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Comparing The Bengals and The Terminator

Some Terminator fans, like myself, were waiting for a final victory for John Connor and the Resistance from the upcoming movie. Instead, we'll settle for a reboot in the fifth installment of the saga. The Bengals have been fighting their own Skynet for some years as well, and the two stories can be related.

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If you are not familiar with the Terminator movies, I feel for you. Terminator Genisys is scheduled for a July 1 release, and outside the Sci-Fi fandom that the franchise is relying on, there is not that much hype about it (other than featuring Khaleesi, who goes from nurturing mother of dragons to the mother of John Connor, who is now played by it's sixth actor... Michael Edwards, Edward Furlong, Nick Stahl, Thomas Dekker, Christian Bale and now Jason Clarke).

At this stage we know that the humans won't defeat Skynet, nor will the calculatingly cold (and murderous) Skynet destroy humanity. There's a relateable perspective here; the Bengals entered the offseason claiming an itinerary that will be aggressive, but so far we've seen more melancholy. Fans don't believe Cincinnati can succeed in the playoffs. Some say it's more of the same, which actually holds true for both things, Terminator and the Bengals.

Every story needs an ending, just like how we thought we had one in Star Wars when the emperor dies and the Chosen One brings balance to the Force or like when Harry Potter finally kills Lord Voldemort and marries Ginny Weasley. John Connor is supposed to be bring home the bacon, the leader of the Resistance who sends his own dad back in time (as the writers ignore the obvious paradox) to save his mother so that he can lead the fight against Skynet, the bad ones here.

After unexpectedly leading Cincinnati to the playoffs during his rookie season, you could have imagined Andy Dalton being that guy (we know now what happens next though). And now, we're entering another sequel to a story that lacks any resolution. A movie that intends to reboot the saga (which uses the J.J. Abrams school of rebooting franchises, minus the lens flares hopefully), is mirroring the Bengals, who are, at this point, trying to survive by tweaking the game plan.

As fans, we don't mind a new film (it's better than having to watch The Hunger Games or supporting the Raiders... which might be mutually exclusive), and Cincinnati wouldn't mind another winning season. Everyone will cheer for a healthy Geno Atkins, an offense featuring Jeremy Hill, A.J. Green and the Bengals' notable offensive line; plus there's the compensatory pick Michael Johnson brought inside his suitcase.

This team is good, filled with very talented players at every position and a lot of time together under their belts. But as our own Josh Kirkendall pointed out less than a month ago, the Bengals "waived the green flag in February about offseason aggressiveness and reignited the fanbase". We were then left trying to figure out the moves: a lot of incoming key players hitting the market in '16 and the need for cap relief in advance of their deals.

And it makes sense.

It honestly does.

But, the fanbase was hoping for the decisive decisions in the story where positive progress overwhelmingly conquered negative repetitiveness. The thing is, we want that playoff win, badly, I would add. And it seems that Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis are happy with the status quo, simply rewriting the same plot points about a cybernetic organism with a "hyperalloy combat chassis - micro processor-controlled, fully armored. Very tough. But outside, it's living human tissue - flesh, skin, hair, blood, grown for the cyborgs" expediting Judgement Day and never getting out of their comfort zone.

Many feel the Bengals' best chance was two years ago, when they had one of the best and deepest rosters in the NFL, had beaten many championship-caliber teams and were facing the Chargers at home. My point is: I like that they brought quarterback Josh Johnson and guard Clint Boling back and was delighted to see Pat Sims back in a Bengals' uniform. I also don't mind the A.J. Hawk signing, but I don't see the hunger to end this repetitive storyline and I don't think Brandon Tate does either. But let's enjoy another Greatest Hits album with a couple of extra songs coming via the draft.