The following is a work of satire and humor about the upcoming Raiders vs. Bengals playoff game. It may contain offensive language or imagery and as a result it should not be read by anyone.
Greetings, Raider Nation! It is I, the quintessential studmuffin, the man with more bars than Alcatraz, and the World’s Freshest Man, Raiderdamus the Great and Powerful. I come to you today elated, as I am once again able to write this article beyond the bounds of the regular season. A correct prediction of a Raiders victory over the hapless, gormless, and dickless Chargers last week catapulted Raiderdamus into playoff mode with a heap of confidence. And now, as is my custom, I have asked the Great Beyond for his thoughts on this weekend’s game. Here is the message I received:
“When citizens of Cincinnati attend Paul Brown stadium for a game, it isn’t as fans- it is a support group for people who have been hurt by watching the Bengals play football.”
Getting Off Easy
This season notwithstanding, the Bengals are truly one of the worst and most pathetic franchises in the NFL. The reason they don’t get more derision is twofold: Most people forget they exist, and also, the Browns are right there. Just two years ago, the Bengals lost to the Steelers twice, once to Duck Hodges and once to Mason Rudolph. That shouldn’t be possible, but the Bengals did it anyway. The best thing the Bengals have ever done as a franchise is win a meaningless game that put the Bills into the playoffs after a lengthy drought.
The worst thing the Bengals have ever done, of course, is rob the football world of Bo Jackson. Bo is unquestionably the greatest athlete in the history of the Earth. The Bengals injured him in 1990, and he never played football again. Clearly, such an offense to the game of football cannot go unpunished, and surely it has not, as the Bengals have not won a playoff game since then. Bo Jackson lives on through his baseball career, the Tecmo Bowl, and the fact that Brian Bosworth is a walking punch line.
All The Bad Things In Life
The Bengals are responsible for so many reprehensible things. They gave us Cris Collinsworth, last seen slurping on Justin Herbert on Sunday Night Football. They gave us Paul Guenther, and by extension, Raider legend and walking targeting penalty Vontaze Burfict. Once, long ago, Antonio Brown was a normal human being. He was a superstar wide receiver, one of the most dependable targets in the game. And then Vontaze Burfict hit him so hard he was banished to the Shadow Realm, and Brown became the very embodiment of chaos. His bell got rung, and it is still ringing, like when an alarm clock is going off for hours in your neighbor’s apartment, but they are dead. One day, in the future, when Brown passes away, someone will look inside his head and see nothing but cobwebs and cottage cheese, and they will have Burfict and the Bengals to thank for that.
Cincinnati is also responsible for the 49ers’ dynasty in the 1980s. For whatever reason, Paul Brown decided not to name Bill Walsh his successor as coach, and badmouthed Walsh to any team wishing to interview him. The Niners hired him anyway, and Walsh beat the Bengals in the Super Bowl on two separate occasions. Congratulations, you played yourself.
The Unhappiest Place On Earth
Paul Brown named the Bengals after an Ohio high school team, the Massilon Tigers. He should have named them the Siberians, because Cincinnati is just as appealing and desirable a place to live as northeast Russia. Paul Brown Stadium is a masterwork of 1950s Soviet brutalist architecture, and the stadium food is bland and tasteless, representing perfectly the depression and ennui felt by anyone unfortunate enough to live in Cincinnati or visit there for a gameday. Cincinnati combines all the pure anguish of life in Ohio with the 1850’s sensibility of Kentucky. Cincinnati’s airport is in Kentucky, which is ironic because Kentucky has yet to discover electricity, running water, or heavier-than-air flight. The Bengals find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle—they are failures because they are in Ohio, and they are in Ohio because they are failures.
The Bengals boast only one member of the Hall of Fame, Anthony Munoz, no Super Bowl wins in their history, and one of the smallest and most apathetic fanbases in football. Their slogan is “Who Dey” because nobody knows who any of them are. The one thing the team has going for them is their uniforms, which feature a striking tiger-stripe pattern, the kind that belongs on the purse and car seat covers of a newly single mom to show everyone that she is still cool.
We’ve been down this road before. The Bengals have an exciting offense and go into the playoffs full of hope and unwarranted expectations, only for life to throw TJ Yates at them and remind them that they are from Ohio and they will never be winners or have nice things. It will be snowing on Saturday, which means only that Joe Burrow will be able to ice his wounds on the field after Maxx Crosby and the rest of the Raiders defense hit him harder than Joe Mixon in a restaurant.
Raiders win, 27-24.
*Top Photo: Courtesy of NFL Memes