The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since January 1991. For nearly half of the 23-year gulf, Marvin Lewis has served as the team’s head coach.
So is he tired of hearing about the failure of the franchise to succeed in the postseason?
“It can’t bother me,” Lewis told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s my goal. Not to win one, but to win four.”
Lewis explained that the team’s past failures are fueling his desire to break through.
“Every time you don’t get what you want, it makes you come back hungrier,” Lewis said. “There’s no doubt about it. You come earlier. You come harder. That’s the only way I know how to do it. We’re going to work harder.”
That doesn’t mean the Bengals haven’t worked hard in the four past occasions Lewis has taken a team to the postseason.
“I thought we prepared very well a year ago,” Lewis sad. “I thought we prepared very well the year before that. I’ve thought we’ve had good weeks of preparation and we’ve just got to go put it out there. We’ve just got to go play. We’re not going to get any of you to shut up about it until we win. That’s the way it is and I told them that this morning, flatly, OK? That’s the way it is. That’s the way it is.”
Part of “the way it is” is the team’s inability to sell out Paul Brown Stadium for a playoff game, after managing sellouts in each of the team’s regular-season home games.
“I can’t say what I really think, so I’ll just move on,” Lewis said, smiling.
He may not be smiling if the building isn’t full on Sunday, but he’ll definitely be smiling if the Bengals win the game.