Our final round table of the day takes down an interesting discussion. Every year after the Bengals made the playoffs, they were incredibly disappointing, shattering preseason expectations. In 2006 the Bengals just needed one win to return to the postseason during the final three games of the year. They lost all three. In 2010 the Bengals followed up a ten-win season with only four wins. Will the Bengals break the trend? And we ask, is Batman is superhero or a hero (and why he might be neither).
Considering how the Bengals, under Mike Brown, have been inconsistent by have one good season followed by one or two terrible ones, how confident are you that the 2011 Bengals are actually a new team and can break that cycle by having a better 2012?
Josh: A ton has to happen. Did the Bengals play above their station, assisted with an easy schedule? They have to beat better teams on their schedule. They have to rebuild their offensive line, specifically at guard and they need better depth across the board in the secondary. There's questions at linebacker (Rey Maualuga at middle, contract for Manny Lawson, return of Keith Rivers) and a huge problem right now with the rushing offense and how they're going to improve that. The homer optimist in me wants to say yes, but the last time we had huge expectations after a playoff season was 2010 and they only won four games that year. I'm open to say yes, but there's far too many questions on this team to say with much confidence.
Jason: How confident are you that they'll make the right decisions in the offseason in the draft and in free agency?
Josh: The one variable is this. This time last year Marvin Lewis re-signed and was supposedly granted additional authority. Since then the Bengals have made moves that most Bengals fans have praised. The one example I keep going back to is that when Mike Brown wanted Ryan Mallett, Lewis and Jay Gruden convinced him to select Andy Dalton instead. I think a quiet change did happen in the background and I think we saw much of that last year. We'll see if that was an aberration or the start of something greater.
Jason: I agree. I have a lot of hope that the Bengals will do what they need to do to improve themselves this offseason. When it comes to their success next season, that might as well be decided by a flip of the coin right now, but I don't see another 4-12 season in 2012. Either way, I'm excited.
Josh: But it's really hard to bury those disappointing seasons after the playoffs. It's twice as hard to bury the past 20 years.
Jason: It's impossible to bury them. There isn't enough dirt to cover that. It's just going to follow us around until they can string a few successful seasons together.
Josh: They have to win a playoff game for those wounds to heal.
Jason: I agree, and I think that's something they can do in the not-so-distant future.
Josh: I hate referencing the word potential though. We did that five years ago with Carson Palmer and little did we know that after the 2005 season, we basically watched the peak of the Palmer-led Bengals. Though in fairness to him, those defenses simply sucked.
Jason: That's true. We're just going to have to wait and see, I guess.
Josh: Wow. That was a thought provoking response.
Jason: I had something else written and then thought it sounded stupid so I erased it.
Josh: Then you decided to do the whole "wait and see" routine. Our audience will be thrilled with that.
Jason: How about this: I have the feeling, though, that this team is different than many Bengals teams have been in the past. I mean they lost to the teams they should have lost to and beat the teams they were supposed to beat. They seemed like a normal NFL team. That gives me hope and I think we'll be able to talk about their potential and feel okay about it soon.
Josh: I honestly believed that this team's chemistry and character right now is what making fans rally behind them. This offseason could be one of the more optimistic offseasons we've had for some time. Not for what could happen next year (we did that whole routine between '09 and '10), rather the core foundation that's developing. This is a great time to be a Bengals fan.
Is Batman a hero or a superhero?
Jason: I'm going to have to go with hero. But a badass hero. He doesn't actually have any super powers. But I actually think that makes him cooler. Superman is a boy scout and even though he'd probably pull Batman's face out of Batman's behind, I think he's lame as hell.
Josh: This woman at work is fighting me tooth and nail on this. I say that Batman is a hero, but only enabled as a hero because of his rich daddy. Truth is he's not a hero without endless funds that his father built. Terrible message to send to kids. You can't be a hero without serious bank.
Jason: If my dad was Bruce Wayne, I could probably beat the crap out of bad guys too.
Josh: Furthermore, does Batman do the mundane stuff, such as going to court to testify? I mean he catches bad guys, but if he doesn't testify, they're back on the street terrorizing people. The lone exceptions are guys like the Joker, but what about small-time villains? If you think about it, Batman is actually a privileged jerk that does what he wants, when he wants, without any regard to the laws. He's a dick.
Jason: Maybe that's why he's busy all the time -- because he keeps chasing the same purse thief all the time.
Josh: Batman is an idiot. A spoiled rich baby idiot that takes advantage of women and throws them away like change to a bum.
Jason: Yeah, but I'd rather be a rich idiot than a stupid alien boy scout like superman. I won't even capitalize the words in the sentence about him.
Josh: Oh, whatever. Luke Skywalker messes 'em all up.
Jason: Agreed. Superman ain't got shit on the force.