Tuesday morning, as you stand around the proverbial water cooler and discuss the Bengals making the playoffs for the third time in seven years, “that guy” will be squawking at his loudest to make sure every hears him. “Yeah, but they backed in. They couldn’t beat anybody good all season.” We all know that guy. Every office/crew/line has one.
Don’t be that guy. If it is possible, help him. No one… NO ONE… needs to apologize for making the playoffs in any sport. Even the Bengals.
It is true that the Bengals lost to all of the other playoff teams that they faced this year. But they didn’t lose to anybody with a losing record, either. If ANY other AFC team with playoff hopes when the ball dropped in Times Square could say that, they would be in the playoff instead of the Bengals. None did though. And they will all be taking their exit physicals on Monday while the Bengals review game tape and begin preparing to play Houston.
When “that guy” gets going on Tuesday, ask him this. If the Bengals didn’t earn the #6 seed, who did?
The Jets? They lost to 6-10 Miami.
The Titans? They lost to 2-14 Indianapolis.
The Raiders? They lost to 6-10 Buffalo. And Miami.
It only gets worse from there.
If you pay any attention to baseball, you know that the St. Louis Cardinals and Tamps Bay Rays only made the playoffs because of monumental collapses by the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox in the closing weeks of the season. Do you think their fan bases chided their teams for “backing in” to the playoffs? No, because their teams earned it. And so did the Bengals. (Please tell me that Bengals fans are better than Cardinals fans.)
And once the playoffs start, anything can happen. Just ask the Cardinals.
The fact is that the Bengals got the best opponent they could hope to get: the Houston Texans. The Texans have lost their last 3 games and are banged up. Let the Steelers go to face the Denver Tebows, because I think the Bengals have a better shot against the Texans than the Tebows.
If he can’t be helped, let that guy waste his week wringing his hands over a possible playoff loss. You spend you week enjoying the fact that the Bengals are in the playoffs. Because the fans of 10 other AFC teams wish they were you today. While we are talking playoffs, they are talking about the 2012 draft.