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Old 10-20-2008, 06:20 AM   #1
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Default Commentary from the otherside: Same old, same old in Jungle

Commentary from the otherside: Same old, same old in Jungle
Monday, October 20, 2008
By Paul Daugherty.
Cincinnati Enquirer

Nobody wearing a POLAMALU jersey had to worry about getting his face smashed in.

The black-and-gold-clad visiting home crowd twirled its Terrible Towels for three hours as it has the past eight times its team has played at Paul Brown Stadium, all Pittsburgh wins. It's disgusting, really, but what else is new?

The Steelers beat Mike Brown's Cincinnati Bengals, 38-10. Right now, good teams can beat the Bengals by applying themselves for a couple quarters. In the Steelers' case, it was the first and last.

"For whatever reason, we just seemed to dissolve," said Marvin Lewis, describing an Alka Seltzer tablet, if not a football team. The Bengals coach, bless him, continues to shovel the motivational coal and chop the wood of positive reinforcement. He seems at the end of his rope. "I'm angry," said the coach, whose team now has lost 16 of its past 23, with no end in sight.

Who could blame him?

Ohhhhhhh and seven is here. If the Cincinnati Bengals can't create a win in Houston next week, oh and 15 isn't an impossibility. They'll play the Kansas City Chiefs here, three days after Christmas. Ho-ho-hum.

With Carson Palmer, the Bengals were marginally competitive. Without him, they're a hiker waiting on an avalanche. And yet, with about eight minutes left today, they trailed just 17-10. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was having an off day. Cincinnati backup Ryan Fitzpatrick had authored one beautiful drive: 92 yards, 14 plays, 9-for-10 passing, Bengals down just 17-10 at halftime.

Yet there is something in a losing team's DNA that makes seven points behind seem like 700. Early in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick took a sack on third-and-10 from the Steelers 37. Lewis saw that as a melting point. "We take the sack there and we never recover," he said.

After the sack, Roethlisberger threw 50 yards to Nate Washington, who was three steps behind cornerback Geoffrey Pope, an undrafted kid just signed off the practice squad. That made it 24-10. You could see the quasi-home team's shoulders sink, collectively.

Lewis has done a good job keeping his team's heart in the season. Playing hard means nothing in the NFL. That said, unselfishness is the first casualty when a team is sinking like this one.

But Lewis can't be inside every player's head, every play. He's a coach, not a therapist. The Bengals lose so much, they think losing is what they should do. It's self perpetuating.

Plus, they don't have a lot of good players.

The dead horse has been flogged until its bones are ready for the soup pot. Needed: One general manager, four or five scouts. No coach is so good he can overcome a lack of players, week after month after year. Chances of that happening: Same as Mike Brown wearing nylons and doing a turn as a Rockette.

God only knows what inspires a man to hold a town and a franchise hostage to his leather helmet way of doing things. But, knock, knock, Redeemer: It doesn't work.

The Steelers and their fans show the Bengals and theirs how it can be, when enough smart people are hired and allowed to do good work. When ownership simply owns, coaches and personnel people have a chance at enduring success. That's how it works in Pittsburgh. In Cincinnati, everyone ends up staring into the middle distance and saying, as Marvin Lewis did today, "It's not what professional football is all about."

Pittsburgh fans have enjoyed winning football for 30 years. They know what it's like to have their passion rewarded. That's why the black and gold hordes are here every year, buying Bengals fans' tickets. It's almost always worth the trip.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Commentary from the otherside: Same old, same old in Jungle

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Old 10-20-2008, 08:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Commentary from the otherside: Same old, same old in Jungle

Originally Posted by the_king_from_leon View Post
"Oh you crossed the 50? Yeah better get your ass back over there on the other side."
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Commentary from the otherside: Same old, same old in Jungle

Poor bastards. It must be tough only being able to hang your hat on...The Icky shuffle.

Unfortunately their revenge seems to be that I am forced to listen to that turkey necked, dumb ass collinsworth every week. Man, I really can't stand that guy.

"Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Commentary from the otherside: Same old, same old in Jungle

They said that there were about 7,000 Steelers fans at PB Stadium yesterday. 7,000?

Looked to be, oh, I don't know, just a FEW more than that from the way it looked to me...
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