Starting LG Travelle Wharton was carted off with a right knee injury, while linebacker Rey Maualuga and defensive end Carlos Dunlap followed with leg injuries. Maualuga was not injured seriously, but Dunlap was severely limping on the sidelines and appears to be the greater concern. Later C Kyle Cook and SS Taylor Mays exited, as well. All indications are Wharton is gone for the year.
Injuries Friday night notwithstanding, I like these Likable Bengals. A lot. Strangely, it’s less about their talent, and more about attitude, selflessness and character. Yes, the word ‘character’ and Bengals used in the same sentence.
A few years ago I’d occasionally post comments on other Bengals blogs – comments often critical of the Unlikable Bengals make up, as I saw way, way, way too many selfish, me-me-me players, making the team, well, almost borderline unlikeable. I’d mostly be attacked, because most Bengals’ fans didn’t want to hear the bad and ugly – and make no mistake, ArrestGate of 2006-07 and Chad Stupid Name’s antics and team-killing selfishness was ugly.
Yes, the team I gew up with was borderline unlikeable. The team I root for was borderline unlikeable.
But not anymore.
okay, sure, there’s a few hanger-overs with wrap sheets. A few role model never-be’s. A few that make coaches hold their collective breathes each Friday and Saturday night, praying the morning doesn’t bring a new mug shot.
If you want proof of the new Likable Bengals, simply go on Bengals.com and view a few player interviews, especially new No.2 WR Brandon Tate. Count the number of times Tate says the word team. And count the number of times you don’t see a self-promoting check-off chart, or a self-marketing catch phrase. Note – I have vowed to never kiss a baby for as long as I live.
These Likable Bengals travel to Atlanta for their next preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 16. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m.