These words were spoken by one Marvin Lewis just this past Saturday, correcting Yahoo! reporter Michael Silver upon the location of this Sunday's game.
And what a house it is.
As many Bengals fans would tell you, this offseason seemed like the worst possible offseason they've had in at least a decade. It started with Carson Palmer, finally emerging from a shell of indifference and bitterness kept hidden from the public eye to request a simple trade to another team on the day of the NFC Championship Game. Once his demand was made, he quickly returned to his privacy, nary to be heard from again until his selfish demand would be met.
It continued with Jonathan Joseph, building hope in Bengals fans that he would return to the team and potentially run the risk of the magic finally dying within him, the same risk Palmer took and ultimately made real within himself. It continued in this fashion for awhile. The draft--they picked up the top flight receiver rather than secure a potential lockdown corner to help create a cushion for the loss of Joseph and were left with one ginger QB to man the helm with a scrap of the talent of the old captain. No stellar FAs, just average guys let go by floundering teams seeking some revival. And that's not even mentioning the press conference. Nothing gave this fanbase any form of excitement, any reason to gear up and find something likable about a potential 5-win-or-less season in which we'd see our team get routinely embarrassed by AFC North rivals such as the Steelers, the Ravens, and the upstart Browns. All of us brace for the worst.
But sometimes a mutiny brings about the best.
Generally, as far as QBs go, Palmer had all the talent in the world, the "God of Golden Arms" as some used to call him. He could sling the ball with the best and was once mentioned in the same breath as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. But he was easily declining due to injury and age and many feared he wasn't the player he once was. Some still held onto the hope that he would magically return to that form, transcending mortality and returning to that status of godhood he once possessed. It was the only marginal hope for success any Bengals fan could have.
This team was built for Carson Palmer.
And that's something most Bengals fans continue to overlook when they see the Red Rifle firing passes off to his new cast of characters. This team was always built for Carson Palmer, and that's how Mike Brown intended it. But usually, what Palmer wanted wasn't what Marvin wanted. Marvin wants a smash mouth team capable of running between the tackles and playing good defense. Palmer wanted to throw it. He wanted to throw it often. He wanted a passing offense capable of dominating defenses.
That conflict, more than anything else, is what held this team back. Marvin wanted to run this his way, Palmer wanted his offense to run his way, and Brown had his own ideas of how to do things. They couldn't work together to create an acceptable plan and they could never understand each other or the wants of one another.
Palmer's leaving wasn't a curse. It was a blessing. It wasn't the fact that we lost a decent quarterback, or our best shot at the playoffs. It was because we removed one of the egos from the top of the ivory tower. Brown no longer had The Franchise to baby. Between that, Marvin's demands, and the fact that Lewis now has Brown's own daughter in his corner makes him the true man of the house in Cincinnati.
And what a house it is.