Jenkins told San Francisco 49er fans who were up in arms over the team's overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys that they could lighten up a little bit as they were preparing to face a "remarkably bad" team Sunday in the Cincinnati Bengals. While Jenkins wouldn't be the first member of the media to bag on the Bengals this season, his reasoning (or lack thereof) is what's bothersome.
Jenkins concludes that the Bengals will be a pushover for the Niners this weekend based on two happenings: First, Jenkins commits one of the cardinal sins in sports analysis, applying the transitive property to predict an outcome. Since the Denver Broncos are a really bad team and the Bengals lost to them, that makes the Bengals especially bad. Never mind that Cincinnati comes into the contest 1-1, the same record as the Niners or that this is merely week three of the NFL season; we certainly have very little data with which to base claims of overall "goodness" or "badness." Nope, Jenkins is content to rely on his faulty syllogism here to put Niner fan's heart at ease.
Second, Jenkins must have just crawled out of his hole and learned that Carson Palmer is not with the team. In Jenkins world, that must mean that the Bengals are really bad. It couldn't possibly mean that Palmer made a really dumb miscalculation based on conditions that are no longer present (offensive coordinator, Ochocinco). No, Jenkins believes that Palmer is an elite quarterback who has somehow made a noble decision not to sully his sterling career by remaining associated with the Bengals.
You really have to wonder sometimes how some of these "journalists" remain employed. Admittedly, I'm not a student of Jenkins' work with the Chronicle, but if this is any indication of the depth of his reporting, I'm not going to spend a lot of time learning about him. I don't like wasting my time following lazy reporters.
I do hope, however, both the 49ers and Bengals players are reading this. It would be beneficial for the Bengals if San Francisco came waltzing into Paul Brown Stadium thinking the home team was just going to role over. For the Bengals, they've made some great strides in the first two weeks and have impressed some of the naysayers who had already cast the Bengals as shoe-ins for the number one draft pick next Spring. This team needs to keep a chip on its shoulder, to play with a little attitude. Marvin Lewis could do worse than to perpetuate the "us v. them" mentality in his locker room.
So here's to the men in stripes providing Bruce Jenkins with a little education this Sunday down by the river.
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