Though the last two games showed Cincinnati not living up to its new reputation as a team to watch, the play-offs are ahead of us and for the first time in years, Cincinnati has a team we can be proud of.
Thank you Carson Palmer for putting the pride back in this city.
What's remarkable about living here is that I never have experienced such a city-wide enthusiasm for a sports' team. While growing up in Los Angeles, we had the Rams, the Lakers, the Kings, the Dodgers... But I lived north of the city and while my family had season tickets to hockey (Kings before Gretsky - but during Bobby Orr and Roguie Vachon), I still always felt like the team spirit was diffuse - not concentrated, not universal or personal.
Not so in Cinci! Everywhere you go, business signs say "Who Dey?" (reference to the fan speak of the Boomer Esaison season of Super Bowl era). Stores sell out of Black and Orange jerseys. It's just "in the air." (Some say Cincinnati suffers from an inferiority complex when it compares itself to other bigger cities... so a great sports team just stiffens the ol' backbone like little else.)
It's fun being in a city like this. Being the fan personality that I am... Add to it the incredible talent of the southern California QB, and it's just magic. Carson said in an interview that he and his wife love living here, love the fans, love the organization. Good thing. The Bengals just signed him for a nine year contract worth about $118 million!
So go Bengals! We'll be watching. (I predict that in the nine year tenure of Palmer, the Bengals will win at least one Super Bowl, but it won't be this year.)
And tomorrow night, we get to watch a real college super bowl: The Rose Bowl featuring #1 and #2. Can't wait.