Damn You Cincinnati Bengals.

It started with a headline text-messaged to my phone from The Onion, America's Finest News Source:

Bengals' Uniforms No Longer Look Stupid Now That Team Is Good


I was stunned. Could it be? Not the uniforms not looking stupid. The Bengals' uniforms are totally the gayest in a sports league whose whole premise is not being able to admit you're gay.

Tight end? Wide receiver? I rest my case.

But....the Bengals....could they be.......good? I didn't want to check. I had to check. My world may have been completely upended without my knowledge in the years since I grew up and stopped following sports.

Watching the Bengals every week was one of the last sporting rituals I held onto. For no other reason than they were so goddamn entertaining. It was so cute how they would go out on the field with the real teams and get pummeled, just pummeled, and then pretend like everything was really just fine.

"Well I know we had a rough year, but we do have the first round draft pick, and we're confident Ki-Jana Carter will provide just the spark we need to get back on the winning path"

The Bengals I knew sucked. Totally, completely, thoroughly sucked. They had to be the worst sports franchise of the 90's, and you could make an argument that the Clinton-era Bengals were the worst sports team ever. And everyone knew it, except for the man who owned the Bengals, Mike Brown. He seriously seemed to believe his own bullshit and I seriously think he thought himself a great football man. It was awesome. At the time I was working for a grocery store chain that was slowly going bankrupt. And everyone knew it except for the CEO of the company:

"Well I know we had a rough year, but we're confident that our new 200% produce freshness guarantee will provide just the spark we need to return to profitability"

Ki-Jana Carter tore his anterior cruciate ligament the third time he ever touched a football as a professional, and people soon realized they could turn a profit at our grocery chain by buying produce and then claiming it was not fresh. I grew to feel as if I were actually a Bengal myself, that somehow it was part of the rhythm of nature that if the Bengals ever happened to enter the fourth quarter of a game having scored more points than their opponent, you could rest assured that something like a deflected forward pass off the intended receivers hands and into those of a member of the other team, a fumbled snap from center to quarterback, or a string of penalties would ensure they would not have the lead when the game ended.

They always kept trying though, kinda like the way I kept trying to do the things at work that they told me I would be doing in pharmacy school. The Bengals would mount an impressive drive for awhile and then miss a field goal. I would catch a drug interaction and then the alternative would require a prior authorization. Once or twice a year though, bless their little hearts, the Bengals would manage to score more points than their opponents, just like how once or twice a year I would actually have a chance to provide pharmaceutical-based help to one of my customers. Every once in awhile me and the Cincinnati Bengals would win one. I almost sewed tiger stripes onto my lab coat.

But now.....that metaphor of my life, the Cincinnati Bengals, are in first place in their division. I had to check. They have moved on.

Or maybe things are just looking up for me.....

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Damn You Cincinnati Bengals.
Damn You Cincinnati Bengals.
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5