Odom sacks Rodgers
The Cincinnati Bengals haven't won a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2006. I'm a home team kinda girl so naturally this means I hate the Steelers with a passion (with a grudging admiration for Ben Roethlisberger who is simply an inhuman beast of a player who never says die). I simply cannot abide native Cincinnatians who insist on supporting the Steelers. If ya love 'em that much, seriously, move to Pittsburgh, 'kay?
All that being said, I was pleased with the Bengals win yesterday against the Green Bay Packers, although they could have spared me the nailbiting, heart sinking finish of worrying that they might still lose in the final 44 seconds, much as they lost their season opener against the Denver Broncos in the final 34 seconds last week. But they won. I was so cheerful that I stuck around to enjoy CBS Sports eye-pleasing camera work while watching and cheering on the Chicago Bears as they spanked the Steelers (who was that Steelers player who looked like he might cry?) and I was very happy. At least the team I love and the team I hate are both 1 and 1. I can live with that.
Ye Olde Matey and I are fairly new to football fandom. Before the advent of Marvin Lewis, our football viewing was limited to watching the commercials during the Super Bowl and the final quarter if we weren't too busy partying down with our family. It was an occasion to party, not to actually watch the game. When Marvin Lewis became head coach, Ye Olde Matey decided he was going to start following football "for real". I took the attitude, "you're not making a sports widow out of me" so I decided to watch too. As relatives newbies our conversations during games, between cheers and groans, are not particularly knowledgeable and tend to focus on players that once caught our attention as Bengals but, for whatever reason are no longer there. He tends to stick with the major players and know every single detail. I tend to focus on people who impress me with a play or two and then quietly (or not so quietly) disappear to other teams.
I always start it with my seasons-old lament about how we should have kept Kevin Kaesviharn. After a few years with Cincinnati (and doing pretty darn well), he moved on to the New Orleans Saints where he proceeded to bloody Carson Palmer's nose the first opportunity he got to play against the Bengals and as of this season, is now playing for the Carolina Panthers. I upped the ante wondering where in the world is Ethan Kilmer only to find out that he has retired from the NFL altogether after a brief stint with the Detroit Lions. I must not be the only person who didn't know that because the search words "Ethan Kilmer" continue to be the #1 search that brings people to this blog. Happy retirement Ethan. You may not have been in the NFL long but you have fans and you are missed. Speaking of the Lions and ex-Bengals, John Kitna who also went there for a bit is now playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
We didn't bring up the most obvious former Bengal because we'd had all summer long to discuss T.J. Houshmandzadeh's move to the Seattle Seahawks. My disdain for the Steelers has already been established, but it was mainly during the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl that my utter loathing for the Steelers were established. It was then that I was impressed by the Seahawks in general and Shaun Alexander in particular. However it seems that Alexander is now a free agent; so free that no team has picked him up and Housh, even to my untrained eyes, appears to be their hopeful replacement. Can't wait to see if Housh, who has already been said to have far "outplayed his draft status" becomes the superstar I believe him to be.
Our conversation finally moved onto the current roster. We discuss our now seemingly tamed wild-child Chris Henry and how well he appears to be doing, quickly moving on to how it's always good to see Robert Geathers STILL making players think twice about catching the ball and if they do manage to catch it and are still standing while he's on point, they scurry for the sidelines if they see him coming. Game after game, that's a guaranteed smile on a Sunday afternoon.
A couple of newcomers, Odom and Benson seem to be more than earning their keep. Odom gave both Greenbay quarterbacks a good view of the turf with an amazing 5 sacks. Benson, sporting Rudi Johnson's old number is doing Rudi Johnson's old gig of running up the middle and cutting through the chaff but somehow, seeming not to get beat up as much as Johnson used to. I don't exactly like how the Bengals appear to have treated Johnson. Let's hope Benson fairs better. Marvin Lewis also unflinchingly reassigned Housh's old #84, so no love seems to be lost there as well.
I'm not sure what his name is and I'm not going to look it up because #86 has earned a name from us - Big Butt Butterfingers (the linked thread suggests some other names). Seems we're stuck with him by default due to injuries and other circumstances but please, dear God, someone teach that guy how to catch and hold onto a ball. Please. We're begging you.
So, it's a new season, a new team. New promise, new hope. Even Big Buttt...I'll be cheering the Bengals on every yard of the way!