Worst franchise goes under “worst moments” microscope

Last week, ESPN The Magazine listed the Bengals as the 122nd best pro sports franchise.  Out of 122.

It was a bad moment, to be sure.  But not one of the “worst moments” for the Bengals since the last work stoppage.

On Wednesday, in a special edition of PFT Live*, we’ll look at the “worst moments” for the Bengals.  Feel free to share your own views in the comments below.  And try to confine your remarks to 3,000 words or fewer.

53 responses to “Worst franchise goes under “worst moments” microscope

  1. No question – worst moment in history is when Kimo blew out Carson’s knee in the playoffs. Remember also that Slim Henry got killer injury on the same play. Since that day in 2006 there has not been such hope for the future in Cincinnati. Last chance to overturn Mike Brown’s incompetence, last time we had any belief that things would change. All due to yet another Steelers dirty play.

  2. LOL, Smith. “Roll, Tide!”.

    Bungles been as useless as tits on an offensive lineman.

  3. 2005 Carson Palmer gets rolled in the wildcard playoff game. Bengals beat Pittsburgh just a couple weeks prior making Cincinnati fans comfortable with playing them. Pittsburgh goes on to win the Superbowl..

  4. Sept 20, 1987 Bengals held a 26-20 lead with the ball and 30 seconds left in the game. I departed the stadium thinking the game was over. On 4th down, Sam Wyche elected to try and run the clock out; however, James Brooks was stopped for a 6-yard loss with 1 second left on the clock. On the final play of the game, Joe Montana threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice to win the game. On the way home I stopped off at a local bar and bought a round of drinks for my friends to celebrate the Bengal’s victory . It wasn’t until after the drinks were poured and almost a full hour later that I discovered the Bengal’s had in fact lost the game. Just one of several games where the Bengal’s snatched defeat from the jaw’s of victory!

  5. A few of my picks:

    Pete Johnson, stopped on 4 straight rushing attempts from the San Fran 1-yard line.

    All-Pro NT Tim Krumrie breaking his leg early in SuperBowl XIII against the 49ers (I maintain to this day that we would’ve won that game had that injury not happened)

    Stanley Wilson’s cocaine-binge on the eve of the SuperBowl.

    The 2005 NLF draft:
    1st rounder David Pollack breaks his neck
    2nd rounder Odell Thurman goes from almost-defensive-RoY to crackhead.
    3rd rounder Chris Henry

    Ki Jana Carter tears a knee ligament in his first pre-season game with the Bengals

    Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson – million dollar talent, 10 cent head

    Carson Palmer’s knee injury versus Pittsburgh – most people forget on that play Palmer hooked up with Chris Henry for a 66yd completion, during which Henry also suffered a knee injury.

  6. “And try to confine your remarks to 3,000 words or fewer”
    Low blow; unnecessary and unprofessional although kinda funny. The Bengals have been a victim of some bad luck and they have worked very hard at creating some of it themselves.

    “You don’t live in Cleveland…”–Sam Wyche

    34 seconds from winning a SuperBowl

    Palmer’s injury

    Allowing 85’s mouth to be more productive than his play (decent player who used the team/venue to boost his personal ego/celebrity…a couple times is entertaining but allowing it to happen continuously discredits the franchise and its history)

    Bad draft choices: Akili Smith, Perry, Kijana Carter, Klingler

  7. My Precious was actually in ascendent mode (a false one, according to Marvin Lewis in retrospect) until Kimo rolled from the ground into Palmer’s knee after the pass, which instigated an offseason change in the rules to protect signalcallers (ironically, to the benefit of Ben Roethlisberger the most among NFL QBs).

    Hardly anyone remembers that they also took out one of Chris Henry’s knees on the very same play (a 60-yard bomb to Chris) which also knocked him out of that game injured and onto the surgeon’s table.

    I’m sure it was pure coincidence that the 2 most critical components of executing THE strategy of how to beat the stillers’ zone blitz (by throwing over the top) somehow both came up crippled by game-ending knee shots on the very same snap.

  8. My stomach still churns when I see that run. It amazes me nobody told him to put a shirt on.

  9. Suggestion – put the worst twenty in “below the waterline” category, so no one franchise gets the publicity being dead last.

  10. One word… Mike Brown. Routinely picked the wrong coaches & players. And when he finally gets one right it always gets ugly before they leave town. Corey Dillon, Chad Johnson, and Carson Palmer are some elite talents that they had & couldn’t keep any happy & all are having dramatic exits. I could look past the Klinglers, Akili’s, Shula’s if they could just keep the good ones happy & not held hostage.

  11. How about the founding of the franchise? I think that was a pretty bad moment that led to all of the rest.

  12. Im not a cincy fan so my personal worst moment is having to look @ their trick or treat halloween uniforms . I almost have a SEIZURE everytime i watch ocho do a touchdown celebration . Thank God that rarely happens anymore

  13. Only yesterday, I was wallowing in the misery that was the Patriots worst moments since the last work stoppage…..and today? Wow, things just seem so rosy! Thank you Bengals 🙂

  14. It would be easier to name the best moments in franchise history.

    However…I would just say that without the Bengals the league may have never seen Brett Favre play. (Vintage Favre not Mr. Retirement)

    Of course the same could be said about David Klingler, Artrell Hawkins, Ifeanyi Ohalete or anyone from the 99 Draft.

  15. Lewis Billups dropping an interception that would have clinched Super Bowl 23. Bengals learned how to be complete losers in that game. He makes the catch, the history of the franchise is chanced forever.

  16. Gus Frerotte’s left-handed interception against the Browns on September 15th 2002. Single-handedly the greatest play in the career of Kenard Lang and the lowest day of my Bengals fando(o)m.

  17. 1. Mike Brown taking over as owner/G.M.
    (imagine if Matt Millen OWNED the Lions…)

    2. Carson’s knee…January 2006.

    3. Ki-Jana Carter’s knee… 1995.

    4. Joe Montana. 2 of his Superbowl victories came against the Bengals. At least we kept it close though. The Broncos and Dolphins got blown out.

    5. Gus Frerotte left handed interception to start 2002.

    6. Brandon Stokely running a tipped pass in to win the game for the Broncos on one of the goofiest plays EVER. I was like “why us?” (2009)

    7. Mike Brown turning down Mike Ditka’s offer of 8 picks…so we could draft Akili Smith (1999)

    8. Being a fan of a team that has no real hope until the owner dies. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

  18. The Bengals have had some bad breaks, but what team hasn’t? Besides that, how many times have they drafted a top 3 pick only to make the team worse? The plain and simple truth is that the Bengals ownership simply does not care about being competitive. They have long been content with a rather indifferent approach to investing in scouts for the draft, or free agents, or just about any other thing they could have aggressively pursued to maintain consistency or improvement. This attitude so obviously trickles from the top down to the coaches and players, and is the main reason they were ranked the worst. Marvin Lewis has been a joke for a while now, yet he recently got an extension. In all seriousness, what is the motive here? There should be no question about replacing him, yet they stay in idle and give him an extension for two years, and then justify it by saying they want continuity. This is exactly what I’m saying. They want to maintain their continuity of losing. Lewis has been there eight years yet he only has two winning seasons. Even Cleveland knows better than that, but that’s only cause they may actually care about their fans. They should have tossed Lewis and Ochocinco years ago. About the best thing they ever did was draft Corey Dillon. It was worth watching those arse beatings just see him truck. Definitely a Bengal to be proud of.

  19. The Bengals’ uniforms are the worst looking in the league and the players know it. Design a uniform with some ooomph and I’ll be you win more games.

    Not that I would care.

  20. Great comments by all. The ’87 loss to the 49ers was particularly painful. I can still see Boomer running around in the backfield and eventually downing the ball, for no good reason whatsoever.

    I think the worst moment is every morning when we all get up and decide that we are still Bengal fans.

    Darn it, just happened again. I will never learn.

    Who Dey.

  21. @mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports

    I was at that Dever game in 09, my first game at PB.

    It was a punt fest, CedBen punches one in late in the fourth to give Cincy the lead. There was about a 1:30 left in the game, I told my girlfriend that as long as Denver doesn’t return the kick to the 50, there is no way Neck Beard will drive the field to win it. We watch Eddie Royal get tripped up inside the 10. I told her “that’s it, let’s get out of here and beat the traffic” so we headed to the bathrooms.

    I was standing NW end of the stadium waiting for the old lady when I hear 60,000 people gasp in unison. I run back to see what was up, only to see a bunch of Broncos piled up in the far endzone.

    The place was silent, everyone just stood there with their hands on their heads in the WTF pose.

    They ran the replay on the stadium monitors, the image of Bradon Freaking Stokely streaking down the sideline with Dhani Jones giving chase still haunts my dreams, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

    The stadium was dead silent as it emptied out. The handful of Denver fans at the game didn’t celebrate, they ran out of there like they stole something. I don’t think they had to worry about any retaliation, us Bengals fans were too depressed and stunned to do anything.

  22. @backinblack67

    Around here, we call that “the curse of Bo Jackson”


    I was watching it on TV, so me and my pops were doing the WTF pose at home. That kind of stuff doesn’t happen to other teams…

  23. I said this the other day, but #1 must be the death of Paul Brown.

    That was the day that this team went into the tailspin that it will never recover from.

    They could hire the Belicheck as coach and go 3-13.

    If this was an all-time list I’d say #2 was hiring Tiger Johnson as head coach and letting Bill Walsh leave. Funny how most football fans don’t know that the West Coast offense originated in Cincinnati.

  24. Why do we Bengal fans only get one day? The Mike Brown era is worth of a mini-series at least.

    On a side note, I figured Peter King would’ve done his first ever article for PFT on this one as constantly ripping on the Bengals is his favorite pastime (other than tired coffee shtick).


  25. Yeah, it pretty much begins and ends with Carson getting Kimo’d. That was like seeing Santa come on Christmas morning only to realize he was squatting and leaving you a steaming pile of “presents”.

    Chris Henry’s death after to seeming to have it all figured out would be next IMO.


  26. @finfan68 “You don’t in Cleveland” was a great moment. GB Sam Wyche.

    Not sure if anyone mentioned Gus Frerotte switching hands to throw an INT for a TD on the play of the half in that one game.

    The drafting of Klingler. Knew it was bad from the word go.

    Turning down the Ricky Williams trade offer so we could keep our draft pick and take Akili.

    Chad Johnson changing his name (it’s been downhill for him since the switch).

    David Shula getting hired.

    David Shula coming back the next year.

    And the next.

    And the next.

    And the next.

    Bratkowski staying about 3 years too long.


  27. Lewis Billups dropping an interception in the Super Bowl that would’ve won the Bengals a championship….Joe Montana goes on to drive down the field and win the game.

  28. You can start with a few from before/during the close Superbowl loss to the 9ers after the 1988 season:
    -Tim Krumrie breaking his leg
    -Stanley Wilson getting high and suspended the night before the game
    -Lewis Billups dropping an INT on the 1st play of the 4th quarter…followed by Montana to Rice for the tying TD on the very next play.

  29. Time to bring in the Big Tuna.

    Pay him what he wants, you need to start by firing everyone in the front office, get rid of the coach(s) , trade all the so called “stars” on the team for draft picks.

    It can’t get any worse so wipe the slate clean and do it the right way.

  30. I’d say forking out $100 mil to the biggest choker of a QB ever, thereby falling for the overhype spewed out by the TV types, qualifies for Cincy’s dumbest day. Suckers!

  31. On the field:
    1)Carson’s knee
    2)Montana to Taylor
    3)Ki-Jana’s knee,David Pollack’s neck
    4)’07 season.Needing to win 1 of 3 to make the playoffs,(2 years in a row,not done since the 80’s)they choked and lost all 3 highlighted by the “North Dallas Forty”missed extra point at Denver to send it into overtime and the Shane Graham missed game winner,in the last game at home,losing in overtime.
    Off the field:
    1)Chris Henry’s death
    2)Paul Brown’s death and subsequent lack of football genes in his son.
    3)Multiple arrests,etc. that made them the butt of jokes and the laughing stock of pro sports.

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