Joe knows football. That much is clear.

Hopefully Dennis does, too.

Louisiana has been all over the football landscape this week, with headliners Burrow and Chase and Beckham bringing the purple-and-gold to the Super Bowl and head coach hire Dennis Allen bringing the Black-and-Gold to dream of another season of Lombardi Gras.

Just overlook his previous record.

An 8-28 blemish with the Oakland Raiders won’t win Allen many beauty pageants — and it almost cost him a second look for one of those coveted thirty-two call-ups. After all, there are only so many ways to be a billionaire’s fall guy. Thankfully, Ms. Gayle creates a better culture than the teams in Miami or Washington D.C. (Sidenote: Though they don’t deserve it, the newly christened team in our nation’s capital now plays at Commanders’ Palace, right? I call copywrite on that. Blue curacao martinis help the irony go down easier.)

Allen’s fumble in Oakland has been heralded as an asset by his defenders. He knows what not to do now. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Just be better (legally speaking) than the most recent guy.

Insert your press conference-worthy excuse.

And that all may be true. And all that may be the same argument LSU boosters accepted in order to stomach — and finance — the hire of Ed Orgeron. Bebe had left all his losing in Oxford. He could delegate now, he could hire a staff now, he could be the respectable face of a program now.

Before we hide our young female friends from the leering approach of another middle-aged White male boss, Coach O did do things somewhat differently than his time at Ole Miss. Chiefly, he won. And won big.

His quarterback — rather than any renewed mantra — might have had something to do with that, though.

Dennis Allen doesn’t inherit Cool Hand Joe, and short of mortgaging Airline Drive for Russell Wilson (Taysom and Zion’s trainer and a few historic tax credits should do it, right?), the offense will be a work in progress. We’re just two injuries and a few favorable arraignments away!

Tuning in Sunday for a meeting of the Bayou Bengals Cincinnati Chapter, however, can remind Who Dats that success isn’t that far away.

In the last five years, the Bengals have 29 regular season wins. Put another way, in the last five years the Bengals have won on half as many Sundays as the Saints. We might once again be missing out on the big game, but we’ve had 58 victories since Smokin’ Joe turned 20 (or a year before he could, you know, smoke Superdome legally).

Bengals fans may point out our playoff win totals during that time is now equal, at three apiece. Bengals bandwagon fans would counter: hopefully not for long.

Before you start YouTubing the Ickey Shuffle (worse than you’d think) or Googling Skyline Chili (umm, also worse than you’d think), enjoy two more points of strange, shared history.

One obvious one: Bengal habitats stretch from Baton Rouge to the Queen City. LSU’s mascot has been researched and even reconsidered in recent years, but what of the Cincinnati species?

Was it an intimidation tactic? A Paul Brown slap to Cleveland? A local zoo celebrity?

According to our friends at Cincinnati.compretty sure I can speak for them — the answer is even hotter! (Did I just pitch a TMZ article?)

The current rendition of the Bengals owes its name to a quite unsuccessful 1930s squad, who was named by its coach. After his mother’s stove. Hot enough for you?!

Also: Did I mention they were unsuccessful?

Needless to say, 30 years later not every Cincinnatian was ready to move back on the front burner with the Bengals. The team started up in the AFL just before its merger with the NFL, but some local businessmen tried to jump straight into the league with an expansion team in 1966. Unfortunately for lovers of laurels, the Cincinnati Romans never made it to the big time.

The franchise, instead, was awarded to the New Orleans Saints.

May our Who Dats and Who Deys make one super sound come Sunday.

May Joe Burreaux’s first ever Heisman-National Title-Super Bowl triple crown remind us: it’s always springtime for Louisiana football fans.

 

-30-

 

I YouTubed “Cincinnati Tourism Video” so you didn’t have to. You’re welcome! There’s a juggling district?!

 

I also listened to the official, ca. 1937 fight song. You’re welcome, I guess.

 

Maybe just stick with Ja’Marr and the griddy.