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Thursday evening links and notes

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What a day. One of our users had a computer problem: every time he launched Internet Explorer, the program would crash. No amount of reinstallations, reboots, or virus scans did the trick. In the end, Internet Explorer's application was hijacked by a malicious program, which took several hours to pin down, with a disguised registry entry that recreated the program after each reboot. Since the late 1990s, I've worked on computers (mostly servers, content management, security and network protection these days), but this was a nugget. It also explains why I tend to disappear for a day at times.

So let's go through our daily readings.

ESPN's James Walker doesn't see the Bengals making the playoffs next year, because the Steelers and Ravens are just too far ahead of Cincinnati right now. And he included Cincinnati's VOICE; though Le Anne Schreiber says that ESPN tends too much to become the story.

I believe that people are banking too much on Bill Cowher's opinion that the Bengals will make the playoffs. It's a nice thought, but sourcing the evil Coach Cowher isn't really a persuasive argument.

After Paul Daugherty wrote that Cincinnati is the most futile sports team in America, a Detroit writer takes exception for the long running franchise of the Lions, compared to the Bengals. Personally, we think Paul should have labeled professional teams, which he didn't do. We have good sports in the area; Bearcats football, Xavier basketball, Cyclones hockey. Those guys are good, playing well. No, not professional, but sports isn't just about the pros.

WDR announced their eighth task, refusing to renew season tickets, then chatted with C. Trent.

Willie Anderson's game against the Steelers is a revenge of sorts, after losing the 2005 Wild Card game.

Speaking of my boy Willie, he chimes in about the fans, hinting at hurt feelings when fans were of the opinion that he was done last season -- and there a lot of people saying that. In reflection, we realize again that people with no experience beyond high school football should ever become an NFL scout, or a General Manager, no matter how much football is watched.

"I always felt that, myself included. We showed that city some good football. You feel for the fans and how passionate they are. There are some mixed emotions because of all I was going through last season and hearing all the fans calling the radio and radio show hosts saying it  was time for Willie to move on. It is one of the things that kind’ve got to me because I felt like I fought my tail off for the city and organziation. But by the grace of God I ended up here. I don’t have no ill will towards the fans or the organization. I moved on and appreciate the fans, especially with how they treated me with the welcome when we played there in November."

If Plaxico Burress doesn't return to the Giants, would New York make a run to sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh? Miami could take a look too.

One fantasy football writer isn't convinced that Cedric Benson is a good fantasy pick -- if the Bengals sign him.

John Thornton supports Leslie Frazier for head coach, who (Frazier) reflected on his relationship with Marvin Lewis: “my personality is a lot different than that head coach’s was.” (aka, I don't like him, at all)

Bengal Stripes thinks the Bengals should work hard to re-sign Chris Crocker and Cedric Benson.

Who Dey Fans find another reason to hate Pittsburgh.

Chick Ludwig is chattin' high school basketball now, in preparation for this weekend's High School Huddle.