Elizabeth Blackburn is the best thing to happen to this franchise in years outside arguably (yes, arguably) Joe Burrow. I am absolutely thrilled about what I am reading right now.
Every single one of us, without a hint of irony, dedicates hours of our time every week throughout the entire calendar year to discuss the merits of a troupe of grown men dressed like tigers who play with balls. Bring on the cheese and do not cease. Keep churning that crank, Olive Garden waiter. More. For I remain lean and hungry.
I am about to be 34 fuckin years old, and I have never seen the divisional round in my life -- at least not at an age that I have the cognitive capacity to recall. And yet here I am, despite everything, typing words on Bengalszone.com, wanting to see something better. I still run for the hills every time I am clicking around YouTube and even a hint of a Kimo von Oelhoffen or Jeremy Hill fumble or Vontaze Burfict missile tackle to a Pittsburgh Steeler is visible. I bear the scars of this franchise, and that is extraordinarily cheesy. Imagine trying to explain to someone who doesn't care about American football that I was emotionally wrecked for weeks because a team I cannot control lost a game. They're gonna think I'm the king of the cheese, and they're right.
Now I'm the king of the jungle, and I will treat my throne with reverence.
I think it's going to work too, at least well enough to collide a legitimate stadium environment of intense fan enthusiasm with a team that can be very good under the leadership of a great quarterback. The social media team has been killing it, and we've all seen that the last couple of years. This means less to the old fogeys, among whom I even count myself at this point, who are jaded by all the years of failure. Younger people who use Instagram don't give a rat's ass about Dave Schula or Lumina Drama or even the Palmer era (outside some choice Chad celebrations, perhaps). They do give a rat's ass about Super Bowls XVI and XXIIII, and about our founder being the most innovative coach of all time. They do give a rat's ass about the no huddle, and the poorly-named west coast offense, and about Ken Anderson being a Hall of Fame snub. They do give a rat's ass about the Bengals laying claim to the greatest offensive lineman to ever play the game. There is plenty of pride to be had here for those who are willing to show some. And if it happens, it will benefit the team on the field. Culture is everywhere, including in the stands and around the city.