So now that the Reds season is over, let's talk Bengals. The talk of the week around town was the dominating victory over the Chiefs, but nationally it was all about one hit that took place during the game. Kansas City quarterback Trent Green scrambled out of the pocket in the second half trying to make a first down. Because he was trying to squeeze out an extra yard he slid late [for those non-football readers, a quarterback is supposed to untouchable if he slides on the turf]. Bengals Robert Geathers was ready to confront Green but tried to pull up when he saw Green start to slide. But Geathers was pushed by Chiefs receiver Eddie Kennison and rammed his shoulder into Green's chest forcing the quarterback's head to snap back on to the grass, leaving him incapacitated. The contact was inadvertent; there was no flag on the play.
All this week ignorant sports writers called for Geathers to be fined and/or suspended because of the vicious hit. But the reality of the situation was that Green brought it on himself. And today the NFL agreed. The league has gone out its way to protect quarterbacks from taking hard shots, but sometimes they bring it on themselves. If Green had slid earlier there would have been no contact at all. But he was trying to gain more yardage than he could have safely and paid a price. The NFL knows how valuable QBs are to their team. That's why they throw flags if linemen even look at them funny. But here was an instance where the officials were right. They're still football players. If they want to dance with the big boys, they best be ready to pay the piper.
I never thought it would happen but the Bengals, because of this play, Chad Johnson's mouth and numerous player run-ins with the law, are being labeled as a team of punks. This might bother some fans but I actually like it. It happened to Huggins' UC teams; everyone nationally hates them and I think it rocks. Better to be notorious than boring [see Cleveland Browns].
So here's to Cincinnati. Even though the Reds bit it this season, Uncle Bobby will make that team a contender. Give Mick Cronin a few years and the Bearcats will be back to the Final Four. Another Ohio State championship could only be trumped by a Bengals Super Bowl. Yes friends, these are the best of times.
Here's a song to get you in the mood.