It’s not quite Joe Namath guaranteeing victory before Super Bowl III, but these days, whenever anyone associated with the Cincinnati Bengals promises anything positive, it’s newsworthy.
Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh told Adam Schefter of NFL Network that his team, currently 0-8, will not finish this season 0-16.
“If the season ends and we don’t win a game,” Houshmandzadeh said, “I will walk from my house to the NFL Network studios.”
That would be Houshmandzadeh’s off-season residence in Cerritos, located about 27 miles from the NFL Network studios in Culver City, not his in-season home in Cincinnati.
“I never thought about if we will go 0-16,” he said. “It never crossed my mind until you said it and asked me the question.”
No word yet if any Detroit Lion is willing to make the same wager.
The Bengals made their debut as an American Football League expansion team 40 years ago. What was their record in their first season?
According to Forbes, the 2007-2008 season was the NHL's best in a decade. Revenue increased 13%, to an average of $92 million per team, and operating income increased 48%, to $4.7 million per team.
How did this success shake out with our local teams?
The Kings remained the same, Forbes valuing the AEG-owned franchise at $210 million, the same value assigned last year. The Kings are 12th overall on a list topped by the Toronto Maple Leafs at $448 million.
The Ducks are 16th at $202 million, representing a 3% increase over last year.
Finally, the Kings have found some standings where they rank higher than the Ducks.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brian Berrian believes the NFL’s steroids hotline should shoulder some responsibility when it comes to the league’s supplement scandal.
"You’ve got to take some responsibility and call into that hotline [to inquire about the legality of certain products]," Berrian told Sirius Radio. "But I know one thing about that hotline. I’ve called twice before and actually never gotten a hold of anybody sometimes. So even when you try to do the right thing sometimes it is still hard to get a hold of somebody to find out what you’re really taking."
The NFL says it plans to make improvements with its hotline. In the interim, an aside to NFL players: If you do not know, just say no.
The student newspaper at the University of Kansas has been lobbying fans at Jayhawks football games to clean up their act and abandon an expletive-tinged chant that has gone up from the stands on kickoff. Taken from a line in the Adam Sandler movie “The Waterboy,” fans yell for the Jayhawks to "rip his . . . head off."
The University Daily Kansan and Coach Mark Mangino asked fans to chant something else.
Last Saturday, however, the chant lived on, but no opposition heads were ripped off. Kansas was routed by Texas Tech, 63-21.
The 1968 Bengals finished 3-11. After three games, they were 2-1.
Pete McEntegart of SI.com, writing about bounties in the NFL: “Former Ravens coach Brian Billick told radio host Dan Patrick that most teams really do offer bounties to knock guys out of the game. In fact, he knows this all too well because his players put one out on him.”
-- Mike Penner
Photo: Cincinnati Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh pulls in a 5-yard pass during the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. Credit: Dave Einsel / Associated Press