Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Only The Bengals...

In the aftermath of the Bengals-Broncos debacle, when a little white guy (who's sometimes known as Brandon Stokley) hauled in a deflected pass and scampered down the field for the miracle of all miracles, I received dozens of phone calls and text messages, all with the same theme: Only the Bengals.

Uhhh...No. This stuff has never happened to any team, ever. It was the flukiest win in the history of football. Well, maybe not, but it's certainly in the discussion. Consider: The Broncos were buried on their own 13-yard-line, with thirty seconds remaining. I can't recall if they had any timeouts left, but that doesn't really matter. And the Broncos weren't attempting a Hail Mary, either; nobody can throw the ball 90 yards. The Broncos were so far from the end zone that they were actually just trying to get in position to maybe attempt a Hail Mary! So, this wasn't a Bengal thing. It was just dumb luck.

But there are plenty of things that only happen to the Bengals. For instance:

1. The Marvin Lewis era opened with a delay of game penalty! They had an entire offseason to perfect one play, and they still screwed it up.

2. David Klingler eating lunch in his truck becomes more and more bizarre every time I think about it.

3. So does the story about Ki-Jana Carter buying the team bigger towels.

4. Desperate for a run-stuffing defensive tackle, the Bengals planned to bring in 340-lb. Tony Siragusa for a visit. His plane ticket was for one coach seat.

5. Boomer Esiason reinvigorated the city of Cincinnati in 1997 when he came off the bench to lead the hopeless Bengals to a 4-1 record down the stretch. It was some of the best football of Esiason's career. And then came the offseason. Boomer left for the Monday Night Football booth, but I have it on pretty good authority that he wanted to come back. I don't know if he was ever offered a contract, but I know this: He was only 36, and nowhere near the end of his career.

Mike Brown's solution: Give Neil O'Donnell a four-year contract worth more money than Boomer (probably would've) signed for.

6. The Bengals were so eager to get first round pick Levi Jones on the field that he started his first game, essentially, as a tight end. He was tackle-eligible. It was 1st & 10 in their own territory, but the Bengals opened the game in a goal-line package. Now that makes for exciting football, don't it?

7. The Carl Pickens Clause.

8. The Bengals thought Reinard Wilson had the ability to play outside linebacker. They also thought Akili Smith was intelligent enough to handle the demands of the quarterback position. Both experiments were tremendous failures. And quite expensive.

9. Everyone misses on draft picks, but it should be noted the Bengals selected Eddie Brown over Jerry Rice. And how about Randy Moss? A bunch of teams passed on him, but the Bengals were the only franchise to do it twice.

10. Corey Dillon refusing to enter the game.

11. A few weeks before the Bengals brought back Chris Henry, Marvin Lewis promised the public that Henry's days as a Bengal were over.

12. Ken Anderson, the team's offensive coordinator for several years, routinely had to go on Saturday scouting trips to the west coast less than 24 hours before Sunday Bengals games. This happened as recently as the early part of this millennium.

13. Tiger Johnson over Bill Walsh. Excellent decision.

That's the stuff that only happens to the Bengals.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)