Thanksgiving Day game new to Cincinnati
By Marc Hardin
FOX Sports Ohio | Bengals Insider
Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
The Bengals have never played on Thanksgiving. They hope to avoid looking like turkeys when they do Thursday at 8:20 p.m. at the surging New York Jets.
With two winning seasons in Cincinnati over the last 20 years, it's hard to blame network television honchos for leaving the Bengals off the menu.
But those two winning Bengals seasons have come in the past five years and the team has added some high-profile players, such as Terrell Owens, to the arsenal of big names already on the roster.
When the league's 2010 television schedule was drawn up, the Bengals looked like they might be giants by Thanksgiving. By Halloween, they were pretenders. On Thursday, they'll be the butt of turkey jokes everywhere.
Hey, did you hear the one about the pro football team that had just finished practice when a large turkey came strutting onto the field? While the players watched in bewilderment, the turkey walked up to the head coach and demanded a tryout. Everyone stared in silence as the turkey caught pass after pass and ran right through the defensive line. When the turkey returned to the sidelines, the coach shouted, "You're terrific. Sign up for the season, and I'll see to it that you get a huge bonus."
"Forget the bonus," the turkey said. "All I want to know is, does the season go past Thanksgiving?"
Food for thought in victory-starved Cincinnati.
At 2-8 and with healthy defenders hard to come by against an 8-2 Jets team that is tied for the best record in the NFL, the Bengals picked a fine time to flash a high profile to the nation's feasting football fans.
Not only are the Jets a favorite to win the AFC, they are built to stop the Bengals, with a solid run defense (fifth in the NFL) and a secondary replete with stellar talent, including a pair of well-decorated cornerbacks Darrelle Revis (All-Pro in 2009) and Antonio Cromartie (All-Pro in 2007).
Last season while beating the Bengals twice, Revis covered Chad Ochocinco like a blanket. This year, it looks like Owens gets unwelcomed to "Revis Island" and Cromartie draws Ochocinco.
Revis is telling reporters in New York that he expects to cover Owens on Thanksgiving.
"It doesn't matter," Ochocinco said. "Cro is just as good. Cro is actually a little bit more difficult because he's so freakin' rangy and it's hard to gauge where he's at. It