Not to get all Bill Simmons Sports Feller here, but I can’t
think of a more apt comparison of the 2005 vs 2008 Bengals than Major League
vs. Major League II.
Think about it. In 2005, Bengals fans had endured 14 straight years of losing seasons, much like the Coach Lou Brown’s Indians. After battling a cheap owner (Mike Brown), the rag-tag bunch overcomes their differences to win the division over their arch rival (Steelers). Then in Major League II, their collective and individual egos (Chad Johnson) lead them back to the cellar. One can only hope that the 2008 Bengals can overcome their similar situation and return to previous glory.
The comparisons don’t stop there. Let’s go player by player.
Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Chad Johnson): After joining the team as a relative no-name, the flashy Vaughn delights fans with his on the field antics and dazzling play. He is loved by fans for his attitude and by his fellow players for his dedication. He is a crucial factor in the teams success in MJ1. Then, buoyed by his personal and professional success, Vaughn’s ego leads him hire an evil PR agent (Drew Rosenhaus?) and becomes more concerned with naming his pitches (TD celebrations) than with winning.
Willie Mays Hayes (also Chad Johnson): Flash and skill on the field degenerate to an overblown ego that leads Mays Hayes to star in low quality action movies with Jesse Ventura. Black Thunder/White Lightening. It’s only a matter of time with Chad.
Pedro Cerrano (Rudi Johnson): “I hit the straight ball very much. But with curveball, bats are afraid.” Rudi has the power of an NFL running back, but lacks in breakaway speed and creativity.
Coach Lou Brown
(Marvin Lewis): Years of experience in the game but none at the head coach
level. Constantly battling with owner
for satisfactory facilities and support.
Rachel Phelps (Mike Brown): Penny-pinching owners who were handed the team after the death of the previous owner. Both have a similar grasp for the sport, business acumen and loyalty to fans.
Eddie Harris (Willie Anderson): Grizzled vet is a lynchpin for the teams success in and out of the locker room. Knows every trick and has seen it all. Locker room religious proselytizing is not well received by teammates.
“Duke” Temple (Kimo Von Oelhoffen):
Clue Haywood (Hines Ward): Hated Bengals-killer is bested in crucial divisional game.
Rube Baker (Justin Smith): Not much talent, but boy does he try hard.
Jack Parkman (Eric
Steinbach): After thriving on the team, is traded to a rival who is
initially very successful on his new team. Will this repeat in 2008?
The big questions are: Who is Suzanne Dorn? Or Charlie Donovan?
At the very least, Marvin should consider adding a life-sized cutout of Mike Brown in a leopard print banana hammock in the locker room for motivation.