Monday, September 10 – Sunday, September 16
The Week in Oktoberfest Kick Off: Three Points Brewery tapped their Oktoberfest brew, a Marzen style lager that was really delicious and a reminder to get a hold of some Dunkels and Spaten’s as September (aka Oktoberfest season) gets into gear. Their free pretzel to get in the Oktoberfest spirit wasn’t exactly what their adverstisement promised, but is was the best free pretzel I had all day. Prost!
The Week in Hope and Disappointment: Dammit. Every year. The Bengals win early and my hopes get riled up. The Bengals beat Baltimore on Thursday going 2-0 to start the 2018 season. On one hand I’m like, “Hell Yeah.” And on the other I’m like, “Oh No.”
What’s worse is that’s it’s tough to root and pay attention to a team in a sport that organizationally has been letting me down for years. The NFL is a non-taxed organization that thinks smoking pot is worse than beating up women. That scandal dates back to the Ray Rice scandal of 2014. Well, it wasn’t a real scandal as it was forgotten almost immediately. Rice was a great player, and when he beat up his fiance and dragged her out of an elevator he got a 2 game suspension. In the same time span, Josh Gordon of the the Browns tested positive for drugs and got an 8- game suspension. NFL uber-fans didn’t blink an eye, but in the wake of the difference in punishments the ground was shifting.
Also, concussions. Or, as the NFL sees it, the cost of doing business.
By the time Colin Kapernick took a knee to protest the condition of African Americans and Brown-skinned people in America, the decline was already noticeable. Now instead of boycotting NFL games for misogyny or cruelty, an entirely different group of people were boycotting it for not being patriotic enough.
Anyway, I’m assuming the NFL has peaked. The decline of such a powerful force as the NFL is going to take a while, but is going to be a hard habit to break. Case and point, I’m still emotional over my historically mediocre home team. The NFL isn’t going anywhere soon, but it is going to be a lesser presence, for sure. I think I’m going to have to let time take its course. I can imagine in the relatively near future I’ll think about the Bengals the way I feel about the Triple AAA college teams in the area. I’ll wish them well, but not give them any of my time, attention, or money.
The Week in 9-11: Speaking of Kick-offs and patriotism, this week 9-11 was observed, a somber and note-worthy time to reflect on America and and American values. I’ve been interested in how 9-11 is portrayed in popular culture. One of my favorite takes is the novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain, about a young man who enlists after the Twin Tower attacks. He and his regiment are being feted during a Dallas Cowboys game and everything sacred about the day is turned on its head as Billy experiences people’s reaction to him. People shake Billy’s hand to congratulate him on taking action since that terrible day Nina Leven. That’s how Billy hears it: just a buzz word that the people saying it don’t really understand. It’s a terrific book and a terrrific look at what American idolizes.
The Week in Making Culinary Waves: I stopped by the breakfast window at Crown Republic on Sycamore a few weeks ago and had a delicious muffin. This week I stopped in for a cocktail and I can see I’m just biding my time until I can get there for a meal. I like the vibe of the staff and their enthusiasm for bringing chef-focused food to Cincinnati. I drank a my first ever Stolie-doli which apparently is a “thing” on the East Coast. It’s just pineapple soaked in vodka, a perfect drink for a late summer 90 degree day.
The Crown Republic dinner menu looks interesting and I plan to give it a try soon.