T.J. Houshmandzadeh was part of the core group of players that did the seemingly impossible by turning the Bengals from an NFL laughing stock to a legitimate playoff contender under Marvin Lewis.
Before Lewis arrived and put an actual professional culture in place, the Bengals had a reputation as the cheapest team in the league that never missed a chances to cut a corner. Housh spent several seasons in the NFL third world conditions, and the details would embarrass a low level minor league baseball team.
He recalled that, in addition to not having any water in the locker room for the players, the team also passed out used jock straps, and wouldn’t spring for hotel rooms for players before home games – a standard NFL practice. This resulted in players going out partying the night before games and strolling straight from the club to the stadium before kickoff, and a whole lot of losing.
This sounds more like what you would expect from NFL teams in the 50’s, not the early 2000’s. It was bad.
Storytime with T.J. Houshmandzadeh about the early years with the Bengals: No bottled water or Gatorade, jockstrap issues and showing up to home games straight from the club pic.twitter.com/nvSX7STorM
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 9, 2018