We've made it to the end of another work week, folks. Congratulations. Now that Friday's here, very soon we'll be back inside Paul Brown Stadium to get our football fix.
Here's hoping each and every one of the more than 65,000 who are expected to attend Sunday afternoon's contest between the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals doesn't get any ideas from the fan you'll read about below. Just don't leave your seat to run on the field and let the referees know exactly how you feel. That's all the Packers and Bengals ask.
If you do, it might end ugly.
Here are Friday stripes:
We start off this "Do you remember the time?" edition of the blog (that's the title of one of my favorite songs from the late, great Michael Jackson, by the way), with a trip down memory lane. It was 2005, the last time Green Bay visited Cincinnati. Brett Favre was still the Packers' quarterback, and current Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers was his understudy. Late in the contest, as Favre drops back on one particular play, a fan runs out of the stands onto the field and snatches the football from Favre as officials blow the play dead. He then does a U-turn, running toward the end zone he ran out of. He doesn't make it that far. After causing a pair of security guards to collide, the fan gets punished. Thanks to ESPN Wisconsin, we can remember the hit (complete with video).
One person the Bengals definitely want to see on the field this weekend is rookie running back Giovani Bernard. In an interview with Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden made it clear that he wanted to get the tailback more opportunities to contribute to his offense. He said he will be doing just that in the coming weeks. For that to happen, the Bengals are going to need to keep Bernard off the injury report as much as possible. Earlier this week, ESPN.com approached the possibility of Bernard being used more in Cincinnati's scheme.
More good news heading into the weekend for Bengals fans in southwest Ohio. Since Sunday's game is expected to feature a full Paul Brown Stadium, the contest will be televised locally. That's from this item from the Enquirer, which is reporting a sellout is coming for the Bengals' second home game.
Another Bengals player to watch in Sunday's clash with the Packers is linebacker Rey Maualuga. After a rough start to his career, the four-year player from USC said he has finally started ignoring the comparisons people constantly made with respect to him, and he now is fully focused on being the best version of himself that he can be. Aside from a costly penalty in the opener at Chicago, it seems he has. FoxSports Ohio's Kevin Goheen has this look at Rey's redemption.
Finally, we close out Friday's stripes with this group of notes from Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson. Along with the arrival of cornerback Curtis Marsh, Hobson touches on the possibility that Harrison might shift down from outside linebacker to be more of a true rush linebacker off the line of scrimmage. The Bengals are trying to replace defensive end Robert Geathers who is lost for the season. The Bengals also re-signed J.K. Schaffer, a local product who was waived earlier in the week, to their practice squad.
Enjoy the weekend, Who Dey Nation. ... And don't get any crazy ideas Sunday.