The lack of respect for the Bengals has become a problem under the guidance of Marvin Lewis. Getting it back will be a chore.
Nearly two days after the Bengals and Steelers gave their rendition of Monday Night Raw, the hangover still hurts. It’s not that sloppy, groggy recovery from to many adult beverages. It’s the sting of what America witnessed from two teams that literally hate each other. But, the real problem wasn’t the disbelief over the results. Anyone who follows the Bengals knew what was going to happen. It was all about when. The hard part is digesting the lack of respect that has come from Marvin Lewis’ handling of the team.
When the Bengals were stomping the Steelers 17-0, the fear of a meltdown was inevitable. It’s been two years since the Bengals did anything positive against the dudes from the Northeast. The last victory was a squeaker at Heinz Field during the 2015 campaign. That win (16-10) in Week 8 was a disgusting seven games ago. In other words, two seasons worth of Pittsburgh L’s have been dropped on the Bengals under Lewis.
Yeah…that sucks. And it’s why certain things get said in the media. Why? Because Lewis and Co. won’t do a dang thing about it. Marvin will chuckle, avoid the subject and make members of the media look (and feel) like bobbleheads.
48 hours in
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Surprisingly, that loss to the Steelers felt just like an unsolved murder. Now, all the Cincinnati PD has to do is arrest the lead suspect. Marvin Lewis has been observed hanging out with a group of repeat offenders thought to be…coaches. Undercover officers have noticed the activities of the bunch at Paul Brown Stadium.
But, I digress. It’s easy to do so, when the Bengals have been such a disappointment.
Almost two days later, Ben Roethlisberger decides he wants to let the nation know the Bengals are a sorry team and the Steelers have no respect for them. Yup. Big Ben is again wearing his emotions on his sleeve. He let it rip, per CBS Sports.
"“The difference between this game and the Cincinnati game is these two teams — us and Baltimore — there’s always a respect involved in it….At the end of it, you’re going to shake hands and give the other guy a hug and say that was a lot of fun and can’t wait to do it next year. It’s a fun rivalry in the sense that there’s a lot of respect and there are two good football teams.”"
Respect is not in his vocab, when it comes to the Bengals. Actually, it’s not going to be in many opponents’ description of the Bengals, until they can accomplish one thing: win a playoff game. Until that moment arrives, there won’t be “two” good football teams on the field with anyone the Bengals play.
Here’s where the hate comes in
Sorry for the honesty. But, it’s a glaring fact. Until the Bengals front office grows a pair and gets a coach with some fire and the ability to instill fear in the players, there will be no respect for Cincinnati football. The Bengals will always be known as the loveable Bungals who could.
Like most fans, I have lived and died with this team for decades. The amount of frustration that adorns my psyche is of monumental proportions.
But, Lewis has taken this franchise on a 360-degree rollercoaster ride. Cincinnati has gone from embarrassing losers to AFC North Champs and back to a struggling team with no identity. It’s all due to the lackluster approach of Marvin Lewis and his disbelief in the hurry-up offense and halftime adjustments.
Essentially, most wins are accomplished by the football elves that change game plans when an opponent figures out your schemes.
Get used to the lack of respect. Thanks, Marv. Cincy fans salute you…with a Brooklyn Raspberry.