It narrowly edged out "Can you point me to a good ledge? Thanks" and "Following Cincinnati Sports is Pure Pain With No Hope of Relief".
I can alleviate some of the Reds pain courteousy of some stuff thrown my way by my ever-optimistic dad (bless him) after the jump but as for the Bengals, well, that's a little harder.
We just finished the easy part of our schedule 2-3. So, uh, yeah. As this season looks lost, a lockout looms in 2011, and there are all sorts of questions about our core players age/skills and coaches contracts, who knows what the Bengals look like in 2012 & beyond? This is the last known year of the mostly stable, occasionally successful, Mike Brown neutralized, Marvin & Carson era. And it appears as if the Bengals will waste it.
Unless a Zimmer Era miraculously flourishes starting in 2012 (and really it started 2 years ago), you can probably expect some form of the lost decade to return.
Importantly, the fanbase might receive more Project Mayhem tasks more warmly now...maybe we can give this another shot.
As for the Reds, despite falling for the Phillies terrible offer of "you give me five bucks and I'll kick you in the nuts", hope exists:
"The AL Central champion Twins lost their 12th straight postseason game dating to 2004, one shy of the record set by the Boston Red Sox from 1986-95.
"The AL West champion Rangers, in their 39th season in Texas after 11 seasons as the Washington Senators, still have never won a home playoff game (0-5). They won at Yankee Stadium in their first-ever playoff game in 1996, then lost three straight games in that series before being swept in 1998 and 1999."
Second, the small sample size of a 5 games series cut boths ways. It gave us a better chance of beating a superior team. But it also means that season long strengths are totally meaningless since you can't play a season to have them bear out. The Reds, among the best fielding teams in the league, saw this strength become a brutal weakness. The Twins suffered a similar fate:
"After leading the major leagues during the regular season with a .285 average with runners in scoring position, the Twins couldn't get a single clutch hit in the playoffs. With runners in scoring position, they went an almost impossibly bad 0 for 14 before Denard Span's too-little, too-late single in the eighth off Kerry Wood."
Third and last, The Phillies went through the same thing in 2007:
Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth likened the Reds’ situation to the Phillies’ in 2007, the first postseason with the present core group. The Colorado Rockies swept their division series, but Werth said the experience helped in the division series the following year, when the Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers on the way to a World Series title.
“We were just happy to be there,” Werth said of the 2007 postseason, “and we ran into a buzz saw.”
The difference, of course, is it's really easy for the Phillies to pay up to keep their core players around.