On Saturday, September 10, 2016 the Bengals visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York.
NEW YORK- Andrew Whitworth, with an attention for detail that only a football coach love and an architect could produce, dropped his cell phone to his waist and started clicking away.
In the Pro Bowl left tackle's frame were a bouquet of flowers wrapped in Bengals orange and black on a slice of the engraved names while in the background the Freedom Tower soared into the September 11 blue and white sky.
"The detail," mused linebacker Vincent Rey, who as a Queens schoolboy visited the towers before they came down. "I appreciate that."
Rey and his fellow Bengals captains offered the flowers during their brief visit to the 9/11 Memorial on a steamy late Saturday afternoon hugging the high 80s. Bengals president Mike Brown and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis led the traveling party through an only-in-New-York scene of solemnity mixed with sight-seeing the day before they open the season against the Jets (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) at MetLife Stadium.
Memorial visitors, Bengals fans, and New York City street gawkers were mixed in together as they watched the Bengals pay their respects. Quarterback Andy Dalton also appreciated Lewis' efforts.
"He wanted everybody to realize the importance of the day and the importance of us playing in New York on the 15th anniversary," Dalton said. "I think it's cool they brought us over here so we could see this. This makes it even more special."
Dalton put the flowers down on one of the many panels surrounding the south pool where the South Tower stood. It was panel 23, where the names of two brothers ran close together and a tour guide gave a brief but poignant explanation. John T. Vigiano, a New York City firefighter, and Joseph Vigiano, a New York City police detective.
"They wanted to get the names close together of people that knew each other," said Dalton as he and Whitworth studied the names and then looked up at the tower.
"And the tree line is something, too," Whitworth said. "It's the actual outline of where the building was."
But Dalton could take away only one thing.
"Imagine," he said, "what it was like to be here."
Vinny Rey was glad he finally got back here to see how they had remembered it all.
"No reaction," he said. "Just grateful."
It wasn't all solemnity. As one of the buses pulled out, a New York City policeman stuck his head in the door and ordered, "Make sure Dalton plays well tomorrow. He's on my fantasy team."