The Cincinnati Bengals came out flat against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. After one quarter, they found themselves trailing 13-0 and could do nothing right on offense. Fortunately, there were still 45 minutes left to play. And all the Bengals really needed was the second quarter.
Cincinnati set a franchise record by scoring 31 points in the second quarter. They went on to cruise to a comfortable 41-20 win over the Browns. But the fans were nervous early on, and boos could be heard as early as 10 minutes into the game. Defensive end Michael Johnson did not appreciate that.
“If you’re not believing and being positive, leave,” Johnson said after the game, via ESPN.com. “We don’t need you. Because that’s what we’re about around here — staying focused, staying positive and keeping our energy going. Negativity breeds negativity, and we don’t do that around here.
“I don’t appreciate that. Stay with us and believe with us. That’s what you’re here for. You’re here to support. If something bad happens, that’s not our plan. Stay positive, stay encouraging. We’ll fight. Just stick with us a while.”
The Bengals were coming off back-to-back overtime losses to the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens — two beatable opponents. Fans were upset with Andy Dalton for throwing two interceptions in the first quarter, which gave him a whopping eight picks in the last three games. You can’t really blame them for getting uneasy in a hurry.
Is it just me, or are players getting awfully sensitive? Fans pay astronomical amounts of money to go to games, so they have every right to boo when the product on the field looks like trash. It’s one thing to rip a player on Twitter and get personal like a fan did with Ben Tate on Sunday. Hearing boos is just part of being a professional athlete.