Three Things: It's The All-Star Break, So.....Bengals!

posted by Mo Egger, ESPN1530 - 

Every day there are three things, here are those three things.

Let's be honest. There's not a lot happening right now.  The Home Run Derby, as cool and as fun of an event as it is, doesn't really move the meter - although Aaron Judge was immensely entertaining to watch last night - and few care about the MLB All-Star Game beyond the pregame pomp and circumstance, which, tonight, will hopefully not include Pitbull and his smedium Marlins jersey.

MIAMI, FL - JULY 10:  Pitbull performs prior to the 2017 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park on Monday, July 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

So let's see if I can come up with three things....

1) Playoffs odds. Bovada released their latest odds for every NFL team to make/miss the playoffs...

Will the Cincinnati Bengals make the playoffs?

Yes +160 (8/5)

No -200 (1/2)

I don't feel strong enough to wager either way. I can talk myself into the Bengals making the postseason just as easily as you could talk me into them not playing in January.

This came up on the show yesterday (which you can listen to here!)...When the idea of the Bengals making the playoffs is broached, most fans and observers blow past the notion of them qualifying for the postseason and go straight into "Pfft. They need to actually win a playoff game" mode. And for good reason, since their string of playoff futility now encompasses half of the franchise's history. 

But as much as I want them to finally break through in January, I approach it a little differently.  I'm not sure success for this team this season can be solely quantified by whether or not they actually win a game in the playoffs.

They won six games last year - struggling mightily to win against good competition and failing in so many games that were there for the taking.  To go from six wins to, say, ten would be a significant leap, one that would mean that they got major contributions from guys who've done as much in the NFL as you and I.  

If enough forces come together to help this team go from also-ran to playoff participant, then we will have seen bona fide progress. The kind that portends a bright future ahead.

I don't think that would get undone if they lost one game in the postseason. The 2017 team shouldn't have to pay for the failures of their predecessors. 

Of course, that's easy to say in July.

2) George Iloka raises the bar.  The Bengals safety is engaged, and congratulations to him.  He made this video as part of his proposal....

My first question was whether the soon-to-be Mrs. Iloka actually made it through the (exceptionally well done) video which clocks in at just over four minutes.  In the history of the internet, has anyone ever actually watched a video longer than, say, 75 seconds? Few things are as brutal as someone who wants to share with you video and it's longer than two minutes.  

More importantly, how high has the bar been raised for men trying to come up with an original proposal? (This coming from a guy who's two marriage proposals included a ring as a Christmas gift and another set next to a pint glass at a bar. I am nothing if not romantic.) Look at the video quality, the production value, and think of the dollars spent on George's video. You can't pull that off, but she has these delusions of grandeur when she thinks about how you're going to propose. The best you could do is maybe play George's video for her, hoping she'll ignore the cheapness and pay attention to the sentiment.  I don't know. George has created some problems. 

3) Corey Dillon. Cincinnati.com has a good story on Corey, as part of their Bengals 50 series (which is excellent), and an accompanying podcast that I have yet to listen to. 

I like Corey Dillon. Always did, always will. As a player, he was better than even his numbers indicate, authoring the few memorable moments during what was an otherwise shitty time to be a Bengals fan. 

On bad teams, he was a star. Had he played most of his career on reasonably competent teams, he'd have a more compelling Hall of Fame argument (more yards per carry than Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Thurman Thomas, and Franco Harris), had he been on really good teams (like the '04 Patriots, which he was an absolute beast on), he'd have been in Canton on the first try.

Dude was awesome.  And while controversial, I always appreciated his point of view about the Bengals, whom he once famously said he'd rather flip burgers than play for. I always felt like he saw through all o the organization's bullshit, saw how it was compromising his own success, and was willing to speak up.

Good for him then. Good for him now. I'll be excited to see him at PBS this fall. 

Recommended link of the day: Gettin' Nowhere Fast

Radio Show: All-Star takes? OK, probably not. Listen anyway. 3:05. ESPN1530.

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Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more

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