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Old 10-29-2007, 04:48 AM   #1
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Default Bengals fans deserve better

Guest column: Bengals fans deserve better
By Lonnie Wheeler
Cincinnati Post
Monday, October 29, 2007


The image that keeps coming back is the one in the crisp late morning, on the sidewalks and in the parking lots along Pete Rose Way, although it could have been Central Avenue or Third Street or take your pick. The fans were happy and hopeful at that promising hour. Never mind the lousy record. Never mind all the lousy seasons. It was another of the sanguine-starting Sundays in which they've invested so very much in years, currency and, most of all, heart. The Steelers were in town, representing Cincinnati's chance - its last chance, really - to redeem the season and make it relevant. The loyalists were excited, expectant and very, very orange.
They had given over their faces to the Bengals. Their hair. Their wardrobe. They sat on Bengals folding chairs and cooked on Bengals grills. Some of them had driven vans painted over in Bengals colors. One that I've come to recognize in recent years features a Steelers logo on the first step, inviting the inevitable stomps.

What I can't get out of my head is the notion that these dedicated folks deserve better.

Bengals fans have been long-suffering in epic proportions, as fans go. And yet, back they come, year after year, up from the mat and wearing Chad Johnson jerseys. Sunday's crowd set a record for Paul Brown Stadium. The place was primed.

The Bengals, unfortunately, were not. Again.
It's one thing to go down kicking and screaming. It's another to just go down kicking. A field goal, that is. On fourth-and-one. At the Pittsburgh 2-yard line. Late in the second quarter. Already down, 14-3.

There are, of course, reasonable explanations for Marvin Lewis' decision. He considered it all considerably. First, he sent out the field-goal team. Then he called timeout to think about it. The assumption was that he had changed his mind.

The assumption was wrong. Lewis was also wrong, in retrospect, and he admitted as much afterward.

"In hindsight," he said, "I guess we should probably go for it on fourth down there rather than take the points. But I don't anticipate that they're going to take the ball and drive it down and get a touchdown before halftime."

The timeout, the coach explained, was to see a first-down measurement. It told him that the yard remaining was, indeed, three feet. Too much, apparently, for a quarterback who had completed seven of seven passes on the drive, and an offensive line that held the Steelers sackless, and a running back (Kenny Watson) who averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

The strategic points remain arguable. Had the Bengals gone for the first down, and the touchdown, and failed to make it, Pittsburgh would have faced the length of the field when it took over the ball. Then again, in a game that found the reeling home team with only six possessions, it was imperative to not squander any opportunity to score. On the other hand, it was imperative to score touchdowns when they were most accessible.

But the real damage was not contained in any points-and-yards equation. It was in the message sent to those expectant, loyal, long-suffering fans on hand in record number.

Cincinnatians have demonstrated, over and over, that their allegiance does not require consistent winning. It does, however, require the making of every effort to that end. The embracing of Bob Huggins is a principal case in point. Say hello to Pete Rose.

In that light, there is this: If ever there was an occasion for the Bengals to lay themselves on the line - as their abused and famously patient supporters have done, it should be noted - yesterday was it. The defeat that eventually resulted was the one that pretty much put an end to any reasonable hopes that the season still held. A victory, however, would have carried them within a game of the Steelers, with momentum and a softer schedule ahead.

And with all of that spread before them, they kicked a 20-yard field goal.

And permitted Pittsburgh to answer with a touchdown drive at the end of the half.

And excused themselves from the playoff picture.

The Bengals went down Sunday in a blaze of timidity. Where was the faith in themselves that the fans continue, somehow, to show in their favorite and unfailingly frustrating team? Where was the boldness to take their fate into their own meaty mitts?

"We're 2-5, they're 5-2," T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. "Good teams get in the end zone, and teams like us kick field goals."
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

You know, I'm no T.J fan, but you gotta love a guy speaking out.
It's the proverbial "Is anyone going to say anything about the elephant in the room".
Marvin has clearly lost this team.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

Bengals fans deserve better

No, they don't. This is exactly what they deserve. They are just as guilty as the team for continually apologizing, making excuses and backing these thugs and criminals no matter what kind of behavior they exhibit.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
Bengals fans deserve better

No, they don't. This is exactly what they deserve. They are just as guilty as the team for continually apologizing, making excuses and backing these thugs and criminals no matter what kind of behavior they exhibit.
That's Marvin. Most Bungal fans I meet are just as tired of their player's antics as any other fan would be.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

"Bengals fans deserve better"

Ummm, isn't this better for the Bengals??????

Dont they remember being the biggest embarrassment in the NFL for over 10 years????
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
That's Marvin. Most Bungal fans I meet are just as tired of their player's antics as any other fan would be.
Here is a perfect quote from the Sunday post game interview to show that Marvin is not only ...NOT a defensive genious ...but fails to understand some very BASIC concepts about football

After being asked about only having 10 men on the field when Ward scored a touchdown ...

Quote:
"It was a defensive lineman. He had nothing to do with the play, fortunately," Lewis said. "They changed personnel three times. We changed personnel."
Ouch ...thats a "special" kind of stupid.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

Here ya go you poor, poor Bungle fans.

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

bunglefans do deserve better....

they deserve the browns.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
bunglefans do deserve better....

they deserve the browns.
HAHAHA! I never thought I'd hear the day...
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bengals fans deserve better

Please, the fans are worse than the team they cheer for. And that is really saying something.
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