Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Heavyweight Bout: Bengals Fan VS Wisdom Teeth

On Sunday of this week, I watched my Cincinnati Bengals get beat like the dirtiest rug on earth in a steady rain-fall at Paul Brown Stadium. On Monday of this week, I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed. Sitting here now on Tuesday night, as my cheeks are continuing to puff-up (making me look like freaking Louie Armstrong), I had an idea. I could compare the experience of being a Bengals fan and getting my teeth pulled. I figured it would accomplish three things: first, it would show the pain and suffering I went through to have my teeth pulled; second, it would show the pain and suffering I continue to go through as a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals; and finally, I would be able to prove to myself that there is actually something more painful than being a Bengals fan…or so I thought.

There were many similarities I found between having my teeth pulled and watching the Bengals. The most obvious, of course, was how incredibly agonizing each of them is. But that wasn’t good enough for me; I knew I would have to dig much deeper and be much more in-depth to discover which of the two was actually more unbearable. This was not going to be a simple two paragraph blog, a concept I considered for a mere five minutes before jotting my thoughts down. I would need to pour my entire soul into this project, no matter how excruciating it might be.

What I found was disturbing, to say the least.

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First of all, it is much easier to sleep through each event. Now I have never actually slept through a Bengals game, but staying awake each week is all the evidence I need to know that sleeping would be just as productive (if not more so). I did get to sleep during my teeth removal, and the anesthesia-induced coma that got me through it really enhanced the process. I was in the chair, felt a small prick in my arm, and before I knew it, I was asleep on my living room sofa. If I could do this for Bengals’ games, I would at least save myself from the pain I would suffer during the game.

Unfortunately, the second thing I learned was that the suffering goes well beyond the individual event. For instance, once the anesthesia (God’s gift to the world) began to wear off, I really began to feel the soreness and pain kick in; it has yet to go away. Similarly, after watching the Bengals play each week, I’m left in an awful funk until about Thursday, just in time to get my hopes up for another…umm…letdown. So to sum up, being a Bengals fan and getting your teeth pulled are horrendous, even after the occasion is actually complete.

Next, I realized how much fun other people can have while I am forced to suffer. While I was getting my teeth yanked from their sockets (or whatever the medical term is), my mom was sitting in the quiet waiting room, reading a book. When I was done, they placed me in a room, put a blanket over me, and let my mom come back. Now I have no recollection of any of this, but apparently I was hilarious. My mom said she was in tears from laughing as she listened to me slur my speech and make outrageous comments. Evidently, I was shivering like a recovering meth-addict and called the surgeons “SOB’s” for putting gauze in my mouth. She had a great time. I remember none of it. I was drugged out of my mind. And you know who else gets to have a great time? The people that get to watch their teams win on Sunday, they have a great time. The people that get to follow their hometown teams into the playoffs with the chance of winning a Super Bowl, they have a great time. Eighty-year-old women that go antique shopping for nine hours every Sunday, they have a great time. But not me. I don’t get to have fun on Sundays. I don’t even get to be in a drugged-up haze. Nothing.

There’s more. I discovered that both events completely ruin your appetite. All I was able to handle on Monday were cups of apple sauce and small sips of water. My food intake for the day was about equal to what pre-schoolers get for a snack after recess. On “post-surgery” day #2, I was able to upgrade to oatmeal and soup - or in other words: “nursing-home food.” I most likely won’t be able to eat solid food for a week, and the medicine I’m taking doesn’t really surge my hunger anyways. This is eerily similar to how I feel after watching the Bungals each week. The game makes me sick to my stomach, and I simply have no desire to eat. In fact, any food I ate before the game I would most likely “refund” while watching Ryan Fitzpatrick run from defensive lineman like a 6-year-old girl from a spider. I might as well not eat at all on game-days. Nourishment does me no good.

I also noticed that both the Bengals and wisdom teeath are a complete rip-off. My dental insurance has to cover a couple thousand dollars for a procedure I was forced to have. I went in for an appointment, was told I needed my teeth removed, and was praising the Lord and my parents that I had the insurance to cover the costs. I was made to endure this painful, expensive procedure, and couldn’t help but feel the same way sitting in the heart of Cincinnati a day earlier. As the Ravens were making the Bengals their personal hand-puppets, I glanced around the massive stadium for this “marionette show.” I realized that my tax dollars and the tax dollars of my fellow, hard-working, Cincinnatians paid for this graveyard. We were all forced to shell out our cash to pad the wallet of “soul-sucker/Lucifer/owner” Mike Brown. He even had the nerve to disgrace his father’s great name by allowing it to be called Paul Brown Stadium. In my opinion, the field should be called The Gentleman’s Club. Why? Because each week, countless men of all ages squander away dollars and dollars to watch a group of talent-less women defile themselves, and then have to walk away smelling of shame and filth. I’ve never actually been to a strip club, but the movies portray it to be exactly like my experience at Paul Brown. And if you think that was harsh, then I extend my apologies to strip clubs everywhere. Pretty troubling, huh?

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After I realized how similar being a Bengals fan was to getting my wisdom teeth pulled, I came to an even more alarming realization: I only have to get my wisdom teeth pulled once, not 16 weeks a year. No matter how much anguish and misery I have to go through after getting my teeth pulled, it will be a one-and-done deal. I’ll never have to watch my cheeks blow-up like a flounder or force feed myself apple sauce again. No matter how bad it is, it's just one time. But I’m a Bengals fan for life, which means the same agony of a single game will haunt me over and over again for the unforeseeable future. Getting my wisdom teeth pulled is nothing like being a Bengals fan – it’s not even close. Being a Bengals fan is much, much worse. And if you know anything about sports, then you can understand why this is a burden I will forever have to carry. Unfortunately, they have me for life.

But who knows, maybe next week will be better. Maybe it will be worse. Either way, I’ll be right there along for the ride…week, after week, after week.

NFL picks should be up before the game on Thursday.

Thanks for reading

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