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.

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