Growing up as a fan of the Bengals wasn’t easy for many here in Cincinnati; in fact it was nearly impossible. The Bengals were labeled as the NFL’s worst team for about three years straight in the early 2000’s and were also considered the worst franchise in all sports at one time. However, when Carson Palmer came to Cincinnati the team started to take a little turn. Carson Palmer ended up leading the team to its first playoff appearance in his third year as a Bengal. But in the wild card game against the Steelers the luck for the Bengals went bad again as Palmer went down with a torn ACL. The next year they were back to their old ways and it seemed as if they would stay that way. The Bengals then decided to release Palmer in the off season before the 2011 draft when they chose TCU quarterback Andy Dalton. Expectations for Dalton were low as he was considered the fifth best quarterback in the draft, but he didn’t let that stop him. Dalton came out of the gates hot and proved to people he was the real deal. He led the Bengals to the playoffs again but we were all let down when they lost to the Texans, 31-10. It was another year without a playoff win, but there was something special in the Bengals that every fan saw, they were getting better. In the 2012 season the Bengals started off slowly, but ended the season in great fashion putting them ahead of the Steelers for the Wild Card spot. This was the first time in years that the Bengals made back to back playoffs. However, it wouldn’t end the streak of the most seasons without a playoff win. The Bengals lost again to the Texans, who were led by pro bowl running back Arian Foster who tore apart the defense. It was another sad day for Bengals, but still everyone can see they are getting better. With the 2013 draft getting closer, the Bengals are now focused on a linebacker and a safety to improve their defense. There aren’t many holes in the Bengals line up which should provide them with another playoff spot next year. We will have to wait and see if this year will be a little better. It’s hard being a Bengals fan, but it’s getting better.