So. This is the longest I’ve gone without doing a Bengals game recap since 2007. Three whole games. Three gloriously dull games, with the Bengals behind for approximately four seconds against Baltimore and otherwise routinely crushing three teams that most people expected to be pretty decent this year. It’s unnerving. Certain things are supposed to be filled with expectation and crushing disappointment: New Year’s Eve, airplane food, Season 3 of New Girl. That list usually includes the Bengals. Instead, they’ve been incredibly efficient: sure, there was the odd, sexy juggle from AJ, Gio’s hurdling skills, and Mo Sanu’s mission to become, statistically, the greatest QB in the history of the NFL, but for the most part, the Bengals have just gotten the job done.
It’s been…well…it’s been kind of weird. We’re high up in various Power Rankings, nobody has been stifling giggles when I mentioned who my team is, we’ve been playing so well that the biggest stories coming out of the Cincinnati sports world have been about what a great guy Mike Brown is. Read that sentence again. Seriously. Now read it again just to make sure. Now go and have a quick lie down before you read the rest of this, you need it. You’ve earned it.
This success presents me with a problem. I’m really sports superstitious. If I take of my hat and we score a touchdown, the hat stays off. If I sit in a certain spot, eat or drink something in particular, I will throw reason out of the window and dramatically conflate causation and coincidence, chowing down on a sandwich I wasn’t interested in just because four years ago when I had grilled cheese, Cedric Benson ripped off a crucial 4-yard run. Can I really be blamed for wondering if the Bengals calm success has been, in part, due to my lack of recap?
Look, I don’t want it to be my fault if the Bengals suddenly fall off a cliff. This week it’s the Patriots on Sunday Night Football and I’ll be damned if I’m going to feel responsible if we’re down 37-0 at halftime. I can’t be personally responsible for the fate of this team. So here we go: I’m going to be writing my recaps, Bengals. If you can’t handle that, so be it. It wasn’t meant to be. We all have a job to do. You spend this week figuring out how to handle Tom Brady, I’ll spend it making jokes about him.
Will I definitely feel like it’s entirely my fault if the Bengals lose on Sunday night? Sure. But I feel better for getting out there ahead of the story. Thanks for working this through with me. It’s been a tough one.
Though on second thought, maybe I’ll just see how the first half goes…