The following is a work of satire and humor about the Raiders vs. Bengals game. It may contain offensive language and imagery, and due to its content, it should not be read by anyone.
Greetings, Raider Nation! It is I, the salt on your fries, the shake in your milk, and the ham in your burger, Raiderdamus the Great and Powerful. Like other Raider fans, I have had a few days to process the Raiders’ pathetic loss to the Chiefs last Sunday, but there’s nothing to be done except move on. At this point, being a Raiders fan is less fun than watching the family dog get put to sleep. All we can do is laugh, and that’s what I’m here for.
In accordance with tradition, I’ve entreated the Great Beyond to share his wisdom regarding the Raiders’ game on Sunday, and here is the message I received:
“They say Ohio is for lovers, but they mean lovers of heroin, poverty and crippling depression.”
If you meet a fan of certain teams, it’s proper to say certain things and if you meet a Bucs fan, you congratulate them on their recent Super Bowl win. If you meet a Packers fan, you express your sympathy for their impending death from liver failure. And if you meet a Bengals fan, you just say, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” The experience of being a Bengals fan mirrors the experience of living in Cincinnati, which straddles the line between the two worst states in the Union, Ohio and Kentucky. It’s like walking out of a mall Starbucks, looking over to the opposite side of the mall, and seeing another Starbucks.
The Bengals’ most notable achievement is being the sixth most popular football team in Ohio, behind Ohio State, the Browns, the Cincinnati Bearcats, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Columbus Crew. Being a Bengals fan as a child is like waking up on Christmas morning to find that instead of Santa Claus bringing you a new Xbox, your house burned down. Being a Bengals fan as an adult is like waking up on Christmas morning hoping your husband bought you a new Lexus with a giant red bow on top, only to find he got you a coupon to Applebee’s and a new trash can. Time to get fancy.
The Depths of Despair
Unfortunately, Mike Brown is the owner of the Bengals, and he would be considered the worst owner in all of sports if Dan Snyder did not exist. Mike Brown is essentially Ebenezer Scrooge before he meets the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and Snyder still makes him look like Gandhi. When people think about football in Ohio, they usually think of the Browns first, but the Bengals have been even worse. The Browns got smart and realized they would never win anything in Cleveland, so they moved to Baltimore, where they have won two Super Bowls.
The current Browns will never win anything, but they will also never move because the people of Cleveland realized that having a terrible football team was better than not having one at all, and they actually supported the Browns despite all that entails. If the Bengals moved, nobody would notice, and nothing of value would be lost.
Younger football fans may not know this, but in the 1980s, the Bengals were perennial playoff contenders and had the good fortune to lose two Super Bowls to Joe Montana. They were a model franchise then, the very picture of success. Since then, though, the Bengals have swung and missed more times than Adam Dunn. The Bengals’ last playoff win was against the Houston Oilers, a team that no longer exists. The following week, the Bengals lost to the Raiders in what would turn out to be Bo Jackson’s final football game.
The universe was so angry at what the Bengals did to the single greatest athlete who has ever lived that it has not let them win a playoff game since. There have been four playoff wins in Cincinnati since 1990: one by the Jets, one by the Chargers, and two by the Steelers. The greatest playoff experience the Bengals have had in the last 30 years was beating the Ravens in 2017 so that the Bills could go to the playoffs. That’s like taking your bully’s spot in detention so he can go screw your girlfriend after school.
A Skyline to Forget
Cincinnati’s football team is not the only thing from Cincy that deserves to be flushed down the toilet. Cincinnati is well known for being the origin of Skyline Chili, which is to chili what Saturday Night Live is to humor. Skyline Chili is the only food I know of that is not improved by a giant handful of cheddar cheese. If you’ve invented a meat that cannot be made more edible by adding cheese, you’ve done something truly horrifying. Anyone who eats Skyline will get more gas than an Exxon station and will be marked and cast out of society like Cain following the untimely death of his brother.
Ohio is also known for being the birthplace of presidents and astronauts. Ohio has produced seven US Presidents, as well as 25 astronauts. The reason these occupations are so popular amongst Ohioans is that, if you are elected President, you get to live in Washington, DC, and if you are an astronaut, you get to go to outer space. Both of these are legitimate reasons to leave Ohio, and thus are very appealing to people who are from that God-forsaken place. Both of these also involve getting money from the government, which is the ambition of every Ohio native. The invisible hand of the free market tried to kill Ohio decades ago, but Uncle Sam will not let them die an honorable death.
For now, however, the Bengals seem to be on the right track. They have an exciting young quarterback and receiver duo, but a late-season collapse may cost coach Zac Taylor his job in the long run. Luckily, the Bengals can hire a fresh face as head coach named Marvin Lewis to replace him, who will surely lead them to the promised land once again.
Bengals win, 27-23.
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*Top Photo: AP Photo/Isaac Brekken