Go Bengals!

I am a Bengals fan of 22 years. That is a LONG time to suffer that sort of pain, but that's how loyal I am to things I love.

When my father married my mom in 1987, he inherited my 10-year-old, totally sports-clueless rear and said "pick a team from each league. We will watch them, and if you like them, we will follow them."

I picked the New York Rangers in hockey because they were one of only two NHL hockey teams at the time that did exhibitions in Atlanta at the Omni, and the Islanders had a stupid mascot (the Gorton's fisherman is no sports mascot).

I picked the Atlanta Braves in baseball because Dale Murphy was a huge hero in Atlanta.

I picked the New York Knicks in basketball because I knew Chuck D from Public Enemy liked them.

And then, I picked the Cincinnati Bengals in football because at the time, I was really into tiger stuff (I can't really explain why now that I look back on it). And the Bengals had those nifty tiger striped helmets, so that was my team.

And then, that very year, Boomer Esiason sets a passing record and becomes the NFL MVP, and the Bengals go to the Super Bowl for the ONLY time in the 22 years I've been a fan.

Even through the 90's, after the Icky Shuffle waned and no one remembered how Anthony Munoz was the only tackle in the NFL to regularly run "tackle-eligable" as a receiver, I still proudly sported my Bengals Starter jacket and hat. And through the 2000's, when it seemed that the Cincinnati scouts hung out primarily at prison yard scrimmages to find talent, I still laid out my mother's handmade Bengals quilt and read Information Architecture blueprints by my official Sports Illustrated Bengals helmet lamp.

And in 2006, the night that the Bengals lost to the Steelers in their only playoff appearance since 1989, I did a "poetry slam" about the injury to Carson Palmer during a national competition... And came in 3rd out of 41 people (My wife and Nick "SexCPotatoes" remember that one).

So today, instead of visiting parks or seeing attractions, I sit in my suite at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge the afternoon before my first ever full marathon race, with room service having prepared my evening's cuisine , just so I can see my Bengals in their 3rd playoff appearance since I became a fan and 5th in my lifetime.

So, guy delivering my food, if you call me a bandwagon fan ever again, I'll fucking gut you with a Mickey Mouse emblazoned steak knife, and don't think I won't.