Commentary: Talking About The NFL Draft Doesn't Make You A Cynical Fan

Sports talk host Lance McAlister with 700 WLW went on the offensive Wednesday against Bengals fans, instigated by an email he received from a listener that requested a segment, if not a show, featuring the NFL Draft already. During his show on 700 WLW on Wednesday night, Lance admits confusion, wondering why some Bengals fans are already thinking about the NFL Draft. You can have a listen here, but here's a brief transcript that opened the show.

"And realize specifically for the Bengals: 5-2, developing feel good stories, kind of almost in some circles a developing media darling, winners of four straight, perfect in the month of October, the first time since (1975). The last time they were perfect in October, the Big Red Machine had just captured the 1975 World Series.

"Yet, I'm left confused. Because I hear, I read and I see so much that is not about now. Here. This. The moment. John Thornton and I were joking last week, how much Carson conversation even a week after the trade compared to the actual team. I will grant you this, for those it has kind of become a running joke the number of people who now want to figure out what to do with the draft picks. I get that it's November and traditionally, the start of November we probably start thinking draft. It's like a conditioned response."

Lance continues:

"...for as many who are jumping into the future, there are just as many who seemingly enjoy wallowing in the past. It's one of the most fascinating dynamics in this city when it comes to fans."

Sounds ridiculous, right? Bengals fans looking forward to the NFL draft, wallowing about the past, not accepting the current reality that the Cincinnati Bengals are 5-2 with a quarterback that just won the NFL's offensive rookie of the month for the month of October, where the Cincinnati Bengals went an undefeated 4-0, sounds ludicrous.

Let me preface this by saying I love Lance, Mo Egger and all of the local talk radio talent.

But there's a third option that's not being established or acknowledged, and maybe that's because the general Bengals fan being discussed isn't necessarily the majority. Bengals fans are fully capable of living in the moment, talking about the 5-2 Cincinnati Bengals. Read the comments within most of the posts on this very site; there's overwhelming excitement and perspective. Living in the moment is what most of us have been doing, as we have every year since this site was established in 2006. Are the readers and those that comment on this site the general Bengals fan? Maybe. Maybe not.

Now you compound that with news two weeks ago that the Bengals traded Carson Palmer, one of the most tiring discussions for months, for a first round pick in 2012 and a second round pick in 2013 and now you have that much more excitement about this team's future. Additionally there's such a foundation of talented players, that next year's draft could make this team even better. It's an exciting prospect that fans might spend 15 minutes out of a 1,440-minute day. During Sundays every Bengals fan lives in the moment. Every Monday after the game and Friday and Saturday before the next game, fans are in the moment. Tuesday and Wednesday, fans are in the moment. Then perhaps Bengals fans gather around the water cooler for 15-20 minutes Thursday afternoon and brainstorm ideas with what the Bengals can address with their newly acquired draft picks.

Now there are those that Lance says enjoys "wallowing in the past" and for those, he's right. Mike Brown inevitably surfaces in most discussions I have with people personally. Efforts to just say, it's time to just let go, often go unheeded and even instigate them into unapproachable levels where you question whether or not you want to talk about Bengals football at all with them. Mike Brown is evil. Been Cincinnati's greatest comic book villain since 1991. We get it.

If you want to talk about the NFL draft, fine. Talk about the draft. There's six days between games and roughly 8-12 hours within a day that you're awake that you're able to sit back and enjoy the moment with this incredible Cincinnati Bengals squad. If for a small chunk within the week you want to visualize the prospects of improving this football team even more, why not?

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