Long Ago (and Far Away)


The last Cincinnati Bengals playoff win has taken on a surreal, where-were-you-when aura. Each time the franchise so much as sniffs a postseason berth, the drought gets brought up.

January 6, 1991 stands both as a high point for the franchise and a constant reminder of just how damn long ago it was when this organization won in the playoffs.

How long, exactly? Since the last time the Bengals won a playoff game…

– The metro population of Cincinnati has fallen by more than 500,000.

– Xavier picked up 18 of the 21 NCAA Tournament wins in school history.

– The Reds … bad example, let’s move on.

– The U.S. Federal Debt grew by more than $12 trillion.

– The world witnessed both the mercurial rise and fall of 98 Degrees. (We love you, Nick.)

– The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 17 postseason games and appeared in four Super Bowls.

– The Somali Civil War began its Bengals-esque streak of futility.

– The Watts riots, the Cincinnati riots, all kinds of riots.

– Robert Griffin III celebrated his first birthday. (Catered by Subway, I’m sure.)

Sonic the Hedgehog was released on Sega Genesis.

– Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested.

– The spread of cell phones, computers, instant messaging…I’m telling you, it was a long time ago.

– The UC Bearcats made their first NCAA Tournament appearance of the Bob Huggins era.

Friends made its debut.

– Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to the franchise’s first NBA title. (And a few more after that…)

– The Soviet Union dissolved. (Eat it, Stalin.)

– Gas prices rose by more than $2.50.

– Ken Griffeys Sr. and Jr. both retired from Major League Baseball.

So basically, what I’m saying is, the Bengals are due.  That Sonic thing blew my mind.

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