Today I took in my first Bengals Training Camp. Since we had put it on the calendar, I was pretty stoked to go see my favorite team practice. Plus, it had been too long since I’ve seen football…boy, I miss football. In any case, the wife and a friend of ours trekked downtown to take it all in.
For starters, we grabbed some delicious lunch over at Bakersfield OTR (talked about them before here) and then grabbed a quick dessert at Holtman’s donuts. These are pretty much staples for us in OTR. Once we filled our bellies full of tacos, PBR from a boot, and donuts…it was onto the practice field.
Being my first trip to training camp, I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, we got some pretty great seats right on the 50 yard line (it pays to bank with Fifth Third I suppose…I’m a company man). Once we got situated, it was time to relax and enjoy. While it was a steamy 80 degrees outside, the clouds rolled over a few times to cool us off. There was a really good turnout of fans as well. It’s great to see everyone turn out to watch the Bengals just practice. It’s great too, to be so close to the players.
So, my first training camp…what did I think? Here’s a few highlights from my scouting report:
- Giovani Bernard is fast…like really. It’s one thing to watch him on TV, but close up and in person he is so much quicker. Spinning away from and finding holes in the defense was just fun to watch. I can’t way to see him break off some long runs this year.
- AJ has gorilla glue for hands. There were a few balls that should not have been caught, but somehow he did. He’s like Megatron in that you just have to throw it his direction. Just get it hear him and he’ll catch it. Also, don’t step to him. He may or may not have thrown a punch at linebacker Emmanuel Lamur during a scuffle after a drill. He may be tall and lanky, but he’s not about to back down to a dude about twice his size. Not going to lie, was fun to watch. Just don’t hurt our star receiver…you may get cut.
- Margus Hunt could be The Mountain on Game of Thrones. He’s huge.
- It may be training camp, but that doesn’t mean the defense isn’t going to light you up. There was one play where the entire crowd reacted to a tackle. It was nasty…and awesome.
- Dalton looks good. I mean, I know it’s training camp, on some long passes his arm looked strong. Just get rid of that ring and we’ll be good.
- FOOTBALL!!! FOOTBALL!!! FOOTBALL!!! FOOTBALL!!! FOOTBALL!!! FOOTBALL!!! FOOTBALL!!! Did I say “FOOTBALL” yet?!?!? FOOTBALL!!!
In the end, we may have sweated our asses off in the stands, but it was so worth it. It gets you pumped for the football season. Sitting in the stands cheering on great catches and plays while simultaneously cringing after a big hit. It makes the longing for that first game of the season not so bad. I can’t wait to join the folks in the stands and around Cincinnati in rooting on our team.