(Site Note: the links and notes section is listed at the end of this posting... make sure you run through them)
They killed my brother! I will have vengence.
For as long I can remember, this is the first time I didn't follow up my Thanksgiving dinner with a nap or "cleansing"; instead playing cards with family and chatting about America's economic problems and all that jazz. My immediate family doesn't care for football. Though my stepdad observes it, he can't have a conversion about the Bengals other than slogans like "damn Bengals" or "that jerk Mike Brown" or "they lost, as usual." At one point, he turned off the Lions/Titans game for the Brady Bunch Movie -- and had several LOL moments. Not that I have a problem with that, but talking football is boring. What I absolutely didn't do was watch the football games with any attention. While he was watching the Brady Bunch Movie, I read a coffee table book "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", that spews so many odd-ball facts that it's impossible to put down; unless the dinner bell rings, then it's a stampede.
Unquestionably, my first love is the game of football (high school, college, NFL, whatever). Don't get me wrong, I love the Bengals. Football is football though, and the pure enjoyment of watching it, no matter the opponents, is very fulfilling for me. Like an addiction. If it's on television, I'm watching it. I don't watch it for gambling and I believe that fantasy football bastardizes some people's perceptions of how it should be enjoyed. That's just me.
Still, Thursday's games were some of the worst I've seen back-to-back in a long time. Obvious mismatches of teams going in different directions, fulfilling the tune we heard all week that the Titans would dominate the Lions. The game was embarrassing, though expected. Some believe that the Lions tradition on Thanksgiving should come to an end, while opponents wreck the debate in conservation of tradition mode. Personally, I don't mind if they're playing; just make the game's competitive and we'll be fine. Rams and Lions? Why not. While dominations suck, two really bad teams would make a much more competitive, and enjoyable game. I also believe that inaction simply because of tradition can be damaging, depending on the debate of course. There is a point to be made, however, suggesting that the NFL keep it's better games on Sunday, to avoid wondering eyes watching TNT's version of the Bourne Supremacy.
The trend continued into the afternoon game, and through the night game. The Cowboys had it easy, while the Seahawks hardcore fans should look into the future; our brothers. McNabb was pulled again, after leading his team to an eventual 48-20 win, throwing four touchdowns and recording a 121.7 passer rating. A story of redemption. With a San Francisco loss, the Arizona Cardinals clinch the NFC West for the first time in 33 years. Yet, nervousness and caution outweighs optimism.
The combined scoring difference between winning teams and losing teams on Thursday, was 90 points. 90 points!
Of all the Thanksgivings that I feel asleep, unaware of the world on television, this is the year that I'm not feeling the effects of sleepiness. Then again, if I laid on the couch after dinner to watch the games, perhaps that would have done me in.
Wrecking two of the past three teams; not expecting another this week. I've been riding the horse, waving my Valyrian Steel, proclaiming the Cincinnati Bengals will wreck your team like a King's Knight defending the Court's honor. We helped the Jaguars understand their role in the playoffs this year. We absolutely destroyed the confidence Eagles fans had in Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb. Then the Steelers came in and beat the hell out of their little divisional brother, thus, no wrecking accomplished. Wrecking can continue against the Ravens, who needs this win more than any to keep pace for the AFC North.
However, based on our week one performance WITH Carson Palmer having one of his worst career games, most of our starters healthy, and the certainty that the Ravens are far better than we expected in week one, I don't see us wrecking anything Sunday. Without a vertical game, the Ravens defense will stack the box, neutralizing underneath routes and stuffing our laughable rushing offense. Furthermore, we have no healthy natural defensive ends, forced to place defensive tackle John Thornton at end, especially if Antwan Odom can't go. With our secondary hurt, and the possibly of Geoffrey Pope or Simeon Castille starting, I honestly see no shot. Even if the Ravens play down to us, we're still too horribly injured to compete. There's always Cleveland.
When ligaments and tendons have their own Blackberry device. December 7 is the date doctors expected Palmer's ligaments and tendon will reattach (like some Blackberry chime that a scheduled meeting has arrived); they were originally detached from the bone. We can't stress enough the Bengals unwillingness to just sideline him for the year is plainly dumb and weak. If the injury was soreness and a weakened arm, however structurally sound, then yea, come on back when you feel it. Tendons and ligaments detached from the bone? Give me a break. The Bengals should sit him for the year, and Palmer should lesson the burden that he places on himself thinking that he'd let the team down.
More, more, more. So much freaking more (formerly known as lines and notes).
- The Palmer brothers enjoyed Thanksgiving by inviting their family from California to Cincinnati. Carson is learning, and loving, to hunt.
- Remembering the Bengals opening 2007 season win, by forcing three Steve McNair fumbles.
- James Walker is surprised by the calmness on our one-win team. We've talked about that before. The team hasn't imploded, nor gone off to the media or any of that. They've remained united, saying the right things, steadfast behind Marvin "Father" Lewis, clearly frustrated their season couldn't be better than this.
- Someone doesn't like Walker.
- Scouts Inc. analyzes T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- very accurate.
- Good piece on the relationship between Chad Johnson and Marvin Lewis; guy that hates Walker doesn't like it.
- Chris Crocker is doing a great job proving himself.
- Tickets are still available for Syracuse/UC Saturday.
- Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is a former University of Cincinnati assistant football coach. Harbaugh is proud of the Bearcats. "Congratulations to them and the coaches," he said. "For whatever it's worth, we're proud of them."
- Emotional homecoming for CincyJungle favorite, Willie Anderson.
- Homer outing... to the zoo.
- Wal-mart worker dies after early-morning post-Friday stampede.