Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sweet and Tender Hooligan(s)

The Bengals took care of business this Sunday, defeating the hapless Oakland Raiders 27-10. The offense moved the ball more or less at will against a very good Raiders D, not punting once the entire game. Turnovers were the only thing holding the Bengals back, with Palmer throwing three picks and Rudi fumbling (for the first time since 2004) in Raider territory. TJ, CJ, and Rudi all went for over 100 yards while the defense consistently got pressure on Aaron Brooks, sacking him four times. The win gives the Bengals an 8-5 record and the lead in the AFC wild card race thanks to losses from Denver, KC, and the Jets. The Bengals are right where they want to be.

A few thoughts....

1. Everyone keeps saying that the Raiders are the new Bungles (90's Bengals), but I think Oakland's still got a ways to go. Right now they appear to be in their Bengals circa 94 phase, experiencing only their fourth year of dismalness. Aaron Brooks looks a little like Jeff Blake, only worse (which is ironic since he took Blake's job in New Orleans), but other than having consistently dreadful teams and scrambling QB's with accuracy problems, there's not a whole lot in common between the present Raiders and the old Bengals. The 90's Bengals were known for their high powered offenses with WRs Carl Pickens and Darnay Scott and terrible defenses (one of their starting CB's, Rod Jones, was nicknamed "toast"), while the present Raiders have the worst offense in the NFL and a very good defense.

Regardless, the inverse of this argument seems to work a lot better. The Bengals look a lot like a talented Raiders team from the 80's that just might have a few character issues (read: a ridiculous amount of players with arrest records). The latest members of the Bengals Brotherhood of the Breathalyzer are Reggie McNeal and Deltha O'Neal, a couple of good Irish kids. They join Eric Steinbach, Odell Thurman, A.J. Nicholson, Matthias Askew, Frostee Rucker, and of course, the founding member, Chris Henry. A couple of these guys actually were charged with crimes before they ever played for the Bengals, but I think that's really just a testament to the organization's nose for finding criminally-minded football players. The police should actually use the Bengals' scouting department in a kind of Minority Report capacity to prevent crimes before they happen. Just throw everyone the Bengals are thinking of drafting next year in jail RIGHT NOW. This could really help the war on crime. Wait, there's no war on crime? Let's see, terror....drugs...nope, no war on crime. Well fuck it then, let em' play.

2. McNeal just received an additional drug charge on top of his resisting arrest rap. He apparently laced a cigarette with some kind of an antihistamine that can be used as a sedative. Maybe he should've smoked it before he started smacking up that undercover cop.

3. I kind of wish that other cities could experience the level of coverage that the major New York teams (Mets, Yankees, Giants) receive. The Bengals would be a gold mine for cheesy back page headlines from the Post or the News. Yesterday would've been "DELTHA GROUNDED!". Or after Thurman's arrest for a DUI: "WALK THE LINE...BACKER". Okay, I'll stop now.

4. O'Neal got arrested at a checkpoint on State Route 125 at Bach Buxton Road, which is about a mile away from where I grew up in Clermont County (or for those of you unfamiliar with the area, between the 3rd and 4th Dairy Marts after the interstate). I was a little surprised that Deltha was driving around out there, because, as far as I know, the only strip club in Clermont County is on State Route 32, right around where Chris Henry was pulled over for his DUI (now that made sense). Maybe Deltha thought that the mile markers on 125 heading toward the town of Bethel said "Brothel 12 miles" instead of "Bethel 12 miles". Pure speculation.


Wise One said...

Thanks for the recap, I was tailgating from 9AM and didn't really see what was going on come game time short of a blur of orange and black. 4 turnovers! I had no idea. I would have been more upset.

Also, I would like to add that everyone in the city other than Deltha knew that there was a DUI checkpoint there as it was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer the day before. Yeah, ridiculous.

Chris Knight said...

I guess Marvin should start thinking about including published DUI checkpoints in the weekly scouting reports. Clearly these guys don't read the paper.

adam said...

By Clay Travis
SPiN Columnist
Tell Clay your opinion!

I'm rooting for the Cincinnati Bengals to keep getting arrested. Provided they continue to only injure themselves, that is.

The Bengals are like a pitcher in the midst of a reverse perfect game. I almost feel like even writing a column about them dooms the team to become law-abiding. I'm not alone in this either. I think just about everyone my own age sort of takes a perverse pleasure and pride in the Bengals being so clutch when it comes to getting pinched.

The Wii-mote: Nintendo controller or flying projectile? (AP)
The Wii-mote: Nintendo controller or flying projectile? (AP)
When you hit the first, second and third arrests, people react with disdain. Sort of like if you're a pitcher, and you give up three home runs to consecutive batters. The crowd is jeering you, everyone wants a new pitcher, and you regret the day this pitcher ever began baseball. Then, another home run by the opposing team, and another, and pretty soon you start thinking, "Wow, they've really got something going here."

It's not good, but it's attention grabbing. And you kind of hate to see it end.

Right now the Bengals are like the shell-shocked pitcher who has been left on the mound for too long and has given up eight consecutive homers. I know the pitcher should be pulled, but I'm getting a perverse delight out of seeing how this is going to end. Again, provided no one gets hurt.

That's because this season there have already been eight Bengals arrested. Or, as Chad Johnson calls it, ocho. This is out of a 53 players. Or an arrest rate of about 15 percent. For comparison's sake, in Season 6 of The Sopranos the arrest rate for the main characters was 10 percent (Uncle June). It has gotten so bad that Portland Trail Blazers executives are telling Bengals jokes.

Matching the Bengals' lawlessness in almost any field of employment is difficult. Maybe prostitutes, low-level drug dealers, squeegee men and CEOs of major American companies have higher incidents of arrest, but outside of these fields, it's hard to find anyone to come even remotely close. For instance, 15 United States senators would have to be arrested to match the Bengals' arrest rate. Fifteen. If just three Senators were arrested, people on television would be screaming that we were in the midst of a Constitutional crisis.

You'd even need a little more than two NBA players on a 15-man roster to match the Bengals, proportion-wise. Wait, just two? Maybe the Bengals are getting a bad rap. There might not be a single NBA team without two players who've been arrested in the past year. Perhaps Marvin Lewis's new response when he's questioned about this should be: "If we were an NBA team, we'd be the best-behaved in the country." This seems like a winning strategy to me.

Pen lasers ... funny gag until the Secret Service come knocking on your door. (Provided to SportsLine)
Pen lasers ... funny gag until the Secret Service come knocking on your door. (Provided to SportsLine)
But what I love most of all about the Bengals' arrests is it makes me think about all the things the players must be getting away with. Despite what you hear from people when they get arrested, hardly anyone gets arrested the first time they stray off the straight and narrow.

Think about your own personal life, or that of your friends when you were in your 20s. If you've ever known anyone who has been arrested, you can think of about 10 things off the top of your head that they could have also been arrested for but weren't. Maybe 100. I guarantee it. If only we knew all the things the Bengals are getting away with. Sigh.

The Bengals' inability to keep their players out of jail is rapidly becoming the most interesting off-the-field issue in the NFL since the Minnesota Vikings took a boat cruise. And it couldn't happen in a more conservative city. Remember, Larry Flynt's cases for violating obscenity all spiraled out of the Cincinnati area. There's probably not an NFL city outside of Green Bay that can stomach these arrests any less. Prediction: If a Bengals sex tape gets released, it's going to end up at the Supreme Court somehow.

Since a future Bengals arrest is bound to happen, we decided to give you the nine most likely things that a Cincinnati player will be arrested for next.

1. Resisting arrest outside a Waffle House. Thus far, Waffle House has been glaringly absent from Bengals arrest details. This is shocking to me. Here in Nashville, it seems like Waffle House is mentioned in 75 percent of all arrests occurring after 3 in the morning. I've been to Cincinnati several times and there is no dearth of Waffle Houses in the community. So this is bound to happen soon.

2. Trying to take a Taser on a team flight. I guarantee this is going to happen in athletics in the next year. Somehow the Bengals seem like the most likely violators.

3. Laser pointers. When I was in college, one kid in my dorm at GW had a high-tech laser pointer (he was really cool) and he used to shine it out his window at people on the street, so they would think they were about to be shot by someone with a high-tech scope. This was pretty entertaining to watch. Especially if you had a couple of beers. People would hit the ground, roll, dive, you name it. Everyone thought they were about to die. Well, the fun ended for that guy when the Secret Service paid a visit to his dorm room. Yeah, going to school three blocks from the White House can do that for you. It wasn't nearly as bad as the kid who got busted by the Secret Service for selling fake IDs to other college kids. This was the rough equivalent of getting arrested by the SWAT team for jaywalking.

4. DWB (Driving While a Bengal). Pretty soon Cincinnati cops will be able to satisfy probable cause requirements by writing "Plays for Bengals" on their warrant requests.

Bengals players don't wait in line to get Elmo dolls! (AP)
Bengals players don't wait in line to get Elmo dolls! (AP)
5. Failure to pay for Tickle Me Elmo dolls. Even though my friend Amir has assured me that the TME market is not that intense, no one wants to wait in those lines in department stores. But most people do. Bengals players won't.

6. Speeding in Kentucky. There is no state I would least rather drive in than Kentucky, where stopping people for speeding seems to be the entire purpose of state law enforcement. It's uncanny how many cops there are whose entire job seems to be waiting for me to make my once-every-four-months drive through their state. This is actually the legitimate reason my wife and I are flying to Michigan for the holidays. Because it's cheaper than having to pay the speeding tickets that will inevitably ensue once I dare to floor it and hit 75 mph through the state. Bengals players will break 100, trust me.

7. Breaking something with a Wii controller. This has evidently become an epidemic. Several readers have sent me links to people destroying their property and the property of others. According to, the current tally for the new Nintendo controller is 13 television sets, three ceiling fans, two laptops and one window. If I were a Bengal, this would happen to me: I'd be playing Madden just when an officer walked by on patrol and got slammed by my controller flying through the shattered window. Bang, booked for assault and battery. And no one would believe me as to how it happened.

8. Paintball guns: Back in the days before everyone was presumed to be armed and dangerous or a terrorist, we used to shoot each other with paintball guns all the time in public. Admittedly this was stupid, but as long as you wore a mask, it was pretty entertaining. I'm betting paintball guns are popular with the Bengals, and I'm also betting that somehow this breaks the law.

9. Child support delinquency: Judges are really cracking down on this, and somehow I think there are probably quite a few players with support checks to take care of.

I want my V.Y. in HD

V.Y., V.Y., V.Y., V.Y., V.Y. He's unbelievable. I've watched his overtime run on my DVR 15 times. I'm actually sorry for football fans who haven't gotten a chance to see him play in the NFL yet. Which is most people in the country, because he plays for the Tennessee Titans. And I feel sorry for myself because the Titans games are never in HD. How does this happen? Why isn't every CBS NFL game in HD? I've yet to hear a good reason why I was able to watch the Kentucky Wildcats in HD this fall more often than I've been able to watch the Titans. Somebody needs to fix this. Pronto.

Evidently, my IQ is 007

Did anyone else feel really dumb after they left the most recent James Bond movie? I'm embarrassed to say I couldn't follow the plot. About halfway through, when I realized I was legitimately lost, I turned to my wife and said, "I don't have any idea what's going on here." She tried to whisper and fill me in but someone shushed us. For the past two weeks I've been walking around trying to figure out what the hell happened in the movie and I've pretty much given up. Please tell me I'm not alone in this.

John W. Heisman rolls over in his grave

This dance and song is sweeping the nation. I've gotten the YouTube link from three different people in the past two days. Do the Heizman on that Ho might be the best song title ever. Now I'm sharing it with you.

Maybe it's just a Nashville thing, but this song is completely revolutionizing the way "Heisman" is used in bars. In the past, we always referred to a girl who blew you off as "giving the Heisman." And now, it's a positive thing? This popular culture is crazy.

adam said...

swing4 said...

Nice Minority Report reference.