Hobson's Choice: Give NFL a mulligan

I don't know about you but it's clear to me that the Bengals got totally disrespected by not getting more then one Monday Night game for the upcoming season. Are you telling me that with this talented a team and all its colorful personalities that no one wants to see them on prime time? I ask you what do the Bengals have to do to get some respect in this league?
**--Trent, Asheville, N.C.

TRENT:** There are some people in the building wondering the same thing. Let's drop the disrespect thing because it's the most overdone phrase of the decade and has lost all meaning everywhere, from the halls of Congress to the sports pages. Just because someone disagrees doesn't mean lack of respect. That said, I agree. What do these guys have to do to show the NFL office that Steve Sabol doesn't come here any more to shoot bloopers for NFL Films?

Great offense. One of the game's great personalities in Chad Johnson, one of the game's best quarterbacks, a charismatic, popular head coach well-liked around the league ...

Yeah. they certainly deserve to be on Monday night more than the Raiders and Packers and as often as the Jaguars.

Why aren't they?

Is it because Mike Brown is a maverick in the sense he tells Park Avenue what he really feels, and he was one of two votes against the CBA extension?

(Nah, much of the schedule was probably already figured out by that vote.)

Is it because Cincinnati is a small market?

(Don't think so. Jacksonville hosts two Monday night games.)

Let's give the NFL a break on this one, although after the league looked the other way on the hit on Carson Palmer and then treated Chad Johnson like he was Bonnie, Clyde, and Jesse James, you can't help Bengals fans for feeling paranoid.

But I think Palmer's injury hurt them in the TV wars. Word was if Palmer was going to be healthy, the Bengals would have opened the NFL season on Thursday night against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Not knowing when he would be back made it tough and, remember, if they get just one "Flex Game," that will give them five prime-time shots that include the two preseason games and that is a pretty good show.

And remember when they never got a 4:15 p.m. national game? They've got two, and another 1 p.m. game could always be moved there.

While it's not ideal, it's not like they're still playing in that obscurity of a few years ago when they were like a stoned ground hog coming out of the ground once every five years.

Let's give the NFL and the networks a mulligan because of Palmer's injury. But be ready to tee off next year if the Packers get another three games even though Brett Favre is the governor of Mississippi.

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