The eighth loss in a row came about in predictable fashion. As a fan grizzled in frustration, it was disconcerting to simply wait for the fatal mistake to unfold like a movie everyone has seen before. Norman Bates edges to the shower, knife in hand, tears open the shower curtain and kills his victim with horrendous special-teams play. Oh the horror!
Really, it's what we all knew would happen. Tucked away behind huge rationalizations and justifications as to why the Bengals might beat the Jets, lived the truth. This was the worst record against the best—one team figures out new ways to win, while the other figures out the opposite. It was a no-brainer. This losing streak has been one long toilet flush that swirled its way gone for good on Thanksgiving night.
Even though the offense looked punked from the get-go, the defense played the kind of game that should have at least kept things close. That would have been the case had the special teams not decided that it was their turn to lose a game. Not only did the Bengals manage to miss a 28-yard field goal kicked by some schlepp off the street (I've seen Chad kick a better ball than that; give him a chance), and allow a kick-return touchdown ran by a man with one shoe, Andre Caldwell somehow fumbled by getting hit in the face by a punt without realizing it! What is happening here? Don't these people get paid?
I can go into how Carson Palmer is still throwing passes to hall-of-fame receivers when he should be throwing to lesser-known safety valves, or of how turnovers are notorious with losing teams, or of how the defense and offense can't put together a decent game between the two of them, but who cares? This team would rather "work harder" running the same practices and emphasizing the same things, then to switch up philosophy and approach to the game in the middle of the season. The brain-trust has failed us, yet they refuse to admit their mistakes. Watching them is like playing with a broken toy; it's expectantly lame.
So instead, I would like to complain that the Bengals didn't wear their throwback uniforms. I don't expect the Wizard of Oz to ever pay for throwbacks—that would be lunacy!—but if ever a guy can hope for such a thing, it's when that guy's team is awarded a Thanksgiving game. Sadly, it wasn't to be. Instead, my hometown team comes out of the tunnel with the same garish ensemble they've been trotting out since 2004. I liked the predecessor of the current overdone ensemble; the Jon Kitna jersey of that era was just fine. Teams needn't all the stripes everywhere with accents and highlights throughout. They look ridiculous. The 70's Bengals gear is awesome. I don't care if it does looks like Cleveland. It's tough and it reminds me of slow-motion Bengal action shot in very cold weather. Maybe if Mike Brown dressed his team in more basic clothing, they would feel less like superstars and more like football players. It's been seven years of these trendy, bullshit uniforms. Like the personnel changes I long for to take place this offseason, let's go with an image change too—literally speaking.
So there you have it. A recap that's more spirited about the team's uniform than the team itself. If this group decides to do anything really worth taking note of, I will include it in these ramblings. Otherwise, I may have to go into detail about the team's mascot and cheerleaders next.
Mojokong—misses his team.