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When Gossip Columnists Attack

I've long held the opinion that we take Peter King's word with too many finality. Often times he generates powerful reactions from Bengals fans. Why? Well, let's be honest. He writes about the Bengals only because he has to, as an NFL writer covering all 32 teams. I suspect that he'd love to write about the teams that only win, play in top-market cities, without the nuisance of those other teams that don't win as much. Then again, he kind of does that anyway, doesn't he?

Even so, his May predictions are typical with his flavor. Does he talk about football? Only by association. He talks about personnel. He talks about front office intrigue. He talks character, rumors and the league's most popular quarterbacks. He says about the Washington Redskins, "Jason Campbell might be closer to being somewhere else in 2010." With the Saints he says, "No team with Drew Brees will ever be awful, particularly in a division without an almighty power." With the Lions he wrote, "Lions win four. Mayor commissions bronze statue of Jim Schwartz." Significant contributions towards predictions of a team's potential success, no doubt.

King applies all of what a team did last season to his predictions of next season only adding the weight of 1% on what teams did this offseason. Maybe that's the right thing to do. Last season is a known. This season isn't. It's speculation and conjecture. What's his significant contribution of football regarding the Bengals, while he ranked the team 28th? Bengals lost T.J. Houshmandzadeh, picked up Tank Johnson, Andre Smith and Rey Maualuga and that Carson Palmer will return. Then he writes "Cincinnati will have to score a lot of points to win." Nothing significant. Actually, when you think about it, what did you learn, or what perspective did you discover that you didn't already have at Cincy Jungle?

He's a gossip columnist. That's it. And there's nothing wrong with that. Gossip columnists are typically high traffic, high ratings professions. But taking him serious? No way. Whether he praises the Bengals, or demeans them, he artificially adds associated musings to the sport with only the single direct connection being the people that play it. Give me why formations work for one team, give me trends of the power rushing game in the AFC North, give me something more, or don't give me anything at all.

Now, here's my prediction for the Bengals in 2009. We go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl. Why? Because I frickin' said so. That's why. There. I passed the school of Peter King predictions.