I know I can't let it pass. And I know every time I stand on my soapbox that it tends to haunt me. But it's just too damned fascinating. It's the whole angle in which writers keep perceiving the Bengals as thugs, criminals, terrorists and what not. Chris Chase took the Bengals to task, referencing the idea that the Bengals could be the next team on Hard Knocks.
At some point, you'd think the Cincinnati Bengals would try to distance itself from the lawless, freewheeling image the team has developed over the past decade. Dozens of arrests, team discord and front-office incompetence has made Cincy the butt of many a joke in NFL circles. (Q: Two Cincinnati Bengals are in a car. Who's driving? A: The cop.) But the Bengals seem to be going in the exact opposite direction. First, they draft a veritable who's-who of character problems last weekend. Now comes reports that the Bengals may invite HBO to training camp for the latest version of the network's training camp reality series "Hard Knocks". Great idea, guys. That'd be like owning a circus and then inviting another circus to set up inside the tent.
Chase continues and says, "I mean, between Tank Johnson, Chris Henry and Frostee Rucker, HBO may need to get clearance to film in Cincinnati-area detention centers."
Before I went into self-medicated rant, I started reading the comments. Oh. My. God. Are other people defending the Bengals? Here are a few comments on the post.
"Thanks, Chris. I just wasted 2 minutes of my life by reading this "story". Yes, the Bengals had more than their fair share of player troubles in the past. In fact, it was a huge list of players. The key word being "was". With the exception of Leon Hall and his love of lager, the Bengals have been pretty clean with players staying out of trouble."
"That was the worst thing I have ever read, and that says a lot based on the inane drivel I normally see on this e-rag."
"Oh good grief! Get over it already! Stop beating a dead Horse! Cincinnati's problems are, for the most part, behind them."
"Every team in the NFL has character issues, the Bengals are not the only one's. I know its not football season yet and you are lacking on things to write about but move on"
"What the !$%# are the Bengals ever going to get the respect. I don't see the media putting down the Giants for that carp that happened last year with Plaxico Burress or the Bills Marshawn Lynch."
"Mr. Chase, maybe you would like to write an article about Michael Johnson and the interview he had yesterday morning on a local AM radio station here in Cincinnati, SUPERB. You want to talk about a high character person, where are the good articles at?"
I know I tend to suffocate Cincy Jungle with these type of posts; reacting to people that criminalize the Bengals (and I do apologize for that). To be honest, I was just thrilled of the reaction of common sense. Maybe Chase's piece was supposed to be humorous. However like my nine-win prediction in 2008, he whiffed bad. Really bad.