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Souls For Sale

Posted by Charlie Hustle on July 3, 2007


A fraternity brother told me last year that he only remembered seeing his dad cry once. It was at Riverfront Stadium in 1995 where his family had season tickets for the Bengals. It was before the first game of the season and Bengals all-time great nose tackle, Tim Krumrie, had ridden onto the field on his motorcycle.

The former 10th round pick had served 12 years on the gridiron. He had also suffered one of the most gruesome injuries of all-time in the NFL, breaking his leg trying to tackle Roger Craig of the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII. Nose tackle could be considered the least sexy job on the football field. A 12-year career in the trenches would be like 30 years for a Wide Receiver.

So on that day Tim Krumrie rode off into the sunset on his motorcycle, a hero to all Bengals fans. A hero that dads would tell their sons about for future generations. Which begs the question:

Was it worth selling our souls for an 8-8 team plagued by crooks and criminals?

The fact of the matter is that few Bengals fans seem to care. I’m sure it’s hard for middle-aged white men to really relate to Chris Henry and other black Bengals who grew up in poverty. So when they hear of another player arrested, they just write them off as criminals who can’t follow the law despite millions of dollars in the bank.

However, when Sundays roll around, every white middle-aged male that calls in to talk radio and denegrates these players as thugs – is still crossing his fingers that Chris Henry, or whoever will make the lineup, will perform. After all, he is talented and he does score touchdowns – guns and pot be damned.

During the days of Tim Krumrie, a father could take his son to Riverfront and be proud that his son’s hero was playing on the gridiron that day. Should father’s now be purchasing t-shirts with mugshots on the front for their sons? What should they say when young Tommy asks, “Daddy, why isn’t Odell on the field? Did he fail another urine test?”

What is this sacrifice worth that Bengals fans have made? Is this 8-8 lemon worth the squeeze?

For example… the next time you watch Around the Horn or PTI and see that a “Bengals” topic is coming up, will you not be disappointed when its about jail time and not playing time? If we are having to endure a team that has such low-character losers on it, shouldn’t we be better than .500?

For my money, give me Tim Krumries riding off in motorcycles and dads crying with their sons. I’d rather be 3-13 and love my team all week, than sell my soul for an 8-8 team and hate them every day but Sunday.

— Charlie Hustle


4 Responses to “Souls For Sale”

  1. Doc Hancock said

    Your post made me realize why I should respect the Grizzlies even more, they suck balls but you don’t see them on mugshots for drugs and weapons.

  2. Matt said

    Sadly, I have to agree. I was born and raised a Bengals fan and my Dad had season tickets from the time I was born until the end of Sam Wyche’s tenure in Cincinnati. At least I had Boomer Esiason (at two different times) and good ole’ boy Jeff Blake to cheer for during those dismal seasons. Its a tough trade off but I remember being in tears as a youngster after a few tough losses (the snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory ones) and when Boomer Esiason retired after his second stint with the Bengals (I was at his second-to-last game, a 31-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in 1997). At any rate, great article and we better go 12-4 this year for all of the shit we’ve put up with this offseason.

  3. Greg Crabb said

    You can’t find a guy like Tim Krumrie anymore, they just don’t exist anymore these days. I’ve been going to games since before I can remember and have seen my share of games in the freezing cold at riverfront after shuffling across the roebling from kenny’s parking. I can even remember the days of Kenny Anderson and seeing Boomer develop into a great QB. I was at Joe Robbie when Krumrie broke his leg and we lost a heart breaker to the 49ers (my parents we at the one before in Detroit too) and I cried like most of the fans that night. I survived through the 90’s with its ups and downs and learned the meaning of the word humble. I have seen the rebirth of the “Jungle” and heard its rumble on a monday night the likes of which I haven’t heard since ’88 in the past few years. True we have had some stand out “criminals” that have taken away from the teams good sowings but don’t let that fool you… We still have some really quality individuals on the roster, some of the obvious ones are Palmer, Rudi Johnson, Justin Smith, Jeremi Johnson, Willie Anderson, Reggie Kelly, Shane Graham, T.J. Houshmanzadeh who all play hard nose football and manage to still keep themselves out of the slammer. Even our most flamboyant player Chad Johnson hasn’t really had any trouble with the law, yes he gets fined all the time but he knows its coming and pays them with out argument. I guess what I’m getting at here with my long rant is don’t lose heart, the bungles will always have a home at Cincinnati and will be there for a long time but the Bengals will make you remember why we love that team so much and they do show up from time to time…

  4. Matt said

    Thanks for the comments Greg, GREAT POST!

    I have been a life-long Bengals fans and at 23 years old, I have been through the 90s as well.

    Charlie and I haven’t lost faith yet as we grew up together and he is just shy of his 23rd as we speak. My Dad was a season ticket holder through the 80s and was there for those cold, cold Riverfront games with you.

    I am glad a fellow Bengals fan is here and our Bengals coverage is getting looks.

    Check out the new stuff, I am previewing the offense and keeping up with injuries…hope to see your thoughts back on here soon!!


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