I did it...I accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Video HERE

Show preview
3:05, ESPN 1530
6:05, Inside Pitch
3:30, Dan Hoard
3:45, Mike Engler, Ryle football coach, Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown
4:30, Greg Doyel, CBS Sports
4:40, Dan Clasgens
Rocky Boiman
Bengals finding talent/paying talent

Got something to say?

Tweet me @lancemcalister . Thanks to the 31,000+ that are now following.
Email me: lance@lancemcalister.com
Post in the comment section below
Join the conversation on my Facebook page  

Poll: Do you follow English Premier League Soccer?



Core 5
I used to host the Friday Bengals show with former Bengals TE Bob Trumpy.
Trump would always talk about the core of a football team, and how the Bengals had traditionally been poor at recognizing who their core players where, and paying to keep them. As a result, each year I do a Core 5 topic. Who are the core players on this team? Who are foundation guy to build a team around? If you could only keep five current players, and have them for the next five years, who do you keep and why? What positions/skills do you value most? How big a factor is age? current performance? potential?
Post your five players in the comment section below:

Results last year:
I accepted votes by calls, Twitter, Facebook and email last year.
I capped the voting at 300 votes:
Top 5 
1. AJ Green
2. Geno Atkins
3. Vontaze Burfict
4. Andy Dalton
5. Andrew Whitworth
Next 5: Carlos Dunlap, Leon Hall, Kevin Zeiter, Michael Johnson, Andre Smith.
36 different players received at least one vote.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis and Taylor Mays did not receive a single vote.
Armon Binns, no longer on team, got a vote last year.
OSU Buckeyes Mike Nugent and Boom Herron got votes.
Some previous results:
2006: Carson Palmer, Odell Thurman, Chad Johnson, Levi Jones, Eric Steinbach.
2007: Carson Palmer, J. Joseph, TJ H, Levi Jones, Chad Johnson
2008: Carson Palmer, Robert Geathers, J. Joseph, Keith Rivers, TJ/Hall (tie)
2009: Carson Palmer, Keith Rivers, Rey Maulaluga, Andrew Whitworth, Leon Hall.

Burfict and Bengals agree on contract extension

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 15: Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals tackles Jonathan Dwyer #27 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 15, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

What they are saying about Burfict

Hobson: Rags to riches
Harvey: Burfict now in 'show me phase of career
Dehner Jr.: Bengals, Burfict both win
NFL.com: Bengals, Burfcit reach long-term extension
Hoard: Burfict returns to Arizona as one of NFL's best
Gregg Doyen wrote a fantastic story about Burfict in May

Cincinnati Business Courier: Here's why Bengals tickets are a bargain this year.

Reds: Swept up in a mess

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 20: Starter Johnny Cueto #47 of the Cincinnati Reds leaves the field after being pulled from the game in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on August 20, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Final: Cards 7 Reds 3 Boxscore
*5 straight losses
*Reds' 19th rain delay of the season.
*Billy Hamilton good: heck of 8-3 DP.
*Billy bad: missed another cutoff man/run scored.
*Jay Bruce is in a groove....2 more hits.
*BP's 1,500th career hit.
*Johhny Cueto:  5 IN, 7 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 4 K, 103 pitches/60 strike.
*ERA jumps from 2.06 to 2.24.
*Most runs he's allowed since May 20.
*Got first 2 outs 5th, then loaded bases, Peralta cleared them.
*Only 3rd time in 27 starts that Cueto has allowed more than 3 earned runs.
*Cueto had been 10-3 in 17 starts following Reds loss.

Big picture
*Reds now 61-66 with 35 games remaining
*5 straight losses, 10 of last 12 
*Must go at least 12-23 in final 35 to avoid 90 losses. 
*Reds dropped from 1.5 games out of 1st at the All-Star break to 10 games out.
*6 games out of Wild Card, behind four team for 2nd WC spot.
*10-22 since All-Star break
*3-9 vs Cards this year 
*Reds have lost 11 straight 3 games series vs Cards.
*1-11 in last 12 series vs Cards
*3-27-2 in last 32 series vs Cards in St Louis
*1-19-1 In last 21 series vs Cards in St Louis

Road trip from hell
The Reds were swept in a two game series at GAPB, then hit the road for seven games. The Reds lost 6 of 7 on the trip: swept in St Louis, losers of 3 of 4 to Rockies.
Started trip 5.5 games out, ended trip 10 games out.
Water main break wiped out Saturday game, forcing doubleheader.
Led Rockies 9-5, lost 10-9 on Drew Stubbs walk off 3-run HR
Led Rockies 5-2 in 7th, lost 10-5
Arrived in St Louis 4am Monday
Led Cards 4-3 in 7th, lost 6-5 in 10 innings
Led Cards 4-1 in 6th, lost 5-4 on walk-off hit by pitch
Cards beat up ace Johnny Cueto, 7-3
Bullpen 0-4 13.64 last 5 games/13.2 innings: 20 earned runs, 29 H, 14 BB. 

Tonight's starting pitcher

(Getty Images)

LHP David Holmberg is up from Louisville to start tonight. With Homer Bailey on the DL and the doubleheader Sunday, the Reds need another starter. Holmberg is making his second start for the Reds this season. He lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing 7 runs and 3 HR's vs the Cubs in the July 8 doubleheader. Holmberg has pitched well of last for the Bats. Last 10 starts: 1-2 3.34 over 59.1 innings.

Phillips on Reds: "It sucks, man"
USA Today
"Unfortunately, what it comes down to, is fundamentals,'' says Reds starter Mike Leake, who wasn't blaming or criticizing anyone on his own team, but speaking generally. "The good teams, the fundamentally sound teams, are the ones who win one-run games. Or the good fundamentally sound teams keep them from being one-run games.
"You look at the little things that set the good teams apart. As a pitcher, you don't necessarily care about getting the runs, but you just want to see a sound defense behind you.''

Down on the farm
Robert Stephenson 
was roughed up at Double-A Pensacola last night: 4 innings, 7 runs. Over his last 10 starts he has a 6.23 ERA and is 6-9 4.84 ERA for the season.
From Jeff: There are 18 pitchers who have thrown at least 115 innings in the Southern League. Robert Stephenson's 4.84 ERA is the highest of those 18 pitchers.

College basketball
Classic: John Calipari disguises his voice/name and calls into Mike Francesco to defend himself.

TV tip
If you didn't watch he first season of Gang Related (FOX), I would highly recommended it. It has a really interesting story line, with really strong characters, and a couple of actors from The Shield.