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Bengals Banter: Blame the system, not Brian Kelly; a look at the line drawn between fans and sports journalism

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There are days that are just maddening. You know the type of days. You mean to click on one thing with your mouse, something else starts up. You start burning a stack of DVDs, and your DVD burner breaks. Entire sets of network printers go into a wild glitch. It's the type of day where Office Space makes sense. Where you sport this malicious grin when seeing a baseball bat next to the dot matrix printer that's still in production. Not that there's a baseball bat next to a dot matrix in production or anything. Maybe I'm seeing things. Yea, that's the type of day.

Brian Kelly leaving is a shame. I wanted to curse Brian Kelly for leaving the University of Cincinnati before coaching the Sugar Bowl against Florida. I wanted to make sure he knows my displeasure with a spam of Tweets. Yes, Tweets people. We had the makings of a dynasty. This would be a wonderful time of the year, when the Bearcats would win the Big East for ten years straight, putting together a string of the longest running BCS bids in history. Is there an easier road to the BCS than through the Big East?

But then two things occurred to me.

One, I felt this exact same way when Mark Dantonio left.

Two, I don't blame Kelly. I blame any system that allows this to happen.

College football can display the most inspiring football. But it really screws the pooch sometimes (playoffs... ho-hum-hum).

Vikings game isn't critical, but important. If the Bengals beat Minnesota Sunday, they clinch the AFC North. If the Bengals beat Minnesota Sunday, they've beaten only the second team with a winning record at this point in the season. If the Bengals beat Minnesota Sunday, they proven to everyone else that they belong with the NFL elite.

No, a loss doesn't hurt the team's playoff chances. And there's no tie-breaker involved when it comes to the Vikings.

Bengals red zone offense. Against the Bears, the Bengals scored six touchdowns in seven red zone appearances. In the five games since, they've scored five touchdowns in 16 red zone appearances.

Joe Reedy writes:

Most thought that Palmer and offense got over the hump after the Week 7 victory against Chicago, when they scored on all seven drives that Palmer was in the game. It continued two weeks later against Baltimore when they scored on their first three drives.

But since then the numbers have been dismal. In the 53 drives since their last touchdown against Baltimore, the Bengals have only four touchdowns (they had eight during that run against the Bears and Ravens).

Even though Chris Crocker missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, he should be ready to go Sunday.

Starting Monday morning, if you purchase tickets to the Bengals home game with the Kansas City Chiefs, you can "lock in tickets for the two playoff games the Bengals potentially could host."

The Bengals have already beaten the Vikings 24-7.

Who Dey Fans thinks that the Bengals have a good chance against the Vikings.

Understanding the line drawn of who writes what. I've been writing about the Cincinnati Bengals through the beautiful technology of blogging since 2003. I had always thought, if you write about the Bengals, you must be a fan, right? Hey, I was young. I was impressionable. And I was full of piss and vinegar (I actually blamed Corey Dillon once because I ran out of windshield wiper fluid after a winter storm -- you know how that crap gets on your windshield and smears?).

But since we have the smartest readers and community on the net, I wanted to quickly remind everyone of the nature of things when it comes to sports and writing.

You have your bloggers, like us. We're hardcore fans that write about our team, for free mind you, at great risk to our marriages and financial well-being. (JETSON!) You have op/ed columnists like Paul Daugherty who are paid to write about what they think. Sometimes it's about a certain team. Other times it's about sports in the city.

Then you have beat writers like Joe Reedy and to some degree, Geoff Hobson. These guys are the portal to our team. Without these guys, we don't know who's hurt, who's starting, who's practicing, or the human interest side that reminds us that players are really young men who sometimes battle the odds and laugh at destiny. Beat writers are here to provide one thing. Information about our team. That's it.

Furthermore, beat writers are NOT fans of the teams they cover. They can't be. Think of the conflict of interest. Do you guys think that someone like me could be a beat writer? Hell no. Aside from the fact that I'm the master of run-on sentences -- which is apparently not a really good thing, but that's only because run-on sentences are misunderstood beings of portals into the context that they provide otherwise they'd... right -- I can't idly write about the Bengals and not incite the flame of my beliefs. I wouldn't be doing my job. Well, hobby. Job would indicate that we make a living doing this and we do not.

Think of how one person's ideology sways their writings in articles written about politics. Read a conservative's view on Obama, a liberal's view on Sarah Palin. Then vice versa. The tone is different. The context is different. Most of the time information is mislead so you'll see the world as they see it. If the journalist or writer provides a dry, non-sided point of view, then most of the time, you're more informed for it.

And beat writers not being fans of the team that they represent is often a misunderstood aspect of sports journalism. But that's alright. Bloggers like us are here to fill that expected role. We're here to write about our team from our point of view. Sometimes crazy. Sometimes articulate. Always opinionated.