December was non-stop travel.
Columbus, Cleveland, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Denver… For more than a month straight I don’t think I spent more than three days home at a time. That’s the name of the game, but it certainly starts to take a toll that time of year. By this point in the season the travel had become fairly routine, aside from the surprise 24-hour Las Vegas Turnaround to be at a Pete Rose press conference on the Vegas Strip. I had never been to Las Vegas before, and I didn’t spend much time there this time, but I feel like I took in as much of it as I needed to.
The real downside to the Las Vegas assignment was catching a bad head cold that made the San Francisco trip just about unbearable. Flying when your head already feels like an overinflated beach ball is a miserable experience. I spent the majority of my down time on that trip closed up in the hotel bathroom trying to steam my sinuses open… it didn’t work, either.
I was able to kick that cold fairly quickly once I got back home and found the proper mix of sinus medicine (Advil Sinus, in the yellow package). Fortunately. Because we had three days at home before it was time to fly back west for Bengals-Broncos.
The Denver game was the coldest football game I’ve ever covered. Multiple, double and triple layers, gloves, hats, hand warmers… I was all set and prepared for the game, aside from forgetting to pack any shoes other than a lightweight pair of mesh-like running shoes. That was terrible, but over all the cold remained manageable, despite it killing my phone battery immediately.
December turned out to be a memorable month, and brought us Bengals-Steelers Part II.
Former Cincinnati Red and MLB all-time hit leader Pete Rose makes a statement during a press conference at the Pete Rose Sports Bar and Grill in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. Rose and his attorneys held a press conference from the Las Vegas Strip, where Rose currently lives, to discuss the decision from Major League Baseball to deny his request for reinstatement on Dec. 14.
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake (41) and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) exchange shoves after a play in the second quarter of the NFL Week 14 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015. At the half, the Steelers led 16-7.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) runs a reception down the sideline in the first quarter of the NFL Week 13 game between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium in downtown Cleveland on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. At the half, the Bengals led 20-3.
Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson (20) breaks up a pass intended for Denver Broncos tight end Owen Daniels (81) during overtime of the NFL Week 16 game between the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015. The Bengals fell to the Broncos, 20-17, in overtime.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) tries to push into the end zone on a carry in the second quarter of the NFL Week 15 game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. At the half, the Bengals led 21-0.
Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) is brought down by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) for a loss in the first quarter of the NFL Week 16 game between the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015.
Cincinnati Bearcats forward Octavius Ellis (2) blocks a shot by Xavier Musketeers guard Larry Austin Jr. (0) in the first half of the 83rd annual Crosstown Shootout NCAA basketball game between the Xavier Musketeers and the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. At the half, Xavier led 42-26.
The La Salle Lancers celebrate after the OHSAA DII State Championship Final football game between the Lancers and the Massillon Perry Panthers at Ohio Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. La Salle routed Massillon Perry 42-0 to win its second-straight State Championship.
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones poses for a portrait at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati, on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Jones, 32, a native of Atlanta, has overcome a number of adversities within the NFL, and legal trouble outside of football. Now in his ninth year in the league, Jones has become a leader on the Bengals defense and stayed out of trouble off the field by playing and living smarter.