There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition sometimes. That’s what Cincinnati sports fans are seeing informally right now. With the Cincinnati Reds and other local major sports franchises.
This isn’t a competition that is playing out on the field yet. Instead, this is a competition playing out in the respective front offices. It’s been an active offseason for both the Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams have recently hired new head coaches; both are seeking fresh starts. This is principally due to their poor showings over the last couple of years.
However, there’s another reason one could suggest for these changes. Both teams are likely feeling pressure from the relatively new kids on the block. These new kids on the block are Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati. That team had their MLS debut last Saturday; nearly a year earning an MLS expansion bid. FC Cincinnati lost that debut 4-1 to the Seattle Sounders in Seattle.
One would hope that FC Cincinnati’s presence is helping the Reds and Bengals. To push those franchises to not be complacent. Both on the field or in their front offices. This informal competition is potentially pushing the Reds in two ways. With their new manager and their new players.
The Reds made a splash in the offseason with new additions. Hiring David Bell in the hopes that a managerial change could help record-wise. With the Reds looking to avoid a sixth consecutive losing season. The Reds made a bigger splash with trades and free agency signings. Bringing in most notably Yasiel Puig among others since last season’s conclusion.
These were the biggest moves made by the Reds in several years. Moves that could be interpreted as a shift in their rebuilding process. The Reds previously made more news recently through trading players away. Shedding household names in exchange for prospects. Without tremendous results on the field for the Reds to show for it.
Overall, the Reds and Bengals probably don’t have too much to fear from FC Cincinnati. The Bengals have the luxury of being in the National Football League. Still the most dominant professional sports league in North America. Meanwhile, the Reds have history and a nearly daily schedule of games to fall back on. While FC Cincinnati will play one or two games a week in their season.
Ultimately, the biggest thing the Reds have to fear are empty seats. The seats at Great American Ball Park were often empty during Reds games last year. Down the street from there, the Bengals just had one of their lowest attended seasons in recent years. The Reds still have more to lose from their own failures than FC Cincinnati’s successes. Yet, fans frustrations and an alternative is giving the Reds a push to strive for better.