Highly Selective Answers to Five Sporty Questions

Do you say ”sportsball” when people talk about their teams? Get educated with answers to common Cincinnati sports questions.

Photograph by Carlie Burton

Even if you don’t follow the Queen City’s teams or love the games they play, you’ll cross paths with them eventually, if only in an FC Cincinnati–induced traffic jam. We can’t school you on all the rules of every game, but we can answer a few foundational head-scratchers that might help out the next time someone says, “How about those Reds?” 

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati Reds

Why is Opening Day such a big deal?

Cincinnati embraces Opening Day—the first day of the baseball season—as a holiday completely its own. It’s a celebration of spring, sport, and possibility. We claim the first all-professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, and we like to believe that those Red Stockings earned us the right to start the season at home, but it’s more a function of geography—for many years, Cincinnati was the southernmost city in the National League, meaning better weather for early-season games. 

What the heck is an NIL?

Name, image, and likeness. In 2021, the NCAA changed its rules and began allowing collegiate athletes to benefit from the use of their names, images, or likenesses—effectively allowing players to be paid. The explanation is simple, but the effect on college sports is not. Lawsuits are pending, the NCAA is pushing for federal legislation regulating the NIL marketplace, and athletes can be on their own in a confusing legal (and eligibility) landscape. 

Why does it matter that UC is moving conferences?

At the most basic level, conferences are groups of schools whose sports teams play against each other for championships. They’re also businesses. For UC, joining the Big 12 means joining a Power Five conference. Those are the groups at the top of the money-making (and attention-getting) food chain, and include the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC. In 2022, those conferences generated over $3.3 billion in revenue—and member schools get a cut. That could eventually mean payouts of $42 million to $44.9 million per year for UC.

The atmosphere at TQL Stadium on August 27 was electric for the most important Hell Is Real match yet.

Photograph courtesy FC Cincinnati

Who is FC Cincinnati’s Bailey?

The Bailey isn’t a who. It’s a place. Specifically, the sections on the north end of TQL Stadium where supporters of FC Cincinnati sit—er, stand—during matches. This is the home of the club’s supporter groups, where smoke and flags and drums and chants are all expected and encouraged. Why is it called that? As FC Cincinnati’s Twitter account explained it: “The Bailey is a term used to describe the stronghold of a castle…much like our supporters are FCC’s stronghold.”

What’s The Pit?

According to StadiumTalk.com, The Pit is Ohio’s best high school football stadium. (USA Today puts it in the nation’s top 10.) Home of the Elder Panthers, The Pit was designed in the 1930s by students Robert Bange and John Hurst and built with the help of students, coaches, and parents. Dedicated in 1947, the concrete bowl holds 10,000 fans who are right on top of the action. 

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