reds or the Bengals. While the Reds were targeted by cities looking to get into MLB in the 1950s and '60s, the city was proactive in stopping them, and the construction of Riverfront Stadium made sure the teams were set to stay for the rest of the 20th Century. The construction of replacements for Riverfront, one for each sport, has made sure the teams are set to stay for at least the 1st half of the 21st.

In spite of the city's willingness to drink, it's one of the most conservative cities in America, home to the Taft political family that has now seen 5 straight generations achieve high office. Alphonso Taft was Attorney General under Ulysses S. Grant. His son, Charles Phelps Taft, was a Congressman who owned the Philadelphia Phillies and later the Chicago Cubs. Another son, William Howard Taft, was Secretary of War under Theodore Roosevelt, was elected to replace TR as President in 1908, and became the only President also to serve on the Supreme Court, as Chief Justice no less. His cousin, Kingsley Taft, was Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

His son, Robert Taft, was a power in the Senate, so conservative he was known as "Mr. Republican" in opposition to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, serving as Majority Leader at the time of his death in 1953. Another son of William Howard, Charles Phelps Taft II, was Mayor of Cincinnati in the 1950s, and became known as "Mr. Cincinnati." Robert's son, Robert Taft Jr., served in both houses of Congress. Another son, William Howard Taft III, was U.S. Ambassador to Ireland in the 1950s. William III's son, William IV, was a Deputy Secretary of Defense, and his wife Julia was an Assistant Secretary of Defense. And Robert Jr.'s son, Bob Taft (Robert Alfonso Taft III), was Governor of Ohio in the 2000s.

Cincinnati's conservatism is reflected in the Reds' long-standing policy banning facial hair, considerably stronger than that of George Steinbrenner in liberal New York, who at least allowed mustaches.

And if you watched the CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-82), you noticed that station owner Mama Carlson (Carol Bruce) only made the switch from "beautiful music" to rock and roll in 1978 because the station was losing money, and even her son, Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson (Gordon Jump), while willing to manage a rock station, was hopelessly square -- though not as square as newsman Les Nessman (Richard Sanders). Things hadn't changed much in the century or so since Mark Twain remarked that if the world came to an end, it would take Cincinnati 20 years to notice.

Vine Street is the street address divider between East and West, with the North-South streets' addresses increasing as you go north from the Ohio River. The "beltway" is Interstate 275, and it goes into Kentucky and Indiana, as well as Ohio. The sales tax in the State of Ohio is 5.75 percent, rising to 6.5 percent in Hamilton County, including the City of Cincinnati. Cincinnati Gas & Electric (CG&E) runs the electricity.

The Tyler Davidson Fountain, a.k.a. "The Genius of Water," is located in Fountain Square, 5th & Vine Streets. Henry Probasco, a Cincinnati businessman, had the statue and fountain made to honor his late brother-in-law and business partner.

It was dedicated in 1867, with a base reading, "TO THE PEOPLE OF CINCINNATI," and is turned off in the Winter, being turned back on for the Reds' Opening Day. It can be seen in WKRP's opening sequence, although a renovation led to its being moved elsewhere in the square in 2006.
ZIP Codes for Cincinnati start with the digits 452, and the Area Code is 513. Cincinnati does not have a subway: Construction of a system began in the 1910s, but was abandoned in the 1920s, and occasional attempts to try again, using the existing tunnels, have never gotten anywhere. The only remaining major newspaper is The Cincinnati Enquirer. There was a 2nd paper, The Cincinnati Post, until it went out of business in 2007.

The city has since decided to go above-ground, and, since September 2016, the Cincinnati Bell Connector (naming rights sold to the phone company) heads north from downtown into the Over-the-Rhine region, and south across the Ohio River to Covington, Kentucky.
Cincinnati Metro buses have a one-zone fare of $1.75, and $2.65 outside the City but within the County.
Once On Campus. Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio were founded in 1819. In 1870, a bequest allowed the College to become the University of Cincinnati. The Medical College was absorbed into it in 1909. The school is municipally-funded, but State-affiliated. Notable non-sports alumni include:

* Entertainment: Silent film actress Theda Bara, opera singer Kathleen Battle, jazz trumpeter Al Hirt, rhyming comedian Julius "Nipsey" Russell, soap opera actor David Canary, ballerina Suzanne Farrell, actor Dorian Harewood, Broadway actress Faith Prince, YouTube personality Mark "Markiplier" Fischbach, and Robert Burck, Times Square's "Naked Cowboy."

* Science: Ronald Howes, inventor of the Easy-Bake Oven; and Vinod Dham, inventor of the Pentium computer chip.

* Politics: President William Howard Taft (law school), and his great-grandson, Governor Bob Taft; Charles Dawes, the nation's 1st Budget Director, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Vice President under Calvin Coolidge; 1960s "Yippies" figure Jerry Rubin; and Charles Keating, savings and loan scammer and 1980s scandal namesake

* And Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Also connected to aviation: After becoming the 1st person to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, an Ohio native who graduated from Purdue University, taught aerospace engineering at UC.

The school's 2 most famous athletes are Sandy Koufax, who studied architecture and played basketball, but never played baseball for the school and dropped out, before becoming a Hall of Fame pitcher; and Oscar Robertson, who helped their basketball team reach the Final Four in 1959 and 1960, then went into the NBA and put himself on the short list for the honor of greatest all-around player. Ironically, it was only after he graduated that they won the National Championship, in 1961, in 1962, and nearly again in 1963.

In addition to Koufax and the Big O, notable UC athletic figures include:

* Basketball: Coach Ed Jucker, Jack Twyman, Paul Hogue, Tom Thacker, Connie Dierking, Ron Bonham, Jim Ard, Danny Fortson, Nick Van Exel and Kenyon Martin.

* Baseball: Miller Huggins, the 1st title-winning manager of the Yankees, and Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the federal judge who became the 1st Commissioner of Baseball, both got law degrees from UC. Kevin Youkilis played there.

* Tennis: Tony Trabert, who won the U.S. Open in 1953, the French Open in 1954, and the French, Wimbledon and the U.S. in 1955, just missing the Grand Slam when he lost in the Semifinal of the Australian Open.

* Track & Field: Mary Wineberg, who won a Gold Medal in the women's 4x400-meter relay in the 2008 Olympics in London.

Going In. The site of Nippert Stadium has been home to the University of Cincinnati's football team, the Bearcats, since 1901, and the current stadium has stood there since 1915. That makes it the 2nd-oldest continuously used college football site (the University of Pennsylvania has been playing at the current Franklin Field since 1923 and on the site since 1895), and the 3rd-oldest stadium (behind Georgia Tech's Grant Field, 1913, and Mississippi State's Davis-Wade Stadium, 1914). Previously, it was known as Carson Field, for their 1st coach, Arch Carson, and the playing surface still bears that name.

It has been extensively remodeled, so that it has few of the difficulties of being an old stadium, but also none of the look and atmosphere of one. The address is 99 W. Corry Blvd., at Backstage Drive, on the UC campus, about 2 miles north of downtown. Number 17 or 19 bus. If you drove in, parking is $15.
Nippert Stadium. To the north, Campus Recreation Hall.
To the east, Fifth Third Arena, Gettler Stadium (soccer),
and the UC Baseball Stadium.
To the south, the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.
To the west, the student center and the bookstore.

On November 29, 1923 (Thanksgiving was then on the last Thursday in November, not necessarily the 4th Thursday), the Bearcats were playing their annual Thanksgiving Day game against Miami University, then as now their arch-rivals. It rained hard all the way through, and the field was called "a sea of mud" in a newspaper.
The 1923 Cincinnati-Miami game

The Bearcats won the game, 23-0, but lost a player. James Gamble Nippert, a center and a prelaw student, was cut on the leg by someone's spiked shoes. There was no game film, so no one was ever able to tell who did it, or even which team. The wound became infected, and, in those days before antibiotics, he was doomed, and died of his Thanksgiving Day wound on Christmas Day.
He died in spite of his family's wealth: His great-grandfather, James Gamble, co-founded the Cincinnati-based consumer goods company Procter & Gamble; his grandfather, James Nippert Gamble, was the inventor of Ivory Soap. The grandfather donated a new locker room and medical facility, so that no other player would have to face his grandson's fate. In the player's memory, the stadium was renamed James Gamble Nippert Memorial Stadium.
Dedication plaque

The Cincinnati Bengals played their 1st 2 seasons, 1968 and 1969, here. When FC Cincinnati were founded in the United Soccer League, the 2nd tier of American soccer, they set up shop at Nippert. They played there through the 2020 season, and have opened a new stadium in the city's West End. Nippert Stadium has hosted 1 U.S. national team game, a 3-0 loss to Venezuela on June 9, 2019.

The playing surface has been artificial since 1970, and runs (more or less) north-to-south. Seating capacity is listed as 40,000 for football.
In 2013, Stephen Godfrey, covering UC's "Keg of Nails" rivalry game with the University of Louisville, called Nippert Stadium a "quaint bowl of angry noise sitting under the gaze of remarkable architecture" and, comparing it to Louisiana State's Tiger Stadium, a "baby Death Valley."

Concerts have been held there, starting in 1973 with The Edgar Winter Group and later Grand Funk Railroad. In 1975, it hosted the Ohio River Rock Festival, including Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon and Styx. Other concert performers have included Michael and Janet Jackson (not together) and Britney Spears. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech there on October 16, 1936. Soon-to-be-President Barack Obama held a pre-election rally there on November 2, 2008.

Food. Being in Big Ten Country (but not in the Big Ten Conference), where tailgate parties are practically a sacrament, you would expect a Cincinnati stadium to have lots of good options. The arrival (if only temporary) of FCC led the University to boost the concession stands.

They serve Cincy favorites such as Skyline Chili (that weird hybrid of chili and spaghetti, plus chili dogs), LaRosa's Pizza, Queen City Sausage, United Dairy Farmers and Frisch's Big Boy. Since this will be a professional sporting event, not a collegiate one, beer is sold.

Team History Displays. The University of Cincinnati has been playing football since 1885. For most of their history, they have been independents, but have been in the American Athletic Conference since 2013. The Cincinnati Bearcats have won 14 Conference Championships: The Buckeye Athletic Association in 1933 and 1934; the Mid-American Conference in 1947, 1949, 1951 and 1952; the Missouri Valley Conference in 1963 and 1964; Conference USA in 2002; the Big East Conference in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012; and the American Athletic Conference (essentially, the successor league to the Big East) in 2014.

They've been in 20 bowl games, splitting them. Their 10 wins: The 1946 Sun Bowl, the 1949 Glass Bowl, the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl, the 2006 International Bowl, the 2007 PapaJohns.com Bowl, the 2011 Liberty Bowl, the 2012 Belk Bowl, the 2018 Military Bowl, and the 2019 Birmingham Bowl. Their only bowl games that have been, at least traditionally, played on New Year's Day have been the 2008 Orange Bowl and the 2009 Sugar Bowl, both of which they lost.

There is no representation of these honors at Nippert Stadium. But they do have a Ring of Honor, with 14 honorees, including uniform numbers, although these are not considered retired. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good photograph of it.

The honorees are: 1940s player Tom O'Malley (27, quarterback); 1950s players Gene Rossi (28, quarterback), Bill Shalosky (29, guard), Dick Goist (62, running back) and Jack Lee (16, quarterback); 1960s player Greg Cook (12, quarterback); 1970s players Tom Marvaso (5, safety) and Mike Woods (30, linebacker); 1980s players Reggie Taylor (30, running back) and Danny McCoin (8, quarterback); 2000s players Jonathan Ruffin (16, kicker), Gino Guidugli (8, quarterback) and Kevin Huber (47, punter); and 2010s player Shaq Washington (19, receiver).

None of these men is in the College Football Hall of Fame. Three of their past head coaches are, but all for things they did elsewhere: Frank Cavanaugh (at UC in 1898), George Little (1914-15) and Sid Gillman (1949-54).

Brent Celek, tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl winners, also played at UC. The brothers Travis and Jason Kelce played for UC, and each has won a Super Bowl. So did 1930s Chicago Bears running back Ray Nolting, 1960s Giants running back Joe Morrison, Super Bowl V game-winning field goal kicker Jim O'Brien of the Baltimore Colts, and 1980s Denver Broncos kicker Rich Karlis. Urban Meyer was a defensive back at UC. in the 1980s. And while he starred as a receiver for the University of Florida and the Cincinnati Bengals before becoming a broadcaster, Cris Collinsworth got a law degree from UC.

The Bearcats have several rivalries. The big one is the one for this game, with Miami University, of Oxford, Ohio, 33 miles to the northwest. The Miami tribe of Native Americans long predates the name being applied to the city in Florida. Because of the confusion, Miami University is usually listed in news reports as "Miami (Ohio)," while the University of Miami is usually listed as "Miami (Florida)."

While the teams were in the same league for a while, this is now the oldest current non-conference college football rivalry, going back to 1888. They play for a Victory Bell, and the rivalry couldn't be much closer: Miami leads, 59-58-7. Each side of the Bell is painted with the colors and years of victory for the respective schools. 
Miami University is known as "The Cradle of Coaches." In football alone, the men who were head or assistant coaches there include Earl "Red" Blaik of Army; Paul Brown of Ohio State, the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals; Woody Hayes of Ohio State; Paul Dietzel of Louisiana State; Wilbur "Weeb" Ewbank of the Baltimore Colts and New York Jets; Ara Parseghian of Notre Dame; Carmen Cozza of Yale; Bo Schembechler of Michigan; Bill Arnsparger, who built Don Shula's "No-Name Defense" with the Miami Dolphins (Shula himself had no connection to this Miami); John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens; and Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams.

Cincinnati also has a rivalry with the University of Louisville, 100 miles to the southwest. They first played in 1929, and then every year from 1966 to 2013, when conference realignments stopped it. For the moment, Cincinnati leads this rivalry 30-22-1. The trophy is called the Keg of Nails, because someone once said that you had to be "tough as nails" to win this game.
The Bearcats' nastiest rivalry is with Xavier University, a Catholic school in Cincinnati. But they haven't played each other in football since Xavier shut its program down after the 1973 season, with Cincinnati leading, 18-12. But the basketball rivalry, when I say it's the "nastiest," I mean it. There have been fights on the court, in the stands, and outside, even arrests. They also have a basketball rivalry with Ohio State, having beaten them in the NCAA Tournament Final in 1961 and 1962.

Stuff. There is no big team store at Nippert Stadium. But the University Bookstore is in the Student Center, across from the Stadium's West Stand. I don't know if they sell any team-themed books or videos. Amazon.com doesn't seem to have any specific to UC.

During the Game. Because of their Midwest/Heartland image, Reds, Bengals and Bearcats fans like a "family atmosphere," in which you would be fine, as long as you don't antagonize anyone.

What is a "bearcat"? Is it a bear? Is it a cat? It is neither: It's a creature indigenous to South and Southeast Asia, known there as a binturong, and it resembles a raccoon more than any other North American mammal.

Nevertheless, the official costumed mascot looks more like a cat, and there's a reason for that. During a game against the University of Kentucky in 1914, Norman Lyon, a UC cheerleader and editor of the student paper, countered UK's name, the Wildcats, by citing UC fullback and team captain Leonard Baehr. Because of the pronunciation of this name, like "Bear," he was known as "Teddy." But Lyon got the fans to chant "Baehr-cat."

Eventually, a suited mascot was developed. Up until the 1950s, it was more bear than cat. Since then, it's been more cat. And it's name is simply "The Bearcat."
The Bearcat Band plays the National Anthem, and the fight song, "Cheer Cincinnati." Their main formation is an approximation of the team's helmet logo, a letter C that serves as the Bearcat's paw, with 4 claws. While rival Ohio State calls their band "TBDBITL," for "The Best Damn Band In The Land," UC says, "TUCBIDG," meaning, "The UC Band Is Damn Good." 
After the Game. The campus and downtown should be safe, but take the bus back downtown. Don't walk. As I said, Cincinnati does have a bit of a crime problem. 

If you want a postgame beer, you may be out of luck, as it'll be a bit of a walk to get off campus. There's a Starbucks (if you're liberal) and a Chick-fil-A (if you're conservative) just to the north of the stadium. Three blocks south is Calhoun Street, which has a Panera, a Buffalo Wild Wings, a Chipotle, a Jimmy John's, and boozier options.

I can find no references to well-known postgame bars, or to places where New Yorkers gather in or around Cincinnati. The sites that usually list bars for football fans in exile don't seem to have references to where Yankees, Mets, Giants or Jets fans go when they live near Cincy. In contrast, Phebe's, at 359 Bowery at East 4th Street, is New York's home for fans of the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals.

If you visit Cincinnati during the European soccer season, which has begun again, the main "football pub" in town is Rhinehaus, 119 E. 12th Street and Clay Street, in the neighborhood called Over-The-Rhine, or OTR, just north of downtown. Bus 19, or Streetcar to Washington Street. There's also a notable "football pub" across the Ohio River, in Covington, Kentucky: Molly Malone's, at 11 E. 4th Street. Bus 33.

Sidelights. Cincinnati may have only 2 major league teams now, plus an MLS team. One of those, the Reds, has usually been respectable, but hasn't won so much as an NLCS game for 31 years. The other, the Bengals, has been a joke for most of the last 20 years, even when they've had good regular seasons. But it's a pretty good sports town, and here's some of the highlights:

* Great American Ball Park. The Reds have played here since 2003. The park's official address is 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, named for the 1950s-60 Reds reliever and longtime broadcaster who died in 2007. Officially, the streets around it are 2nd Street (3rd base) to the north, Broadway Street (left field, and, no, that's not "Broadway," it's "Broadway Street") to the east, Mehring Way/U.S. Route 27 (right field) to the south and Main Street/Joe Nuxhall Way (1st base) to the west. Extending from the 1st base side is Pete Rose Way.
Great American Ballpark, with Heritage Bank Center next-door

* Site of Riverfront Stadium. The home of the Reds from 1970 to 2002 (known as Cinergy Field from 1996 onward) and the NFL's Bengals from 1970 to 1999 was across Main Street from its baseball replacement, bounded also by 2nd Street, Mehring Way and Vine Street.
Note that they built a stadium on top of a parking deck.

Here, the Reds reached the postseason 9 times (yes, Mrs. Bueller: "Nine times!"), winning 5 Pennants and 3 World Series. The Bengals made the Playoffs here 7 times, winning the AFC Championship in 1981 (beating the San Diego Chargers in what is officially listed as the coldest game in NFL history) and 1988 (on both occasions, going on to lose the Super Bowl to the San Francisco 49ers).

Riverfront was a pioneer in artificial turf, the 1st outdoor stadium in either MLB or the NFL to have it, the 1st to host either league's postseason on it, and the 1st to host a World Series game on it. It switched to real grass for its last 2 seasons, 2001 and 2002.
Nevertheless, a Thrillist article that came out in 2017 called Riverfront "a Soviet-style concrete and artificial turf dual-sport monolith." Like the other such stadiums opening between 1960 (Candlestick Park) and 1982 (the Metrodome), it served its purpose (saving its city's MLB and/or NFL team), and was rightly demolished. 

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is now on the site. And just beyond it is the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, opened in 1866 and named for its designer, who used it as the basis for his greatest achievement, the Brooklyn Bridge. The bar and restaurant district on the Covington, Kentucky side of the bridge is known as Roebling Point.

* Paul Brown Stadium. Opening in 2000, and named for the legendary coach of the Cleveland Browns and the founding owner and coach of the Bengals, This 65,000-seat stadium has also hosted the University of Cincinnati (including its entire 2014 home schedule while Nippert Stadium was being renovated, thus the Bengals returning the favor of UC letting them play there in their 1st 2 seasons), Ohio State, and Miami University of Ohio.
It's 4 blocks west of Great American Ball Park, and 2 blocks west of where Riverfront Stadium was. Officially, the address is 1 Paul Brown Stadium. It's bounded by 2nd Street, Elm Street, Mehring Way and Central Avenue.

* Heritage Bank Center. Formerly known as the Riverfront Coliseum, The Crown, the Firstar Center, and the U.S. Bank Arena, this building went up across Broadway from Riverfront Stadium (and can be seen from Great American Ball Park) in 1975, and has hosted minor league hockey ever since, including the current Cincinnati Cyclones.
The Cincinnati Stingers of the World Hockey Association played here from 1975 to 1979. They reached the Playoffs in 1977 and 1979, but were not invited to join the NHL. Hall-of-Famers Mark Messier and Mike Gartner made their "major league" debuts here, and, as such were named to the WHA All-Time Team.

The University of Cincinnati basketball team played home games here from 1976 to 1987 -- though, contrary to what I had posted in previous years, rivals Xavier University never used it as a home court. It hosted the NCAA's hockey Final Four, a.k.a. the Frozen Four, in 1996. Elvis Presley sang there on March 21, 1976 and, just before his death, on June 25, 1977.

Unfortunately, the arena is best known for the tragedy of December 3, 1979, when 11 fans were killed and 26 others were injured, when fans rushed in for "festival seating" for a concert by The Who. This event was immortalized shortly thereafter in an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, ordinarily one of the funniest situation comedies of its time.

It's unlikely that Cincinnati will get a new major league team for this arena anytime soon, partly due to its being a typical 1970s arena, with 1 level of concourse for 2 levels of seating, and not enough skyboxes; and partly due to Cincinnati's market size. The metro area would rank 22nd in population among NBA markets, and 19th in the NHL.

The closest NBA team is the Indiana Pacers, 113 miles to the northwest; the Cleveland Cavaliers are 249 miles to the northeast, the Chicago Bulls 296 miles to the northwest. The closest NHL team, representing the entire State of Ohio (including Cincinnati and Cleveland, normally bitter rivals), is the Columbus Blue Jackets, 107 miles to the northeast; the Detroit Red Wings, 260 miles to the northeast; the Nashville Predators, 274 miles to the southwest; the Pittsburgh Penguins, 288 miles to the northeast; the St. Louis Blues, 350 miles to the west.

* TQL Stadium. The new stadium for FC Cincinnati opened on May 16, 2021. The address is 1501 Central Parkway, about a mile northwest of downtown, and about 3/4 of a mile east of the site of Crosley Field. Bus 21 or 64. The naming rights are held by Total Quality Logistics, a freight brokerage firm headquartered in the Cincy suburbs.
* Crosley Field site. Three different ballparks were at a location bounded by Findlay Street, Western Avenue, Liberty Street and Dalton Avenue, a convenient location for teams coming into the city through the Union Terminal: League Park from 1884 to 1901, the elaborate Palace of the Fans from 1902 to 1911, and the 3rd from 1912 to 1970. First named Redland Field, appliance executive Powel Crosley renamed it for himself when he bought the Reds in 1934.
Photo possibly taken during the 1961 World Series,
since the path for the Expressway has been cleared.

Here, the Reds won the Pennant in 1919, 1939, 1940 and 1961, winning the World Series in 1919 and 1940. The Yankees clinched World Series wins here in 1939 and 1961. Bush Stadium, the former home of the Triple-A team in Indianapolis, stood in for it and Comiskey Park in Eight Men Out, the film about the Black Sox scandal.

Best known as the first big-league ballpark with lights, in 1935, it had an infamous incline, a.k.a. the "terrace," that was trouble for left fielders; a building behind left field with an ad for the Superior Towel and Linen Service, nicknamed the Laundry Roof, which was torn down in 1960 to make way for Interstate 75 and a rerouted U.S. Route 52, the Mill Creek Expressway; and a right field bleacher section known as the Sun Deck for day games and the Moon Deck for night games.
The "terrace," and the "laundry roof" before its demolition in 1960

Crosley was also home to an NFL team named the Cincinnati Reds in 1933 and '34. There was also a Cincinnati Celts, pronounced with a hard C unlike the Boston basketball team, that played in the NFL from 1920 to 1923, but they were a traveling team, playing no home games.

The Beatles played there on August 21, 1966, and, in one of the ballpark's last events, the Cincinnati Pop Festival was held there on June 13, 1970, featuring Iggy & the Stooges, Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Traffic, Bob Seger and Mott the Hoople.
Note the terrace in left field, and the Sun Deck in right field

The park was demolished in 1972. An industrial park now stands on the site, a 15-minute walk from Union Terminal. The Number 27 and 49 buses will get you Linn and Findlay, a 7-block walk (counting I-75) from the site.

* Blue Ash Sports Center. A replica of Crosley Field was built in 1988 in suburban Blue Ash, complete with a few original seats. The field's dimensions are the same, and it includes a left-field terrace. The scoreboard shows the correct information (and advertising signs) from the last game, a 5-4 Reds win over the San Francisco Giants on June 24, 1970. The light towers don't look the same, but they are in the right places.

There is, however, no laundry roof behind left field or Sun Deck behind right field. Edd Roush and Ted Kluszewski are dead, and Frank Robinson and Johnny Bench won't show up -- although Pete Rose might, if you offer him enough money.
Baseball at Crosley
"New Crosley" is the centerpiece of the Blue Ash Sports Center, which also includes 10 other baseball fields and 2 soccer fields. 11540 Grooms Road, 16 miles northeast of Fountain Square, just inside Interstate 275, Cincinnati's "beltway." Reachable by car only

As for the original 1869 Red Stockings, they played at the Union Cricket Club Grounds, a field with a stand for about 4,000 people. The Union Terminal was built on the site, so if you do come into Cincinnati by train, you're already on the birthplace of professional baseball. 1301 Western Avenue. Bus 1 from downtown.

* Fifth Third Arena. Formerly the Myrl H. Shoemaker Center, the new home of the UC basketball team is adjacent to Nippert Stadium. It seats 13,176 and opened in 1989. The UC Baseball Stadium is also adjacent. It opened in 2004, and in 2006 it was named after UC donor, former Reds owner, cheapskate and Nazi sympathizer Marge Schott. Apparently, the University thought her money was as good as anyone else's. Then again, they also stood by head basketball coach Bob Huggins for years, despite his recruiting violations and drunken driving. In 2020, 16 years after Schott's death, her name was taken off the facility, and it is once again simply "UC Baseball Stadium."
* Cintas Center. Opening in 2000, this is the home of Xavier University basketball. Its tight quarters, seating only 10,250, make it one of the toughest arenas in the country for a visiting team.
And when the Xavier Musketeers and the UC Bearcats play each other, well, let's just say you should pick another game to attend. Since there's no other intracity rivalry of any consequence in Cincinnati (unless you count high school football), this game gets the kind of treatment that Duke-North Carolina, Louisville-Kentucky, and English soccer "derbies" get. As the great college football broadcaster Keith Jackson used to say, "These two teams just... don't... like each other." 1624 Herald Avenue at Clenay Avenue, on the XU campus. Number 4 bus.
* Site of Cincinnati Gardens. Seating 10,208 people, this was one of the oldest surviving indoor sports arenas in North America, opening in 1949 and hosting the NBA's Cincinnati Royals from 1957 to 1972. Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas went from there to Hall of Fame careers, although neither won a title with the Royals. (The Big O did so with the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks, Lucas with the 1973 Knicks.) The Royals moved to Kansas City (and, due to the baseball team having the same name, became the Kansas City Kings, and, in 1985, the Sacramento Kings). The Gardens hosted the 1st nationally-televised NBA game, on January 3, 1965. with the Royals losing to the Boston Celtics, 89-85.
A succession of minor league hockey teams has played there, and it hosted arena football, too. Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles, a city native known as the Cincinnati Cobra, defended the title there against Nick Barone on December 5, 1950. The Gardens played host to the Beatles on August 27, 1964; and to Elvis on November 11, 1971 and June 27, 1973.
The Gardens was demolished in 2018, so that property for "light manufacturing" can be built. 2250 Seymour Avenue at Langdon Farm Road, on the northeast side of town, near the Seymour Plaza, Swifton, and Hillcrest shopping centers. Number 43 bus.

Currently without an NBA team, a recent New York Times article shows basketball allegiances around the country. Since most people in Southern Ohio would rather vote for a Democrat than support a Cleveland-based team, the Cavaliers are not popular here, not even with the now-ended return of LeBron James. The Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls were the top 3 choices in that article, although the Heat have no doubt fallen off dramatically without LeBron.

A recent Business Insider article shows the most popular hockey team in each State. Although the Columbus Blue Jackets, as you might guess, lead Ohio, neighboring Kentucky is led by the Nashville Predators, and neighboring Indiana by the Chicago Blackhawks.

It's 109 miles from downtown Cincinnati to Ohio State, 82 miles to the University of Kentucky, 103 miles to the University of Louisville, and 130 miles to Indiana University. And it's 52 miles from downtown Cincinnati to the University of Dayton, whose 13,435-seat University of Dayton Arena (I know, not a very imaginative name), opened in 1969, has hosted more NCAA Tournament games that any other building: 119. (No Final Four has ever been held in Ohio, and none probably ever will, unless they end up putting a dome on Paul Brown Stadium, FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, or Ohio Stadium in Columbus.)

Elvis sang at the University of Dayton's old Fieldhouse on May 27, 1956, and at its "new" Arena on April 7, 1972; October 6, 1974; and October 26, 1976. He also sang at the Hobart Arena in Troy, 77 miles north of Cincinnati and 23 miles north of Dayton, on November 24, 1956.

The Dayton Triangles were an early pro football team, playing from 1913 to 1929, first in the Ohio League -- winning the title in 1913, 1914, 1915 and 1918 -- and then from 1920 to 1929 in the NFL. They were named for Triangle Park, at the confluence of the Stillwater and Miami Rivers, where they erected a 5,000-seat stadium. The Jim Nichols Tennis Center is now on the site. 2424 Ridge Avenue.

But from 1923 onward, they only won 5 games, as the better players didn't want to go to a city as small as Dayton. (Green Bay, the only surviving small city from the NFL's early days, had... other forms of entertainment to lure players.) Then they became... a New York team, being bought by Bill Dwyer, owner of hockey's New York Americans, moved to Ebbets Field and becoming the NFL version of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Through a convoluted series of transactions, today's Indianapolis Colts are descended from the Dayton Triangles, though not officially recognized as such by the NFL. In other words, if the Colts tried to put up banners saying "World Champions 1913, 1914, 1915, 1918," the NFL wouldn't count it.

In 1856, the 1st university owned and operated by African-Americans was founded: Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, about 60 miles northeast of Cincinnati, 20 miles east of Dayton, and 60 miles southwest of Columbus. Central State University, another historically black college and university (HBCU), was founded in Wilberforce in 1887.

Central State is currently in NCAA Division II. Wilberforce has dropped all the way into the NAIA. Wilberforce won the National Championship of black college football in 1931. Central State has won it 8 times: 1948, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992.

* Spring Grove Cemetery. If you're a visiting Met fan, you won't care about this. But if you're a visiting Yankee Fan, Spring Grove is the final resting place of Yankee Hall-of-Famers Miller Huggins (a Cincinnati native who played for the Reds) and Waite Hoyt (who broadcast for the Reds.)

Also buried there: Several Generals of the American Civil War, including Joseph Hooker; 4 U.S. Senators, including Salmon P. Chase; 3 Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Chase, who served as Chief Justice; Nicholas Longworth, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and husband of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt; several members of the Taft family, including both of President William Howard Taft's parents, Alphonso and Louise, and his brother, Mayor Charles Taft II; Charles Fleischmann, founder of the yeast company that bears his name; Bernard Kroger, founder of the supermarket chain that bears his name. William Procter and James Gamble, founders of the Cincinnati-based company that bears their names, and several members of their families, including Nippert Stadium namesake James Gamble Nippert.

4521 Spring Grove Avenue. Number 20 bus to Winton Road & Froome Avenue, then a left on Gray Road.

Weeb Ewbank, the only man to coach the Jets to a Super Bowl win, is buried at Oxford Cemetery in Oxford, home to his alma mater, Miami University. (Not the one in Florida -- this Miami came first.) 4385 Oxford Millville Road, about 40 miles northwest of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati isn't a big museum city, but it is a Presidential birthplace, very nearly a Presidential birthplace twice over, and a Presidential burial place. The William Howard Taft National Historic Site, where the 27th President of the United States and the 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States was born and lived the first 25 years of his life, is at 2038 Auburn Avenue on the north side of town. The same Number 43 bus that would take you to Cincinnati Gardens would take you there.

The tomb of William Henry Harrison, the 9th President, who famously won the Battle of Tippecanoe (near Lafayette, Indiana and Purdue University) against Indians (not the Cleveland variety) in 1811 and died only a month after becoming President in 1841, is 16 miles west of downtown in North Bend.

A 10-minute walk from the Tomb is a house at Symmes & Washington Avenues, where "Old Tippecanoe" lived, and his grandson Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President (1889-93), was born. The Number 50 bus will get you within 2 miles of these sites.

The 1856 Democratic Convention was held at Smith and Nixon's Hall. (There is no connection to the family of President Richard Nixon.) The Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel is on the site today. Former Secretary of State James Buchanan was nominated for President, and he won, but his Administration was possibly the most disastrous in the nation's history. 36 E. 4th Street at Walnut Street.

The 1876 Republican Convention was held at Exposition Hall. Ohio's sitting Governor, Rutherford B. Hayes, was nominated for President, and "won" the election in "The Fraud of the Century." But the Hall had a bad roof, and was replaced. Cincinnati Music Hall opened in 1878, and, in 1880, the Democrats held their Convention there, nominating Civil War General Winfield Scott Hancock, who lost an incredibly close race to Congressman James Garfield. Music Hall still hosts concerts. 1241 Elm Street at 14th Street, downtown, across from Washington Park.

As I mentioned, the Underground Railroad Museum is on the site of Riverfront Stadium, between the ballpark and the football stadium. Since Cincinnati was on the north side of a river between the free State of Ohio and the slave State of Kentucky, it was a major point on the Underground Railroad. The Cincinnati Museum Center is on the grounds of the Union Terminal.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is at 953 Eden Park Drive, in Johnston Park. The Taft Museum of Art is closer to downtown, at 316 Pike Street. The Number 1 bus will take you to each of them.

The tallest building in Cincinnati is the Great American Tower at Queen City Square, at 660 feet and opening in 2010. 301 E. 4th Street. It surpassed the Carew Tower, a 574-foot Art Deco building at 441 Vine Street, which had been the tallest in town since 1931. (No, it wasn't named for Baseball Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew. Joseph T. Carew had operated the Mabley & Carew department store on the site.)

The transmission tower seen at the beginning of WKRP in Cincinnati belonged to the city's NBC affiliate, WLWT-Channel 5, even though the show was on CBS. The tower has since been dismantled. The building shown as the home of WKRP and referred to on the show as the Osgood R. Flimm Building is the Cincinnati Enquirer Building at 617 Vine Street, just off Fountain Square, so it was (and remains) a media center in real life. 

The show was created by Hugh Wilson (who also wrote the opening theme song, sung by Steve Carlisle, and directed the Police Academy movies), and was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at an Atlanta Top 40 station, with the Gary Sandy character of Andy Travis based on himself. The New WKRP in Cincinnati, which ran in syndication from 1991 to 1993, featured some of the original characters, while the others were each brought back as guest stars at least once.

Cincinnati did have, and still has, a radio and a TV station with the call letters WKRC. CBS owns it now, but didn't when WKRP was running. WKRC's AM frequency is 550.) In 2008, an unrelated independent TV station in Cincinnati, WBQC-LD, took advantage of local nostalgia for the sitcom, promoting its conversion to digital broadcasting by rebranding as "WKRP-TV in Cincinnati."

As far as I can tell, the only other TV show set in Cincinnati has been Harry's Law, starring Kathy Bates as lawyer Harriet "Harry" Korn, which was recently canceled after 2 seasons. There was a series titled John from Cincinnati that ran on HBO in 2007, but it was set in Southern California.

On The West Wing, White House Press Secretary, and later Chief of Staff, Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg is from Dayton, Ohio. So is her portrayer, Allison Janney. So is Martin Sheen, who played the President on the show, Jed Bartlet.

Aside from Eight Men Out (filmed, as I said, in Indianapolis), the best-known movie set in the city was Rain Man. A few other movies had scenes filmed there, including the sports-connected films Summer Catch (the final scene, where Freddie Prinze Jr.'s character makes his big-league debut at GABP and gets taken deep by Ken Griffey Jr. on his very 1st pitch), Seabiscuit and Mr. 3000.


Cincinnati calls itself the Queen City of the Midwest, and thinks of itself as a good, solid, family town. Read: They'd rather slit their economic throats and condemn their women to no say in if and when to have a child than vote for a liberal for national or Statewide office. Although they have elected mostly Democratic Mayors including, in 1977, Jerry Springer. (No joke.)

But it's a good sports town, and a University of Cincinnati football game is well worth the trip.