Cincinnati Bengals Fans Are Tired Of Waiting

Dec 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) walks off the field after a play during the second half against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) walks off the field after a play during the second half against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

A down year has Bengals faithful anticipating the NFL Draft. With the talent currently under contract, why are fans forced to wait for postseason success?

Seems like the same old story, year after year. It always starts with the season before. The Bengals have a decent showing and then the roof caves in. It’s a predictable pattern that has made most faithful numb. First, there are the promises followed by reckless abandon, i.e.,10 or 11 wins. A Wild Card berth is tossed onto the banks of the Queen City and then it happens. The Bengals lose and it starts again. Fans are tired of the waiting game. 

I hate losing…

There’s no need to get the pitchforks and torches out. Cincinnati’s mad scientist has been out in the open since 2003. Marvin Lewis has brought the Bengals back from the brink of embarrassment. But, now it’s a redundant brand of mediocrity that has taken hold of the franchise.

While the NFL is in the midst of another wild and crazy postseason carnival, it’s hard being a Bengals fan. Watching the games being played is sheer torture. Personally, I feel the Stripes have the talent to hang with any of the AFC teams featured in the playoffs. But, year after year, the story never changes. 

This season, it was especially hard to experience the disappointment. As usual, the expectations were high. This was supposed to be the season that Tyler Eifert showed up. Instead, he was sidelined with injuries that could change his effectiveness as a dangerous weapon. When an athlete suffers a back injury and has to undergo surgery, things tend to change. In an eerie sense of deja-vu, Rob Gronkowski also underwent the same surgery. Best wishes to both tight ends. Rehab is a beast.

The Big Question

Do the Bengals ever get off the Groundhog Day merry-go-round? Lewis has a keen eye for talent. Along with Director of Player Personnel, Duke Tobin, Lewis has put together monster teams. But, is that the opinion of fans and jilted Las Vegas losers? Nah. Pro Football Focus is impressed with the Bengals also. Four players landed on its annual All-Pro list. But, is that enough? Having talent like, A.J. Green, Andrew Whitworth, Geno Atkins and Rex Burkhead shouldn’t produce one-and-done results.

Bringing Burkhead into the mix is even more angering. Why have his abilities been left unused? Now, the Bengals risk losing a player that could have been the key to their woes in free agency. Yet, another stinging loss.

Real Bengals fans are a loyal bunch. They tend to be surprisingly forgiving and somewhat clairvoyant. No matter how many times Mike Brown puts the same product on the field, the fans come back. Maybe that’s the problem. When the paying customers get sick and tired of shelling out hard-earned money, things could change. But, don’t expect the Brown empire to relinquish the franchise. It will be handed down to family members who have been groomed for the part. Get ready for more of the same.

Are the players just as fed up as the fans? Uh, yeah. But, most of them are not going to let the anger bleed through their professionalism.

After losing a come-from-ahead decision to the Steelers in Week 15, Dre Kirkpatrick was a bit…upset.

"“I’m pissed. At the end of the day, I hate losing. I hate going out like this. I feel like we’re better than that team.”"

Bengals fans were pissed and feel the same way. That loss was the nail in the coffin.

Next: Rethinking The Bengals Draft

2017 Has To Be The Year

How many times can fans get burned by the same situation? Eventually, something has to give. There hasn’t been a postseason victory since (counts on both hands)…yeah, that long. The whole cast of characters (coaches) is coming back for the 2017 season. Surprisingly, the Bengals blocked the possibility of Paul Guenther leaving to become DC with the Redskins. Does that show resolve? Maybe. But, it takes more than a refused interview to show appreciation. 

The thread is getting thinner and thinner. If something isn’t done this season, fans may beg another city to take the Bengals. But, that ain’t goin’ down. Seems like mediocrity is the growing fad in Cincinnati.