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Wacky tangents for the roof being on fire

To say that I've had a crazy past few days would be a complete understatement. As typical with normal life, I've had some real curve balls thrown my way. A fire at my apartment complex forced general evacuations when Missouri and Oklahoma prepared to kickoff Saturday night around the time West Virginia missed a field goal against Pittsburgh. Where's the justice in that? Two great games with massive Ohio State implications are being played while I stood outside in the cold blustery wind for what seemed like a plane ride from New York to Los Angeles. Thankfully, my cousin showed up and kept me company while watching the show the firefighters put on like synchronized harmony. It was cool. Don't worry. We extinguished the fire long before the fire department showed up.

Eventually, we got back in and watched, perhaps, just perhaps, the greatest single day for the Ohio State Buckeyes while not even playing a down for two weeks -- a talking point from people that suggest Ohio State shouldn't be in. Nevermind the two losses by LSU and the two times they lost their #1 ranking. Nevermind that USC is playing great right now, with two losses in a conference where they too, don't have a conference championship game. It's all about schedule, brother. That's why Hawaii's perfect record isn't even in consideration for the National title. It seems to me that no matter who you put in the National Championship game, the reactions will be the same. It's the WRONG MATCH-UP. Perhaps. But they are not addressing the actual teams in the National Championship game. No. They are attacking the higher-ups in the sport for not having a playoff. Why have two polls and a computer determine rankings?

No, I'm not going into a BCS vs. Playoffs rant. I did take the opportunity to enjoy the simple tangent because I'm psyched as hell the Buckeyes will be back in the National Championship game to amend their disaster last season. And to be a life-long Buckeyes fan, I have to admit, it's pretty damned cool to see this again. Since 2002, the Buckeyes will have been in three National Championship games. That's unheard of in this day of parity college football.

Dude, you're still rambling about college football. I know. I tend to accidentally transform posts taking a tangent and making it the feature feature piece. Whereas the feature piece becomes the tangent. Trippy, yo. You're seeing how I operate. I'm thankful to have such a little voice in my head that tells me to talk about the Cincinnati Bengals. Today, we all need that. Something to move on and realize this team just isn't going anywhere. But in a positive manner that doesn't force us to raise our hands in disgust or become born-again binge drinkers.

I'm trying. Don't get me wrong. I want to rant about them but there's really nothing that can be said that hasn't been said. Our superstars routinely fail to show up against great teams. They flounder their opportunities in must-win games dating back to the last three games in 2006. Our wide receiver, quickly recognized as the greatest receiver in Bengals history, isn't supported by the fans and the team makes hints at selfishness that we've all determined was directed at Chad -- hey, we haven't been told to assume differently. And obviously the argument for greatest franchise wide receiver is completely based on perspectives. For instance, older fans have tremendous memories with a guy like Isaac Curtis or Eddie Brown or Tim McGee and definitely Dan Ross -- I know he's a tight end, but a tremendous receiver as tight end. Even more would appreciate Cris Collinsworth if it weren't for his perceived arrogance on the radio or television. See what I mean? Tangent! Then again, I'm just musing out loud... would that eliminate tangents? Is this the most times you've seen the word "tangent" in one spot?

Anyway, I've said all I'm going to say about what troubles this team. I was tricked into believing 2007 would repeat 2005 based on the hope that the 2006 injury bug was truly dead. The bug didn't die. It turned into a full-blown 10-foot insect with enough strength to enslave you in preparation for the return of Planet X with all its prophetical glory. I was tricked into believing that the team "turned" it around against Tennessee only to conclude that their injuries have hurt them just as much along with a quarterback that's still considered potentially good.

And as long as we're shot down in the dark by an increasingly perceived egomaniacal coach, an owner with football senses that are not only dull, but dead and superstar players that are called out, mysteriously, by their head coach as selfish, we really won't know. We can assume. But where does that get us? Mostly reactions that we don't know much about football.

The Return of the Bungles, II
OK, I'm using the phrase way too much to be a credible Bengals fan. I suppose we all say wacky things when wacky events take place on wacky days. I'm confident that I'm not alone. Tickets, previously hard to come by, aren't only available, but available below face value.

Through all the wacky stuff... here's evidence that things are wacky out of control.

The Bengals' defensive performance in the past four games is the best in terms of yards allowed since Games 8-11 of the 2001 season. In the past four, the Bengals have allowed no more than 305 yards in one game and have allowed an average of just 277.3.

Did you know: That Rudi Johnson and James Farrior are pretty close?

PITTSBURGH — You won't find closer friends on opposing NFL teams than Bengals tailback Rudi Johnson and Steelers inside linebacker James Farrior.

Both are from Ettrick, Va., with Johnson attending Auburn University and Farrior playing his college ball at the University of Virginia.

Johnson visits with Farrior on Bengals' bye weeks and works with youth at Farrior's football camp in Virginia each summer.

Even their moms are friends. Both women attended Sunday night's game together at Heinz Field.

Speaking of the Rams.

As of Monday, the only St. Louis Rams quarterback who was healthy enough for certain to play this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals was Brock Berlin.

Quarterback Marc Bulger will undergo a neuropsych test today in the hope that he'll be cleared to play this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Quarterback Gus Frerotte underwent an MRI on Monday on his sore right shoulder to make sure there is no structural damage.

So the Rams are two bad medical tests away from being forced to turn to Berlin.

VanRam is powering up with a health bar of irony. While both of their starting quarterbacks could be shelved this weekend, VanRam observes: "Don't forget that Fitzpatrick was traded for a late round draft pick (7th I believe) to none other than this week's opponent, the Bengals."