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Thursday links and notes; Thornton calls for Bengals '09 playoffs

John Thornton has become my new favorite Bengals blogger, after listing seven reasons why the Bengals will make the playoffs. We're excited because it's not one of those typical why the Bengals suck rants that's just way too common these days. Stick to the players, watch the game, cheer for the team.

Paul Daugherty thinks that "strength of schedule stories are bogus. Who really knows how good a team will be next year, when you play them?" Makes sense, really. However, before the season started the Bengals were facing teams a .553 winning record in 2007. Those same teams won at a .550 clip in 2008. Granted, he's right. There's just no telling. However, .003 difference is scary consistent.

Sporting News lists T.J. Houshmandzadeh as the seventh best free agent, and the top available wide receiver.

PFT picked up the Houshmandzadeh wants to be an Eagles story.

Bengal Stripes on free agency.

The Lot D is going offline indefinitely. On Lance's blog it says, " will be going offline indefinitely on Friday, February 6th. If there is any content that you would like to save for future use, please make sure to archive it now before the site is shut down."

Lemar Parrish has the numbers as most Hall of Famers, yet, he's not in the Hall of Fame. "I must be mistaken because I thought the Hall of Fame was for individuals and not teams," Parrish said. "And we had some great teams in Cincinnati, but I thought the Hall of Fame is for individuals. You can put up my stats against anybody. When I was a little kid, I dreamed about being one of the greatest that ever played."

Now that spring is (not at all) upon us, we feel a necessity based on our internal clocks of our other hometown favorite team that's always down on its luck. The Cincinnati Reds. Which shortstop would you pick, Concepcion or Larkin?