This is the first in a (hopefully) six-part series highlighting 10 things you may not know about Mizzou's opponents in the NCAA Tournament. Please keep in mind that while everything below is true, it's meant in jest.
Better Know An Opponent, Vol. 1: 2009 NCAA Tournament Opponents
Better Know An Opponent, Vol. 2: 2010 NCAA Tournament Opponents
Today's profile: the Cincinnati Bearcats
1) The University of Cincinnati is a public state university originally founded in 1819. That's to say, Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio -- two separate entities -- were both founded in 1819. The Medical College of Ohio was founded by Dr. Daniel Drake, a local benefactor most known for basically being rich. You know, like Stan Kroenke. Cincinnati College was funded by the Lytle Family, the original family of Cincinnati, and William Lytle served as its first president.
But the college only survived for six years, and in 1826, Cincinnati College was closed. Nine years later, who came to the rescue?
Dr. Daniel Drake.
So imagine it like this: you go to a bar with a buddy and each get housed. I'm talking a $150 bar tab each. You both have a good time, and when you go to pay your tab, your buddy realizes, "Oh crap, I don't have any money!" So you cover your own tab, then cover your buddy's tab.
Dr. Daniel Drake is the ultimate bro.
2) It's very important to note that the University of Cincinnati is enormous. Like, effing huge. All told, undergrads and graduate students, the current enrollment is a whopping 41,357. In comparison, Mizzou's largest class ever (Fall 2010) meant that there were 32,415 students on campus.
There's so much to tell with regards to the school's size. It's the single largest employer in the greater Cincinnati area. It's one of the 100 largest schools in the U.S. And check out this picture from last spring's graduation.
3) The University of Cincinnati really is a strong academic institution. Many of its colleges routinely rank in the top 20 in the nation. But we're not here to build up Cincinnati; that would be dumb. Instead, consider:
The Opera/Voice program at the University of Cincinnati is excellent.
The Paleontology program at the University of Cincinnati is excellent.
The Interior Design program at the University of Cincinnati is excellent.
This concludes my build up to my joke.
4) Time to play everyone's favorite game..."ghtd36 Captions Stock Photos From The Opponent's University Website!"
5) Meet Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, the most average man in the world.
He is not to be confused with Australian rugby leaguer Mick Cronin.
He is also not to be confused with Australian rules football player, umpire and TV commentator Mick Cronin.
He is also not to be confused with cricketer Michael Cronin.
He is also not to be confused with broadcaster Walkter Cronkite.
He is also not to be confused with rocker Mick Jagger.
I know it can be confusing.
6) One more Mick Croninism: the Cincinnati coach (who has been there for five years and seems like a quite competent coach, but that seems like an unnecessary detail for this exercise) wrote a children's book called Hello, Bearcat!. I imagine it chronicles the life and times of a World War II bomber pilot named Bearcat Jenkins, but it brings up an interesting idea: what if OTHER coaches wrote children's books?
The Thug Next Door (And How To Recruit Him), by Bill Self.
THE PUPPY WHO LOST HIS GODDAMN WAY, by Frank Martin.
Getting Caught With Your Cat In Her Hat, by Rick Pitino.
7) I'm not real sure what I'm going to do for topic number sevEMBARRASSING ALUMNI TIME
The World Famous Naked Cowboy, an esteemed alumnus.
Albert Hague, the composer of the score for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Alright, that's kinda badass.
Tinker Keck, who has the rare superfecta of being a state champion triple jumper in Kansas, playing for the XFL's Los Angeles Xtreme, appearing on the short-lived Fox show "The Moment of Truth" and being a celebrity endorser for the Ab Rocket. Quite a career for Mr. Keck.
Abe Bookman and Ronald Howes, inventors of the Magic 8 Ball and Easy-Bake Oven, respectively.
Notable obese person William Howard Taft
8) In 1914, Cincinnati was playing Kentucky in football. Cincinnati had a fullback named Leonard K. "Teddy" Baehr. A male cheerleader Norman Lyon started chanting "They may be Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side!"
Soon, a chant of "Come on, Baehr-cat!" rang through the crowd. Thus, the bearcat mascot was born.
And somewhere, backup safety Julian FireBreathingDragon wept silently.
9) Cincinnati has an excellent baseball tradition. Sandy Koufax, perhaps the greatest pitcher of all time, and Kevin Youkilis, whom I loathe, are esteemed alumni.
And yet, Cincinnati decided to name this beautiful baseball stadium (opened in 2004)...
...after former Reds owner Marge Schott...
...who once referred to Eric Davis and Dave Parker, a pair of African American outfielders (and pretty good ones) "million-dollar n****rs."
Coming soon: the Michael Richards Tennis Center, right next door to the Mel Gibson Opera House!
Enjoy your night terrors!
Tune in (hopefully) Saturday for another edition of Better Know An Opponent!