Time Machine: Jan 6, 1991: Bengals Crush Oilers in Playoff Opener

Russell WightAnalyst IJanuary 7, 2010

14 Dec 1997:  Quarterback Boomer Esiason #7 of the Cincinnati Bengals drops back to pass during the Bengals 31-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys at Cinergy Fiedl in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons  /Allsport
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Carson Palmer's playoff career consists of one perfectly thrown pass. That would have been the first of many had it not been for Defensive Lineman Kimo von Oelhoffen rolling into Palmer's knee. His knee exploded, igniting an inferno that caused the Bengals' season and playoff hopes to go down in flames.

As Cincinnati returns to the playoffs this weekend, I decided to take a trip down memory lane. The last time the Bengals won a playoff game was January 6, 1991 against the Houston Oilers.  

It was also the first Bengals game I ever attended.

My family had been to Riverfront Stadium many times to see the Cincinnati Reds. It was really weird to see the field transformed into a football field. The lower level of seats, or "blue seats", had been shifted around to make the playing area more suitable for football.  

At the time, I had no idea those sections of seats could even move.  The white paint on the Astroturf had changed from baselines to yard lines.

Dad and I made our way to the upper deck or "red seats".  We were right under the scoreboard, just a few rows from the very top. I learned very quickly that the atmosphere for a football game was quite different than baseball.

The intensity and excitement was incredible! I can remember a guy sitting near us screaming, "Holman!  Holman!" as Tight End Rodney Holman raced down the sideline.

Quarterback Boomer Esiason complied with the fan's wishes and connected with his tight end for a big gain and the rout was on.  

The Bengals jumped out to a 34-0 lead in the third quarter en route to a 41-14 victory.

Esiason, running backs Ickey Woods and Eric Ball each rushed for a touchdown. Kicker Jim Breech kicked two field goals. Running Back Harold Green and Tight End/Wide Receiver Eric Kattus each caught a touchdown pass from Esiason.

The Bengals ended up losing the following week against the Raiders, but the experience I had caused me to frequent Riverfront Stadium a lot more after the baseball season ended.

I have no idea how many Bengals games I have attended. I've even made road trips to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit.  My family and I are able to make it to Paul Brown Stadium at least once a year.  However, I will never forget the excitement of my first Bengals game.

Hopefully, the fans lucky enough to be in the seats on Saturday will be able to experience a playoff victory too.  It's been long enough.

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