18 Incredible Sports Moments from 2022 that Cincinnati Won’t Forget, for Better or for Worse
Photos (l-r): media assets from Cincinnati Reds, FC Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals
Joey Votto, Brandon Vazquez and Eli Apple took part in some of Cincinnati's best sports moments in 2022.
Sports have a way of both lifting people to their highest hopes and crushing their spirits until they want to wallow by eating eight 3-Ways in a row. Nowhere is that more true than in Cincinnati, where 2022 was both a joy and a slog in the sports world.
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UC Bearcats Lose – and Then Gain – a Football Coach
Luke Fickell surprised a lot of Cincinnatians when he announced in November that he was taking the head football coach position at the University of Wisconsin, pretty much effective immediately. Over six years, Fickell had become the University of Cincinnati’s winningest coach. Naturally, the rumors about who might coach the Bearcats began, and it seemed like two-time Super Bowl champion and former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Deion Sanders legitimately was considering the position. But a week after Fickell left (taking some of his coaching staff with him), the Bearcats coaxed University of Louisiana’s coach Scott Satterfield to Cincinnati to lead the team into the Big 12 Conference. Read CityBeat's story about Satterfield's esteem for UC.
Photo: Kjunstorm, Wikimedia Commons
Pete Rose Is Pete Rose
What a year for “Charlie Hustle.” In August, former Cincinnati Reds manager and utility player extraordinaire Pete Rose was honored in Philadelphia for helping the Phillies win the 1980 World Series. But during media briefings at the game, Rose completely dismissed a female reporter’s questions about statutory rape allegations that have dogged him for decades, saying, “It was 50 years ago, babe.” A few months later, he begged yet again for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to lift his placement on baseball’s permanent ineligible list so that he could be considered for enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; Manfred declined quickly, decisively saying that Rose’s gambling on baseball while serving as a manager still merits a lifetime ban. But perhaps old Pete has brighter days ahead, now that sports betting became legal in Ohio on Jan. 1. Rose was tapped to be the local face of throwing money at things and wishing for the best and is scheduled to place the first legal bet at Cincinnati’s new Hard Rock Sportsbook. Read CityBeat's story about Rose's ongoing skirmishes with MLB.
FC Cincinnati Lands Its First Playoff Berth
Cincinnati’s pro soccer team had a banner season, including its first-ever MLS Cup postseason berth, a postseason win against a higher seed and a club record for consecutive scoring games. FC Cincinnati went 12-9 with 13 draws in the regular season, clinching its spot in the playoffs with a win over D.C. United during the final game Oct. 9. The Orange and Blue followed that up with an MLS Cup playoff victory against the New York Red Bulls, with the season coming to a close on Oct. 20 with a playoff loss to Eastern Conference top seed Philadelphia Union. The 2022 season also marked the first time Cincinnati did not finish in last place in the Eastern Conference. Read CityBeat's story about what head coach Pat Noonan expects for the club in 2023.
Photo: Ron Valle
The Reds Set Bad, Bad Records
The Cincinnati Reds' wretched 2022 season was not pretty. Cincinnati's home team set a franchise record for the worst start to a season, going just 3-19 as of May 1 and enduring MLB's worst start for any team since 2003. Another record: on Sept. 20, starting pitcher Nick Lodolo nipped three Sox batters and helped Cincinnati set the MLB mark for beaning the most opponents in a single season – 99 batters at the time, claiming the previous record from the Chicago Cubs, who had hit 98 players in 2021. Finally, the Reds ended the season with a loss to the Chicago Cubs, cementing a 62-100 record – just the second time in franchise history that the Reds had racked up 100 losses. See CityBeat's photos from historic loss No. 100.
Super Bowl Run Makes Fans Super Proud
The Bengals may not have won the game, but they sure as hell won Cincinnati’s heart. On Feb. 13, the Bengals lost 20-23 to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, just mere minutes from taking it all. Cincinnati's first shot at the Vince Lombardi trophy since 1989 came after earning a 10-7 record for the 2021-2022 regular season, winning the AFC North, and pulling out magical win after magical win in the postseason — including the AFC Championship. This Bengals team let Cincinnati fans dare to dream again after years of constant loss, leading to the most-watched Super Bowl in the five previous years. Leading up to the game, businesses and organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati plastered their buildings with Bengals signs, Cincinnati City Hall flew a giant Bengals flag, Dayton renamed itself as "Deyton," Cheviot changed its street signs to Bengals names, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared that Super Bowl Sunday would be called Cincinnati Bengals Day. What a magical ride. Read CityBeat's story about the Bengals' homecoming party and the fan sentiment around the team.
Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Parks
The Cincinnati Cobra Gets His Statue
There's a new spot where Cincinnati boxing fans can go to reminisce about one of the city's greats. In October, city officials unveiled a bronze statue of World Heavyweight Champion boxer Ezzard Charles in Ezzard Charles Park – renamed from Laurel Park – in the West End near TQL Stadium. Charles, who grew up in Cincinnati, was known in the boxing world as the "Cincinnati Cobra" and was considered one of the world's greatest fighters. He finished his career with 95 wins, 25 losses and one draw and was inaugurated into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Charles died in 1975. Read CityBeat's story about the statue's reveal.
The Reds Frolic in the Corn
On Aug. 11, a nice game of baseball was all that mattered. The Field of Dreams game – which pays homage to the 1989 Kevin Costner film of the same name – between the Reds and the Cubs brought out plenty of magical moments in Dyersville, Iowa, that made players and fans alike marvel about baseball's ability to transcend almost everything. From the moment Ken Griffey Jr. walked out of the cornfield and asked his father Ken Griffey Sr. to "have a catch," fans in the stands and watching from home were caught up in the sport's magic. The teams followed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1919 and 1929 seasons, respectively, paying homage to historic teams that came before. And for a few glorious moments before first pitch, the intense, competitive players on both sides visibly became like kids again, beaming while reminiscing about tossing a ball around to their best friend or a family member in the backyard. Read CityBeat's recap of the magical game.
Photo: Cincinnati Bengals media assets
Joe Burrow Is Golden
Everybody knows that Joe Burrow can ball. This season alone, the Bengals’ star quarterback already has hit NFL and franchise milestones. He’s the first player in NFL history to record 75 pass touchdowns and 10 rush touchdowns through the first 40 career games, the first quarterback to beat the Kansas City Chiefs – along with their quarterback Patrick Mahomes – in three straight games, the third-fastest to rack up 10,000 career passing yards… you get it. But Burrow also increasingly is known as a fashion icon, landing on the New York Times’
“92 Most Stylish People of 2022" list, nabbing the cover spot on the September issue of Sports Illustrated
and being named the most handsome quarterback according to science. Burrow has become the biggest thirst trap on a Bengals team with plenty of lookers, and we’re here for it. Read CityBeat's story about Burrow's many off-field accolades.
Photo: Allison Babka
Cincinnati Cyclones Say Buh-Bye to $1 Beers
For the 2022-2023 hockey season, the Cyclones’ longtime $1 beer promotions have become $2 beer promotions, thanks in part to an overall rise in the cost of goods and services within the United States. Sean Lynn, director of marketing and public relations for the Cyclones and Heritage Bank Center, told CityBeat
that inflation finally caught up to the venue. "We introduced $1 beers in 2007 and held that price for nearly 15 years. While most things saw annual increases, we held the line and not many people can say that," Lynn said. "With the latest increases in cost of goods, fuel, and labor, we felt now was the proper time to make this change." Read CityBeat's story about the slight price increase for one of Cincinnati's cheapest drinks.