While the sky is falling in Cincinnati and many are (rightly) calling for the head of Bob Bratkowski...only because the owner cannot be fired or removed and we feel the need to blame someone, the dominant realization that I came to while watching the 2008 Bengals opener yesterday is this:
I am a douche bag.
This might have been in the back of my mind over the years while watching this football team but never has my douchebagedness been felt so much before. Why am I a douche bag? Well, hopefully it is limited to the content of this article. I suspect there are arguably other reasons why I am a douche bag but I do not go tanning, I do not pop my collar and I like to think that I have as little in common with this dude as possible. My douchebaggery is not related to generally acting sweet by talking about "crushing it" or "dominating" the weekends. Rather, I am a douche bag because I am an enormous Bengals fan. We don't need to rattle off the stats. They are on the sides of the home page here at WDR. Look, right now...see how bad it is. That's right, 0 playoff wins in the last 17 years. What, may you ask, does this have to do with me?
Well, let me elaborate on why I'm a superdouche. Despite the organization that I choose to root for demonstrating complete and utter incompetence over the years, I have chosen to do the following:
-Over the past 10 years, I have either purchased or been given as a present 5 Bengals jerseys.
-Last year, I went all the way to Seattle (from New York City) to watch the Bengals lose and get hazed by Seahawks fans who are surprisingly hostile despite the snobby coffee drinker stereotype that is currently in your head right now.
-This year, apparently deciding that last year's experience was not sufficiently enough of a kick in the nuts, I've decided to make the trip to the Bengals vs. Dallas Cowboys game (at Dallas) because...you know, I should be going to the hardest game of the year for us, right? And why wouldn't I pay for a hotel room, airfare, marked up tickets on e-Bay and a rent-a-car and fly four hours to watch T.O. show Chad Johnson that you should actually be the best player at your position to pull certain sh*t off. It looks a lot cooler. But I'm getting carried away. This isn't about Chad being a douche bag. This is all about me. Back to my douchebaggery...
-For some ridiculous reason, I live in New York City AND am a Bengals season ticket holder. This makes zero sense...fiscally or otherwise.
-Along with Comrade Bienemy and another friend, we put forth a significant amount of effort towards establishing a bar in Manhattan where 100+ come together to watch Bengals games in New York City.
-I created my own Bengal shoes on www.nikeid.com. They are orange and black. After shipping costs, these were close to $200. They say "Who Dey" on the back. They might as well say "Douche Bag".
-Last year at a tailgate before the Steelers game at Paul Brown Stadium, someone was walking around selling bright orange shirts with a middle finger on them that said "F*** Pittsburgh". I overheard a friend of my father's say "Who in their right mind would buy one of those things?" I held up my shirt, noted I was ten dollars poorer and said "I did." You know who else would buy a shirt like that? A huge douche bag.
-I've said preposterous things before like "I'd take a bullet for Carson Palmer"
-On Sundays in the fall, I don't make any plans because the Bengals are on televison. Despite living in New York, no matter how nice the weather is, I choose to hole up in the back of a dark bar, knowingly walk into a place where I'll be driven to drink anywhere from 3-10 beers depending on how terrible the Bengals play and how close the game is. I have forgone the opportunity to develop as a person on these Sundays and instead have spent money on consumable goods every Sunday in football season for as long as I can remember. All this while wearing orange Nike's that say
"Douche Bag" "Who Dey" on the back.
-I don't plan my vacation schedule until the NFL schedule comes out because again, for some inexplicable reason, I am a Bengals season ticket holder and find the need to go to 2 home games a year to justify this.
-I will engage in conversations with non-Bengals fans about how much the Bengals suck and how often we get arrested knowing very well that it will end with me becoming more angry in that moment.
-Like many other Mondays in the fall, despite knowing what happened yesterday and how disgusting it was, I've read numerous articles for the analysis. Like I need any analysis. How's this? "We played like a wet fart." That took 6 words and 1 second.
-I encourage my girlfriend to watch Bengals games with me. She is from L.A. She had no allegiance to this franchise...until now. She's been watching since 2006 and has become sucked in. I am responsible for this. I am ashamed. I am ashamed and a douche bag.
There are likely many more squibs that could be applicable to this article. And there are likely many other Bengals fans like me that feel like huge douche bags. The analysis of why we engage in this behavior is not hard to follow: We love football. We love the NFL. We were born in a city with a professional football franchise (and unfortunately for football purposes, not the one an hour and a half west). We enjoy tailgating with friends and watching the games with large masses. Unfortunately, our football team is notoriously bad. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself and those like me. I'd like to personally thank Mr. Brown on behalf of anyone else feeling like I am today and on countless other times on and after Sundays for making each of us feel like an enormous douche bag.