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More hopeful future: Cincinnati Reds or Bengals?

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. 

RELATED: Looking beyond Bengals’ 0-2 start | Who wants to be a QB anyway? 

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.

I want to hear what you think, so please vote in the poll below and  feel free to hit me up on FacebookTwitter or via email to let me know! 

Kevin Durant tweet calls out former coach, teammates, prompting theories of fake account

Kevin Durant is probably the most active NBA superstar on Twitter, and he regularly interacts with fans (and haters) on social media. But it appears as if being an avid tweeter might have backfired on him.

>> On FanBuzz.com: Kevin Durant responds to former ESPN reporter after White House criticism on Twitter

Someone tweeted at Durant and asked him to give a legitimate reason for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder outside of winning a championship. Durant's official account responded, but many social media users believe that he intended to respond from another account to defend himself and not his own. His tweet called out his former teammates, organization and coach Billy Donovan.

>> Read more trending news

Fans theorized that Durant has multiple accounts, and he forgot to switch them before responding, which led to this encounter via @harrisonmc15:

>> Check it out here

“He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan,” read Durant's tweets, which have since been deleted. “His roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and Russ.

“Imagine taking Russ off that team, see how bad they were. KD can’t win a championship with those cats.”

Other fans also weighed in

Read more here.

(h/t CBS Sports)

McCarron throws support behind Dalton

You can add backup AJ McCarron to the list of people who think Andy Dalton should remain the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I wish people in this city would back him and go with it,” McCarron said,. “Listen, I think I’m a great quarterback, and I think he’s an unbelievable quarterback. I love him to death. He’s our quarterback. Stop making it into something else. It’s not into something else. Ride with him. Trust the team. Trust the process. And trust what we are trying to do.”

›› Dalton on PFT report: “Anybody can create a headline”

McCarron said he was aware of the ProFootballTalk report that some Bengals players think McCarron should be starting and the team should sign Colin Kaepernick, but McCarron said Dalton doesn’t have to worry about any dissension from him.

“Andy knows our relationship,” McCarron said. “I don’t think Andy has to ever worry. We don’t let those things get between me and him. There is always somebody wanting this guy to play.

“He’s our quarterback,” McCarron continued. “It sucks to see — for me personally, with my relationship with him — people booing him. It’s like, do you think he wants to have tipped balls that turn into interceptions? Has he worked his whole life for that, his whole week for that? No.”

›› From 0-2 to the playoffs? Bengals facing crazy long odds

Pro wrestling commentator Bobby ‘The Brain’ dead at 73

He called himself “The Brain” and his enemies called him “The Weasel.” Regardless of the name attached to him, Bobby Heenan was a force in professional wrestling as a manager and commentator.

>> Read more trending news 

Heenan died Sunday at the age of 73, according to a tweet from wrestling announcer Jim Ross.

Former wrestling broadcaster "Mean" Gene Okerlund posted on Facebook that Heenan's daughter, Jess, had confirmed his death.

Heenan was renowned for his talking ability -- and talking agility -- on the microphone as a manager and announcer, The Sporting News reported.

He managed dozens of wrestlers over a career that spanned more than four decades, including Andre the Giant, Nick Bockwinkel, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Harley Race, Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, King Kong Bundy and others.

Heenan had been battling throat cancer since the early 2000s, Metro US reported. He went through several surgeries to repair his jaw, but he eventually had difficulty speaking due to tongue cancer treatments and the jaw was removed, according to Bleacher Report.

Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Heenan was known as one of the greatest “heel” managers in pro wrestling, bending the rules to help his wrestler and eliciting “heat” from the crowd with his microphone tirades. He began his career in the 1960s and was managed in the AWA before moving to the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) during the 1980s. 

Heenan’s star appeal transcended wrestling. He partnered with Andre the Giant in WrestleMania III, but he also traveled on the talk show circuit and even had a memorable appearance on Nickelodeon’s “Double Dare,” losing to his longtime commentating partner and television foil, Gorilla Monsoon.

Monsoon “fired” Heenan during the Dec. 6, 1993, edition of “Raw,” according to Bleacher Report. He worked as a color commentator with the WCW from January 1994 until November 2000, according to Bleacher Report.

Raymond Louis Heenan was born Nov. 1, 1943, in Chicago. His first break in pro wrestling came in 1965, when he worked as a manager and wrestler known as “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan. He competed in the World Wrestling Association until 1974, and then spent a decade with the American Wrestling Association. He joined the WWF in 1984 and made his biggest impact with his bombastic commentary and acerbic wit.

Several wrestlers and writers paid tribute to Heenan on Twitter:

Nevada boxing official defends judge’s controversial scorecard

The executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission defended the controversial scoring of a judge that resulted in split draw between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Bob Bennett said judge Adalaide Byrd had “a bad day.”

In a closely fought contest in Las Vegas, Byrd scored the fight 118-110 in Alvarez's favor, awarding WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion Golovkin just two rounds.

Bennett conceded that Byrd got the fight wrong — judge Dave Moretti had the fight 115-113 for Golovkin and judge Don Trella scored 114-114 — but played down the significance of the error.

>> Alvarez-Golovkin fight ends in controversial draw

"Adalaide, in my estimation, is an outstanding judge,” Bennett told ESPN. “She's done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training. Takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position.

"Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I'm not making any excuses. I think she's an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently. It happens." 

The huge margin of victory Byrd gave to Alvarez caused outrage among boxing fans, according to Bleacher Report.

Booted twice: Texas Lutheran kicker converts FG after attempt was blocked

It was definitely the strangest field goal ever made in college football, and while it might not be legal, it counted Saturday during Texas Lutheran’s 37-0 victory.

>> Read more trending news 

Texas Lutheran was attempting an 18-yard field goal late in the first half against Belhaven (Miss.) when it was blocked. The ball bounced back toward freshman Tyler Hopkins, who kicked it a second time. The ball sailed through the uprights, and after some discussion among the referees, the field goal attempt was declared good. It overshadowed the first shutout victory for Texas Lutheran since 2008 as the Bulldogs intercepted three passes.

But was the kick legal?

The NCAA’s football rulebook says “a player shall not kick a loose ball,” and doing so is a 10-yard penalty that carries a loss of down, SBNation reported.

“A scrimmage kick that fails to cross the neutral zone continues in play. All players may catch or recover the ball behind the neutral zone and advance it,” SBNation reported, citing the NCAA rulebook.

And here is an end zone view:

Texas Lutheran improved to 1-1 overall in its American Southwest Conference opener. Belhaven fell to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Hulk Hogan calls Hurricane Irma victims complaining about no power, water 'crybabies'

In two since-deleted tweets, Hulk Hogan called Hurricane Irma survivors who are complaining about the loss of water and power “crybabies."

>> Hurricane Irma damage: What to do during, after a power outage

On Thursday, the professional wrestling star wrote: “No water, no power, crybabies, everyone’s complaining, these people have no clue how bad it could be. Praying for those that got hit hard, lost homes, lives, businesses, lost everything, thank you God for helping those with divine highly blessings, God speed only love.”

>> On Rare.us: Getting to know Hulk Hogan

Hogan rode out the storm at his home in Clearwater, Florida — a city on the west coast of the state. His tweets sparked a firestorm on social media, with many criticizing Hogan. While still a larger-than-life celebrity in the professional wrestling circuit, the star returned to fame a few years ago when he effectively put gossip and news website Gawker out of business.

>> More Irma coverage from WFTVAction News Jax and the Palm Beach Post

The tweets have been taken down but were captured by The Washington Post before they were deleted. Hogan has not returned requests for comment on the statements.

>> Read more trending news

Hogan also noted on Twitter that he spent Friday with linemen restoring power to Orlando, which was ravaged by Irma.

Canelo Alvarez, Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin fight ends in controversial draw

It was a dream boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but neither fighter will be satisfied with the finish as the fight was ruled an official draw by split decision.

One judge had 118-110 to Canelo, the second 115-113 to GGG, and the final as a 114-114 draw.

The fight was a controversial decision, as watching the fight it is hard to justify that Alvarez won 10 of the 12 rounds in the fight. The fight was close and may have very well been a draw, but 118-110 in Canelo’s favor is an absolutely bizarre decision that even the HBO boxing announcers laughed off as “fiction.”

>> Read more trending news

Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez: Round-by-round recap

First round started off slowly as the two fighters sized each other up. Golovkin started throwing some jabs and was able to connect, to which Canelo was able to counter with some good punches of his own. The round was a good start for Canelo, as Golovkin generally lands more punches and starts off quick. Alvarez was able to keep him off his usual game here.

The second round started quicker than the first, but went much the same. Golovkin spent most of his time looking for surgical jabs, while Canelo responded in kind with some strong counter punches. That said, neither fighter really landed anything too significant, though Canelo did close the round with a good uppercut.

Golovkin came out with some aggression in the third round, but it quickly settled down to where Canelo was again taking control of the fight in a way that we have rarely seen against Golovkin. There was even a point in this round were Canelo was being the blatant aggressor as he reached out for jabs instead of waiting to counter.

In the fourth round, Golovkin come to life more as he finally forced Canelo up against the ropes after a strong combo. However, Canelo was smooth on the ropes and was able to avoid any power shots from GGG and forcing the fight back into the middle. Golovkin still stayed on top of the fight after it went back to the middle, scoring what was likely his first round win since the first, if at all.

The fifth round was awesome, and the crowd really got into it. GGG used the momentum from the last round to start off strong, but Canelo was able to counter in the middle of the round. After that though we saw Golovkin land some of his best punches of the fight to this point, and he got Canelo up against the ropes and hit a huge hit to the left side of Canelo’s head. Canelo shook off the punch and was eventually able to get off the ropes with a decent combination to close the round.

Canelo responded to the flurry from the last round about as well as possible in the sixth, as he was aggressive and landed a couple of punches that clearly affected Golovkin. Canelo also landed a bit of a dirty punch after the ref tried to break up a tie up, which probably would have lost him a point if this wasn’t a superfight main event. Golovkin responded a bit after that exchange to even up the round, but the opening from Canelo was probably enough to take this round.

Seventh saw Golovkin open with a good combo to knock Canelo off his game a bit. Canelo is really good at defending when backed against the ropes, but Golovkin was clearly on the offensive and Canelo did not land as many successful counters as he had in past rounds.

Golovkin caught Canelo with a big punch early in the eighth round, again forcing Canelo quickly on the defensive. Canelo did have some good counter punches that hit hard, but GGG was hitting more significant strikes as Canelo was clearly running away for much of the round.

Perhaps due to a bit of desperation, Canelo started the round with some good offense, but Golovkin hit a huge punch that clearly hurt Canelo. Crowd was hoping for a finish here, but Canelo was able to stay alive and even strike back with some strong hooks. Again though, GGG was too much on the defensive to gain an edge in the score.

Canelo had a lot of ground to make up in the 10th, and he nearly made it all up in the beginning as he started strong to get Golovkin backing up for the first time in a while. Golovkin was able to respond thanks to his effective punching, withstanding for most of the round, but Canelo had some strong bursts where it looked like he would potentially be able to finish the fight.

The 11th round was close but both fighters clearly started to show some fatigue as the round was a bit slow to get going. Probably another round to Canelo, who handling the fight much like the first few rounds where he was getting strong counter punches and using his defense as an offense instead of just plain being on defense.

Canelo clearly opened the round like he knew he needed a finish to win the fight. He was on the offensive for the first minute, but Golovkin eventually landed a counter that allowed him to take the heat off. The two traded the punches in a slugfest for much of the final 90 seconds of the final round, hoping to seal the deal

Cleveland Indians win 22nd straight game

It was a “Catch-22” kind of night for the Cleveland Indians. And thanks to Francisco Lindor and Jay Bruce, something happened again for the defending American League champions.

>> Read more trending news

Lindor hit a game-tying double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Bruce hit an RBI double in the 10th as the Indians rallied for their 22nd consecutive victory to extend their AL record. With the victory, the Indians moved to within four wins of matching the 1916 New York Giants for the longest winning streak in major-league history.

Lindor connected on a two-strike pitch to send the game into extra innings.

>> Indians set AL record 

"This was probably the toughest one we've had," Bruce told reporters after the game.

Jose Ramirez led off the 10th inning with a double and Edwin Encarnacion walked. Bruce then smacked a 2-0 pitch into the right-field corner to score Ramirez with the winning run. It was Cleveland’s first walk-off win of the streak.

The victory snapped a tie with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest winning streak. The 1916 Giants won 26 straight games -- all at home. The Giants won 12 straight, played a 1-1 tie, and then won 14 in a row. But because the tied game was replayed from the start the next day, it did not count and therefore prolonged New York's streak.

Girl with robotic hand will throw out first pitch at World Series

Hailey Dawson’s quest to throw out the first pitch at every major-league baseball park now will include a toss at the World Series.

>> Read more trending news

Dawson, a 7-year-old with a robotic hand, will throw out the ceremonial pitch before Game 4 of the World Series on Oct. 28, USA Today Sports reported.

Dawson was born with a birth defect called Poland Syndrome. People with this defect have underdeveloped chest muscles that cause webbing in their hands. The engineering department at the University of Nevada Las Vegas created a robotic hand for Dawson and have been upgrading it as she grows. She is currently wearing her eighth version.

Dawson, a big baseball fan, threw out the first pitch at a UNLV game in 2014. Five months later, she threw out a pitch for the Baltimore Orioles. Since then she has thrown the first pitch for the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals.

“Hailey’s inspirational story captured our attention and our teams have overwhelmingly embraced her goal to throw a first pitch at every MLB ballpark," Tony Petitti, MLB chief operating officer, told USA Today Sports. "We are very happy that Hailey will begin her quest by throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Game 4 of the World Series. We’re all looking forward to meeting her and the Dawson family at the Fall Classic.”

“She’s kind of a ham,” Dawson's mother, Yong Dawson, told All The Moms blog. “I initiated this. I thought it would be a good opportunity and encourage her grip. She could be silly and gain confidence.”

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