What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Every year about this time, it is tradition here at Dubsism to write a piece trashing the Super Bowl contestants. The reason why we do this is actually rather simple. The Super Bowl is the biggest sports event in America, and as such, it draws in all the casual fans who don’t pay attention to football until now. That means those of us who watch all the sports we can need to provide crucial information the newly-arriving fan may not know.
As Americans, despite all of our varying levels of interest in the National Football League, in the immortal words of our own Boyd Bergquist, Super Bowl Sunday is the one day that even people who don’t give a damn about football watch football. Christmas is when we gather with families, but Super Bowl Sunday is when we gather with friends. and co-workers. That why we provide the “Why You Shouldn’t Cheer For” series so you won’t look like as much of an asshole to those people come Monday.
Today is all about why you shouldn’t cheer for the Cincinnati Bengals.
One of the more hack-ish bits lately in the world of sport is the “Mt. Rushmore” exercise. In short, it’s all about naming the four figures one would immortalize in 100-foot granite busts. No matter how you chisel that mountain, the city of Cincinnati would easily have the worst.
The problem here is the Cincinnati Bengals really haven’t had any football relevance since Boomer Esiason…save for about six weeks in the mid-2000s in the Carson Palmer era. That means building Mount “Cincinnati-More” mandates pushing past the pigskin world.
Having said that, who are the four most iconic figures in the history of the “Queen City?” It would be pretty hard not to start with Larry Flynt, America’s pre-eminent pre-Internet smut peddler. You decide which is worse; building a publishing empire on wanton exploitation or that Flynt’s life story made a movie star out of Woody Fucking Harrelson?
Football wouldn’t even provide the sports figure most representative of Cincinnati. That honor would fall to Pete “Lifetime Ban” Rose. Not only was he a nuclear-powered asshole; the fact he nearly killed Ray Fosse in an exhibition All-Star game bears that out.
But what makes this native son of Cincinnati so representative of it is the fact the “Queen City” is the epicenter of the people who insist Pete Rose belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame despite the fact he was banned for life for breaking the one rule they tell you from Day One you can’t break…gambling is the game’s “unforgivable sin” and has been ever since the “Black Sox” scandal nearly destroyed it in 1919.
Keep that in mind as we address the next face on the mountain, the king of daytime sleaze television, Jerry Springer. Before he was simultaneously exploiting and entertaining the trailer-park set, Springer was kicked off the Cincinnati city council for soliciting a prostitute (they caught him because the idiot paid her with a check). But in keeping with the Rose-Springer postulate, what did the city of Cincinnati do with the disgraced Springer?
They made him the fucking mayor.
However, since this is a sports blog, and since we are talking about the highest holy day on the football calendar, we probably should have a gridder on the mountain. The question is who should it be? It could be the aforementioned Boomer Esiason. Or it could be Anthony Muñoz, the mountain-sized offensive lineman who has a cameo in the 1983 epic The Right Stuff. For my money there’s only one choice; nobody became more of a cultural phenomenon from his three years in Bengal orange than did Elbert Woods. You have to hand it to this fat, mediocre running back from thirty years ago who is still a “thing.”
Besides, his nickname is also an apt description of Cincinnati…”Ickey.”
The Cincinnati Bengals are akin to the Denver Broncos in the sense that they’ve always bad uniforms. The genesis of that shouldn’t surprise anybody; the Bengals were founded by the same guy who molded the Cleveland Browns…Paul Brown.
That’s why the Bengals original uniforms were an exercise in boring…just like the Browns.
Eventually, they morphed into varying versions of what I like to call the “Varicose Pumpkins” because of those stupid helmets which resemble a gourd dying of a circulatory disease.
If you’ve ever been to Cincinnati, you know it’s technically in Ohio. But if you’ve ever flown to the “Queen City,” your flight landed in Kentucky. It’s a distinction without a difference because regardless of which side of the river you’re on, the accents are exactly the same. You really don’t expect to hear the tones you would expect from barefoot hillbillies resplendent in their bib overalls while extending diphthongs and whistling digraphs through missing teeth in the shadow of a modern urban skyline…but here you are.
Such bucolic banter isn’t the only thing which fills the air here. For some reason, “Cinci-tucky” has a smell all it’s own. It’s hard to describe; it’s somewhere between the stench of burning flesh and those sulphur-like rotten egg farts.
Now, I’m no atmospheric scientist, but I’ve got a pretty solid suspect for the source of this miasma…
Like the aforementioned smell, Skyline Chili is also unique to greater “Cinci-tucky.” But calling it “chili” is like making sushi with live bait. Yeah…it has meat in it, but it’s also spiced with unsweetened chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, and apple cider vinegar. Not only is this combination disgusting, in the belly of the uninitiated this combination becomes the wadding in a rectal shotgun shell; everything in front of it will explode from your body in a spatter-pattern usually reserved for chain-saw murders.
For the “Cinci-tuckians” who love this gastronomic catastrophe, they can get it anywhere. There’s over 100 Skyline Chili franchises in the area, and they can buy this shit in the local supermarkets. To make matters worse, they often combine it with hot dogs or spaghetti. I’m convinced there are people who drink it right out of the can.
Any questions on the source of the smell?