I have been watching the Bengals for over 20 years, and I must say that there have been very few times that I felt like the stars were aligned in our favor. This team is as star-crossed as any in professional sports. There have been miserable, pathetic seasons like most of the 1990s, near misses like 2003, 2006, and 2007, and gut wrenching letdowns like the one and done playoff years in 2005 and 2009. In the end, there is always a big letdown, but somehow this season seems different.
The team hit an all-time low this offseason after the monumental disaster of 2010 intersected with a lockout, a star player that refused to play, and an ESPN article proclaiming the team as the worst in any sport. I felt like the band on the Titanic, riding the ship into oblivion as others leapt into the freezing abyss. At the same time, disgusted by listening to Steelers crap on every conceivable media as the SubPar Bowl approached, I stumbled across a Bengals themed Podcast that not only offered a glimmer of hope for the future but also the opportunity to write articles about something that I was passionate about. Thank you, Who Dey Weekly!
On February 21, 2011 I wrote my first article, and as time went by I have had the pleasure to give my opinion on where this team stood and what was possible for 2011. You can see my history of articles here. My preseason prediction was 5-11, mainly because I didn’t believe that a rookie QB with no offseason could run an NFL offense in the toughest division in football. I wanted so badly to believe in Andy Dalton, but my mind kept telling me that it wasn’t possible.
As we make our final approach to the end of the season, I look back and marvel at how much things can change in one year. I am now a regular on the Podcast, have gotten to know cool guys like Seubs and Mickey, and feel much more connected to the Bengal nation than I ever thought possible. The circus of fools from 2010 has been replaced by people that I can actually root for in 2011. I feel really good about where this team is headed. Now, one thing remains…
It seems almost laughable that our team is destined for a playoff run. I can’t believe it even as I write it, but somehow I know it is true. It seems that fate has intervened, and I can confidently expect to beat Baltimore this Sunday and maybe even Houston the next. I believe in this team and I am not afraid to say it. Bengals 24 – Ravens 20. It is our destiny.
Who Dey think they gonna beat them Bengals? Nooooobody!