It's been nine weeks since NFL Network has launched their top-100 players for 2011. When the series first kicked off, the Bengals found themselves mentioned almost immediately when Terrell Owens, who signed a one-year contract with the Bengals for the 2010 season, was voted in at No. 91.
As the weeks wore on, though, there were no more mentions of any Bengals players. Now the countdown is over and the Bengals remained on the list only once. But once is better than none, right? Sure, but can we really even say that they were on the list once?
If this were a list of the top-100 players of 2010, I would say the Bengals were on the list because TO played for the Bengals in 2010. That's not the case, though. This is a list for 2011 and TO won't be playing for the Bengals in 2011. So really, the Bengals aren't on the list at all.
As The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy points out, though, the Bengals aren't alone.
Since Owens is an unrestricted free agent, that is why we put the asterisk since in reality it means you could say no one from the Bengals made it. The Bengals, Jaguars, Rams and Redskins each had one on the list. Since Donovan McNabb is also on his way out of Washington, you could also make a strong case that the Redskins had none too.
In that case, both the Bengals and Redskins would join the Bills and Seahawks as those teams who had none.
So the Bengals finish with no players in the top-100. How is that possible? Johnathan Joseph is ranked third on Pete Prisco's top-50 free agents for the 2011 season and Andrew Whitworth has emerged as one of the better left tackles in the NFL.
We were asked by WHYUS!! to talk about this on last night's podcast, when he posted this:
I'd like to have a serious
discussion about how in the hell the Bengals players always get snubbed on ranking the best players, HoFer’s and other general rankings.To me, each year the Bengals have someone that fits the mold and they get snubbed. I know it’s all about popularity, but look at Cleveland, Tampa, Arizona, St. Louis and Detroit….. BS and more BS!!
Who to blame it on and why? How to fix the problem and where to start? I’d like to see more players listed on some of the rankings b/c they deserve it.
He's right, it is BS and they do deserve it.
But why is this happening? Is it a Bengals thing or just a Cincinnati thing?
Well, Cincinnati Reds fans should remember Collin Cowherd saying he had no clue who Reds first baseman Joey Votto was. Of course Votto went on to be named as the National League Most Valuable Player in 2010. That's the same award that Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds have won multiple times and I'm sure Cowherd has heard of them.
I'm beginning to think that, while the Bengals' aversion to winning isn't helping their top-100 players cause, it might be a Cincinnati thing. But this Cincinnati thing might not be a really terrible thing.
Dave Wellman put it best last night on the podcast.
"I think they do get left off a lot of lists," Dave said. "I think a lot of guys get ignored here. But, my first though is, I like this. Cause you know what? I want to take every one of those lists, I want them to print those lists out and I want them to hang them up in the locker room under a sign that says 'Hey look, everyone thinks you suck.' There's no better motivation and the Bengals always seem to do better when they're playing in a year when they can play the underdog card. When they have a year like last year, when expectations are high, what happens, they go out and they lay an egg. But when the coaches have the opportunity to play that 'your the underdog, nobody thinks you can play, everybody thinks you stink' card, that brings out the best in this team."
Let's hope that NFL Network's top 100-players helps motivate the Bengals through 2011.