Things have taken quite a turn for the worse when it comes to major pro sports in the Queen City lately.
Earlier this decade, the Reds and Bengals were both postseason participants in the same year multiple times, although neither of them have advanced in the playoffs in more than two decades.
The Reds are in the midst of a rebuild that started at least one year too late while the Bengals could find themselves in the same boat by the end of this season if they don’t fix some of the stuff that led to an 0-2 start.
But who deserves the most faith going forward?
This was a question posed by Cincinnati radio host James Rapien, and it got me thinking.
To me, the answer is obvious.
It’s the Reds.
They still have a big piece of the puzzle to put in place — pitching — but recently there have been signs that could be happening with players already in the organization.
The offense and defense have already been strong this year, and top prospect Nick Senzel is still on the way. 2017 Dayton Dragons stars Jose Siri and Taylor Trammell have exciting futures, as does recent top draft pick Hunter Greene.
As James points out, the Bengals have a few elite players to build around, guys who have already proven what they can do in the league.
I picked the Bengals to win 10 games this season, but that was in no small part because of a soft schedule. They’ve already lost two very winnable games.
Given the state of their offensive line — the hardest thing to rebuild — and questions surrounding their quarterback and head coach, the Bengals seem as likely to turn it around quickly as completely collapse.
If they make the postseason, will they make any noise? Even before I saw them play a real game, I didn’t think the Bengals would be able to beat the top teams in the AFC (New England, Pittsburgh and now Kansas City).
If they make a coaching change in the offseason, the roster will probably be overhauled and take a step back in the short term.
But that’s just how I see it.