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  #1  
Old 01-05-2013, 11:24 AM
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Default No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

OK, that title might be a little bit of hyperbole, but I do think there's some truth to it.

I do not need, nor have any interest in recapping all that happened with this franchise prior to 2005. That season was the last time the Bengals had a playoff game that so many fans believed they could win. It was a magical time for the fan base as we finally had a long awaited playoff game to get excited about. That magic, that excitement was quickly stolen from us early in that game by a freak injury to our most key player. It was devastating, yet there was a sense that there would be ample opportunities to put the disappointment of that game (magnified by the disappointment of the previous 15 seasons) behind us. As we all know, that disappointment was only exacerbated the following season with a brutal late season collapse.

It only got worse after that and a new bitterness swelled within the fan base. The team had given us only the faintest taste of success, then left us starving for more. 2009 provided renewed hope with the heroics of the Cardiac Cats and a stunning sweep of the AFC North, but more late season lethargy dimmed the hope many fans had for a playoff victory. That hope was inevitably and emphatically extinguished in a horrid performance at home. Yet again, the rug was yanked out from under us the following season. Unlike 2006, however, any belief that this team would have any chance for a playoff berth was eliminated early in the season. It was another gut sock to a fan base whose loyalty had already been tested like few others.

After that brutal season and an even worse offseason, 2011 was written off by most long before it even started. That the team even made the playoffs was absolutely remarkable and showed evidence that there was a significant change taking place within that locker room. Nonetheless, a lack of victories against top teams during the regular season and another late lull provided no momentum going into the playoffs. Fans prepared for the worst and got what they prepared for.

So here we are one year later. A team that had given fans few reasons to believe they could effectively handle success well enough to follow up a playoff berth with a second consecutive trip to the postseason had earned the franchise's first back-to-back berths in 30 years and they did it by owning the second half of the season. This un-Bengal-like performance has enchanted the fan base and sets up today's wild card game. A game a lot of people believe to be very winnable for the Bengals.

This fan base needs a win. Fans like to know that their loyalty is being rewarded and simply making the playoffs is not enough. A loss today and it's almost assured the reaction of the fan base during the offseason will not likely be very different from many others in recent memory. Many will react with frustration and/or apathy because, despite changes that appear evident in this franchise and the promise of some outstanding young players, the results once again just aren't there. We will have been teased once again.

However, a win can truly transform this fan base. A win provides an experience that has been severely lacking. A win provides one of those results we desperately need. It wouldn't be the result we ultimately want. It wouldn't mean there still aren't issues that need to be addressed with this team, from the field to the front office. It would, though, mean that just maybe they aren't quite so far from being what we all want them to be after all.

The best way to describe my perspective as a Bengals fan over the year is by borrowing a line from "The X-Files": I want to believe. I think that applies to a great many Bengals fans. As Paul Brown once said, "Winning makes believers of us all."
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

Good read
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

+1 to the OP!

This game is huge. In Cincinnati's 44 year history, the team has never won a playoff game on the road. This is the biggest dragon the Bengals have ever had to slay. This is bigger than beating the Steelers or the Ravens because a playoff win outside the confines of Cincinnati will help this franchise gain some respect.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

Good post and well thought out.

I will disagree a bit.

IMO and for me personally this season was all about the Pittsburgh win. This franchise and these young players essentially backed their way into the playoffs a season ago. The this season facing a 3-5 start they headed to Pittsburgh, their Main Rivals, and who they aspire to be with most of the football world predicting another Bengals letdown. Instead we beat our main rival at their own game, in their backyard and also knocked them out of the playoffs while EARNING our own way into the playoffs. For me that is the mark of this season.

As for the game today, YES erasing a 22 year gap between playoff wins would be an absolutely HUGE ordeal for this franchise and this fan base but I would leave it short of saying "no single game meant so much". It is a very valid point you make but the reality of this game is that we are the underdog, we are on the road, we have a struggling offense going against a good defense. Maybe I am just lowering my expectations but this is the NFL, any given Sunday a team can play great. WHO DEY
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

I'm not lowering my expectations. The Bengals have the D4x4. We're gonna roll em over. I'm not thinking of the what if; I don't care about the possibilities. Everyone said, and I said; if we can't beat the Steelers and the Ravens, then we don't belong there.





We belong there!
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

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Originally Posted by ODRAB14 View Post
Good post and well thought out.

I will disagree a bit.

IMO and for me personally this season was all about the Pittsburgh win. This franchise and these young players essentially backed their way into the playoffs a season ago. The this season facing a 3-5 start they headed to Pittsburgh, their Main Rivals, and who they aspire to be with most of the football world predicting another Bengals letdown. Instead we beat our main rival at their own game, in their backyard and also knocked them out of the playoffs while EARNING our own way into the playoffs. For me that is the mark of this season.

As for the game today, YES erasing a 22 year gap between playoff wins would be an absolutely HUGE ordeal for this franchise and this fan base but I would leave it short of saying "no single game meant so much". It is a very valid point you make but the reality of this game is that we are the underdog, we are on the road, we have a struggling offense going against a good defense. Maybe I am just lowering my expectations but this is the NFL, any given Sunday a team can play great. WHO DEY
As were we in Pittsburgh....

Today's game means A LOT. Beating Pittsburgh was more of a stepping stone to get here. We are here. It's ours for the taking
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

Well stated, 34. I am one of those that has reinvested my hopes on this team!
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

A win today could be the launching point for a run deep into the playoffs. The confidence that has been growing since the Dallas game could explode.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

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As were we in Pittsburgh....

Today's game means A LOT. Beating Pittsburgh was more of a stepping stone to get here. We are here. It's ours for the taking
well Said!!!!
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:48 AM
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Great post! I agree 100%. To add, many of the youthful bengals fans don't remember the Super Bowl runs of the late 80s early 90s and this game means the most to us. I was born in 1987 so I know where you come from.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

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Originally Posted by Fan_in_Kettering View Post
+1 to the OP!

This game is huge. In Cincinnati's 44 year history, the team has never won a playoff game on the road. This is the biggest dragon the Bengals have ever had to slay. This is bigger than beating the Steelers or the Ravens because a playoff win outside the confines of Cincinnati will help this franchise gain some respect.
I wouldnt go that far, I would still rank 2 super bowls and 2 afc championship games above this in 1981 the Chargers were playing in what was their 3rd afc championship game in a row and had to be considered a favorite before that season and in 1988 both the Bengals and Bills had to be relative surprises to go as far as they did considering how bad they were in the years leading up to 1988
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

Quote:
Originally Posted by ODRAB14 View Post
Good post and well thought out.

I will disagree a bit.

IMO and for me personally this season was all about the Pittsburgh win. This franchise and these young players essentially backed their way into the playoffs a season ago. The this season facing a 3-5 start they headed to Pittsburgh, their Main Rivals, and who they aspire to be with most of the football world predicting another Bengals letdown. Instead we beat our main rival at their own game, in their backyard and also knocked them out of the playoffs while EARNING our own way into the playoffs. For me that is the mark of this season.

As for the game today, YES erasing a 22 year gap between playoff wins would be an absolutely HUGE ordeal for this franchise and this fan base but I would leave it short of saying "no single game meant so much". It is a very valid point you make but the reality of this game is that we are the underdog, we are on the road, we have a struggling offense going against a good defense. Maybe I am just lowering my expectations but this is the NFL, any given Sunday a team can play great. WHO DEY

Pittsburgh was 8-8 this year. 7-7 when we played them. The Texans have 12 wins.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

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Pittsburgh was 8-8 this year. 7-7 when we played them. The Texans have 12 wins.
Hey, that's a coincedence. Our defense has held our opponents to a 12 pt. avg. in the last 8 games.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:14 PM
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Hey, that's a coincedence. Our defense has held our opponents to a 12 pt. avg. in the last 8 games.
I'm just saying this game is more important because the competition is way better. We didn't play the peak Steelers or Ravens teams the past few weeks.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:15 PM
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I'm just saying this game is more important because the competition is way better. We didn't play the peak Steelers or Ravens teams the past few weeks.
You can only play whoever they put on the field.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:19 PM
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You can only play whoever they put on the field.
Definitely. But this is easily a bigger game.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

Why didn't they do this before I let my season tickets go?

Oh well, maybe I was bringing them bad luck.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

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Definitely. But this is easily a bigger game.
Well yeah, it's the playoffs!
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:06 PM
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I am so pumped about today, my whole family is driving 4 hours to watch the game with me. What a great day. Ole miss will beat Pittsburgh at 12 and then it's all orange at 3. This is our day and I can't wait to celebrate with everyone on the boards!!

Who DEY
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

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OK, that title might be a little bit of hyperbole, but I do think there's some truth to it.

I do not need, nor have any interest in recapping all that happened with this franchise prior to 2005. That season was the last time the Bengals had a playoff game that so many fans believed they could win. It was a magical time for the fan base as we finally had a long awaited playoff game to get excited about. That magic, that excitement was quickly stolen from us early in that game by a freak injury to our most key player. It was devastating, yet there was a sense that there would be ample opportunities to put the disappointment of that game (magnified by the disappointment of the previous 15 seasons) behind us. As we all know, that disappointment was only exacerbated the following season with a brutal late season collapse.

It only got worse after that and a new bitterness swelled within the fan base. The team had given us only the faintest taste of success, then left us starving for more. 2009 provided renewed hope with the heroics of the Cardiac Cats and a stunning sweep of the AFC North, but more late season lethargy dimmed the hope many fans had for a playoff victory. That hope was inevitably and emphatically extinguished in a horrid performance at home. Yet again, the rug was yanked out from under us the following season. Unlike 2006, however, any belief that this team would have any chance for a playoff berth was eliminated early in the season. It was another gut sock to a fan base whose loyalty had already been tested like few others.

After that brutal season and an even worse offseason, 2011 was written off by most long before it even started. That the team even made the playoffs was absolutely remarkable and showed evidence that there was a significant change taking place within that locker room. Nonetheless, a lack of victories against top teams during the regular season and another late lull provided no momentum going into the playoffs. Fans prepared for the worst and got what they prepared for.

So here we are one year later. A team that had given fans few reasons to believe they could effectively handle success well enough to follow up a playoff berth with a second consecutive trip to the postseason had earned the franchise's first back-to-back berths in 30 years and they did it by owning the second half of the season. This un-Bengal-like performance has enchanted the fan base and sets up today's wild card game. A game a lot of people believe to be very winnable for the Bengals.

This fan base needs a win. Fans like to know that their loyalty is being rewarded and simply making the playoffs is not enough. A loss today and it's almost assured the reaction of the fan base during the offseason will not likely be very different from many others in recent memory. Many will react with frustration and/or apathy because, despite changes that appear evident in this franchise and the promise of some outstanding young players, the results once again just aren't there. We will have been teased once again.

However, a win can truly transform this fan base. A win provides an experience that has been severely lacking. A win provides one of those results we desperately need. It wouldn't be the result we ultimately want. It wouldn't mean there still aren't issues that need to be addressed with this team, from the field to the front office. It would, though, mean that just maybe they aren't quite so far from being what we all want them to be after all.

The best way to describe my perspective as a Bengals fan over the year is by borrowing a line from "The X-Files": I want to believe. I think that applies to a great many Bengals fans. As Paul Brown once said, "Winning makes believers of us all."
It is no doubt an important game. We all need to keep in mind no Bengasl head coach has ever one a road playoff game. We also need to keep it all in prospective. This team is not the 2005 Bengals. The 2012 team is a defensive team and the 2005 team was an offensive team. The 2005 team had majr injury issues in that game with Palmer and don't forget Chris Henry also was hurt (knee) on the same play. Add in the legal issues of Henry and Thurman and the make up of the two is vastly different.

It is easy now to look back and see the demise coming after 2005 season. I don't see that coming in 2013. Yes, we can always have major injuries, but the thing I am more confident about is the character of the youth on our team. These guys seem to do and say the right things. I don't see any Chad Johnson and the "me" attitudes.

I hope we win today, but I have save it for last couple of years, I love the way they are building this football team. The future is bright because we have talent and major cap dollars to keep the studs. We have another extra early pick (3rd pick in 2nd round) from the raiders. We will be fine in 2013 win or lose today.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

Bengals have never won an away playoff game.

Ever.

That is what we will celebrate, after today.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

It would be interesting to know the metrics of how many Bengal fans were alive last time we won back in '90.

I'm sure at least 1/3 have never had the pleasure of seeing a playoff win, let alone a run to the Super Bowl, which is truly sad.

The drought ends today!!!
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

Nice post! The thing with Bengals fans is that we really do not know how many closeted ones there really are out there. As I have worn all my Bengals gear out and about this week in celebration of the playoffs, people seem to be coming out of the woodwork to ask me about this current team. Some of them I know cheer for other cities. All whisper that they hope we win. Many would call these people "fair-weather" or "Bandwagon" fans but is that really fair? It isn't like we are talking about a few bad years here. Instead it has been decades of being the laughing stock of the NFL! When I was growing up in Ohio in the 80s, almost every little kid around here loved the Bengals. It seems many got tired and have moved on to just Ohio State or other teams but I can't help but wonder how many are secretly hoping that their first love wins. Yes, the OP is right. Winning today could help restore us to the proud Paul Brown created team we once were. There is more work to be done, but it would be a HUGE step in the right direction!
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: No single game has ever meant so much to one fan base

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It would be interesting to know the metrics of how many Bengal fans were alive last time we won back in '90.

I'm sure at least 1/3 have never had the pleasure of seeing a playoff win, let alone a run to the Super Bowl, which is truly sad.

The drought ends today!!!
It's wonderful; I have been alive for every playoff game the Cincinnati Bengals have ever played. In the 1970s I was a little boy but I already thought the Bengals were the coolest team ever. I wore my Bengals windbreaker to elementary school and secretly I laughed inside when most of the students -- bandwagon Cowboys, Browns, Vikings, Steelers, and Dolphins fans for the most part -- made fun of me. I had read books about this coaching legend, Paul Brown, and when I saw him on the sideline with that hat and long jacket -- while wearing cleats sometimes -- I thought he was probably the smartest man on earth. I remember going to training camp at Wilmington College and getting autographs from defensive back Neal Craig, shaking hands with Ken Anderson, and looking up at Mike Reid like he was Mount Everest.

Cincinnati didn't really have true playoff success until 1981 and 1988 and this town was so excited that the Bengals were going to the Super Bowl! Keep in mind that the Bengals' success in the 1970s and 1980s went along with the Cincinnati Reds' dominance in baseball. The Bengals and Reds put Cincinnati on the map as one of this country's best sports towns. Then, in 1990, the Reds won their most recent World Series and the Bengals won their last playoff game.

Now Cincinnati is coming back as a sports town! The Bengals and Reds have been in the playoffs consistently of late and that old feeling is coming back. Truly in heaven Paul Brown and Sparky Anderson are smiling down upon us while Chris Henry, Vikki Zimmer, Ryan Freel, and Joe Nuxhall are getting ready for the game.

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:40 PM
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It's wonderful; I have been alive for every playoff game the Cincinnati Bengals have ever played. In the 1970s I was a little boy but I already thought the Bengals were the coolest team ever. I wore my Bengals windbreaker to elementary school and secretly I laughed inside when most of the students -- bandwagon Cowboys, Browns, Vikings, Steelers, and Dolphins fans for the most part -- made fun of me. I had read books about this coaching legend, Paul Brown, and when I saw him on the sideline with that hat and long jacket -- while wearing cleats sometimes -- I thought he was probably the smartest man on earth. I remember going to training camp at Wilmington College and getting autographs from defensive back Neal Craig, shaking hands with Ken Anderson, and looking up at Mike Reid like he was Mount Everest.

Cincinnati didn't really have true playoff success until 1981 and 1988 and this town was so excited that the Bengals were going to the Super Bowl! Keep in mind that the Bengals' success in the 1970s and 1980s went along with the Cincinnati Reds' dominance in baseball. The Bengals and Reds put Cincinnati on the map as one of this country's best sports towns. Then, in 1990, the Reds won their most recent World Series and the Bengals won their last playoff game.

Now Cincinnati is coming back as a sports town! The Bengals and Reds have been in the playoffs consistently of late and that old feeling is coming back. Truly in heaven Paul Brown and Sparky Anderson are smiling down upon us while Chris Henry, Vikki Zimmer, Ryan Freel, and Joe Nuxhall are getting ready for the game.

^ Ditto
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