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Applaud the Bengal Players

Regardless of the outcome of Saturday's game it is time to take a step back and applaud our team. We must pause to cheer the effort. The perseverance in the face of injury and the resilience in the face of tragedy. Loyalty and allegiance to a team is not something you just decide to take up one day, it is part of your make up. Your DNA has strands of black and orange, given to you upon your conception into a family of Bengal fans. This team is ours and next fall we will all align once again to start yet again.

Our team and its fans have much to be proud of. The turnaround from a year ago was profound. A team that was given no hope of success from day one came out and took control. In arguably the most physical division in football this team held their own and ran the table. They stared down injury and setbacks, responding with gritty hard-nosed play. They were not pretty wins, but wins that gave Bengal fans a view of smash-mouth football, something we had rarely seen.

This year our team suffered through unparalleled tragedy. They rallied around a coach and a family. They gave us inspiration with their compassion in times when it is often difficult to find. Later they wore their hearts on their sleeves as one of their own was lost. This year there was a human element to the Bengals. An element that was not identified in X's and O's but in tearful faces of grief stricken men.

There is a far reaching perspective to be gained in the 2009 Bengal team. One that speaks volumes for our team and the community it represents. So lets take a second and applaud our team and their effort. Carson, Chad, Cedric, Rey, Keith, Domata, Leon, Daniel, Laveranues, Anthony, Kyle, Quan, Tank, Dhani, Johnathan, J.P., Andrew, and the rest of the team, thank you for a great season. Remember you wear the colors we bleed and we look forward to next year!