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Bengals cursed by Axl Rose

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:31 am

I'm not superstitious by nature. I was never, in my less-than-illustrious careers as a Little League baseball or grade-school basketball player, one of those folks that believed in the power of the rally cap or wearing the same pair of socks during a winning streak.

I certainly wasn't someone like Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who reportedly wore the same pair of underwear during a recent 12-game winning streak this season.

After the ignominious news last week that two pounds of marijuana were allegedly being delivered to the home of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson, however, I thought quite possibly that the Bengals — the eternal laughingstock of professional sports — could be cursed.

Yes, I said cursed. The franchise was not run into the ground by owner Mike Brown; it is not in disarray from horrible draft picks throughout the years.

It is not because the team resembles the Angola Work Farm — also known as the Louisiana State Penitentiary — or because Paul Brown passed away in 1991.

Nope, it is because the team is cursed. It has been cursed since 1988 — the Bengal's last glorious Super Bowl year — when the powers that be in the bizarro world of the Bengals decided to attach the franchise to a popular band and song of the time.

That band was Guns N' Roses, and the song was "Welcome to the Jungle," and I will now damn Axl Rose's name forever.

You're probably thinking that I've suffered brain damage from countless times of banging my head against the wall due to a plethora of Bengals losses during my time, but let me illustrate how the career arc of Guns N' Roses has paralleled the history of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Lets start in 1988, when Guns N' Roses was burning up the Billboard charts with their single "Welcome to the Jungle." The song is used in the Clint Eastwood film "The Dead Pool," and everything the band touches turns to gold. Meanwhile, the Bengals begin playing the song during games at Riverfront Stadium — now aptly known as "The Jungle" — during their 12-4 run to the Super Bowl.

Guns N' Roses releases the album "G N' R Lies" in late 1988, at the height of the Bengals run. Axl Rose catches backlash for the lyrics to the song "One in a Million" at about the same time frame the Bengals proceed to lose Super Bowl XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers 20-16.

1990-91: Guns N' Roses reaches their apex with the albums "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II." In 1990, the Bengals, meanwhile, win what is known then as the AFC Central division, blow out the Houston Oilers in the AFC Wild Card game and even end Los Angeles Raider running back Bo Jackson's career in a 2010 AFC Divisional loss. The future looks bright for both the band and the team.

1991-92: Guns n' Roses, specifically Axl Rose, incite two separate riots at performances in St. Louis and Montreal. Meanwhile, the Bengals fire Super Bowl coach Sam Wyche in 1991 and begin their descent to madness with the hiring of Dave Shula in 1992 and a 5-11 record.

1993-2003: Axl and company release the bomb of an album known as "The Spaghetti Incident." The band then falls into disarray as all original members quit the band by 1997.

Axl and his cast of musical mercenaries release only two singles between 1994 and 1999, supposedly work on the album "Chinese Democracy" and completely fall off the map of popular culture.

In Cincinnati, Dave Shula continues to lead the Bengals to defeat until being axed in the middle of the 1996 season, whereas Bruce Coslet and Dick Lebeau pick up where Shula left off and find every way under the sun for the Bengals to lose. Free agent players avoid Cincinnati, wide receiver Carl Pickens wants to leave town and fans hide their identities with paper bags.

2004-2005: Guns N' Roses "Greatest Hits" is released and goes triple platinum. The Bengals, under coach Marvin Lewis, appear in 2004 on Monday Night Football for the first time in 15 years, defeating the Denver Broncos 23-10. They proceed to win the AFC North division in 2005 and appear in the playoffs for the first time since 1990. Hope abounds for

both groups.

2005-present: Multiple tours planned for the new Guns N' Roses fall apart. Axl Rose acts nuttier than an outhouse rat. The band finally releases the long-awaited "Chinese Democracy," which sounds dated and bombs.

In Bengal Land, Carson Palmer has his knee demolished in a 2005 playoff loss to the Steelers. Countless Bengals are arrested. Chad Ochocinco wants to leave town, Mike Brown still won't hire a general manager, Carson Palmer retires before he can play another down as a Bengal, blah blah blah.

If there isn't enough evidence here to convince you that the Bengals are cursed by Guns N' Roses and their damnable song, then I don't know what would.

Send letters, Bengals fans, to Mike Brown and ask him to drop "Welcome to the Jungle."

It's our only hope.

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