The truth is that most Bengals fans support most Bengals players, even tight end Jermaine Gresham. There are frustrations that will surface from a dropped pass, a lost fumble or a presnap penalty, but Gresham is extremely talented that has been far more of a benefit than a liability. After Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings, Gresham has generated 218 career receptions for 2,265 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns. Those aren't numbers to sneeze at.
In fact, they are some of the best numbers for a tight end in franchise history. With one game remaining to close out the 2013 regular season, Gresham has more touchdowns (19) and receptions (218) than Dan Ross, Bob Trumpy, Tony McGee, and Rodney Holman -- legends of the organization.
|* First four years as a starter (played first two years as a backup).|
Gresham had a couple of issues on Sunday, no doubt. With 12:09 remaining in the first quarter, Jermaine Gresham lost a fumble that Minnesota recovered. The Vikings would score a touchdown as a result. It was his third lost fumble this season and the sixth of his career. That's an ongoing problem.
Gresham was also called for a false start on third and four with 11:58 remaining in the second quarter -- Cincinnati was unable to convert on the third and nine. Gresham was also flagged for an offensive hold on third and five, negating a six-yard reception by Giovani Bernard. Andrew Hawkins gained 34 yards on a deep pass down the left sidelines in a Matrix-like backwards dive to neutralize the foul anyway. That totals 10 penalties on the season (second-most on the team) with one declined.
Yes, there are things to work on. No one disputes nor defends that.
However, that doesn't excuse some fans from taking to twitter and shredding Gresham directly.
Good for Gresham to take the high road, but this is embarrassing. And I don't mean the individuals playing the tough-guy twitter role. Rather embarrassing because it's NOT representative of a majority of Bengals fans. Frustration is one thing. We yell, scream and criticize players to each other and even the media.
We'll critique a player (like above), but never make it personal and most of us won't directly bitch about a player, at that player, about a particular play -- this is one of the guys helping our team win games.
And keep in mind, this happened on a day that the Cincinnati Bengals became AFC North Champions (obviously before the fact).
Maybe it's just me. I don't see the point directly insulting the player. It just makes us look like foolish children.
In the end, there was an outpouring of support from (what looked like) the entire internet.