Cincinnati, OH —

The Bengals, in their 2020 debut, were mercilessly booed by pumped-in crowd noise, as they lost to the San Diego Chargers 16-13. “We wanted the guys to feel at home,” said team owner Mike Brown. “Sooner or later, fans will be able to return to the stands, and we want the team to know what to expect later.” Rookie Joe Burrow was highlighted for personal insults, to inure him to future home crowds. “You’re a bum, Burrow” yelled hecklers, prerecorded at Cincinnati bars. “You suck,” was directed at receiver A.J. Green. More inflammatory language was spewed at the Bengals’ offensive line. “I don’t know your name, but I raw-dogged your Mom” was one of the more memorable slurs shouted at rookie Hakeem Adeniji.

The Bengals look forward to next week, when the Cleveland Browns will introduce their new battery-tossing catapults and snowball-throwing machines.

By Fred Gailey