The Bengals were recently ranked the worst franchise in professional sports by ESPN The Magazine, an extremely well-earned honor. That Cincinnati can’t see what they’ve done to deserve the title is further proof of how clueless they are. There was only so long Carson Palmer could take playing for them before he wanted out, and it’s a wonder he lasted as long as he did.
But he’s not the only one who feels that way.
Former two-time Outland Trophy winning center Dave Rimington is the latest player to rip on the organization, saying it’s like a black hole. Check out what the former Nebraska star offensive lineman told Big Ten Blog, as shared by Pro Football Talk:
“I went from one of the best organizations in college football to probably one of the worst organizations in the NFL,” Rimington said. “I went from a weight room that was half the size of a football field to a weight room that looked like a junior high weight room, and the strength coach didn’t want anybody to lift. … It was ridiculous the stuff we had to go through there. I just had to shake my head. It’s like the black hole of professional football.
“Good players go there and you never hear from them again.”
For full disclosure, it must be noted that Rimington was a former first-round pick of the Bengals who fought through several injuries in the pros and never lived up to his billing. He also ended up being cut by Cincinnati before the 1988 season, so one could make the argument that he holds a grudge against the Bengals.
As for his comments, they’re not entirely accurate. Palmer had success in Cincy and so did Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Even Cedric Benson played his best with the Bengals after being a bust with Chicago. But I agree in the sense that guys generally don’t come to Cincinnati and become notable. Draft picks generally bust there because they’ve created a culture of losing. It starts at the top where ownership has one of the smallest front office staffs in the league, and where they constantly refuse to pay players. They try to cut corners by taking high-risk players who have character issues, and they constantly get burned.
The Raiders may have the Black Hole at their games, but Rimington may be right: the Bengals are a black hole.
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