Ben-gal-ized: A condition unique to those who coach for the NFL franchise located in Southwest Ohio. Symptoms include glazed-doughnut look in post-game news conferences, frequent references to "working harder'' and "positives'' and curious game-management decisions. Those stricken often show signs of life and vitality upon taking the job, but eventually become worn down or comfortable with mediocrity or both. Current head coach is becoming Bengalized later in his tenure than his three predecessors, probably because he had the misfortune of working in winning cultures previously, in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Now, he's catching on.
"I'm not under fire'' current coach allowed Monday, and he was absolutely right. In Bengaldom, the only # that matters is butts-in-seats. The Bengals set attendance records twice in the last four weeks. If current coach is loyal to owner, he can stay as long as the seats are filled. Unless he determines being Bengalized is not how he'd like to be remembered. Remember the year the Bengals went 3-13 and the only move made was to fire the special teams coach?
Bengalizing someone requires a unique blend of stubbornness, cheapness and immunity to change. No GM, no more scouts, blind loyalty, the ability to hold hostage a gullible fan base with the same old, same old. It occurs within an industry that makes so much cash, and has such a monopoly, those who own stakes in it have a license to print money. And no huge financial incentive to win. It's sad to see what is happening to current coach. But not unexpected. Bengalizing gets them all, sooner or later.