Happy Thanksgiving From Cincy Jungle

John Grieshop

Perhaps the greatest holiday in existence, where gorging on food and watching football is American standard, Thanksgiving arrives and we're thankful for a couple of things.

Today is a day that we give thanks. No matter how the holiday was conceived, or developed through the years, today we're reminded of the appreciations in our lives, recognizing the things we're thankful for. Whether that's family or friends, we take time out of the year just to say thanks. Since this is a website dedicated to the Cincinnati Bengals, let's say a few thanks related to our team.

THE YOUTH OF THE BENGALS

Despite going 5-5 this year and roughly playing .500 ball since 2011, I love this roster of players. They're hungry, humble with a chemistry that makes it hard not to blindly follow. Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins gives me hope for our defensive future. Waiting in the wings are guys like Vontaze Burfict, Dre Kirkpatrick, Devon Still and Brandon Thompson -- guys that are either on their way, or haven't had the opportunity to claim a spot in the NFL, but we expect to eventually.

Then there's Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Clint Boling, Kevin Zeitler, Andrew Hawkins, rookies or second-year players making a name for themselves while guys like Andre Smith and Jermaine Gresham are making their own roads.

There's so much youth on this team right now and more will come, giving me hope that the story being told regarding this roster is still in the first chapter.

CHAD JOHNSON

Yep. I'm thankful for Chad. Why? Because his antics and personality truly makes me appreciate and be twice as thankful for someone like A.J. Green.

HAVING A TEAM

There is a segment of fans with so much spite against the Brown family, that they'd prefer the Bengals move far away to another city. Obviously this cuts the tie for fandom for those people, who are not strong enough to just cut their own umbilical cord with the team. From their perspective, they didn't stop being a fan. The team moved, therefore fandom is no longer required. It's just silly.

Yet at one point during the "negotiations" for a new stadium in the mid-90s, a threat existed that Brown would move the team to Baltimore. Clearly that never materialized and we honestly believe that Brown had no intention of leaving; he loves this city that he's lived in for half-a-century too much. It helps that he "negotiated" a sweet deal too (see, we're not without our own cynicisms).

There aren't many metropolitans in the United States with an NFL team, broadcasting the best of what the football world has to offer. Cincinnati, one of the smaller markets in the nation, has one. They're our team, through thick and thin, better or worse (and worse still), they're still ours. And if you can't sit back and appreciate that little joy within a combative existence stirring within a violent world, then maybe you don't deserve it.

YOU, THE CJ COMMUNITY

We're approaching our seventh birthday at Cincy Jungle. Seventh! We've grown exponentially in those years and our brand is becoming more well-known every year. Yet through all of the years, controversies, fights, debates, we remain just as humble that each one of you takes the time out of your day just to check out our little corner of world.

There's nothing I'm more thankful than the Cincy Jungle community. You guys are what makes this work.

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