NFLN survey/Super Bowl player: Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals were nearly completely passed over in an ESPN.com NFL Nation survey that anonymously asked players across the league to pick an opposing player they'd most like to see in the Super Bowl.

Only two Bengals were picked by respective single voters outside their locker room: receiver A.J. Green and cornerback Leon Hall.

Respondents to the survey were requested to pick fellow active players who had not yet appeared in the Super Bowl. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was the player most picked to appear in his first Super Bowl. The Vikings have made just three playoff appearances in Peterson's seven-year career, advancing to the NFC Championship Game once, in January 2010.

What does this apparent virtual snub mean for the Bengals? Who really knows?

A few items we can perhaps glean from it are below:

  • Maybe it means the Bengals don't yet have players who garner the same type of attention and respect as veterans like Peterson.

  • Maybe it means few players outside Cincinnati believe any current Bengals will ever make it to the Super Bowl.

  • Maybe so many players outside Cincinnati believe the franchise is cursed, like fans in the Queen City are beginning to believe.

  • Maybe on the day they were asked, those players in other cities just happened to forget about the Bengals.

  • Maybe the Bengals just don't have that many good friends in other locker rooms.

Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

What it does appear to suggest is that not enough time has gone by for rising Bengals stars like Green to draw the empathy of his league brethren. The vote for Hall was likely out of empathy, as the seven-year veteran also has yet to appear on the grandest stage in all of football. He's only appeared in two playoff games his entire career, in part because of the Bengals' mediocrity his first two seasons, and also because of injuries that have ended his year before the postseason even arrived. Like this year, Hall was lost for the year when he tore an Achilles in the middle of the 2011 season.

Other Bengals worthy of empathy votes include veteran offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, Terence Newman, Adam Jones, Domata Peko and Chris Crocker.