2000: The Queen City abandons the ceremonial mayor system, in which the top vote-getter for council is named mayor, and opts to vote for a “strong mayor,” who functions as a chief executive. Charlie Luken, the sitting mayor at the time of the change, is elected.
The Bengals move from Riverfront Stadium to Paul Brown Stadium.
Junior Griffey comes home to Cincinnati, where he will play for the next eight years.
2001: Before 9/11, there were the riots in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati’s decaying inner city neighborhood. Racially charged and centered on police treatment of black suspects, the Queen City adopted a siege mentality for three days. A long boycott ensued, but fizzled out less than two years later.”
2002: Great American Ballpark becomes the home of the Reds.
2003: The agony is over! The Bengals hire Marvin Lewis as head coach. Two seasons of 8-8 followed by a winning season and a playoff appearance follow. Even when the Bengals falter, the Lost Decade of the 1990’s becomes a distant memory.
2004: The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opens on the city’s riverfront. Sadly, the surrounding development called The Banks doesn’t even see a shovel turned.
Marge Schott dies. Ironically, at Jewish Hospital.
2005: Local Congressman Robert Portman joins George Bush’s cabinet. Unfortunately, he’s replaced by Jean Schmidt, who promptly goes to Congress and calls a decorated Marine a coward. Thanks, Jean.
Bob Huggins is fired as Bearcat coach, making University of Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher the single most unpopular woman in Cincinnati.
2006: The late hit heard ’round the world: The Bengals, hosting their first playoff appearance ever in Paul Brown Stadium, suffer the loss of Carson Palmer after a late hit by Pittsburgh’s Kimo Von Oelhoffen, rupturing Palmer’s ACL. Palmer would come back, but it’d take three more seasons before the Bengals would return to playoff form.
2007: Reds broadcast Joe Nuxhall dies. The city was a darker place for weeks afterward.
The Cincinnati Post folds.
Radio legend Gary Burbank retires. Fellow blogger and Burbank sidekick Duke Sinatra begins a career of writing booger jokes for precious little money.
2008: Ground is finally broken on The Banks!
Ground is also broken on Queen City Square, the city’s tallest building.
Hurricane Ike reaches Cincinnati. Unfortunately, the last time Duke Energy, which sent its crews to Galveston to deal with the storm there, did not exist the last time a hurricane reached the Queen City. So to say they were caught off guard is an understatement.
2009: Ohio gets casinos, which means Broadway Commons, once a leading contender to host Great American Ballpark, gets a casino.
The Bearcats go undefeated in football under Coach Brian Kelly. However, Kelly absconds to Notre Dame to take “his dream job” when the Bearcats don’t make the National Championship. They will, however, play Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
THE BENGALS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS! EAT IT, RAVENS! (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) Unfortunately, they also have to deal with the loss of Chris Henry, the formerly troubled player who came back and had a spectacular season until a broken arm sidelined him. Henry died in a car accident while recovering in North Carolina. We miss you, Slim.
2010: Big building goes up. Buildings on The Banks go up. Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl. Bengals in… the playoffs.
More at the My Town Mondays Blog.