Today Marvin Lewis received the NFL Coach of the Year award. And though the Bengals underperformed down the stretch, the man who Chad OchoCinco calls “Bossman,” was very deserving of the award. People forget that the Bengals had a horrendous 4-11-1 record last season. This was not a team expected to make any noise this year. The best predictions that the Bengals were getting were a 7 and 9 finish.
Nobody thought that when the season ended, that the Bengals would be sitting atop the rugged AFC North. Marvin had to keep his team together and focused on their goal of winning the division despite much tragedy and adversity. First there was the loss of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s wife. This was very sudden and unexpected. There was also the tsunami in the Samoan islands that affected the families of several of the Bengals’s players. Then there was possibly the worst tragedy of all for the team. They lost their beloved teammate and friend Chris “Slim” Henry. Henry was thrown off the back of a truck his fiancé was driving and passed at the age of 26.
Amid all the tragedy, the Bengals, though it was not always pretty, won enough games to capture the AFC North and go to the playoffs for only the second time since 1990. I mean this was only their 2nd winning record since 1990. So fans may be upset with the ending of the season. They may have expected this team to go farther. But realize Marvin Lewis and this group overachieved and raised our expectations. This team was not supposed to be anything. Not to mention they had to deal with many injuries and incidents off the field. Yet they stuck together and Marvin guided them to a 6 and 0 record in the AFC North and a division title.
The “Bossman” is well deserving and should enjoy this award. It is recognition for a job well done. I am looking forward to next season with the “Cardiac Cats.” Nobody is calling this team the “Bungles” anymore..
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.