Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Bengals

The fierce Bengal tiger of days gone by

It's a cruel twist of fate for a football nut like me to be stuck with what is probably the worst football team in the history of the game in my hometown. That's right, here in Cincinnati we have the misfortune of rooting for the Bengals.

I've loved football since I was a young girl and my sister and I used to watch the Bengals' games with my dad. My dad even made up his own fight song, although the only lyrics were "Cincinnati Bengals, we're all for you!" It was an easy one to learn, and we all sang it as we looked forward to Sunday afternoons. That was a very long time ago.


I keep this old Boomer Esiason jersey as a reminder of the time when the Bengals were fun to watch. Those days also mark the last time the Bengals won a playoff game. To give you an idea of how much water has gone under the bridge since those glory days, George Bush Sr. was the U.S. president at the time of that victory.

Since then, the Bengals have been an embarrassment of ineptitude and a laughing stock of the NFL. On the rare times they manage to put together a winning season and give the fans something to enjoy, they always quickly revert to their typical incompetence. It's their comfort zone.

Last year, on the heels of a particularly dismal season, I swore I was done with the team once and for all. But then some enthusiastic and talented rookies came on board, and I couldn't resist jumping in again. I am like Michael Corleone when it comes to the Bengals. "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."

And so it goes every year. When the Bengals had a brief resurgence in 2005 and won their division, I bought all kinds of goodies at the Bengals Pro Shop and proudly wore my orange and black. When everything fell apart so completely soon after, I vowed to never return to the Pro Shop until the Bengals won the Super Bowl. I have stuck to that promise, and I have total confidence that I will never again set foot in the Pro Shop.

And yet come fall, like Charlie Brown running to kick the football, I will be rooting for the Bengals again and hoping that, this time, things really will be different. I have to believe that one of these days I can sing "Cincinnati Bengals, we're all for you!" again and actually mean it.

Hope springs eternal in the sports fan's breast.

54 comments:

  1. How sad, Julie. I live in a city with no professional sports team after growing up in New York. Lucky I'm not a sports fan!
    karen

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  2. Looks like the Bengals might be on to something with Dalton. I love that your dad made up a song-now that's devotion.

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  3. @Karen, I sometimes wish I wasn't a sports fan, it would be easier LOL.

    @Tim, Dalton is part of what brought me back in to the fold, but then I remember that I thought the same thing about Carson Palmer back in 2005. Poor Dalton will probably end up Bengalized soon enough.

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  4. I feel for you. My team is the SF 49ers, and they haven't done much lately. Last season was good compared to previous ones, but... Yeah, having a home team that doesn't inspire sucks. It'll turn around, though--you'll see :) Great theme for the A to Z!

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  5. @Guilie, it looks like the 49ers are really back on track with Harbaugh. Their playoff game against the Saints was so fun to watch last year!

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  6. Take cheer, Julie! I think the future is bright in Cinci. Dalton would make me proud at QB (talented AND he doesn't seem to be a complete moron like so many of the young guys are these days), good young WRs--there are good things going on for sure.

    Plus, you've got Gresham at TE. That earns you points in my book, my being a big Oklahoma Sooners college fan and all. : )

    A Bears fan who understands your pain,

    EJ

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  7. Just stopping by from the A to Z challenge! Good luck with your team, I'm not really into sports but I did get to deal with the whole Tebow mania and now Manning mania living in Bronco town!

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  8. I'm from a Packer family. We were all excited last season, Super Bowl winners on our lips, and then...well. We cried.

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  9. It's hard rooting for the home team when they suck. Been through it for years with the Broncos. Don't quite know what to think of Manning joining the team.

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  10. I'm the same way with my basketball team. I don't care what the stats are, I still love them and root for them!

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  11. I was a huge Saints fan, but with their latest disgrace to the NFL I am team-less. No clue who I should root for next season.

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  12. You're the truest fan, through good times and bad...you're there.

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  13. @MJ, hi, thanks for stopping by. I can imagine the whole Tebow thing must have been crazy there.

    @Gwen, I have family who are huge Packers fans and I enjoy rooting for them as well. I love the Pack!

    @LG, I was really surprised that Manning ended up in Denver. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

    @Emily, I like basketball too, I'm a huge OSU fan and they just broke my heart by losing in the final 4!

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  14. @Bonnie Rae, I was amazed at what came out about the Saints. That's a real shame.

    @@Em-Musing, there have been some bad times when I'm more than ready to throw in the towel LOL.

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  15. You're like me with the UK Wildcats. When they were playing like crap I tried to ban them from my life, but they always find ways of popping back in. Now they are one a killer winning streak that has taken them to the championship. Maybe they Bengals will have some more glory days in the future:)

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  16. LSU's mascot is a Bengal tiger so I'm cool with your B selection. I'm sorry about your team. But morale's pretty low in Northern Virginia because the Wizards can't get their act together. Then, New Orleans had the Jazz but couldn't muster the support so they moved to Utah. I thought that was a bummer. Hang in there, girl These teams have a way of eventually rebounding.

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  17. My friends always called them the Bungles.
    But that's what a true fan does - sticks with his or her team no matter what!

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  18. I'm not really a watching sports kind of girl, and you know, the whole graphic designer thing... my theory about the Bengals is lame: I think they would do better if they just got rid of orange in their color scheme! Orange, or as we say here in south central Ohio: OINGE...

    It's a bad color. Yup. No good ever came from Oinge. Except oinges, which are one of my favorite fruits. They're the exception to the rule! Or something...

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  19. Worse than the Bills? Seriously? That's what I've been plagued by my entire life.

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  20. A fairweather fan is no fan, at all. Staying true is what makes the victories so sweet.

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  21. I know your pain - we have the Cubs! Yes, it's a different sport but you know what I mean. My dad was a die-hard Cubs fan, and my brother, boys and husband are too!
    Hope the Bengals do better next year, and it's great that you continue to remain loyal! Julie

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  22. That reminds me of my dad who, losing season after losing season, continues to root for the Cubs.

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  23. You know, I too am a Bungal, I mean a Bengals fan from way back when and although I don't care for professional football much anymore, I still want to see them do well!
    Great B post!

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  24. I've never had a team I root for or that follow closely. I have a soft spot for the Vancouver Canucks (hockey fan here) but that's about it.

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  25. Oh, oh, oh! But I was sad when the Sonics left Seattle. There's still lots of buzz around here about getting them back. I love watching the NBA! Those are fun games to go to.

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  26. @Deana, your Wildcats have sure turned it around. I hope you have fun rooting for them tonight!

    @Kittie, oh yeah, the Bayou Bengals, I've always thought that was a cool name for a team. Yeah, I can imagine it's not fun rooting for the Wizards.

    @Alex, oh definitely, I think they are now better known as the Bungles than the Bengals LOL. The name is deserved, no question.

    @Amalie, LOL, now I will be saying oinge. Maybe you are right, it's a curse!

    @Mary, LOL, well the Bills are definitely up there with those 4 SB losses in a row. That's a claim to fame that's hard to swallow, I'm sure.

    @Suze, that's what I keep hoping, but I will probably be 6 feet under by the time the victories come LOL.

    @Julie, oh yeah, the Cubs are another one that kills the fans. When your team is known as the Loveable Losers you know that's rough LOL.

    @Susan, I can totally relate to your Dad, no doubt.

    @Tracy, LOL, hopefully one of these days the poor Bungles will get it together. I think people would keel over from shock if it actually happened!

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  27. @Emily, oh, I've never been to an NBA game. We don't have an NBA team here so it's never been on my radar, but I can imagine the Seattle fans were upset when the Sonics moved. I hope you get your team back!

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  28. I'm not much of a sports fan, but after having read your post I hope the Bengals have a good season. :)

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  29. Oh, that's too funny! I grew up in MD, with the then-awesome Orioles and Colts... and moved to GA, and the then-worst-teams-in-the-world Braves and Falcons. We used to kid that if someone left a couple game tickets in his cars, when he came back, he'd have a couple more. Or if a person called the stadium to ask what time the game started, he'd be asked, "What time can you get here?" So, I feel your pain. Our Braves and Falcons have gotten a LOT better since we moved here in '71, and I'm sure your Bengals will give you something to cheer about, too.

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  30. This Vikings fan can totally relate to some of your trials and disappointments as a Bengals fan. But being a sports fan is about more than just winning.

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  31. I overheard my husband telling my son that he gets to be a Bears fan (he's from Chicago, the husband, not the son). I immediately offered up all of our support for the Bears. Bengals are horrible and I don't understand the stadium purchase at all - not even a little.

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  32. I'm sorry. Have you SEEN the Carolina Panthers? LOL Welcome to my world.

    I remember watching football with my dad on Sundays too! Back then, I was a Cowboys fan. When Roger Staubach was quarterback and Tom Landry was coach. When football was football. My dad was a Redskins fan. Ew. :) I only switched when the Panthers came because Charlotte is my hometown. And now I watch them as they break my heart year after year. After year.

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  33. I live in Ohio too, but here on the Eastern side we're Steelers fans. I did watch the Bengals for a few season when I lived in Columbus, but that's about it. Of course, baseball here is depressing - the Pittsburgh Pirates have been losing since I was in high school.

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  34. It must be awful to love a sport and to have such a rubbish team in your home town! Football to me is what you call soccer. I think our rugby is more like your football. Confused? lol

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  35. Our football to you is called soccer, my youngest son in Spain used to be a pro player when he was younger. My late husband loved the game also. I don't watch it much nowadays unless it's a final or world cup.

    Loved your B for the challenge.

    Yvonne.

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  36. Bengals - bah :) I'm teasing. We all love our teams. Maybe this year....

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  37. Well now you've got me cheering for the Bengals, Julie. I like to support the underdog (or, in this case, undertiger).

    Your A post looks divine.
    Have fun with the rest of the alphabet.

    xoRobyn

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  38. Boy ain't that the truth, hasn't been the same since Boomer. :) You can always yell tonight for KY. ;)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  39. Julie!
    I don't follow football myself but I do love watching Football Sports movies. Remember the titans is one of my favorites!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  40. @Golden Eagle, aww, thanks, I hope so too. :D

    @Cherie, LOL, at least there is something positive about them.

    @Susan, LOL, we have similar jokes around here. You have to figure out some way to get entertainment from these terrible teams LOL.

    @Carrie, oh, my brother-in-law is a Vikings fan and always fusses about their mishaps. It's true, I love the fun of getting together and watching sports.

    @Tonja, I hope the Bears do well! The stadium thing here is a disgrace and such an embarrassment, sometimes I can't believe it still.

    @Empty, LOL LOL, yeah, the Panthers aren't much to write home about, are they? We are in this together LOL. I remember those Cowboys days, you must have had a lot of fun cheering for them back then.

    @Carol, oh, I'm envious of Steelers fans for all the great teams you have had. But you are definitely right about the Pirates, they can never seem to get it together.

    @Carolyn, LOL, I know, it is confusing. But really it makes more sense to call soccer football since the players use their feet for everything. Your way is more logical LOL.

    @Yvonne, oh, how interesting that your son played in Spain! I bet you had a great time watching him.

    @Carol, LOL, bah is right. That's the fun thing about sports, there's always next year. Or maybe in the Bengals case, next decade LOL.

    @Robyn, thanks! Maybe you will finally bring them some luck. If you manage it, you will have my eternal gratitude LOL.

    @Jules, oh, I'm still too broken-hearted about my Bucks losing on Saturday. But I hope you have lots to cheer about tonight! :)

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  41. @Nutschell, oh, Remember the Titans is one of my favorite movies ever!! I love that! Your comment makes me want to watch it again, I still cheer for the Titans running down the field at the end. :D

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  42. Such a fierce name and not much to show for it. At least, they have some faithful fans like you to back them up.

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  43. Our teams are our teams and we just can't abandon them, much as we might like to sometimes!

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  44. Lol. Well, I know the college football is bad enough, I can't imagine having to keep up with big teams. This past year was sure hectic for OU...:/ I don't wanna go through that again.

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  45. Great B entry! I always watched my father root for his favorite team even though they never won. A fan's heart knows not reason!

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  46. At least you're a Bengals fan in Cincinnati and not in the Cleveland area!! We decorated our sons nursery in Bengals decor and I even painted the one wall like the endzone... here's to hoping they'll be better in his lifetime!

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  47. I'm not into sports very much and tend to vacate the room with a book if it's being televised in our house. I do understand the love for your team though. I hope they give you reason to keep supporting them!

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  48. Ah, and I thought for a moment this post would be about Bengal cats - of which we have two. :-)

    Best wishes for your team - and enjoy the A to Z Challenge.

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  49. I admire loyal fans! I do not follow sport, however, I do have to listen to DH scream at his team (UK soccer), every weekend!

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  50. Sigh.. yes. I support a rugby team that's alot like that. Sad, really.

    We took to joking that it's like a brother in jail. We love him terribly, but we don't talk about him.

    ;-P

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  51. @JL, LOL, yeah, the Bengals give tigers a bad name, no question.

    @Sarah, true enough!

    @Ashley, oh, I love college football too and my Buckeyes really killed me last year. I hope OU will make you happy in the fall!

    @Christine, it's true, sports fans are a little nuts I think LOL.

    @ejw, oh, that's so cute!! I would love to see your son's room, that's awesome. I hope the Bengals give him something to cheer about as he grows up LOL.

    @Rebecca, I hope so, but I'm not optimistic LOL.

    @KjM, oh, I bet your cats are adorable! I love cats of all kinds. Thanks so much for coming by!

    @Glynis, LOL, I do a lot of screaming myself, your DH and I would probably be kindred spirits.

    @Misha, LOL LOL that's a great way to look at it, I'd never thought of that before but I think I am going to start thinking of the Bengals that way LOL.

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  52. WHO DEY!

    I love these Cincinnati references--keep 'em coming. I too am a huge Bengals fan and the 1990's were very painful years. Andy Dalton and AJ Green really revitalized the team this year! Oh, and Jerome Simpson was pretty spectacular too:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31751_162-57348311-10391697/jerome-simpsons-touchdown-flip-keeps-bengals-alive/

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  53. @Jennifer, oh, I loved that touchdown flip! So fun. I'm trying my best to have faith that things will continue on the upswing, I love Dalton and Green.

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Thank you for your comments!