A guide to Cincinnati Bengals, Reds fans

Editor’s note: This is the first part of a weekly column by former sports reporter and editor Mike Bass. Bass will contribute to The Enquirer by providing advice to sports fans, athletes and teenage sports parents and coaches through weekly Q&A. To ask Bass a question about the potential publication, email him at [email protected].

Let’s start the first of these weekly columns by going straight to your email after my introductory article.

I liked your article on Cincinnati.com and look forward to reading your future ones. I am guilty as charged! I’ve calmed down a lot since I was in my early 40s with two young kids and a wife, but in my teens I was an overly competitive athlete and fan. As a lifelong Bengals and Reds fan, I’ve learned that exercise can be extremely disappointing . Haha! Life goes on and there is always next year. Cant wait to see what questions and answers you get on this topic as self-reflection will be good for me. I have to set a good example for my children!

David from Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Dear David,

Thank you for your nice words. Your honesty and your confidence in your fandom are admirable. Your sense of humor through the lean seasons doesn’t hurt either.

You said you were an “overly competitive” gamer and fan and you realize that you crossed a “competitive” line. That’s big. It might be interesting to hear your definitions of “competitive” and “overly competitive”. Your descriptions can help you pinpoint your line, what will happen to you if you crossed it and what it would mean to you not to cross it. Same as for everyone else.

Getting older and having a family have helped you build perspective. Again, very admirable. Of course, being a good role model for your children means a lot to you. What if you could use this value to avoid losing control of a game whether or not your kids were there? What would help you remember your children at that time?

The answers are different for everyone, and we can examine some tools that can be used in the coming weeks.

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Here’s another one from your emails:

As a sports officer in various sports for over 40 years, I see a great need to educate parents about what their comments to officials show – and that is a total lack of respect for authority.

We complain in today’s society that young people do not respect the police, teachers and other figures of authority. When they hear their parents yell, curse, and generally verbally abuse their parents, they learn that it must be accepted.

I officiated at a soccer game years ago and was cursed by one of the parents. I stopped playing and let the parent’s child come over in front of the parents. I told him that his father, who used this language for me, approved it for all of the child’s authority figures, including his parents. Then I told the child that whether the parents or he did it was wrong.

I have never heard a curse from these parents again, and I officiated four years before them.

I look forward to reading your articles. Knowledge is good.

Rick from Cincinnati

Dear rick,

Thank you for sharing your example. You let everyone involved know that you found the behavior unacceptable and why. Agree or disagree, parents stopped.

When my older son was around 9 years old and played soccer, a mother on the sidelines spent the entire game berating an officer who was only a few years older than the players. Eventually she kicked an out of bounds ball – hard – off the officer’s shins, from a meter or two away. The poor boy looked at her in shock. The mother then withdrew.

I’m curious why: Did she notice that it was going too far to kick the ball off his shins? That he even yelled at him?

How would she have felt if she had been the officer’s mother?

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This interaction came from Twitter after the Bengals defeated the Tennessee Titans last Sunday:

Me (@ SportsFanCoach1): “Bengals Fans: What is the best thing about your trust in this team being rewarded today?”

@ Real_Peanuttom: “You won because I didn’t see a second of it on TV. I can’t emotionally handle it when Bengals have a head start. They always have a big head start when I see them on TV. “

Me: “What if the Bengals are bound or lag behind?”

@ Real_Peanuttom: “Good point. Basically they lose when I see them on TV. It’s all up to me. I’m convinced. Instead, I saw the Browns today. They lost.”

Removing yourself from stress can be a perfectly reasonable solution. If that works for you, great. If you want to find a way to see, we can explore a whole range of ways.

When you link your viewing habits to the results of your team, you are not alone. If you can joke about it, or just joke about it, it can help relieve the pain.

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Remember to email Bass at [email protected] if you want to be included next week.

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