Bengal History : Me ,Kitty , and HB

Lamar BoltonContributor IMay 15, 2009

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 1:  Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Ray Maualuga #58 runs a drill during rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 1, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

Some might ask , why the Bengals. Why invest yourself so emotionally . in a team that hasn't gone any where for such a long period of time . What do you get out of it.

 T come from a  small town in southern Ohio was the Bengals summer training camp for the first twenty some odd years of the teams existence . Wilmington Ohio, for the longest time was for four weeks every summer was the place to be in southern Ohio. You could run into pro football players at the United dairy Farmers, Cassanos's Pizza, and at various watering Holes like Mister B's, Mc D's , or the place where I worked the door, The " Lincoln Street exit" . I worked the door at the latter and I can tell you that during the 88 season they where out routinely after curfew.

On top of this , My father , a sales executive for a plastic container manufacturer, had season tickets through the company and he my mother and Brother and I used to attend the games every week from about 1975 until 1988, so I was privy to some of the biggest moments in Bengal History.

I once saw Joe Namath enter a game at Riverfront in a driving Rain Storm and nearly sink the Bengals  with less then two minutes to go. i vividly remember Issac Curtis's Rookie reason when he terrorized Defensive Backs that tried to cover him one on one. I remember Turk Schonert interring the first game of the of the 1981 season and pull out a fourth quarter victory against Seattle that set the tone for the first Super Bowl run. And I remember the most the Freezer Bowl AFC Championship game .

Minus Nine degrees with a wind chill factor of Minus 63, my father who had been in failing heath for a while , was bound and determined not to Miss this one so we all had hunting socks on with fresh batteries in them . Down coats, or in my case an insulated snow mobile suit, and to top it all off, hot rum and apple juice in a thermos to help take the chill off. it was a great day the Bengals won and went to their first super bowl , and my mom and dad went up to Detroit to see it.

My father's health faded in few years after that , he never got to see the second run to the super bowl. My dad and I didn't have a whole in common but the one thing we did have was sundays in front of the TV or down in the seats at River  Front stadium and for that every time I see those ugly orange and black helmets , Ill always think of him.