Pattison Sign Group signals competitive future with technological growth From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyUpgrades and new equipment will increase productivity of major regional manufacturerInnovation is key to growing strong, resilient businesses that can adapt to new challenges and changing consumer needs. The Government of Canada is committed to helping Atlantic businesses access the tools and resources they need to innovate, grow and compete.Adopting new technology will increase production capacity of strategic manufacturing companyRené Arseneault, Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche, announced today a repayable contribution of $950,000 to support Pattison Sign Group in Edmundston. This investment will help the company install new equipment to automate the thermoforming of 3D plastic products, which is an important step in sign production. The project will result in fewer errors, less waste and productivity improvements.By supporting advanced manufacturing projects like this one, the Government of Canada is helping more Atlantic Canadian companies expand their business and compete in the global marketplace – creating jobs, strengthening communities, and growing the economy.Quotes“Helping regional employers become more productive and innovative is critical to economic recovery efforts across the country. We are committed to helping businesses explore new opportunities in advanced manufacturing.”– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA“This investment will allow Pattison Signs to move forward with innovative improvements and increase its production capacity. I’m proud that our government is investing in the future of this major employer in the region.”– René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche“This new state-of-the-art equipment will allow us to improve our operational efficiency and consolidate our position as North American leader in the field of visual communication. This strategic investment aims to diversify our service offering by developing new products related to our industry but also products dedicated to new markets.”– Christian Duguay, Director of Operations, Pattison Sign GroupQuick factsThe Government of Canada, through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, has provided a repayable contribution of $950,000 to Jim Pattison Industries.Operating under a division of Jim Pattison Industries Ltd, Pattison Sign Group manufactures various industrial and smart electronic panels for the Canadian, American and Latin American markets.The company employs more than 300 people at its Edmundston plant. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:3D, advanced manufacturing, america, american, Canada, Christian, communication, Economic Development, efficiency, Government, innovation, Investment, North America, parliament, production, technology
HomeWeb DesignHow Frontend Developers Can Help To Bridge The Gap Between Designers And Developers (Image credits: Mordillo find them) (Large preview)Still, you may be thinking:“What if there simply is no noticeable system of font sizes and spacings in the design?”Well, good point! Experience has shown me that it can help to start a conversation with the designer(s) by asking for clarification rather than radically starting to change things on your own and creating unwanted surprises for the designer(s) later.Learn Basic Typographic And Design RulesAs Oliver Reichenstein states in one of his articles, 95% of the information on the web is written language. Therefore, typography plays a vital role not only in web design but also in development. Understanding basic terms and concepts of typography can help you communicate more effectively with designers, and will also make you more versatile as a developer. I recommend reading Oliver’s article as he elaborates the importance of typography on the web and explains terms such as micro- and macro-typography.In the “Reference Guide For Typography In Mobile Web Design”, Suzanne Scacca thoroughly covers typography terminology such as typeface, font, size, weight, kerning, leading and tracking as well as the role of typography in modern web design.If you would like to further expand your typographical horizon, Matthew Butterick’s book “Butterick’s Practical Typography” might be worth reading. It also provides a summary of key rules of typography.One thing I found particularly useful in responsive web design is that one should aim for an average line length (characters per line) of 45 to 90 characters since shorter lines are more comfortable to read than longer lines. Comparing different line lengths (Large preview)Should Developers Design?There has been a lot of discussion whether designers should learn to code, and you may be asking yourself the same question the other way around. I believe that one can hardly excel in both disciplines, and that’s totally fine.Rachel Andrew nicely outlines in her article “Working Together: How Designers And Developers Can Communicate To Create Better Projects” that in order to collaborate more effectively, we all need to learn something of the language, skills, and priorities of our teammates so that we can create a shared language and overlapping areas of expertise.One way to become more knowledgable in the field of design is an online course known as “Design for Developers” that is offered by Sarah Drasner in which she talks about basic layout principles and color theory — two fundamental areas in web design. “The more you learn outside of your own discipline, is actually better for you […] as a developer.” — Sarah DrasnerThe Visual CenterBy collaborating with designers, I learned the difference between the mathematical and visual center. When we want to draw the reader’s attention to a certain element, our eye’s natural focal point lies just slightly above the mathematical center of the page.We can apply this concept, for example, to position modals or any kinds of overlays. This technique helps us to naturally get the user’s attention and makes the design appear more balanced: (Image credits: Can’t Unsee) (Large preview)This nostalgically reminds me of a game we used to play a long time ago called “Find it”. You had to find discrepancies by comparing two seemingly similar images in order to score points. (Large preview)We’re All In This TogetherIn fast-paced and not-so-agile agency environments with tight deadlines, developers are often asked to implement fully functional responsive frontends based on a mobile and desktop mockup. This inevitably forces the developer to take design decisions throughout the process. Questions such as, “At what width will we decrease the font size of headlines?” or “When should we switch our three-column layout to a single column?” may arise.Also, in the heat of the moment, it may happen that details like error states, notifications, loading states, modals or styles of 404 pages simply fall through the cracks. In such situations, it’s easy to start finger-pointing and blaming the people who should have thought about this earlier on. Ideally, developers shouldn’t ever be put in such a situation, but what if that’s the case?When I listened to Ueno’s founder and CEO, Haraldur Thorleifsson, speak at a conference in San Francisco in 2018, he presented two of their core values:“Nothing here is someone else’s problem.”“We pick up the trash we didn’t put down.”What if more developers proactively start mocking-up the above-mentioned missing parts as good as they can in the first place, and then refine together with the designer sitting next to them? Websites live in the browser, so why not utilize it to build and refine?While winging missing or forgotten parts might not always be ideal, I’ve learned in my past experiences that it has always helped us to move forward faster and eliminate errors on the fly — as a team.Of course, this does not mean that designers should be overruled in the process. It means that developers should try to respectfully meet designers halfway by showing initiative in problem-solving. Besides that, I as a developer was valued way more by the team simply for caring and taking on responsibility.Building Trust Between Designers And DevelopersHaving a trustful and positive relationship between the creative and tech team can strongly increase productivity and outcome of work. So what can we, as developers, do to increase trust between the two disciplines? Here are a few suggestions:Show an eye for details.Building things exactly as they were designed will show the designers that you care and put a big smile on their faces.Communicate with respect.We’re all human beings in a professional environment striving for the best possible outcome. Showing respect for each other’s discipline should be the basis for all communication.Check in early on and regularly.Involving developers from the start can help to eliminate errors early on. Through frequent communication, team members can develop a shared language and better understanding of each other’s positions.Make yourself available.Having at least an optional 30-minute window a day when designers can discuss ideas with developers can give designers a feeling of being supported. This also gives developers the opportunity to explain complex technical things in words that not-so-technical people can understand better.The Result: A Win-Win SituationHaving to spend less time in QA through effective communication and a proper handover of designs gives both the creative and dev team more time to focus on building actual things and less headaches. It ultimately creates a better atmosphere and builds trust between designers and developers. The voice of frontend developers that show interest and knowledge in some design-related fields will be heard more in design meetings.Proactively contributing to finding a compromise between designers and developers and problem-solving as a developer can give you a broader sense of ownership and involvement with the whole project. Even in today’s booming creative industry, it’s not easy to find developers who — besides their technical skillset — care about and have an eye for visual details. This can be your opportunity to help bridge the gap in your team.Related Resources“How To Choose The Right Prototyping Tool,” Javier Cuello“A Reference Guide For Typography In Mobile Web Design,” Suzanne Scacca“Butterick’s Practical Typograhy,” Matthew Butterick“Working Together: How Designers And Developers Can Communicate To Create Better Projects,” Rachel Andrew“Design For Developers,” Sarah Drasner, Frontend Masters“Web Design is 95% Typography,” Oliver Reichenstein“Can’t Unsee,” A browser quiz to train your sense of recognizing visual details. (dm, yk, il)From our sponsors: How Frontend Developers Can Help To Bridge The Gap Between Designers And Developers How Frontend Developers Can Help To Bridge The Gap Between Designers And Developers How Frontend Developers Can Help To Bridge The Gap Between Designers And Developers Stefan Kaltenegger 2019-05-14T12:30:59+02:00 2019-05-14T12:34:08+00:00Within the last nine years, almost every designer I used to work with expressed their frustration to me about them frequently having to spend days giving feedback to developers to correct spacings, font sizes, visual as well as layout aspects that had simply not been implemented correctly. This often lead to weakening the trust between designers and developers, and caused unmotivated designers along with a bad atmosphere among the two disciplines.A lot of times developers still seem to have the bad reputation of being overly technical and ignorant when it comes to being considerate about details the design team came up with. According to an article by Andy Budd, “[…] a lot of developers are in the same position about design — they just don’t realize it.” In reality though (as Paul Boag points out), “developers [need to] make design decisions all the time.”In this article, I’ll provide practical points of advice for frontend developers to avoid frustration and increase productivity when working with their creative counterpart.Looking Through The Eyes Of A DesignerLet’s for one moment imagine you were a designer and spent the last weeks — if not months — to work out a design for a website. You and your teammates went through multiple internal revisions as well as client presentations, and put a solid effort into fine-tuning visual details such as white space, font styles, and sizes. (In a responsive era — for multiple screen sizes, of course.) The designs have been approved by the client and were handed off to the developers. You feel relieved and happy.A few weeks later, you receive an email from your developer that says:“Staging site is set up. Here’s the link. Can you please QA?”In a thrill of anticipation, you open that staging link and after scrolling through some of the pages, you notice that the site looks a little off. Spacings are not even close to what your design suggested and you notice some kinks in the layout: wrong font faces and colors as well as incorrect interactions and hover states. Your excitement starts to slowly fade and turn into a feeling of frustration. You can’t help but ask yourself, “How could that have happened?”The Search For ReasonsMaybe there were just a lot of unfortunate misunderstandings in the communication between the designers and developers. Nevertheless, you continue asking yourself:What did the the handover of designs look like? Were there just some PDFs, Photoshop or Sketch files shared via e-mail with some comments, or was there an actual handover meeting in which various aspects such as a possible design system, typography, responsive behavior, interactions and animations were discussed?Did interactive or motion prototypes that help to visualize certain interactions exist?Was a list of important aspects with defined levels of priority created?How many conversations took place — with both designers and developers in the same room together?Since communication and handover are two very important key points, let’s take a closer look at each.Communication Is KeyDesigners and developers, please talk to each other. Talk a lot. The earlier on in the project and the more often, the better. If possible, review design work in progress together early in the project (and regularly) in order to constantly evaluate feasibility and get cross-disciplinary input. Designers and developers naturally both focus on different aspects of the same part and therefore see things from different angles and perspectives.Checking in early on lets developers become familiarized with the project so they can start researching and planning ahead on technical terms and bring in their ideas on how to possibly optimize features. Having frequent check-ins also brings the team together on a personal and social level, and you learn how to approach each other to communicate effectively.The Handover From Design To DevelopmentUnless an organization follows a truly agile workflow, an initial handover of design comps and assets (from the design team to the developers) will likely happen at some point in a project. This handover — if done thoroughly — can be a solid foundation of knowledge and agreements between both sides. Therefore, it is essential not to rush through it and plan some extra time.Ask a lot of questions and talk through every requirement, page, component, feature, interaction, animation, anything — and take notes. If things are unclear, ask for clarification. For example, when working with external or contract-based teams, both designers and developers can sign off the notes taken as a document of mutual agreement for future reference.Flat and static design comps are good for showing graphical and layout aspects of a website but obviously lack the proper representation of interactions and animations. Asking for prototypes or working demos of complex animations will create a clearer vision of what needs to be built for everyone involved.Nowadays, there’s is a wide range of prototyping tools available that designers can utilize to mockup flows and interactions in different levels of fidelity. Javier Cuello explains how to choose the right prototyping tool for your project in one of his comprehensive articles.Every project is unique, and so are its requirements. Due to these requirements, not all conceptualized features can always be built. Often the available time and resources to build something can be a limiting factor. Furthermore, constraints can come from technical requirements such as feasibility, accessibility, performance, usability and cross-browser support, economic requirements like budget and license fees or personal constraints like the skill level and availability of developers.So, what if these constraints cause conflicts between designers and developers?Finding Compromises And Building Shared KnowledgeIn order to successfully ship a project on time and meet all defined requirements, finding compromises between the two disciplines is mostly inevitable. Developers need to learn to speak to designers in non-technical terms when they explain reasons why things need changes or can’t be built in a specific situation.Instead of just saying, “Sorry, we can’t build this,” developers should try to give an explanation that is understandable for designers and — in the best case — prepare suggestions for an alternative solution that works within the known constraints. Backing your point with statistics, research, or articles, can help to emphasize your argument. Also, if timing is an issue, maybe the implementation of some time-consuming parts can be moved to a later phase of the project?Even though it is not always possible, having designers and developers sit next to each other can shorten feedback loops and make it easier to work out a compromised solution. Adapting and prototyping can be done directly through coding and optimizing with DevTools open.Show your fellow designers how to use DevTools in a browser so that they can alter basic information and preview small changes in their browser (e.g. paddings, margins, font sizes, class names) on the fly.If the project and team structure allow it, building and prototyping in the browser as soon as possible can give everyone involved a better understanding of the responsive behavior and can help eliminate bugs and errors in the early stage of the project.The longer designers and developers work together, the better designers will understand what is easier and what is more difficult for the developers to build. Over time, they can eventually refer to solutions that have worked for both sides in the past:“We’ve used that solution to find a compromise in Project A. Can we use it for this project as well?”This also helps developers get a better sense of what details the designers are very specific about and what visual aspects are important to them.Designers Expect The Frontend To Look (And Function) Like Their DesignThe Design File Vs. Browser ComparisonA helpful technique to prevent designers from frustration is to make a simple left-right comparison between the design file you got handed over and what your current state of development looks like. This might sound trivial, but as a developer, you have to take care of so many things that need to function under the hood that you might have missed some visual details. If you see some noticeable discrepancies, simply correct them.Think of it this way: Every detail in your implementation that looks exactly as it was designed saves both you and the designer valuable time and headaches, and encourages trust. Not everyone might have the same level of attention to detail, but in order to train your eye to notice visual differences, a quick round of Can’t Unsee might be a good help. How Frontend Developers Can Help To Bridge The Gap Between Designers And DevelopersYou are here: Related postsInclusive Components: Book Reviews And Accessibility Resources13th December 2019Should Your Portfolio Site Be A PWA?12th December 2019Struggling To Get A Handle On Traffic Surges10th December 2019Building A CSS Layout: Live Stream With Rachel Andrew10th December 2019How To Design Profitable Sales Funnels On Mobile6th December 2019How To Build A Real-Time Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game (Part 2)5th December 2019 Posted on 14th May 2019Web Design FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share
Cristiano Ronaldo is nominated for Men’s Best Player of the Year at the Globe Soccer Awards, along with Leo Messi, Bernardo Silva and four Liverpool stars. The 34-year-old has been nominated for the award alongside the Liverpool quartet of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk. Ronaldo joined Juventus in the summer of 2018 for a club record €112 million and scored 21 league goals in his first season in Serie A, adding a further six in the Champions League. So far this term he has scored five times for the Bianconeri. Other nominees for the award include Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Modric rejects Real Madrid contract offer after Inter Milan proposalby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLuka Modric has rejected a new contract offer from Real Madrid.Telemadrid says the midfielder has rejected the first proposal from Real – with a lucrative offer from Inter Milan already on the table.Modric is tied to Real until 2020 and wants to give Real the chance to up their offer.However, Inter’s package is tempting, being worth €10m-a-year and with the option to later play in China for their sister club Jiangsu Suning.Modric feels Real should hand him a significant pay-rise after winning the Ballon d’Or this month.
Bruce happy with Newcastle’s market approachby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United boss Steve Bruce is happy with the club’s market approach.Now working alongside Steve Nickson, Newcastle’s head of recruitment, Bruce believes the club’s current transfer policy is the way forward.“I agree with the policy. I agree with it because it’s everybody’s policy. There’s not many that want to spend big, big money on a 29-year-old,” he told reporters ahead of Sunday’s game against Leicester City.”Tottenham is the same, Man U is the same. We’re not alone in this. If you’re going to spend big, big money then it makes sense to spend it on a younger one than someone who is 29 or 30.”All the Premier League teams really are looking at that. If there is one out there who is a Bosman, an Andy Carroll, or Fede [Federico Fernandez], we’ve bought experienced ones, too.”If you’re going to really, really spend, big money, you’re going to spend it on a young one. I agree with that.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@chengelisCollege GameDay viewers may have noticed that a key member of the panel was missing today. Desmond Howard was not in Stillwater, because he is up in Ann Arbor, having his No. 21 retired ahead of today’s Michigan vs. Ohio State game. So @DesmondHoward honored — retired jerseys pic.twitter.com/DuxvNsQxRw— angelique (@chengelis) November 28, 2015Desmond Howard’s #21 flies over the Big House. Congrats, @DesmondHoward. pic.twitter.com/nKPcnVi7AW— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 28, 2015Michigan honoring Desmond Howard today by retiring his jersey. pic.twitter.com/olxySgO2MA— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) November 28, 2015Hanging with my boy @DesmondHoward Go Blue!! pic.twitter.com/ihL2OuwNif— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) November 28, 2015Honoring this guy right now – Congrats to my classmate @DesmondHoward ! #goblue pic.twitter.com/GgEk5zLOwi— MVictors (@MVictors) November 28, 2015Getting a jersey retired at a place like Michigan is a pretty incredible feat, but Howard deserves it. In 1991, he cleaned up the award circuit, taking home the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Award, and Maxwell Award.
ESPN announced this afternoon a couple of new additions to their college football broadcasting team for the 2016 season. The moves: Dave Flemming will call Thursday night games. Adam Amin will call Friday night games. Laura Rutledge is the new Thursday night sideline reporter. David Pollack has re-signed with ESPN, will continue his work on College GameDay and will have a more prominent in-studio role. From ESPN:“The new opportunities for Dave, Adam and Laura prove, once again, the quality of our on-air lineup and the growth opportunities that exist at ESPN, while Molly’s addition adds another high-caliber reporter and host to our roster as we enter a new season,” senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting said. “Thursday and Friday night telecasts are an integral part of our college football coverage and we look forward to these two new commentating teams working these primetime games each week.”—–“David’s analysis, insights and, most importantly, his opinions have elevated him to a top college football analyst,” said Fitting. “Having him on our studio programming, nearly on a daily basis throughout the season, maximizes his strengths and makes ESPN’s college football coverage better.”Earlier today, ESPN announced that Molly McGrath, previously with Fox Sports, was returning to the network. She’ll work Friday night games and have a role on College Football Live.You can view ESPN’s full release here.
ST. LOUIS – When a former police officer was acquitted in the fatal shooting of a black suspect, protesters vowed to show their disdain by disrupting business in downtown St. Louis. They quickly succeeded.The unrest that followed Friday’s ruling closed large corporate offices, shut down restaurants and bars and even forced U2 to call off a concert that would have drawn 50,000 fans into the heart of the city. And protest organizers may not be done.The demonstrations engulfed the St. Louis region after a judge acquitted Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Within hours, downtown came to a standstill as marching protesters blocked traffic. The demonstrations went on through the weekend, with protest crowds swelling to thousands of people and spilling into a posh area of restaurants and bars in western St. Louis, the hip Delmar Loop area of nearby University City and even into two shopping malls.More than 140 people were arrested.The protests forced U2 to cancel a concert at the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis’ largest venue. Police said they could not provide normal protection because of the unrest, the band and concert promoter Live Nation said in a statement.Singer Ed Sheeran also called off a show. The St. Louis Symphony and a Shakespearean Theatre group cancelled performances, too.Democratic state Rep. Bruce Franks, a protest organizer, said making the entire community uncomfortable is an important part of the demonstrations. Franks said protests would continue, but he did not say when or where.“Folks got to pay attention, right?” Franks said Monday. “Do we just say, ‘Oh, it’s another case where an officer’s found not guilty and leave it at that?’ No, we get out here and disrupt and make our presence felt.”Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, said it’s too early to put a dollar amount on the economic cost.“But in the long term, there are greater economic impacts from the racial disparity and the mistrust many have in the criminal justice system,” Reagan said. “This is not new to St. Louis or unique to St. Louis, but this is a challenge.”Many business owners are dealing with more than lost time or cancelled events. Police said nearly two dozen businesses were damaged Saturday night in University City, mostly by having their windows broken. On Sunday, more windows were broken in downtown St. Louis, and several large decorative pots with plants were smashed.Chris Rubin de la Borbolla, owner of a clothing, jewelry and accessories store in University City, said his broken window will probably cost him at least $2,000. Damage to merchandise will cost him about $2,000 more.Joe Edwards, owner of the Blueberry Hill restaurant and concert venue and many other Delmar Loop businesses, said he was particularly frustrated because much of the damage occurred at businesses owned by minorities.“Forty-five years ago, this street was in great decline and by embracing diversity we overcame it,” said Edwards, who is white. “Whoever threw rocks doesn’t care. They just want anarchy.”But Edwards said it was heartwarming Sunday when artists from around the region turned out to transform the plywood covering broken windows into art. Restaurants and shops were busy with people who “came in to shop and show support,” he said.Protests resumed for the fourth straight day just after dawn Monday. A racially mixed crowd of roughly 150 people marched silently to City Hall for a rally, then to a city court building for another. Police did not intervene.On Monday night, demonstrators gathered outside the jail in downtown St. Louis for more than two hours to show solidarity with those who remained behind bars after being arrested on Sunday.It was a far cry from the scene hours earlier, when a small crowd left over from an earlier peaceful protest marched into downtown late Sunday. Once they started breaking windows and throwing things at officers, police reinforcements quickly emerged and protesters scattered.For the next several hours, hundreds of officers in riot gear lined downtown streets. More than 80 people were arrested, including onlookers who refused orders to disperse. Among those arrested was reporter Mike Faulk of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, according to the newspaper.The cause for the escalation was not clear. Protesters blamed police for showing up in riot gear. Police said demonstrators began throwing things at them.One officer suffered a leg injury and was taken to a hospital. His condition wasn’t known.“I’m proud to tell you the city of St. Louis is safe and the police owned tonight,” interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said in an early morning video posted on Twitter.The Sunday night unrest followed a pattern familiar since the protests in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Raucous but peaceful protests dominate during the daytime and early evening, giving way to much small but more confrontational demonstrations at night.“The days have been calm and the nights have been destructive,” Mayor Lyda Krewson said as she stood with O’Toole on the Twitter video.___Associated Press writer Summer Ballentine contributed to this report.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Dec. 20. Credit: Courtesy of TNSWith a little under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter, leading the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-15, it seemed that after so long, the Cincinnati Bengals were finally going to end their playoff winless streak that dates back to January 1991. Putting the length of that abysmal streak into greater perspective, in 1991 the price of gas was $1.14 a gallon, the president was George H.W. Bush, and “Home Alone” was No. 1 at the box office. Nonetheless, in embarrassing fashion, the Bengals’ streak was further extended yet another year. The deflating loss left Cincinnati’s fans with an all-too-familiar feeling, as they watched their team go out like the hapless “Bungals” rather than the proud Bengals who looked destined for a deep playoff run during much of the season.There was no love lost between the two teams Saturday night as the fierce rivalry rose to new, unprecedented heights. Dominating defenses, devastating hits, near-brawls and a combined 18 penalty flags were thrown, many of which were personal fouls. Although it was an ugly contest on both sides, it is the Bengals that will be remembered for choking away a sure-victory in such historically disgraceful fashion.After a rough-and-tumble first three quarters, with Cincinnati down 15-0 heading into the final period, quarterback A.J. McCarron quickly began an orange-and-black charge that had Paul Brown Stadium, widely known as “The Jungle,” in a frenzy. McCarron and Co. soon took back the lead when the second-year signal caller tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to wideout A.J. Green late in the game. The comeback seemed all but complete when linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who injured Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger earlier in the night on a sack, intercepted backup Landry Jones deep in Pittsburgh territory. Just as the Bengals looked to have finally broken the sixth-longest postseason drought in NFL history, the meltdown ensued.Almost as quickly as Cincinnati had the ball, it gave it right back to its hated rivals when running back Jeremy Hill was stripped on the opening play of the drive by former Ohio State standout Ryan Shazier. The Steelers indeed recovered the fumble when a first down would have effectively ended the game. Despite being carted off the field and taken to the locker room earlier, Roethlisberger came back out for a final chance at victory and led the Pittsburgh offense from its own 9-yard line to just past midfield. It would need to go further, but it didn’t have to do it on its own. The Bengals did it for them.Roethlisberger overthrew receiver Antonio Brown over the middle on the very next play, where Brown’s head would violently meet Burfict’s shoulder, concussing the Steelers’ star wideout. A 15-yard penalty was handed out, with a possible suspension now pending. The hit was as dirty as any, something that has become Burfict’s calling card. He argued the call for some minutes after and, like all game long, couldn’t keep his emotions together, especially when it mattered most. Neither could cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones, who received a personal foul after getting into it with Pittsburgh assistant coach Joey Porter. Thirty penalty yards later, kicker Chris Boswell drilled a 35-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh an improbable wild-card round victory.It was an embarrassing display of sportsmanship — or lack thereof. It was, in fact, disgusting, mainly on the Bengals’ part. All game long, coach Marvin Lewis, now the owner of a winless 0-7 record in the playoffs, failed to keep his players in check, specifically Burfict, who played on the edge most of the night. The lack of emotional restraint and composure boiled over to the point of implosion, costing Cincinnati a spot in the divisional round of the playoffs. Fans in “The Jungle” were almost as disgraceful, as they were seen pelting the turf, as well as Roethlisberger during his cart ride to the locker room, with plastic bottles and other debris.When it comes down to it, sure, Burfict racked up six tackles, a clutch sack of Roethlisberger and had what should have been a game-ending interception. Even Jones had a 24-yard punt return to set the Bengals offense up with good field position in the closing stages. And yet, Saturday night’s meltdown in Cincinnati proved that the content of your character always overcomes talent, something that might end up costing Lewis his job as coach of the Bengals.