Some people are fans of the Cincinnati Bengals. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Cincinnati Bengals. This 2009 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
1. You people RUINED Carson Palmer. Oh, Carson Palmer. What have they done to you? Four years ago, Palmer was primed to join Peyton Manning and Tom Brady at the top of the NFL quarterback list. He was remarkably poised. His downfield touch was perfect. I get really pissed when quarterbacks like Michael Vick are described as "electrifying" when all Vick does is run around for thirty seconds before deciding to be sacked or throwing the ball away. I find it far more exciting to watch a player like Palmer develop into the brilliant pocket passer he was for that fleeting moment. I love seeing good passing QB's shake off the rush and then flick the ball effortlessly down the field at 30 yards a clip. I love seeing them get into a rhythm, dialing in and getting the ball to nine or ten different receivers a game. THAT is electrifying work. You could see Palmer's confidence that year. It was easy to envision him guiding the Bengals to 10 wins a year every year for the next decade. Then, Kimo busted his knee. Ocho lost his fucking mind. Marvin Lewis became a lame duck. His elbow went to shit. You barely had to bat an eyelash before Palmer was knocked off course.
This can only be because he's a Bengal. For real, if Palmer were with a team like, I dunno, Seattle or something, would he ever have experienced such a swift and brutal decline? No. That kind of thing only happens when you're a Bengal. Such is the bumbling, embarrassing way in which the Bengals are run, that even a talent as luminous like Palmer gets lost in their miserable, impenetrable brainfog. There's no way to know if Palmer will ever gain his 2005 form back. Given this franchise's track record, it seems unlikely. And that blows. Carson Palmer deserved better, even if he has the ugliest smile this side of Adam Carolla.
2. Cincinnati? Racist shithole. I went to camp with a shitload of kids from Cincy when I was a kid. Cincinnati is in Ohio, but its residents are all firmly planted in Kentucky. They're imbued with all the creepiness of Ohio residents, and all the hickishness of Kentuckians. It's something to behold. One of the Cincy kids at my camp loved telling this "joke":
Hey Drew, what do black cheerleaders like to chant? BARBECUE, WATERMELON, CADILLAC CAR, WE'RE NOT AS DUMB AS YOU THINK WE IS!
That is rayyyycess.
Plenty more to hate about ol' Cincy. The chili there is overrated swill. I hated WKRP. Pete Rose is the sleaziest asshole mankind has ever produced. Joe Morgan made a name for himself there. Thanks for that, you bastards. This is town that had race riots EIGHT FUCKING YEARS AGO. I get having race riots forty years ago, or even twenty years ago. But in the 2000's? Really? Christ.
3. What the hell is Marvin Lewis still doing there? Oh, wait. I know. He wasn't fired because Mike Brown was too cheap to eat his contract, even though the Bengals play in a new stadium and enjoy the same generous TV revenue that every other NFL team enjoys. Lewis seems determined to assemble the least likable roster in the NFL. Rookie tackle Andre Smith is fat and injured. Wideout Chris Henry will fuck your niece and not apologize for it. Running back Cedric Benson is so whiny, they should make him an honorary white person. It says a lot about your team when Chad Ochocinco can pull all the shit he's pulled and still come out of it the most likable player on the squad.
4. Christ, the Ickey Shuffle. Lest you feel bad for the Bengals, do keep in mind that they were a terribly annoying team back in the Sam Wyche era. The Who Dey chant. The Ickey Shuffle. Worst TD dance ever? Worst TD dance ever. All he did was take three steps to one side, then three steps to the other. DEBBIE ALLEN IS TURNING OVER IN HER GRAVE. Even the Bengals' uniforms are enough to cause mass aggravation. And blindness.
5. The readers have their say. Uh, this guy has issues:
My wife has Bengals season tickets. She has been nursing a severe back injury for over a year and decided to re-up for season tickets knowing full well she would probably need surgery this summer and not be able to trudge up to her seats in the Paul Brown Stadium upper deck, section "Misery", row "Constant Losing." Honestly, she could get better tickets at any point but chooses these, as these are where the "real" fans sit. Real fans being real idiots apparently as tickets are plentiful anywhere in the piece of shit stadium as well as on the street prior to every game for below face value.
I do not share these tickets with her, as I am not a Bengals fan, having an I.Q. above 75 and being from Pittsburgh. I even refuse to go the Steelers game against the Bengals here in Cincinnati on principle that I will not give money to that ass-bag Mike Brown.
Now, one spinal fusion surgery later, she has decided to give away the tickets, knowing full well she couldn't sell them. So, as I see it, one damaged wife, no sex for a long time, and a pile of tickets my hard earned money paid for, plus now she'll be home every NFL Sunday to annoy the shit out of me with her opinions on why the Bengals didn't win, outside of the obvious reason, they're fucking terrible. Fuck you Mike Brown.
I'm thinking that guy's marriage might not last. Let's go to reader JohnnyDakotaStateU:
One of my earliest football memories is of watching Joe Montana drive down the field in the final minutes and complete the pass to John Taylor that would rip the hearts out of all Bengals fans. Little did I know at the time that that would be the highlight of my NFL-watching years. I love football. I played for 11 years and have been coaching for the past 3. Mike Brown and his family have made me not care about football on Sundays anymore. I used to get together with friends every Sunday to watch the Bengals games, even in the 90s. This decade brought hope and I even started to look forward to Sundays. Now, I would rather spend the day at a park or museum with my family than get drunk and stoned and gorge on pizza and Skyline. The Bengals have made me apathetic. That's the worst thing you can do to a fan.
Mention any of these names around a Bengals fan and they will first get angry, then realize they have no comeback, then possibly cry: Dave Shula, David Klingler, Akili Smith, Big Daddy Wilkinson, Odell Thurman, David Pollack, Bruce Coslet, Neil O'Donnell, Chris Perry, Kenny Irons, Mike Brown, Katie Blackburn, FUCK, COCK, I DON'T EVEN CARE ANYMORE.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me here and give me some reasons why the team you hate most sucks. If it's because you dated a fan of the team and she turned out to be some crazy bitch who keyed your car, all the better. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. We've got the rest of the AFC North to go.