Even though today is perhaps one of the greatest national holidays in America, honoring a tradition's first day that's forgotten by some or needlessly politicized by others, the football machine doesn't stop. Not the NFL, not college football, and definitely not CincyJungle, refusing a forced vacation, the machine rolls, the news piles and the assessments, analysts and (in most cases), the over-reactions accumulate. It is what it is, an insomniac society where civilization is inclining growth of knowledge with the Internet's convenience, through efficient search engines, and powered by blogs and discussion forms.
Why exactly should today be any different, I still haven't wrapped around it. While wearing poorly designed sweaters, listening to diatribes from some, or uncomfortable silences from another, we enjoy a certain calm when our minds and attention focus on football. Keeps us busy, too. Reading has long been my favorite time-killing hobby, writing a close second. Doing this is easy, has been for the six years I've been doing this at various sites. It's great, honestly. Wouldn't want anything else. And the fact that people actually enjoy my thought process, my writings (not just sports), or use a site like this as catch-up of all news Bengals related, still blows me away. In the past few years, I've been interviewed by sites like ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, various small-market blogs, and even known (somewhat, though they never reference competition like me) by members of the local media, and I'm more grateful than ever.
It still doesn't occur to me that people read my writings, developing a debate agreeing with me, disagreeing with me, calling me an idiot, or simply blowing me off as being too optimistic (hey, life is too big to have everything wrecked by a football team that's historically and expected awful). To some degree, being a fan is serious business in that our fanatism is assaulted. In the end, the Bengals are fun for us (that's not really the word I'm looking for, but you understand). They piss us off and make us groan throwing our hands in the air, or verbally assaulting others because they don't do what we demand of them, don't say the words we believe they should say, or make the moves we think they should. We're like bitchy housewives.
But in the end, it's readers and commenters that I'm most grateful for, like Buckeye Jrod, R.F, Tar, Iggy, Brian, geek, Jackson, Sloppy, Walrus, Prag, pale, tx, Tom, John, Adam, Zach, sao, Brazil, ted, Skiles, UK, Kirby, dude, Stofa, week, everyone with a variation of whodey and Ocho, fans of other teams like DolfinPhan, and Rexx and Steelguy and so many more that I'm missing, including the readers that come, but don't comment. The contributions from MacD, CincyMike, Goff, Carl, and many others who have helped the machine roll by adding content worthy of our debates, and if I missed anyone, I'm deeply sorry.
I'm grateful and thankful for all of you guys.