April 24, 2014

Four Shining Moments

The good folks at PFT have been running down the four worst moments for each NFL franchise since the last work stoppage (1987). Yesterday was the Bengals’ turn in the spotlight. With the entire Mike Brown era to choose from, narrowing things down could not have been easy. Heck, they could have turned it into a Casey Kasum-style “Bottom 40″ without much effort. But here are the four moments they chose…

#4: The 1999 Draft. Not only did they bust with first round pick Akili Smith, but they passed on Mike Ditka’s offer of the Saints’ entire draft board and their #1 pick in 2000 for the Bengals #3 pick so MD could take Ricky Williams.

This is easily #1 on my list. How does Mike Brown not make that trade? I don’t care who it is he wanted. Ditka calls him with the most lop-sided trade offer in sports history… and he says no? Akili probably would have still been there at #7. But even if he was not, there would have been plenty of other picks to use or package and trade for a guy. That’s like passing on a winning lottery ticket because you don’t want to pay taxes on the winnings. Or if you’re single, passing on Kate Upton’s offer to perform her annual breast exams. Who says no to that? Seriously?

#3: Kevin Walker Injures Bo Jackson. This is a weird pick by PFT. True Bo would have put up stupid good numbers had the injury not happened, and his loss should make the Raiders’ list, but not the Bengals’ list. There is so much more to choose from.

#2: Kimo Goes Low On Carson. I will always believe that had Carson not been injured, the Bengals win that game. Now I don’t think that the Bengals would have beaten the Colts as the Steelers did, making the injury a double-whammy for the Bengals and the Colts. But at least we would have a post-season win to look back on.

On the brighter side, BS hits by Steelers on Carson and Keith Rivers have resulted in rules changes that are making the game safer for other players. So there’s that.

#1: The Loss Of SuperBowl XXIII. No doubt, this was a real crusher. Krumrie’s leg flops all over the TV screen, then Joe Montana rips out the heart of Bengals fans everywhere. Again.

Florio mentions the lack of a winning culture for the team and wonders if a win in this game doesn’t permanently change the trajectory of the Bengals for years to come. Personally, with Mike Brown at the helm, I don’t see a SuperBowl win sparing the Bengals from the crushing weight of his bad decisions. Sadly, we will never know.

But at least there would be a trophy to point to. And Mike could refer to that trophy in his responses to fan letters as he tells us how our frustration and criticisms are merely “themes” that are stupid and not true.

PFT also gives honorable mention to the numerous draft busts the Bengals have had. David Klingler. Dan Wilkinson. Ki-Jana Carter. Akili Smith. Peter Warrick. The loss of David Pollack and Odell Thurman. (Quite a list you got there, Mike.)

Here is where you come in. Given the goofiness of #3, what would you put in its place? What worst moment would you add to the list?

For me, it is the collapse at the end of the 2006 season. The Bengals were 8-5, needing one win in the final 3 games to make the playoffs for a second straight year. After embarrassing themselves in Indianapolis, Brad St Louis began a string of minded-melting bad snaps on an extra point in the closing seconds to lose against Denver on Christmas Eve. The next week, Shayne Graham stepped up to take his turn at sinking the team with one of his choke-job specials with 8 seconds left, sending the game into OT, where Chuck Bresnahan’s defensive sieve let Santonio Holmes take the game, and the post-season with it.

Your turn. Name your shining Bengals moment.

Comments

  1. Eric says:

    To me, the fall of the Bengals franchise coincides with Bret Favre’s ascent in football lore. In Dave Shula’s first season as coach, the Bengals were 2-0 I believe, and leading the Packers comfortably when they hurt Don Majkowski, allowing the unproven Favre onto the field. After a few bad breaks, and some terrible pass coverage by Rod “Toast” Jones, the Bengals lost a game they should have won. The Packers went on to become a great franchise and the Bengals turned to garbage. I have to wonder what would have happened if that game had gone differently. Would the Bengals have still gone 5-11? Would David Klingler still have been drafted? Back then, the Bengals were still quite relevant. A lost decade plus would ensue. I don’t know if Kevin Walker’s tackle of Bo Jackson started the curse more than this game. To me, this game was the killer.

    Maybe now that Favre is retired (supposedly) the curse can be broken.