Friday, July 6, 2007

Buy Sam a Drink: Bengals vs. Patriots

The feedback from the last edition of Buy Sam a Drink was dominated by Steelers fans. So you know what? I am just going to feed the beast today and start getting the juices flowing for the upcoming Steelers season. More than in other leagues, I loathe many NFL franchises – sometimes because of the players on the team, sometimes because of a team’s fans, sometimes because they just always seem to give the Steelers problems. Currently, there are two NFL teams that prompt me to emit an unending strain of profanities, and from my experiences, the same is true for other Steelers fans.

So today I am excavating every ounce of hatred from my Steelers-loving soul to determine who is more deserving of my ill wishes.

With winner’s buying the drinks, its time to decide…


Stadium security might have to be called in after the jump.

Some Steelers fans’ immediate rebuttal to this question might be “What about the Browns? Or the Ravens? I’ve hated them for much longer”. I’ve already discussed here why pity is a more appropriate sentiment towards the Browns than hatred. As for the Ravens, the days of Ray Lewis prancing around are over. While they are without question a quality squad, they are far more tolerable now than they were with the likes of Shannon Sharpe and Tony Siragusa filling roster spots.

My hatred of the Patriots and Bengals is in large part biased because of certain geographical factors that stoke my ire. The Patriots are obviously located in New England, and although I do not fully subscribe to the East Coast sports media bias theory (if you do, consider the coverage of the Kobe Bryant non-saga), it has become readily apparent that Boston and New York teams garner a smidge if not an cargo-load too much media attention. I hate the Red Sox, hate UConn, used to really hate the Bruins, have met one too many smug members of Red Sox Nation…without even considering any of their players or coaches, the Patriots are handicapped by their location as far as earning my good graces is concerned (what do my good graces matter for? Nothing, but hey it’s my article).

While the media has beaten me senseless with New England-centric coverage, I have journeyed into the proverbial lion’s dens the past few years attending college near and in Bengals territory. I won’t stereotype and I won’t name call, but I have literally had thousands of experiences with Bengals fans, and they have all been of the same nature. I wouldn’t exactly say that these experiences restored my faith in the human spirit. We’ll touch more on this later.

With geography working against both teams, it seems logical to try and decide which team’s players I hate more. With the Patriots, the hatred all starts with Brady. Here is this overly-glib guy winning Super Bowl MVPs almost as fast as he tags Hollywood models, and yet somehow Boston fans still try to rationalize him as the guy-next-door-rough-and-tumble-Massachusetts guy. Bill Belichick attempts to pull off this same look and…well…all the homeless jokes have already been made. These two combined create this elitist feel to the whole organization, like a pampered Harvard or Yale phony (see, I told you geography played a biased role in all of this) that feels he is just a tad smarter than everyone else. The Patriots “do things the right way”. They are “geniuses” that never make a wrong decision. Few things in sports bring me more sinister joy than seeing the “model of perfection” Patriots lose.

As for the Bengals, it really has become a comedy of errors. Sure, I think Marvin Lewis is a whiny brat (whoops, name calling) and that Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are classic examples of guys who run their mouths without any accomplishments to back it up (zero playoff victories – congrats!). But with the Bengals, the joy in hating them all starts with their criminal records. Sometimes, it all just seems too good to be true. In fact, one of my favorite new TV segments on Sportscenter has been any time they sit down for a chat with Carson Palmer, leading to Carson putting on his angry face and talking about how they have got to change the collective attitude in Cincinnati. He’s been saying this for roughly two years now.

If the Patriots “do things the right way”, then the Bengals certainly do them the wrong way. And you know who else does things “the wrong way”? Bengals fans. What do I mean by the wrong way? Here’s an example. When the Steelers lost an atrociously played game to the Browns several years ago, a Browns fan I know was happy, but not exactly placing an order for Super Bowl tickets. He said something to the effect of “yeah, well it still doesn’t make up for the fact that you have owned us for 15 years”.

For Bengals fans, time does not exist. There is no 15 years of suffering, there is no impending playoff matchup down the road, there is simply the instantaneous point in time during which they are victorious, and they choose not to leave it. Case in point: when the Bengals defeated the Steelers in 2005 at Heinz Field, you would have thought they won the Super Bowl. It was a regular season game, but that did not matter: the Bengals had won, and according to literally every Bengals fan I encountered (hundreds), they had always been better, they were better, they always will be better. As if on cue, the Steelers massacred the Bungles in the playoffs and went on to win the Super Bowl.

Same story last year. The Bengals win the Ricardo Coclough Game in Heinz Field and absolutely go ballistic over it. It is the revenge game. They should have won the Super Bowl last year, says Ocho Cinco (lamest nickname ever? A future column, perhaps…). The Bengals are Super Bowl bound for sure, inhabitants of Cincinnati tell me. Instead, they miss the playoffs.

And herein lies the difference in the attitude of the two teams. The Patriots, as much as I despise them, continually deliver. I hate them because they deliver, I wish they wouldn’t (almost) always deliver, but they deliver none the less. With the Bengals, add up all the trash talk, the Chad Johnson lunacy, the Houshmandzadeh arrogance, the arrests, the borderline racist Who Dey chants, the delusional fans…and you still get zero playoff wins under the current regime. They talk the talk, but cannot walk the sobriety walk.

Which means…

Hey! Cincinnati Bengals!



crackbaldo said...

Another reasdon to hate the Patriots: In Sport's Illustrated's best athlete to wear a number list, Tom Brady beat out Terry Bradshaw for No. 12. Some slight justice, however, in that Clemente beat out Clemens and Tim Duncan for No. 21.

Unknown said...

Fact: Tom Brady has never won the Super Bowl without the help from the clutch kicking excellence of Adam Vinateri.

Another fact: Chances are good he never will.

In the playoffs last season, why didn't he drive down the field in the final minutes and beat the Colts like all of the folks at the Worldwide Leader say he can do so well? Check and see how many points the Patriots lost by in that game. It was four points, which means a field goal wasn't an option.

In clutch situations and overall...

Montana and Elway > Brady

Dr Obvious said...

What bugs me about the Bungles isn't the trash talk. I can take that, and frankly, Ravens fans give better trash talk than Bungle fans.

It's absolutely out of nowhere sense of entitlement. One Bungles fan has already informed me that the Bungles are due this year. It's 'their year'. BS. I could take that from the Chargers or Bears or Saints, but not the frikkin Bungles.

Rocky said...

The primary reasons to really hate the Patriots start and end with the '01 and '04 AFC championship games. Those guys ripped our hearts out in Heinz Field, something the Bungles have never done (in the postseason, anyway).

I'll also throw in the Boston-centric crap thats all over sports TV and the comparison of Brady to a far superior western PA product in Montana. Not even freaking close.

The Patriots have been way more fortunate than people want to admit. The tuck rule? The Panthers kicking it out of bounds to give them the ball at the 40 in the Super Bowl? Bledsoe shattering his lung? Vinateiri clutch-kicking out of his mind?

I also really get bothered by Rodney Harrison. I don't know why.

Unknown said...

nothing was better then destroying
the bengals playoff dreams during
the last reg season game, and knocking them out of the playoffs the year befor. both of which we did in their house. to much talk not enough action.

Big Blue Bengal said...

I can admit that Bengals fans talk trah every now and then, since I'm one of the die hard Bengals fans. But you have to think of this, why would you bother your time in hating a downluck team like the Bengals??? Sure we have arrests every now-and-then, but look what happened to San Antonio Holmes?? Mr.Superbowl XLIII MVP got arrested weeks before the superbowl for drug charges.

All I'm saying is if your going to harrass a team for talking the talk, you might wanna make sure your sources that your team is clean. By the way, it pisses me off right back at the Steelers for cheap shots, not only from the '05 playoff injury to Palmer from a late hit, but also from Keith Rivers broken jaw by Heinz Ward. I don't recall any cheap shots made by the "Bungles" against a Steeler team in years.
Honestly, karma will come back to haunt the Steelers one of these days, and I hope you fans have your heads down thinking that you are somewhat invinceable.

Congrats with your 6th Superbowl win. Hope you know that you did win this from a coach that used to be an assitant coach for University of Cincinnatti. I'm finished with my 2 cents on your discussion about hating teams. You still hate the Bengals and Patriots, I still hate the Steelers and Tom Brady. But lets stop this offseason bickerring and just move on with our lives. Every year is different, could be different for either Steelers or Bengals.

Big Blue Bengal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.