Thursday, December 31, 2009
Here at INSIC, we decided we wanted to somehow commemorate the decade that was. Naturally, we wanted to do something huge, so we decided to put together the Bengals top five playoff games of the decade. Eight seconds after the idea left our mouths, our crack research team realized the list would be limited to one game and that people would only get sad reading about it.
Regardless, we're going to move forward with our list, so please enjoy or at the very least, do not cry.
Without further adieu, here are the Bengals top 5 playoff games of the decade which is in fact only one playoff game.
January 8, 2006, Cincinnati
The Steelers cheated. Carson Palmer tore his ACL and the Bengals lost. Hopefully next decade is better.
Result: Steelers 31, Bengals 16
In case you haven't heard, the Jets are giving their fans a big fat middle finger on Sunday. No alcohol is being served. This would be like your fiance telling you two days before the wedding that instead of the free open bar and Jack Daniels keg you had planned, your serving nothing but cheap tonic water and apple juice.
Now the Jets have plenty of good reasons to not serve: it's a night game, it's the final game at the Meadowlands and drunk or not drunk, Jets fans are stupid. But seriously, the team has a playoff berth on the line, someone needs to at least give out free shots when the Jets score.
Alright, enough talk about alcohol, lets get to the top 3 games in series history.
Fact to impress drunk people: During the 1980's, the Bengals only lost one non-Super Bowl playoff game. Who was it too? You guessed it, the Jets. In the 1982 NFL Tournament (it wasn't technically the playoffs, thanks to the '82 strike, the NFL tweaked the playoffs so that 16 of the leagues 28 teams qualified for the 'tournament'), the Jets pummeled the Bengals 44-17 in the first round.
All-Time Series: Jets lead 13-7, Jets lead 1-0 in the postseason
Lets get to the countdown:
3. October 12, 2008, at New York
So you're probably thinking right now, "how can any game from 2008 be on a top 3 list for anything (except for maybe the top 3 reasons I wanted to castrate myself in 2008)?" Excellent question. By this point in the season, Ryan Fitzpatrick was the Bengals quarterback and even though it was only week 6, all of Cincinnati had given up on the team. However, this game is here for one reason: the Bengals injured Brett Favre. Everyone hates Favre and everyone loves when he fails. In this game, Favre was on the ground more than a drunk David Hasselhoff. Favre would later admit that this Bengals game started his eventual downfall in 2008. Sure the Bengals went 4-11-1 and fielded one of the worst offensive teams in franchise history, but they did set the stage for Favre's late season meltdown in 2008.
Result: Jets 26, Bengals 14
2. September 9, 1990, Cincinnati
In the Bengals season opener of 1990, the home team found themselves trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter. During the lost decade of the 1990's, a 10-point deficit might as well have been 100. However, the nucleus from the Super Bowl XXIII team was still playing which wasn't good news for Jets fans. Boomer Esiason threw a fourth quarter touchdown pass to James Brooks, David 'the Rock before the Rock was the Rock' Fulcher recorded a safety and Jim Breech kicked two field goals (44, 37) (yes this all happened in the fourth quarter) as the Bengals mounted a furious rally for the win. The 1990 team would be the last Bengals playoff team until 2005.
Result: Bengals 25, Jets 20
3. December 21, 1986, Cincinnati
Dear LaMarr Woodley, please read this game summary before you open up your big stupid Steelers player mouth. In case you didn't hear (or you're to lazy to click on the link), Woodley thinks the Patriots and Bengals are going to give up this weekend, so the Steelers don't make the playoffs. The Steelers lost to the Chiefs, Browns and Raiders, no one is afraid of them, they are horrible this season.
Now that being said, lets set the stage for this 1986 game, which is eerily similar to Sunday night's game. It's the final week of the '86 season. Win or lose, the Jets, at 10-5, are in the playoffs. However, the Bengals, at 9-5, needed some help. Who do they need it from? Wait for it... The STEELERS. A Bengal playoff berth is simple, Cincinnati beats the Jets, Pittsburgh beats Kansas City and the Bengals are in.
Can you guess what happened? The Bengals play the role of the LAPD and beat the Jets down like Rodney King. The Blonde Bomber, Boomer Esiason, throws for 425 yards and five touchdowns. Now all the Bengals need is a Steelers win. Pittsburgh was down 24-6 at halftime.
It's called karma Steelers fans and I hope it anally assaults you and leaves you with four incurable diseases after Sunday.
Result: Bengals 52, Jets 21
Result: Chiefs 24, Steelers 19
INSIC Prediction for Sunday: The Bengals could play their fifth string starters and be coached by a fourth grade choir instructor and not get blown out. The Jets offense is terrible and our defense will come to play. There is no way this game will be a blowout. Jets 24-20 over the J.T. O'Sullivan's. However, if Carson plays the whole game, we change our prediction to 24-17 Bengals.
What's more exciting then Megan Fox and three naked supermodels in your bedroom? How about a Bengals playoff berth.
As everyone in the world knows by now, the Bengals officially clinched their way in to the postseason with last Sunday's win over Kansas City. Well, we were there and just like we did for Baltimore and Minnesota, we're providing a game day diary.
Think of Sunday's game as a bachelor party, only instead of staring at strippers the whole time, everyone watched Kevin Huber punt the ball... a lot.
Now before we get to the diary, here's this week's cast of characters: Me, my girlfriend, my pregnant sister, my homeless brother (who's not actually homeless), my brother-in-law, my brother's friends and some kid who was walking with a cane.
10:44 a.m.: First, let me throw out some advice: if you don't have a pregnant sister, get one. My sister is like 12 months pregnant and this is good for two reasons: First, a new niece or nephew will pop out in the next week which means another baby for me to teach cuss words too. Second, she can't drink. Automatic designated driver. It's like having a chauffeur, only instead of a chauffeur it's your pregnant sister. What's that you say? You don't have a sister. Easily solved, you can knock up any girl, and for nine months they will be the best DD ever. However, keep in mind that after those nine months are over, an actual baby will be born. So if having a DD for nine months is not an even trade off for a baby, don't do it. Also, if you're a Steelers fan reading this, please do not impregnate anyone either. The last thing this country needs is little two-year-old terrible towel tykes running around as their parents take hits of meth off of an old Captain Crunch box.
11:12 a.m.: My brother-in-law and I pick up our tickets at the Hyatt. Why were they at the Hyatt? I don't ask questions, my brother-in-law is like Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in True Lies, I know he could kill me in four seconds if he wanted too, so I always keep my mouth shut.
11:31 a.m.: As we're heading to our tailgating spot, my homeless brother (who's not actually homeless) says we have to wait for his friends. Fifteen minutes later his friends show up. His friends consist of a girl, a 12-year-old, a normal guy and a kid walking around with a cane who I decided to call Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim couldn't walk more than four feet without sounding like he was going to die, so we decided to tailgate in the nearest parking lot. Actually to be more accurate, we tailgated next to a port-o-let. (My homeless brother (who's not actually homeless) is pictured here next to our tailgating port-o-let).
11:32 a.m.-12:48 p.m.: Tailgating next to a port-o-let may be the most underrated thing I've ever done in my life. First of all, girls pee all of the time, if you don't believe me, tailgate next to a port-o-let sometime. It's the perfect place to hit on a girl. Just ask my brother. He told us about the time when his friend made out with a 15-year-old girl while in line for the port-o-let. I don't think you can get arrested for that, but just to be safe, I don't recommend making out with 15-year-old girls next to port-o-lets. Even though I don't recommend it, the make out session does prove how awesome port-o-let tailgating is. If you can get over the egg, bacon, breakfast poop odor that comes out of the port-o-let, then tailgating next to a portable toilet will be perfect for you.
12:59 p.m.: On the video board, the Bengals have a pregame tribute to Chris Henry.
1:01 p.m.-1:45 p.m.: The guy in front of me is wearing a Kevin Huber jersey, which is ironic because Huber gets more touches in the first quarter than anyone on the team not named Cedric Benson. Huber jersey guy is ecstatic that the Bengals are going three-and-out. Every time Huber punts, Huber jersey guy is high fiving me like we just scored three touchdowns on one play. I wish I had a picture but I don't (although below is a picture of the Bengals in punt formation). Oh, one more thing here, if there is one rule of being at an NFL game it's this: if a dude in a punter's jersey wants a high-five, you give it too them. Those bastards are crazy, how do I know? Because you have to be crazy or stupid to wear a punter's jersey. Think about it, you're spending $100 on a jersey for a guy that only plays maybe 10 plays a game. He never scores and no one on the team likes him.
2:11-2:20 p.m.: Just when the game was getting more boring than a PBS documentary on naked mole rats, all hell breaks loose. Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt watches a punt snap sail about 10 yards over his head. Colquitt then decides he's playing soccer and he kicks the ball out of bounds. When the ball is on the ground and it gets kicked, this is known as illegal touching. If you watch football for a decade, you might see this called 12 times total. But if you were at PBS Sunday, you saw it twice in one minute.
After Colquitt's soccer kick, the Bengals took over on the Chief's six-yard line. As the offense heads onto the field, I lean over to my girlfriend and say, "I'll bet you a hot chocolate, your heavy coat and a case of KY Jelly that we only get a field goal out of this." My gf decides this is a good bet.
And then what happens, OCHO SCORES. Wait, nope, more illegal touching. What my brother's friend did to that 15-year-old in the port-o-let line is illegal touching. Apparently so is running out of bounds and being the first one to to touch the ball. Anyway, we all know what happens, Bengals kick a field goal and I win the bet. If anyone needs KY Jelly, let me know, I have a whole case of it.
2:56 p.m.: During halftime, I stared at the cheerleaders trying to figure out which one was accused of having an STD. I'm still trying to figure it out. Anyway, I was still thinking about it in the third quarter when I was interrupted by something so shocking that I almost spilled hot chocolate on the guy wearing Huber's jersey: a Bengals touchdown. Carson to Coles.
3:20 p.m.: Just when me and Huber jersey guy were ready to give Huber the MVP award for the season, Huber goes and let's his punt get blocked by the Chiefs. Then, to make matters worse, some Kansas City running back catches a touchdown pass even though the 13 Bengals hit him simultaneously in the end zone. How the guy held on to the ball, I will never know, he probably should have been given 11 points for his catch, six doesn't seem like enough. Either way, the game is tied at 10.
3:40-3:52 p.m.: No matter how bad the Bengals offense has been all day, here is one thing I know for sure: if there is under nine minutes left and they have to drive 98 yards for a score, it's going to happen. Going into the fourth quarter, Carson Palmer had about 12 yards passing. Then 'fourth quarter' Carson showed up. I love 'fourth quarter' Carson. He never makes a mistake and we always win (Except when Andre Caldwell fumbles the ball that is).
Of course, 'fourth quarter' Carson comes through with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Ochocinco. Game, set, match.
4:00 p.m.: God sends snow and everyone stays in the stadium to celebrate the division title. This makes sense because with the Bengals you never know when the next one will be, it could be two years it could be 20, it could be 4,000.
4:04 p.m.: Sidebar to pregnant sister advice above: pregnant sisters walk slow, very slow. Walking out of the stadium with a pregnant sister is the same as Jeff Gordon driving a 1989 Plymouth Sundance at the Daytona 500. It's a horrible idea.
That's it for this year's day long diaries. INSIC will be at the Super Bowl if the Bengals manage to make it, but otherwise we'll be watching the playoffs from home.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
This is going to be the weirdest Bengals game of all time. Hands down, you can not argue that. It's going to be a weird game for the fans, a weird game for the cheerleaders and a weird game for the water boy.
Are the Bengals going to come out in a post-Chris Henry funk and lay a big fat ostrich egg (no one would blame them if they did) or are they going to come out and put up 59 points in the first quarter?
If you're a Chargers fan, can you even talk trash to Bengals fans? Would you? If any San Diego fan says a negative thing about Henry (like life has a way of taking out its own trash, which by the way is one of the lower things we've heard here), would a police officer even arrest the Bengals fan for retaliating with a right handed uppercut to the Chargers fan's face.
A lot of questions will be answered in the next 24 hours. So many that INSIC founder John Breech made his whole family go out to San Diego to A. judge the mood of the team and B. be as far away as possible during the holidays. Hopefully they'll offer some sort of recap come Monday.
Anyway, lets do our thing and look at the top 3 games in series history.
Fact to impress drunk people with: Exactly 27 years to the day, the Bengals are back in San Diego. The last time the Bengals played a December 20 game in sunny Southern California, it was Monday night and the two teams gave the nation a fireworks show. For the first and only time in NFL history, both quarterbacks passed for over 400 yards. Ken Anderson finished with 416 while the Chargers Dan Fouts ended up with 435. This game isn't in INSIC's top 3 though because we're Bengals fans here and Cincinnati lost the game 50-34.
All-Time Series: Chargers lead 18-10* Bengals lead 1-0 in the postseason
* = will be 18-11 Bengals Following Sunday's game
Lets get to the countdown:
3. November 12, 2006, Cincinnati
In case you haven't noticed, the 2006 season was pretty much an AIDS epidemic for Bengals fans. We all experienced it and we're going to feel the effects forever. Think about it, there was the Christmas Eve game against the Broncos (six words: Brad St. Louis, botched extra point snap). If you didn't swallow 16 pints of cyanide laced apple juice after that game, then you were alive the next week when the Steelers ended the Bengals playoff hopes in overtime on New Year's eve. Hey, can I borrow your shot gun please.
Here's what you may not know, the official 'Bengal fan suicide watch' actually began with this game. The Bengals had a 28-7 lead at half time. This would be like giving Usain Bolt a 20 meter head start in a 100 meter race, no chance at losing.
But this is the Bengals and there is always a burn inside each and every fan that doesn't go away until the clock hits 0:00. In this game, the burn, like an incurable STD, didn't go away. Before the third quarter was over the Chargers cut the lead to 31-28. But the Bengals didn't roll over and die. On their next possession Palmer hit Ocho with a 74-yard bomb that gave the Bengals a 38-28 lead. For the love of Boomer Esiason, all the Bengals had to do was get a few first downs and start running out the clock.
But they didn't. Now, we are not going to rehash the final 10 minutes of this game because we will go into seizures and probably have a conniption fit. But let's just say the Bengals didn't win.
Result: San Diego 49, Cincinnati 41
2. September 22, 1985, Cincinnati
The Bengals-Chargers series is like sending two porn stars on a blind date, you know everyone is going to score and they're going to score a lot.
Boomer Esiason went balls out in this game and threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns. The only problem, Dan Fouts one upped Esiason every step of the way throwing for 344 yards and four touchdowns. When Larry Kinnebrew scored from 8-yards out to give the Bengals a 41-34 fourth quarter lead, it looked like Cincinnati just might hold on. Well, it looked like that for all of one minute and 34 seconds because that's how long it took San Diego to respond as Fouts hit wide receiver Lionel James for a 60-yard TD pass. The 1985 Bengals were the 2006 Bengals before the 2006 Bengals were the 2006 Bengals. So think AIDS epidemic and then guess who won this game...
The Chargers did... on a 34-yard Bob Thomas field goal.
Result: San Diego 44, Cincinnati 41
January 10, 1982, Cincinnati, AFC Championship "The Freezer Bowl"
Imagine your a Chargers player and you just spent all season in sunny tropical weather. Then you get off the plane for the AFC Championship game in Cincinnati. The weather in the Queen City? A balmy -9 degrees. If you want to factor in the windchill, lets call it -57. Yes people, you read that right: fifty-seven degrees below zero. This game should not have been called the freezer bowl, why? Because a freezer is not this cold. A freezer is about 25 degrees. This game was 72 degrees COLDER than a freezer. From now on we will be referring to this game as the "72 degrees COLDER than a freezer bowl."
Anyway, as you can probably imagine, the Chargers never had a chance. The Bengals O-line wore short sleeves. It was 17-0 before San Diego finally figured out that it wasn't going to get any warmer and if ESPN classic is to be believed, ticket takers got so cold they just gave up taking tickets midway through the first quarter and let anyone in. This was the AFC Championship, could you imagine that happening today.
Anyway, Jim Breech kicked two field goals (31, 38) and the Bengals got touchdowns from M.L. Harris, Pete Johnson and Don Bass. The Chargers fumbled the ball four times and for the most of the day, they looked more lost than an illiterate person eating alphabet soup.
Result: Cincinnati 27, San Diego 7
Bengals advance to Super Bowl XVI
Thursday, December 17, 2009
When Cincinnati Bengals fans turned on their television sets today, many of them probably had a reaction to Chris Henry's death that they didn't expect: tears.
For the past four years, the city of Cincinnati has lived through the highs and lows of Chris Henry's life. Henry had trouble adjusting to life as an NFL superstar and the conservative Queen City had trouble adjusting to Chris Henry.
After several transgressions, the city wanted Henry out of town, everyone except for one man that is.
In August 2008, Mike Brown decided to give Chris Henry one more chance, even after five arrests. Fans chastised the team owner at the time for the decision. In Cincinnati, the Bengals owner is more misunderstood than an impossible math problem. The fans, for their part, couldn't understand Brown's decision to keep Henry. But now we can. Brown had a soft spot for Henry. A soft spot that we all share now.
Mike Brown doesn't reveal soft spots publicly, but Thursday's tragedy forced him too. After watching Brown on television for 15 minutes today, we may not understand him anymore than we did, but we do understand that he is a human being who connected with another human being.
For the past 15 months, the city watched Henry stay out of trouble. For five Hard Knocks episodes we learned why Brown, Marvin Lewis and his Bengals teammates were always behind him: he was a likable guy. And the city found that out. Cincinnati is a forgiving city and the city forgave Chris Henry.
Just like most of their superstars, Cincinnatians don't know Chris Henry, but at the same time they do. Because of that impossible to explain relationship, between city and superstar, every member of Who-Dey nation is hurting today.
That's why INSIC wants to remember Henry in our way, by highlighting the big games where number 15 put a big smile on your orange and black painted face.
Games are in chronological order
The Coming Out Party (10/09/05 at Jacksonville): It was Sunday night football for the Bengals and rookie Chris Henry showed a national television audience just how much talent he had. The former West Virginia Mountaineer caught three balls for 85 yards. Henry's final catch of the night was a 25-yard fourth quarter touchdown pass from Carson Palmer that cut the Jaguar lead to 23-20. Henry also had a 47-yard catch in the game.
Cincinnati would lose the game, but Bengals fans and players alike knew that they had a lethal weapon on their hands.
The Playoff Game (01/08/06 vs. Pittsburgh): After a 15-year absence from the NFL playoffs, Bengals fans were clamoring for a win when the hated Steelers came to town for a Wild Card game. This wasn't a necessarily a big game for Chris, but for Bengals fans across the country, this is his stand out moment. The one he'll always be remembered for. On the first play from scrimmage, a play 15-years in the postseason making for Bengals fans, Carson Palmer unloaded a 66-yard bomb down field to his rookie wide receiver. Henry, like he had done all season, hauled in the long ball and the stadium went crazy. That is, until everyone looked back and saw Palmer on the ground. To this day, Bengals point to this Henry-to-Palmer play and ask, "What if?"
Tearing Up the Steel Curtain (09/24/06 at Pittsburgh): In the second quarter of this bitter rivalry game, Chris Henry gave the Steeler defense a third Bengal receiver to worry about. As the Steelers keyed in on T.J. Houshmanzadeh and Chad Johnson, Carson Palmer found a new favorite toy. Palmer hit Henry with two second quarter touchdown passes. The first one, from 16-yards out, tied the game at seven. The second one gave the Bengals a 14-7 lead. Cincinnati would need each and every score that Henry provided as the Bengals would only hold on to win 28-20. Henry finished the game with five catches for 69 yards and the two touchdowns.
New Year's Eve (12/31/06 vs. Pittsburgh): With the Bengals fighting for their playoff lives in the 2006 season finale, Chris Henry came to play. Once again the Steeler defense keyed in on the Bengals two biggest playmakers, Housh and Chad. And once again, Henry exploited it. This time to the tune of 124 yards. The biggest play of the day for Henry was a 66-yard touchdown pass from Palmer that gave the Bengals a 10-7 fourth quarter lead. Unfortunately for Henry and Bengals fans, the 124-yard, 4-catch effort would be in vain as Pittsburgh would win 23-20 in overtime.
Henry's Importance to the Offense (10/11/09 at Baltimore): For the past six weeks, Bengals fans have been wondering where the offense has gone. This October game against Baltimore proves all you need to know about Henry: he was vital to the team's air attack. In a game where he didn't score, Henry hauled in three catches for 92 yards. More importantly, it was Palmer's biggest passing day of the year and it's probably not a coincidence that Henry's 92-yards were also his most on the year.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
6:36 a.m.: Chris Henry passes away. The 26-year-old leaves behind the three children in the picture above.
Statement from Chris Henry's agent Andy Simms released late Wednesday evening: "We ask everyone to pray for Chris," agent Andy Simms of PlayersRep Sports said in a statement. "We also ask that you respect the privacy of Chris' family. Chris is indeed battling for his life tonight, and our thoughts and prayers [are] with him during this extremely difficult time."
7:07 p.m. FOXsports.com's Alex Marvez is reporting that Chris Henry is on life support and that the situation is 'DIRE.'
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy confirmed this at 7:26 p.m.
We're not big on breaking news here, but since every Bengals fan in the country will be trying to hunt down some information over the next hour or so, we'll get it all together for you.
Approx.: 5:15 p.m.: Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals writer Joe Reedy announces on his twitter that Henry has been in an accident and that the injuries are serious.
(Pictured below is the truck believed to be the one Chris Henry fell out of)
Reedy's tweet: Chris Henry involved in an accident in Charlotte. Injuries are believed to be very serious #bengals
We now know that the accident happened just before noon.
At 5:56 p.m., WCNC, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte was the first to confirm Reedy's story with this post:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officials confirm that Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry was injured in a car wreck Wednesday afternoon in Charlotte. Police wouldn't describe the extent of his injuries.
WCNC also announced on television that Henry's injury appears to be a serious head injury.
At 5:54 p.m., TMZ.com made this report:
Chris Henry -- a wide receiver on the Cincinnati Bengals -- is fighting for his life after falling out of the back of a moving pick-up truck earlier today.
Police tell TMZ Henry had been involved in a "domestic situation" with his fiancee in North Carolina, when she tried to leave her home in a pick-up truck. Cops say that's when Chris ran after the truck and hopped into the bed.
Cops say the domestic dispute continued in the back of the truck until, "Mr. Henry came out of the back of the vehicle."
We're told when cops arrived to the scene, Henry was still in the middle of the road, and suffering from "life threatening injuries."
More details from The Charlotte Observer:
Officers were called to Oakdale Road near I-485 just before noon in reference to a person down. When officers arrived, they found Henry in the road, with life-threatening injuries.
Paramedics transported Henry to Carolinas Medical Center, where he is being treated, according to police.
Police say Henry was involved in a "domestic situation" with his fiancee at 840 Peachtree Road. His fiancee, who police haven't named, got into a pickup truck and drove away from the home. As she was driving, police say, Henry jumped into the bed of the truck.
The domestic dispute continued between the woman and Henry. At some point, Henry "came out" of the back of the vehicle. Police refused to elaborate on whether Henry fell or might have been forced out of the truck. No charges have been filed in the case.
His agent told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he was in Charlotte to make wedding plans with his fiancee.Channel 9 in Cincinnati is reporting that homicide police are on the scene. The only thing you should read into that is that Henry's injuries are very serious.
(Henry and his girlfriend Loleini Tonga are pictured below)
TMZ is now reporting:
Just hours before the fateful crash, Chris Henry's fiancee Loleini Tonga (pictured) was bragging about how excited she was about her upcoming wedding to the NFL star.
Tonga had gone to her MySpace page, writing about how she just "put deposIt down 4 weDDing piCs... Paid 4 ouR riNgs."
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Bengals-Vikings: Sunday's Official Fan Diary And Possibly Boringest Game Ever Played Between Two Teams With Nine or More Wins
There's nothing like going all the way to Minnesota only to see your team get treated like a four-dollar hooker. Such was the plight of Bengals fans this weekend.
Back in October (you know, back when the Bengals were good), INSIC went to the Baltimore game and produced this diary. This time, we were in Minnesota for what we thought would be a weekend of Ochocinco awesomeness. Nope. As it turned out, the Bengals play was 10 times crappier than the weather (which was 4 degrees by the way). How crappy was it? The beer guy in our row made made at least three better passes on the day than Carson Palmer did.
Anyway I'll stop boring you now, the Bengals offense did enough of that on Sunday, lets get to the diary. This week's cast of characters came from all over: Nate (Chicago), Brad (Charlotte), Justin (New York), Melissa (Atlanta) and me.
First, let me start out by saying this: America needs a Central Time Zone like I need a tape worm. I hope the person who came up with Central Time is in the hottest part of hell. It's the worst time zone by far. Who the hell kicks off an NFL football game at noon? I'll tell you who, the dumb asses in the central time zone. Yes, the Bengals-Vikings game started at noon local time. And yes, the diary is written with Central time in mind.
5:47 p.m. (Saturday): I'm still at the airport and I get a text message from Nate, now I'm not sure why, but he is at a mall. I thought the only person that would want to be at a mall on this trip was my girlfriend, which would make sense because she's a girl. Nope, I am wrong, Nate wanted to be at the mall also.
While at the mall, Nate spots three Bengals: Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and Andre Caldwell. Apparently the team's pre-game party is at Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Chuck E. Cheese must have been booked. Nate slept at Leon Hall's house once (it's a long story), so he starts a conversation. I don't want to spoil it for Leon's wife, but it sounds like she's getting a sweet Christmas present.
5:51 p.m.: Melissa and I are trying to catch the train that goes from the airport to our hotel. And I emphasize the word 'trying.' We miss the first train because Melissa decides throwing snowballs at me is more fun than riding on a train. We miss the second train because Melissa left her purse somewhere and I had to go back and get it, because apparently her purse is my responsibility. Justin, who is suppose to meet us at another train station, sends about eight texts saying, "uh, are you guys dead?" Uh, yes Justin, a part of my soul died every time Melissa hit me with a snow ball.
6:45 p.m.: Arrival at the hotel. This wouldn't be a story except that it so happens we were staying at the Vikings' team hotel. There were about 200 Vikings fans standing in the lobby and 198 of them had on a Brett Favre jersey. Dear Minnesota, just wait until January, Favre is going to bend you over and F-you like he's Tiger Woods and you're one of his sexual liaisons. By the way, we also had a ten minute argument about what name Brett Favre checks into the hotel under, Nate guessed Aaron Rodgers, we all agreed that Nate won the argument.
8:17 p.m.: Justin invents a game called "Pick a Heisman Candidate Out of the Hat." The rules to the game were simple, we put the five candidates names in a hat and we all picked one out. There were fabulous prizes for the winner. I pick the guy who's name I can't spell or pronounce, he went to Nebraska, he played defense, so I immediately quit. Ironically, Justin would win the game by picking Mark Ingram, nothing pisses me off more then when someone invents a game and then wins it.
Saturday Night: Since this Bengals fan diary is about the Bengals game, I'll sum up Saturday night in three words: Canadians, BMW heiress, 17 degrees below zero. (That's more like 7 words, sorry). Very short sample of conversation between me and BMW girl:
Me to the girl: What was your name again?
Girl: Lets just say my initials are B.M.W, so you probably know what my dad does? And what was your name again?
Me: Uh, no, I don't know what the hell your dad does and my initials are H.I.V., so you can probably guess what I'm going to die of in three years.
9:12 a.m.: We all wake up and have the following vote: tailgate outside in the 2 degree weather or stay in our comfortable hotel room: final tally 3-1 (and one abstention. Seriously, we're not electing a speaker of the house here, why in the name of Fran Tarkenton did anyone abstain?). Tailgating inside wins.
11:36 a.m.: Justin, Nate and Brad jump in a cab, there is no room for me and Melissa. A shady black van with no cab license or money meter pulls up to us "$25 dollars to the Metrodome." If people could be shot in the face for price gouging, the driver of this black van would be dead. The stadium is 1.3 miles from our hotel and the dude wants $25.00. Luckily, our Canadian friends show up and pay the fare. And even more surprising, they paid it in American money. Imagine that, Canadians using American money.
Noon-12:41 p.m.: I wasn't at the Redskins-Raiders game, but I would bet my cat and my flatscreen TV that their first quarter was 29 times more exciting than ours. I didn't chart the Bengals plays in the quarter, but I think they went something like this: run, run, run, punt, run, run, run, punt, run, horrible pass, run, punt, closed my eyes because I couldn't take it anymore. Then, finally God showed Bengals fans some mercy by letting the first quarter clock hit 0:00.
12:41-12:45 p.m.: Melissa can sometimes have the attention span of a 4-year-old child. How boring was the first period for her? We're only one quarter in and she's already plotting ways to kidnap the Bengals fan baby in front of us. I promised her I would not bail her out of jail, she said that was O.K. as long as the baby safely made it back to Atlanta with me.
1:00 p.m.: The Vikings Sidney Rice catches a touchdown pass and then it happens, my ears start bleeding. Not because I was cold, but because Minnesota's fight song started: Skol Vikings. If you have never heard the song, please click the link now before you continue reading. At first I hated it, by the time Minnesota scored their third touchdown, I was singing along.
1:16 p.m.: Finally, the Bengals score and the shut out is over. It's time for the 'Bengal Growl.' Minnesota fans laugh at our song which is ironic because their songs sucks more and is 8 times cheesier. Ochocinco does not do a dance after he scores, do you know why? Because he is somewhat smart. He does not do touchdown dances when the Bengals are not going to win.
1:24-1:27 p.m.: Thanks to a combination of Ryan Longwell, Carson's piss poor performance and a little luck, the Vikings get six points in the final 35 seconds of the half. Remember the Raider's game when Oakland scored 10 points in 24 seconds to win, it has nothing to do with this post, I just wanted to remind you.
2:00 p.m.: Sometime in the third quarter, after Adrian Peterson had scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, it happened. I got so bored that I decided to do a head count of all the Bengals fans in attendance. 567 in case you're wondering. Nate decided Facebook was more exciting than the game. He was right. We then started listing places we hate but that we would rather be at than the Metrodome: Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Bed, Bath and Beyond were all mentioned.
2:20 p.m.: Shayne Graham kicks a 22-yard field goal. Hey Marvin Lewis, here's a novel idea: when you're team is trailing 23-7 and your offense has done nothing all day, GO FOR A TOUCHDOWN WHEN YOU'RE AT THE OPPONENTS FIVE-YARD LINE. On fourth and goal from the five, the Bengals kick the field goal. Great call Coach. I start helping Melissa plot a way to kidnap the Bengals fan baby. Then we debate what's more criminal: the way the Bengals are playing or kidnapping a baby.
2:46 p.m.: The Bengals put in J.T. O'Sullivan. I cry, not because we are losing, but because if J.T. O'Sullivan made it to the NFL, why didn't I?
2:47 p.m.: O'Sullivan completes a pass for nine yards. In my mind this starts a quarterback controversy.
Postgame Summary: On the way home from the game (we walked this time) Melissa decides she wants to buy bubble bath, she disappears, no one knows where she is or why she is buying bubble bath. I head straight to the hotel room. I've seen enough Dateline NBC to know that if your girlfriend disappears in a weird city, you better have an alibi.
Justin, Nate and Brad all see me, I am no longer a suspect. Due to the ungodly low temperature, my phone freezes and will not work. Melissa did not bring her phone to the game because she didn't want to lose it. We put the odds of her not returning at 18 percent. Melissa shows up an hour later: she's alive, without frostbite, has bubble bath and she is only missing one glove.
Justin and Brad have 5:30 p.m. flights, they are smart, they get out the Arctic weather as quickly as possible.
Nate, Melissa and I got to a Minneapolis restaurant: Hell's Kitchen: it turns out to be the only highlight of the trip.
On the way to the airport, we made an impromptu stop at the Mall of America. And in case you're wondering, there is a roller coaster. And kind of like the Metro Dome, it's small, cheap and uncomfortable.
We'll be back in eight years Minnesota, see you in 2017. Or at the Super Bowl, whichever comes first.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Here's the bad news: History says the Bengals are going to lose Sunday. They've been to Minneapolis exactly four times in franchise history. They have lost every time. They have been outscored 115-48. The games are not close.
Now for the good news. Brett Favre has a tendency to go Ryan Leaf on his team in December (if you don't believe us, ask any 2008 N.Y. Jets, actually, you can ask any Vikings player that was in uniform last week). It's December, so the odds of Favre playing a good game are somewhere around 19 percent. Does the good news outweigh the bad news? You'll find out when we make our pick at the bottom of the page.
Fact to Impress Drunk People With: The 1977 game played between the Vikings and Bengals was played OUTDOORS, in Minnesota, in December. If you think this is a bad combination, you're right, the Bengals lost 42-10 in conditions that resembled an Arctic winter. The Vikings outdoor home (Metropolitan Stadium) was replaced by the Metrodome in 1982. The Met (as the old stadium was called) wasn't left for dead though. In 1985, it was torn down so the city of Minneapolis could build a huge mall with a roller coaster in it, you know it as Mall of America.
All-Time Series: Currently tied 5-5*
* = will be 6-5 Bengals Following Sunday's game
Lets get to the countdown:
3. Christmas Day, 1989, at Minnesota
For you young Bengals fans out there, you may not believe it, but there was actually a time when the NFL scheduled your team to play in games that were nationally broadcast.
Not only was this game on Christmas Day, not only was it Monday Night Football, but it was also the FINAL game of the NFL regular season. And at least five teams had their postseason hopes or seeding riding on this game.
The Vikings, who were 9-6 coming into the game, knew a victory would win them the NFC Central, but a loss would leave them out of the wild card. The Bengals, 8-7 going into the game, knew a win would send them to the wildcard and a loss would send them home.
So with their season on the line, what did the Bengals do? In the game's first 25 minutes, they managed to dig themselves into a 19-0 hole. Was this the Bungles? Hell no, this was largely the same Bengals team that had come within 34 seconds of a Super Bowl win the year before.
At halftime, Boomer Esiason did two things: he reminded the team that they were good and he decided to take over the play calling. At least we think he did because in the second half he uncorked his left arm and threw for over 200 yards. A fourth quarter touchdown pass even cut the Viking lead to 22-21. However, a late Minnesota touchdown would seal the game. And because the stupid NFL didn't legalize the 2-point conversion until 1994, the eight-point lead would prove to be insurmountable.
Result: Minnesota 29, Cincinnati 21
2. Christmas Eve, 1995, at Cincinnati
During that era of Bengal suckiness that most experts now refer to as the 90's, there were about four good games played by Cincinnati and this was one of them. With the Bengals trailing 24-3 at halftime in their final game of the season, you could feel the crowd slowly turning into a lynch mob that was going to take their pitch forks to Mike Brown's office.
But then something called two third quarter touchdowns happened and all of the sudden, all the fans that had left at halftime were clamoring to get back into the stadium. When Jeff Blake hit Tony McGee with a 5-yard touchdown fourth quarter touchdown pass that tied the game with only nine seconds left, the crowd went wild.
Bengals kicker Doug Pelfrey then squibbed the ensuing kickoff which Minnesota decided not to field. Improbably, the Bengals recovered the kick at the Viking 34-yard line. The squib recovery set up a 51-yard attempt that Pelfrey nailed for the win. The win came exactly one year after Pelfrey had hit a 54-yard field goal to beat the Eagles.
Result: Cincinnati 27, Minnesota 24
1. Dec. 2, 1973, at Cincinnati
This might be the the biggest non-divisional win in Bengals history. In week 12, the 10-1 Vikings made their way to Riverfront stadium looking almost unstoppable. Then they ran into a Cincinnati buzz saw. The Bengals shocked the NFL by recording the first shut out in franchise history in a resounding fashion. Almost as shocking as the shut out was the fact that Ken Anderson and the Bengal offense put up 20 points on the Purple People Eater defense. (The Bengals also got seven more points from their defense, thanks to Lemar Parrish who returned a second quarter fumble 23-yards for a touchdown.) The 27 points scored by the Bengals would be the most the Vikings surrendered all year.
Ironically, both teams' seasons would end at the hand of the Miami Dolphins. The Bengals fell 34-16 in the first round of the playoffs. The Vikings would fall 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII.
Result: Cincinnati 27, Minnesota 0
INSIC PREDICTION FOR SUNDAY: Cincinnati 27-20
Our prediction is based on a simple mathematical formula:
The Bengals + Being an underdog in a game = Undefeated
Brett Favre + December = Loss for whomever Favre is playing for
Bengals + Division Title on the line + 2000's = Undefeated (1-0)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Bengals-Vikings: The Blog Will be Live From the Metrodome Sunday When the Bengals Beat Down the Vikings
In case you've somehow lost track, the Bengals are currently winning division titles at a rate of 1 every 18 years (which is about how often Tiger Woods is going to get laid if he stays married). That means if you were born after 1991 and you're a Bengals fan, your life has either sucked or you've jumped on the Steelers bandwagon. Let's rephrase that, your life either sucks or you deserve to die.
However, that can all change this week. With a win Sunday over the Vikings, the division title rate could double to a once unfathomable 2 every 18 years. And just think, the spoiled bastards born after 2000 will start believing that division titles are normal. INSIC still hasn't decided if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Anyway, this blog only has two rules: One, if the Bengals are playing for a division title, we go to the game. Two, if they're playing a team with purple as a team color, we go to the game so we can beat the piss out of the all male fans for wearing a girl's color.
What point are we trying to make here? The blog will be live in Minnesota Sunday as the Bengals try to clinch the AFC North title. The last time we covered a game, this draft diary/incoherent ramble was produced.
We expect more of the same come Sunday night.
On a side note, INSIC would like to apologize for not producing a victory video after Sunday's win over Detroit. We felt that making a video after a win over the Lions would be like burning down a homeless shelter. It would be in very poor taste.
Rest assured that the victory video will be back Sunday and keep in mind that there's a good chance it will be filmed from a Minneapolis jail cell.
For old time's sake, here are the prior videos:
Week 1: Loss to Broncos
Week 3: Win over Steelers
Week 4: Win over Browns
Week 5: Win over Ravens
Week 10: Win over Steelers
Week 12: Win over Browns
Coming later this week: Bengals-Vikings top three games ever.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Two hours before today's Big East showdown against Pitt, Cincinnati head football coach Brian Kelly made a stunning announcement: he plans to coach both Notre Dame AND Cincinnati next season.
In a statement released by the school, Kelly had this to say:
"As most of you have noticed, I am bored. Over the last three seasons I have treated the Big East like Michael Jordan would treat a homeless basketball league. I have absolutely dominated. I've racked up a 32-6 record against inferior competition. Because the competition is so poor, I'm only in the coach's office on UC's campus about three hours per day. So last night I did the math: If I only have to spend three hours a day coaching Cincinnati, this means I could put nine hours a day towards coaching Notre Dame (God knows they need it), I could then put three hours towards the Cincinnati-South Bend commute -which I will make in a blackhawk helicopter that Notre Dame will provide- this would then give me three hours to hang out with my family and six hours to sleep."
Later in his 72 page statement, Kelly took a jab at some past Notre Dame coaches.
"People think that there is a problem in South Bend. There is a problem, it's called horrible coaching. I have more coaching talent in my elbow than Tyrone Willingham or Bob Davie had in their whole body. And Charlie Weis, sweet Mary Magdalene, you give me Tom Brady and the Patriot offense and we would score 72 points a quarter, minimum. My infant son could have coached Notre Dame to nine wins this season and Weis only pulled off six."
When Kelly's statement was released at 10 a.m. this morning, many thought it was a joke. However, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick confirmed the hiring in this statement released to the media just before 11:30 a.m.
"We've been turned down by Bob Stoops, Urban Meyer and Gary Patterson, so at this point we're in a desperate situation that only Tiger Woods could possibly understand. We told Coach Kelly we would do whatever it takes to get him and at that point, he made a list of three things he wanted:
1. A blackhawk helicopter
2. For me, Jack Swarbrick, to stop referring to myself in the third person
3. To still be able to coach the Bearcats.
Of course we said Yes, no and of course. Coach Kelly will be taking over on Tuesday December 8. He will coach the Bearcats from 9 a.m.-noon as they prepare for their bowl and then he will fly to South Bend to practice with the Irish from 1:30-10:30 p.m.
Thank you, we'll comment further on this next week."
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The Laker's newest acquisition, Ron Artest, recently told The Sporting News that he used to drink Hennessy at halftime of his games. Here at INSIC, we don't usually waste space on NBA talk, but we felt the need to bring this up for one reason: during Sunday's Bengals game, Hennessy just might be your best friend.
If you're going to watch Sunday's game, we highly suggest that you buy some Hennessy now; buy a lot of it, fill a bath tub with it, hell, connect a Hennessy filled IV to your vain because seriously, it might be the only thing that gets you through three hours of watching the Lions play.
Here at INSIC, when the Bengals are playing a non-division foe, we try to relive the three best games in the series. We had fun putting this thing together each week, until now.
Going through the Lions team history is like cleaning a baby's diaper with your tongue, it's something no human being should ever have to do. Going through the Bengals team history is a little more fun, it's like sleeping with a hot girl, but then you find out 17 years later that she is patient zero for three previously unknown sexually transmitted diseases. The hot girl being of course the Bengals franchise from 1970-1991, the three mystery STD's being the Bengals from 1992-2008. This obviously means that the 2009 team is like the doctors telling you there's a cure for two of the three new mystery ailments.
91 percent of you probably got lost in the above paragraph somewhere (we got lost writing it), let's just get to the fun stuff.
Fact to Impress Drunk People With: Due to our infatuation with Cincinnati Bengals all-time leading scorer Jim Breech (read the fact from this post), we're throwing out another Breech fact. Breech spent 13 years with the Bengals (1980-92) and one with the Raiders (1979), but the former Bengal was actually drafted by the... wait for it... Detroit Lions. That's right, Breech was picked in the eighth round of the 1978 draft. Ironically enough, the first preseason game in Breech's brief Lions career was against... wait for it... the Cincinnati Bengals. The Lions would cut Breech before the regular season. However, Breech would get the last laugh by not having to play for the worst team in the history of football.
Fact 2: Excluding post-1995 expansion teams, the Bengals have only played two teams less than the nine times they've played the Lions. The Bengals have played both the Redskins and Giants eight times.
All-Time Series: Cincinnati Leads 6-3*
* = Will be 7-3 Bengals after Sunday
Lets get to the countdown:
Oct. 28, 2001, at Detroit: From 1991-2002, the words 'Bengals' and 'winning record' were used in the same sentence as often as 'Michael Jackson' and 'didn't molest children.' However, after a Corey Dillon fourth quarter touchdown run sparked the Bengals to a 31-27 win over the Lions, Cincinnati, at 4-3, had a winning record. The season could have been great if the Bengals didn't go 2-7 in their final nine games.
3. Nov. 2, 1986, at Detroit
If you've ever googled the words 'Super Bowl,' 'Bengals,' and 'coke addict,' together (Why you would ever have done this is between you and your life coach), the first name that probably comes up is that of former Bengal Stanley Wilson. Before he was ruining the Super Bowl hopes of Bengals fans, he was a semi-productive fullback for the team.
In this game, the Lions had no answer for our coke addicted running back. Wilson scored two touchdowns in the first three quarters, which along with a Breech field goal, had the Bengals and Lions tied at 17 late in the fourth. That's where Larry Kinnebrew comes in. With time waning in the game and the Bengals about to lose to the hapless Lions, Kinnebrew busted into the end zone from one-yard out to give the Bengals the win. The Bengals would finish the 1986 season 10-6 but would not make the playoffs because the Browns would go 12-4. For those of you under the age of 20 reading this, yes the Browns were good once.
Result: Cincinnati 24, Detroit 17
2. Sept. 13, 1998, at Detroit
In 1998, the Bengals peaked. The only problem; they peaked at sucking. Just as they did all decade, the Bengals got their fans' hopes up early. In this week two matchup, Cincinnati looked to be down for the count. It was hopeless. Why you ask? With the game in overtime and tied at 28, NFL legend Scott Mitchell was on the field trying to lead his Lions to a win. The only problem? Mitchell isn't actually an NFL legend. As a matter of fact, calling Mitchell a legend would be like trying to argue that Jud Buechler was the MVP of the 1997 Chicago Bulls.
Anyway, you can probably guess what happens. Actually you probably can't, so we'll tell you. Mitchell throws an interception to the Bengals Corey Sawyer who would return it 53-yards for a game-winning touchdown. And yes, for one day, all Bengals fans wearing a Sawyer jersey held their heads high.
Result: Bengals 34, Detroit 28
1. Dec. 18, 2005, at Detroit
Usually, 41-17 Bengals wins doesn't make the top of our list, unless of course they clinch a division title. The Bengals went into the game knowing a win would mean the AFC North championship. By the time the first quarter was over, Bengals fans had popped the champagne and made the final payment on their playoff tickets. Cincinnati was up 17-0 after only 15 minutes of play, Detroit would also score 17 points, but it would take them four quarters.
Result: Bengals 41, Detroit 17
INSIC PREDICTION FOR SUNDAY: BENGALS 31, Lions 13