It came out of nowhere.
Well, not out of nowhere. For months there were infrequent reports that the Bengals were talking. Geno Atkins was listening. Pat Dye, his agent, made an appearance sometimes, usually to deny that there was talkin' going on.
It was a calm September morning. A Monday. The morning was rich with the scent of coffee boiling from across the sleep-laden city with a humid fog marking another unbearable Cincinnati afternoon. Sipping on my steaming cup with a heavy French Vanilla flavor, Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets that the Bengals and Atkins have agreed to a five-year extension.
There went my monitor.
Soon after, the numbers trickled in but that was a secondary story. The greater story is that a culture in Cincinnati has changed. Not only were the Bengals drafting quality players, they were keeping them... and they WANTED to stay.
The reaction was nothing that I've ever seen at CJ. A unified joy. No Negative Nancies, or someone playing devil's advocate. Hell, everyone recommended everyone's comments. It was a blissful Monday morning that would led to a blissful season for the Cincinnati Bengals. But as our top-ten continues, it wouldn't end exactly as Atkins had liked.