I have been asked many times: "How can you be a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals?"
Well, that's a good question—It isn't the many Super Bowl wins or the Hall of Fame players. It definitely isn't the outstanding win vs. loss record.
I suppose you can't even say that it has anything to do with the snappy team uniforms.
I tell you, like I do everyone else, that it's an issue of state pride and the remembrances of one or two seasons out of thirty that allow for tolerance for the lesson in futility that the team Known as the Cincinnati Bengals have taught us over the years.
I have seen flashes of brilliance over the years with Kenny Anderson and Boomer Esiason. I have seen great performances from James Brooks and Corey Dillon. I have admittedly been embarrassed by the multiple arrests and the laundry list of players who seem to want to be anywhere but Cincinnati.
All in all I still like the accessibility and closeness of Cincinnati over rooting for a team hundreds of miles away. I will take a playoff run every 15 years so that it is a special occasion rather than an overlooked and under appreciated expectation.
I am glad I don't live in New England, because if the Patriots lose I might have an excuse for mental medical coverage from my HMO. If the Bengals lose nobody jumps from the skyscrapers, they have a beer and say wait till next year.
I am optimistic that this may be the "year". The offseason has seen more action than a Kennedy and the intentions have been better than they have been in a decade.
The team on paper looks great. Ahhh if only we played the games on paper. I will sit back in my easy chair with my Guinness in front of my 53 inch big screen and hope with the rest of Bengaldom that this is the start of something good. If, at the end of the season we win it will be a paper like no other, but if we lose, well "wait till next year!"