There's no doubt that Carson Palmer received the welcome he should have expected when Bengals fans relentlessly booed the former franchise quarterback into one of his worst performances of the season. It was what it was. What do you expect when Chris Mortensen tells the entire world during an ESPN pregame show prior to the NFL conference championship games? Palmer desperately wanted a trade so bad that he was expected to use the "retirement card" and for a time he did.
Now imagine your franchise quarterback did the same thing. It's something that attacks you on a personal level. Eight years of our lives, invested celebrating Palmer in every fashion and always saying, "well he'll be better next year when we get him weapons." Or whatever mundane excuse that we pledged. Then he says after crafting a four-win season, "welp, it's been fun, but smell ya later Cincinnati."
We can't expect every one to understand, especially Raiders fans who are understandably defending their prized quarterback who will bring them a future full of glory and bounty.
I think the Bengal fans were pretty disgusting with the boos actually. Palmer gave them everything he possibly could until that team took the love of the game from him and he could no longer even get the will to play for Marvin Lewis anymore. I understand the boos in the beginning but to boo the man through the entire game was incredibly excessive.
If booing former players is part of a chemical that develops the persona of an entire fanbase, then the entire NFL is probably full of disgusting people. And his love for the game wasn't departed; only his responsibility. Yet this is actually one of the reasons we tired of Palmer later during his Bengals career. When Chad Johnson had an issue, or T.J. Houshmandzadeh went into one of his temper tantrums, Palmer absorbed it rather than deflecting it or... god forbid... transforming it into motivation. Paper was thicker than his thin-skin.
Silver and Black Pride continues with their perspective on Bengals fans.
That was worse than what Brett Favre went through his first time back at Lambeau in a divisional rival Vikings' uniform. I could understand more if the team hadn't been successful after Palmer left, but they have been. They made it to the playoffs last year, and are now on path to make it there again this year. Palmer leaving at the time he did allowed the Bengals to get a very talented, although red-headed, quarterback in Andy Dalton and they got two high picks for him too. You already won from that deal Cinci, move on already people!
Maybe there's a hint of truth there -- and we'll forgo the rather disgusting hair color insult momentarily. But let's understand one thing. Palmer, during his trade demand, didn't talk with the media. There was no explanation, no comments, no interviews. It was a saturated void where those affected start making their own conclusions. Sunday's game was Cincinnati's opportunity to express our opinion and after nearly two years, you better believe that sonofabitch was built up.
Hell, call it strategy. We know that Palmer has thin-skin. So why not boo him into mercifully throwing ducks to defensive backs while waffling in the pocket during an intense pass rush. You're in the jungle, baby.
All of that being said, it's over. Long-standing frustrations with the story arc have exhaled with a crushing defeat, not only against Palmer but also the team he plays for. There's nothing left, except the playoffs this year.