So the Bengals lose another one and the city goes crazy. A 1-2 record doesn't look quite as bad compared to preseason playoff picks St Louis and New Orleans being 0-3. But in Cincinnati, it's cause for emotional distress. If you're unfamiliar with our town you might wonder why we're like this. Simple answer: The 1990's.
After beginning the decade with some strong teams we witnessed firsthand some of the worst football possible. Owner/GM Mike Brown had the football name but none of the capabilities of his father, the great Paul Brown. The Bengals would find ways to lose games. First round draft picks were useless: David Klinger is now in Seminary, Ki-Jana Carter was hurt before he played a game, Dan Wilkinson was "Big Daddy Bust," Akili Smith was drafted before Edgerrin James, Torry Holt, Champ Bailey, and Jevon Kearse. It couldn't get much worse.
The came Marvin Lewis.
It was a breath of fresh air. Carson Palmer, a complete quarterback, was drafted and has embraced the city. Despite not achieving complete glory, Lewis has yet to have a losing season. Bengals fans began sensing a change, some hope; we were no longer the biggest losers. And, if not for an unfortunate injury to Carson, perhaps we even get to the Super Bowl.
But then last year happened. Everything that could go wrong did. It had a certain similarity to the 1990's. People doubted a little but held out hope. And then this year begins at 1-2, with a couple of losses where nothing feels right, and Bengals fans are again manic. People want Marvin fired [interesting as the only constant during this time has been the inept leadership of Mike Brown]. But I'm here to tell you:
Things . . . Will . . . Be . . . Fine.
And you heard it here first: they will win this Monday night against the Patriots.
It seems inconceivable, but they will. The Patriots can be beat and this is the perfect opportunity, with the Bengals reeling, for it to happen. And if nothing else assures me of this, it was a simple gesture by Carson Palmer. After Glenn Holt fumbled away the kick-off at the end of the game when the Bengals had three time outs and a minute to drive for a score, you knew he was down. While Holt has become a surprise go-to guy in situations the past two seasons, this was a game changing mistake. But there goes Carson, right after Holt screwed the pooch, to console his teammate. Those Bengals fans who've watched this team for the past two decades will attest that we haven't had that type of guy here since . . . well, Boomer Esiason.
This ship will be righted. The Bengals will make the play-offs And 1-2 will be a forgotten memory. For this reason I am opening up seats on the bandwagon a little early. This way you can get some premium seating while all the late-comers will be hanging on the sides.
It'll be a nice ride, I promise.