It's probably something we should do every day, but at least we have one day out of the year where we take some time to be thankful for all we have. As a lifelong fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, I thought I'd share with all of you some things we can all be thankful for.
1. We have an NFL franchise in Cincinnati. At times, we've all wondered whether or not this was just a rumor, but Cincinnati has a privilege that only 30 other cities can claim: membership in the National Football League. Los Angeles isn't a member, nor Orlando, San Antonio or Columbus. Cincinnati ranks 62nd by population among US cities according to the latest census data, 20 spots behind Omaha, Nebraska. We should be thankful to Paul Brown for bringing the NFL to Cincinnati and yes, to Mike too for keeping it here.
2. The memories of great players from the past. I'm thankful to have seen Ken Anderson, Bob Trumpy, Ken Riley, Anthony Munoz, Boomer Esiason, James Brooks, Tim Krumrie, and the list goes on. I'm hopeful my children will fondly remember growing up watching Andy Dalton, Andrew Whitworth, AJ Green, and Rey Maualuga. Hopefully they'll remember all those Super Bowl titles too.
3. The most recent drafts and trades. I'm extremely thankful for the young core on both sides of the ball that bodes well for both the present and the future in Cincinnati. Andy Dalton looks like a leader out there and AJ Green is Canton material. With our first two picks last year, we very easily could have gone another direction. No offense to Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, or Ryan Mallett, but I'm very thankful the Bengals now have what might be the premier quarterback-receiver tandem for the next decade. Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Rey Maualuga make up a defensive foundation that should keep that unit among the league's leaders. None were first round selections. As we watch the Steelers and Ravens age and retool, the Bengals will just be hitting their stride.
4. Marvin Lewis. I'm thankful cooler heads prevailed and both Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis realized the value of extending their relationship. Marvin Lewis has turned a moribund franchise into something promising. He's taken the remnants of David Shula and Bruce Coslet and over the course of his tenure, built it into a contender. He's not been perfect by any stretch, and he's certainly grown in the job. But for whatever reason, he seems to have the respect and the ear of Mike Brown and has made outstanding personnel decisions. I'm glad he's still here.
Personally, I'm thankful for the opportunity to cover this team every day. I met Phil Samp in the seventh grade and from then on I wanted to be a sports journalist. My career took many turns over the years, none of them involving sports journalism. Then came Sports Media 101. I'm very thankful to Dan Benton and the leadership we have in our network. They're putting together a first class organization that, when it's finished, will be the envy of the industry and on the "favorites" bar of every fan.
I'm thankful for Joe Reedy and Geoff Hobson who have been very helpful as we've gotten this site off the ground. I'm also grateful for former Raven and good friend Fabian Washington for helping me get acquainted with some of the players.
I'm extremely thankful for a wife who, even thought she's a Cowboys fan, understands what I'm doing and is supportive with all the time this job requires.
Most of all I'm thankful for all of you who have made Bengals 101 part of your reading habits each day. Our demographics show that we're being read on every continent except for Antarctica (I have no idea what the deal is with those people down there). Our number of followers on Twitter and Facebook is growing daily. I know all of you have busy lives and can get your Bengals news in any number of places. Thank you for choosing Bengals 101 and I hope your readership is being rewarded with the highest quality of coverage. Feel free to contact me via e-mail ([email protected]), Facebook, or Twitter and give me your feedback about what you like about our site or what you'd like to see us do differently.
From Bengals 101 to you and all your loved ones, Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the turkey, and all the NFL action.
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