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The Nati Notes: Preseason week 1

The wrong paint at the Hall of Fame game, slinging the ball in Cleveland, walking to work and failed drug tests all make up this week’s Nati Notes as the first preseason game approaches on Friday.

Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ballpark separated by The Banks Project

Week 1 of the preseason is upon us. Every Tuesday I will grab a handful of items I have thoughts on and share them with you here. Most of what I share will have loose ties with the Bengals and sometimes, my thoughts may not jive with your own. I love having discussions though so hit me on Twitter (@WhoDeyFans) or leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hall of Fame non-game

NFL: Pro Football Hall of Fame Game-Green Bay Packers vs Indianapolis Colts
Paint problems
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

I am sure you have not noticed, but I have taken a little hiatus from voicing my thoughts on the Bengals in any medium since the Bengals playoff loss to the Steelers. My last post was a reasoning about how the game changed me as a fan (you can still find it here). The offseason was nice, I casually peeked in on what the Bengals were doing, but as the summer has continued, I’ve jumped back out and paid more attention to the goings on of my favorite football team. Then, as I prepared to get my mind right with the first pre-season game of the 2016 NFL season, the most popular sport in the country again showed that there are some bad decisions at the top.

Canceling the Hall of Fame game was probably the right thing to do. Last year in the same game we watched as Pittsburgh kicker Shaun Suisham teared up his knee on poor field conditions in the Hall of Fame game and ultimately resulted in the conclusion of his NFL career. So player safety was a concern and addressed appropriately. Where the fault lies is in the NFL not alerting fans that the game was not going to happen. Long after the decision was made, fans were still being led to believe the game may be played. They filed into the stadium and of course hit the concession stands. Five dollar waters, $10 beers and many other overly priced items were being purchased by fans thinking they were going to see a game that was ultimately not going to take place. Once again, greed wins and the fan is treated as the commodity instead of the guest.

Browns starting QB

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Training Camp
The next failed QB in Cleveland?
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

For many Cleveland fans, the fact that the Cavs were able to overcome and win a championship means that their curse is over. Even the most famous jersey in Cleveland that listed the numerous names of terrible quarterbacks has been retired. (Though, it still lives on in Photoshop fame.) I think this jersey retirement may have come a bit too soon. The Browns have announced that they are hitching their wagon to none other than Robert Griffin III.

To be fair, Griffin is probably the most talented thrower on the Browns’ roster and that in its own right is sad. The hopes of the team seem to lie with an often injured quarterback. What should ultimately be good for the Bengals, could be just another notch in the belt for a Cleveland franchise that seems to take two steps back with every step forward. Griffin struggled with a former Bengals offensive coordinator turned head coach and I doubt the script will be different this time around.

Upcoming opponent

Moritz Bohringer pro day

As the Bengals face the Vikings this Friday night, one player I want Bengals fans to pay attention to is Moritz Bohringer. His name will most likely be listed with the wide receivers and more than likely his only path to making the roster would be as a contributor on special teams. So why would we want to take an interest in a guy that has a steep hill to climb to just make an NFL roster. Well, there are a couple reasons. First, Bohringer only started playing football in 2013. It is pretty incredible to be able to play at the level to even be considered for an NFL spot after playing for less than three years. Second, he is the first player in history to ever be drafted by an NFL team directly from Europe. He was selected in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL draft.

The most interesting point that I read about Bohringer is that he does not own a car. We remember fondly when the Bengals were featured on HBO's Hard Knocks as Giovani Bernard borrowed a mini-van to make it to camp. Bohringer one ups this as he prefers to walk to work like thousands do in Europe. His simple reason for this is because he wants to save money. That’s kind of refreshing considering the amount of cash that is simply wasted by others on the field every Sunday.

Le'Veon Bell should be ready to go

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Healthy but still out
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Apparently Le'Veon Bell is healthy. All of you should remember the viscous way that Vontaze Burfict attacked Bell when he was simply trying to save kids from a burning schoolhouse (or so the popular Steelers’ point of view would have you believe). According to Bell, his knee is fine and he is ready to go week one.

...Except for the fact that he is facing a four game suspension for yet another violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Sure, there is the appeal and probably a very good reason he failed to take multiple drug tests that would have proven that he is on the straight and narrow, but that is merely speculation. The fact remains that it doesn't matter how many yards, touchdowns or jerseys he sells, this guy has a problem. As much as the NFL-loving world wants to paint Vontaze Burfict dirty, the same brush paints this guy as a druggie. I will always remember his famous line from his DUI arrest: "I didn't know you could get a DUI for being high."

Pure class in that guy.