Even though the Wild Card game versus the Raiders went down to essentially the very last play of the contest, some folks knew the Bengals were going to end up on the right side of fate after their first offensive drive.
Las Vegas received the opening kickoff and promptly moved the ball into field goal range. Daniel Carlson predictably gave the Raiders a 3-0 lead, but Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati offense responded with a touchdown of their own to start the game.
On a third-and-goal, Burrow threw a dart to C.J. Uzomah in an extremely tight window for the touchdown. The veteran tight end celebrated with a combination dance of “The Griddy”, as well as “The Ickey Shuffle”, as an homage to one of the fan base’s favorite players in former running back, Ickey Woods.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Woods this week on The Orange and Black Insider. It’s been a whirlwind past few days, as Woods was “The Ruler of the Jungle” at Paul Brown Stadium, while witnessing the subsequent breaking of the 31-year curse.
Woods enjoyed Uzomah’s celebration, for a number of reasons.
“He (Uzomah) did a great rendition and I thanked him afterward for honoring me,” Woods told us. “Just to do my dance and throw the Griddy in there, it was masterful, man. It got the crowd pumped up and got everybody rockin’ and rollin’. I was so happy these guys thought enough of me to do my dance and get everyone riled up and ready to go.”
C.J. UZOMAH with the first score!— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) January 15, 2022
A bettor put $100 on Uzomah to have the first score.
Payout: $1,600 pic.twitter.com/KwY9M0u892
The Griddy is a viral dance, thanks to Ja’Marr Chase using it after his touchdowns and the rookie’s insanely productive season. It started with the big touchdown in Week 1 over the Vikings and occurred 12 more times from there.
And, longtime Bengals fans are intimately familiar with “The Ickey Shuffle”, as the star running back created a craze with it back in the team’s 1988 Super Bowl run. In terms of popularity, it was right up there with the 1985 Chicago Bears’ “Super Bowl Shuffle” during the 1980s.
When asked if he could do the Griddy back in his playing days (maybe even today?), Woods didn’t hesitate. “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said confidently.
Some other highlights from our chat with Ickey:
- He recounted the conversation and steps made by the organization to nominate him as the Wild Card game’s “Ruler of the Jungle”.
- Woods actually didn’t have the Bengals anywhere near the postseason in his preseason projections.
- In terms of leadership, Woods sees a lot of his former quarterback, Boomer Esiason, in Burrow.
- He and his family are turning the tragedy of losing his son, Jovante, into an opportunity to help many others.
- Oh, and officially, honey-baked ham is Woods’ favorite cold cut.
We also had a number of topics before and after our conversation with Ickey Woods. Some of the other points on this week’s show:
- Though we had two different vantage points from two very different venues, John and I reminisced about an unforgettable Saturday.
- Our Stats of the Week show just how much chemistry Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have right now and at what incredibly high levels in which they are performing.
- Cincinnati’s explosive offense provides a nice counter-attack to the Titans’ preference to “ground-and-pound”.
- Can the right side of the line hold up against the solid Tennessee front?
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