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Big Bad Bengals, True “Hard Knocks”- The Harsh Reality

With the Atlanta Falcons decline and new team vacancy for HBO’s Hard Knocks, many fans have pushed for their team to be cast under the spotlight. This reality sports documentary series captures the raw culture of the NFL during the off-season and training days.

Given our less than squeaky clean run-in with the law, the Bengals on Hard Knocks would capture more than just the irony but maybe shed some light of the hard work the team has done and adversity they’ve had to fight through. The Bengals franchise has been through a face lift since last featured on Hard Knocks in 2009 (which won a Sports Emmy for that series) and can be refreshing to see dedicated players rather than distraction and disappointing endings.

The truth of the matter is, the Bengals have had 25 recorded arrest since 2006 dealing with a plethora of charges including: assault, marijuana trafficking, and DUI, just to name a few. The Bengals are ranked among the top in the NFL of arrest since 2000. Not the right kind of “hard knocks” you want to see on a professional football team and may be the reason the nation tuned in when the Bengals were the featured team just a few years ago.

Rey Maualuga, who was most recently cited in February for misdemeanor assault after allegedly punching a bar employee in the face, talked with HBO about some different experiences he’s had as a Bengal.

Also featured is former Bengals QB, Carson Palmer and camera shy Chad Johnson (now a wide-receiver with the New England Patriots.)

The owner, Mike Brown, and head coach Marvin Lewis can use this as a tool to show the strides they are making to push those mistakes behind them. They have brought in rookies with huge potential and are coming off a season who made it to the playoffs. The Bengals are a rising team and need something like this to set the bar higher for themselves and come to the realization that the NFL, and fans, expect more from the Bengals then just jail birds when off the field. Though this misbehaving might be seen as entertaining, performance when they are on the turf is much more valuable to the City of Cincinnati.

I must leave you, though, with the fact that the Bengals did use their first draft pick (17th overall) for rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who was arrested for marijuana possession in January. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. Whether or not he will be a problem for the Bengals is unsure and we can only hope he can break through the Bengals Nation negative stereotypes.

Other possible candidates for the 2012 Hard Knocks series include not just one but both Harbaugh brothers. Jim Harbaugh, the head coach of the 49er’s, and the Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh would make the series interesting if featured together. The Arizona Cardinals have also been rumored to be interested. The New York Jets finally ruled out of race to be next for Hard Knocks via Pro Football Talk.

Until Next Time Jersey Girls,

B. Long (@Ms4thandLong)

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