My apologies to Charles Dickens. This season was the tale of three teams. The first is the team we thought they would be in training camp, complete dogs. Few if any predicted more than 5-6 wins, and those were the more optimistic types. Rookie QB, rookie #1 WR, and questions everywhere. Carson gone. Chad gone (a little less regretably). Most of the addition was by subtraction whit Brat being gone and replaces by another rookie in his debut, the younger brother of someone who we knew was talented. ML was back as was Zimmer but our hopes, as usual, were on that distant and ever in the future goal of actually making some noise, maybe in a couple of years. Who Dey was replaced with Maybe Some Dey, but not soon.
Then the second team arrived. We catch a break in Cleveland and we are actually finding ourselves rootong for a team that competed. 6-2 at the half exorcised the demons of the first team. Daltin was great, for a rookie and Green was unbelieveable. Our Dline dominated in a way we never saw coming. This in spite of losing Shipley early and Bobbie for a while. The team went from glass completely empty to overflowing. These were the good times. Ah, I remember them well. The boards were bubbling over with optimism and the feeling of being able to walk around in our Bengals
gear with our chests puffed out was fun. We were drunk with optimism The Carson Palmer trade was the Yeager Bomb that put us under the table.
Then the third team arrived. Oh boy. The air began to leak out of our over inflated chests as Pittsburgh and Baltimore came around to put us back in our box. Reality set in and we found out that we were not either the first of the three teams or the second but somewhere in between and the hangover from the previous "night on the town" set in leaving us just a bit ill and kneeling in front of the crapper but still functioning and strangely hopeful. We sort of staggered our way to the playoffs and got our asses handed to us. Reality is a bitch.
But, lets look at reality. The team isn't as good as we delusionally hoped but far better than we once feared. The future is brighet even if we can't see it right now as the dark cloud from Houston hasn't quite blown over. So, I say to all true Bengals fans. Wipe the dregs of the upchucked bits of the end of the season from your chin. Grab the commode and lift yourselves up from your knees and grab that cup of coffee known as hope. Drop in as couple of lumps of Free Agency pour in five draft picks in the first three rounds. There is still life out there and a new year dawns, full of hope and anticipation. Hell, we just might be yealling "Who Dey" again before you know it. "Please sir, may I have some more?"
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.