Benson made some waves last week when he accused his former team of trying to blackball him around the league. (Fortunately, when your running back has just 10 touchdowns in three years it doesn't take much to convince people not to hire him.) Plenty of players have tried to amp themselves up for a big "revenge game" by talking a little smack—and then promptly gone out and laid a big egg on the field/court/rink, proving that the organization that cut/traded/demoted them was right all along. Yet Benson somehow found a way to deliver a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown in a 45-10 pounding of his former mates. While playing for the Bengals even!
Benson said after the game that " it wasn't a revenge day" but he wouldn't have made those comments in the first place if it wasn't. He want to stick it to the team that never believed in him and was one of the lucky few to make that dream of sweet justice come true. Of course, if Benson had ever come anywhere close to leading the league in rushing when he played for the Bears, he wouldn't have anybody to be mad at now. I guess it doesn't matter whose fault that was—indifferent coaches, lumbering o-linemen, noodle armed QBs, or Benson himself?—because the team he leads now looks like a maybe possibly legit sorta contender. For this week, anyway. And this week is all that matters.
So eat your heart out, whoever has played running for the Bears since Walter Payton retired! Those nameless hordes sure look pretty stupid now, huh?
Cincinnati Bengals' Cedric Benson basks in an I-told-you-so day [Chicago Tribune]
Bears humiliated by Benson, Bengals [Chicago Sun-Times]
Wasn't just good running [ESPN Chicago]
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Here are some other big winners, who did not win quite as big:
Ricky Stanzi: Mark Dantonio's patented prevent defense prevents the Hawkeyes from losing their first game of the season, and Iowa suddenly finds itself photobombing the national championship picture. Good for them. Jerks. [The Rivalry, Esq./Daily Iowan]
Terrence Cody: The Alabama nose guard blocked two field goals in the fourth quarter against Tennessee to save his team's season. That guy must be swimming in free textbooks right now. [Press-Register]
Manny Acta: After a disappointing season in Cleveland, the Indians decide that what they really need is a little of that Washington Nationals magic. And they actually had to steal it from the Astros! Geez, who do you have to sleep with to not get hired as a major league manager? [PlainDealer/MLB]
Dustin Doe: The Florida linebacker could have been remembered for one of the all-time bonehead mistakes—after being stripped of the ball while prancing into the end zone on an interception return—but was bailed out by a terrible replay review and instead got the game-cinching touchdown to keep his team undefeated. Yeah, I can't wait for baseball to get this stuff. [ESPN]
Philadelphia Phillies: Thanks to poor scheduling by MLB and a little help from God, the WFC got a nice long weekend at home, so now they're all caught up on Glee. [MLB.com]
And the Weekend Loser?: Boise State. After a 54-9 shellacking of Hawaii—on the road, even—the undefeated Broncos fell three spots in the BCS standings and will likely be shut out of the BCS games, never mind the national title. Yay, regular season "integrity"! [The Associated Press]