Nearly a week later and Andy Dalton is still the quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s a reality that is not going to change in the next 12 months. As much as the public—I imagine Bengals fans, too—seems to be clamoring for an end to the reign of football purgatory in Cincinnati by getting rid of Dalton, it’s not going to happen. I don’t know Mike Brown, have never spoken to the man, but in watching how he runs the team (aside: this originally autocorrected “run” to “ruin”; even computers disapprove of Mike Brown’s reign), there seem to be two truths I can surmise about the man. The first is that he is weirdly loyal, probably to a fault, to his guys. Marvin Lewis is his guy now, as is Andy Dalton. (The other truth? I bet he really enjoys a good rack of ribs. Like a real juicy slab, ...
It’s not tragic, but it’s not good either.
That was what my eighth grade math teacher, Mr. Callahan, would always say when one of his students would fail to do their homework. He’s no doubt still saying it today, and likely said it to some podunk, Joe-everyday slob-like character (another one of his favorites).
But I still think about—and still use—that first line a lot, even today, long after I’ve forgotten anything related to math that I might have learned in his class. I thought about that line on Sunday, after the Bengals loss/implosion/embarrassment/failure at the hands of the Chargers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Three straight playoff seasons for Andy Dalton and the gang—this season the most impressive and encouraging of them all—each followed by three straight decisive first-round knockouts. This one was the least encouraging of them all.
I doubt the Bengals had much chance ...
I came away from Cincinnati’s win against Baltimore a changed man. You see, for the first time in my life, the hopes of my hometown team hinged, at least partly, on the play of Andy Dalton. If Dalton played well and the Bengals defeated the Ravens, the Jets won in Miami AND the Chiefs’ ballboys beat the Chargers, then the Steelers would make it to the playoffs. (And they would have played the Bengals.)
So while watching some of the Bengals game live, I saw the world through a different prism. I knew Dalton could be a maddening quarterback to watch; I’ve watched every snap he’s taken this year. But I’ve only watched a few games live, and in no other game did I care particularly which team won. But this time, I wanted the Bengals to win badly. So when the first pass Dalton threw was intercepted, I was ...
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