Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton isn't a very popular guy in Cincinnati these days despite two Pro Bowl appearances, four straight winning seasons and an average of 10 wins a year. That's what can happen when you fail to win in the postseason for a team without a postseason win in 25 years.
Dalton's unpopularity reached a low point when he was booed All-Star Sunday at the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The ball park is virtually next door to Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals' home.
It was a day when celebrities such as area native Nick Lachey and rappers Snoop Dogg and Macklemore took the field with softball icon Jennie Finch and a host of former major-leaguers including Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers and Ozzie Smith and one-time Reds such as Eric Davis and Sean Casey. But Dalton made the most noise.
Dalton, who led the 2014 Bengals to a 10-5-1 season with a first-round playoff loss to the Colts, was booed Sunday during on-field introductions and when he stepped to the plate for at-bats. He responded first by parking a home run to left field for the deepest blast of the game. The shot for the National team cleared the celebrity fence and almost reached the wall at GABP.
It was the first of two homers on the day for Dalton, who played organized baseball and basketball, in addition to football, while growing up in Katy, Texas.
Dalton's second homer came complete with a bat flip, but it wasn't enough for the Nationals, who lost to the American team, 25-21.
The fifth-year Bengal threw for a career-low 3,398 yards, a career-low 19 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions, one off his career-high, in 16 starts last season. But he led the Bengals to the playoffs for the fourth time in his four years as a pro, joining Baltimore’s Joe Flacco as only the second starting quarterback in the Super Bowl era to lead a team to the postseason in each of his first four seasons.
Dalton, selected as an alternate for the 2015 Pro Bowl, could tie Flacco’s record of five consecutive years in the playoffs in 2015, and could surpass it in 2016. The former TCU standout has not missed a start in his career while compiling a 40-23-1 record, for the best regular-season winning percentage (.633) of any Bengals quarterback with at least 10 starts.