When the Cincinnati Bengals take the field against Baltimore, it will mark the beginning of 50 years in the league. Some fans need to wake up. It could be much worse.
We’ve all been there. The season starts and then, suddenly, that feeling of dread creeps in. Maybe the Bengals have won two or three straight games and then there’s a loss. Before you can blink, it’s looking like another lost-cause season. Frankly, any Cincinnati fan that has a long history with the Bengals is slightly paranoid. I can safely say this because I’m a walking example of the problem. But, there are some who take it to the extreme. The season is upon us. It’s time to step it up.
When the Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens Sunday (1 p.m., CBS), there will be cause for excitement. This will be the start of the home team’s 50th year in the league. Wow. They’re almost as old as I am. Turning half a century old is an amazing feat.
Staying in Cincinnati is even more amazing. There have been times when the team has been wooed by the big bucks of other cities. But, the Orange & Black remained a staple of the Queen City. That should be enough to warrant some respect and cheers.
No, I haven’t forgotten the Dark Ages. There are tons of Bengals fans who haven’t lived through the 1990s. Those were the days of confusion and turmoil. At one point, there were hopes that both professional teams would leave. The mantra was, “Go Bengals! And take the Reds with you!” Thankfully, things have changed quite a bit since then. Looking back, the Reds have won a World Series while the Bengals have yet to get to the Super Bowl. Frustration at its best.
Just Ignore The Trolls
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If the pressure is too much, maybe it’s time to move on. This could be the time to get another team on the radar. If you’re one of those fans that join Facebook groups or any social media outlet to troll the Bengals, you need a life.
There are tons of things to do besides being a fake fan. What’s that you ask? Those are the fans who root just enough to be seen by their peers, but are ready to jump ship when things go wrong. It would be easy to call them bandwagon fans, but at least bandwagoners are obvious.
Bengals trolls, in a word, are truly pathetic. Real fans know that there are issues with Mike Brown. Diehard followers already have an alternating love-hate relationship with Marvin Lewis. How many times does the playoff loss situation have to be thrown out there? After a while, it’s just plain silly. Grow up. Cincinnati fans–who have endured the pain–already know what’s going on. Wait for the current Super Bowl winner and pledge your fake allegiance to that franchise. As for the Bengals, it’s time to show some real coconuts (is that word safe?).
The Bengals are going to do some special things this year. They’ll be honoring Legends from the past teams and, hopefully, retiring some numbers. That’s a longshot, but worth a plug. This should be the year that fans come out and get rowdy. I hate to say it. But, this is the time to show that undying Steelers fan type of support. It’s time to get smug and matter-of-fact like Patriots fans. To be honest, it’s time to show up and show out for the home team.
As a Bengals fan, there will always be the scars from past failures. It’s a part of this culture. But, there’s no reason–none–to bash the team and then pretend you never did it (*cough* faker). Discussing the offensive and defensive problems is a given. But, the constant nitpicking…get lost.
Since 2011, this franchise has been blessed to see five of the last six years result in winning seasons and playoff appearances. Yeah, yeah. The playoff losses. But, at least the city has a franchise to blast. Now, it’s time to show how supportive and gnarly this fanbase can be. We could be rooting for the Las Vegas Bengals.