I have been a Bengals fan my entire life of 48 years, and except for two brief periods in the 80's, we have been on a never-ending quest for respect. This year, more than any other, we seem to keep getting teased by the idea of achieving respect, only to be slapped back down. We so much want to prove the doubters wrong, even while we are secretly eaten alive by the same doubts.
Two weeks into the preseason, we were the vogue dark horse pick. We wanted to believe the hype, but we counted... not yet at least. Week 3 was eye opening to say the least, and at a minimum it brought our doubts back to the forefront. The season starts with a road loss to the Bears, but we take it in stride... we are still reserved because of the week 3 preseason game. However, after wins over Pitt and Green bay, we start to believe, only to have the Browns game slap us down. After that, though, we had four great wins including a total trouncing of the Jets. Now we were on cloud nine. Maybe Andy Dalton is elite after all! maybe all he needed was a second WR... Then came back to back overtime losses and we were back to being the same old Bungals. Follow that with a three game winning streak culminating in a strong performance against a playoff team, and its party time in the Jungle again.
At this point, my guess is that we should be favored in each of our remaining three games and actually favored to win the #2 seed. All is well in Bengaldom.
And that is why I am soooo very nervous. Every time I have had these feelings in the past, I have been punished for them. >