After the Bengals play the Indianapolis Colts this weekend, the team will make a return trip home to prepare for the winless Buffalo Bills on Sunday November 21. Even though the Bengals haven't lost a game by more than eight points since their 14-point loss to the New England Patriots during opening weekend, fans are done. Even though Cincinnati's -23 point differential is actually better than seven teams with a .500 record or better, fans are done. Even though there's been virtually no game that Cincinnati was realistically within striking distance to win since opening weekend, fans are simply done with this team, feeling that their money and Sundays are put to better use than spending it on the Bengals.
The reality is that the Bengals, a team we all expected to have a winning record better than .250, has a winning record of .250. And considering that the Bills have little, if any, fan presence in the area, the Bengals aren't optimistic that they'll sell out for November 21st game against the Buffalo Bills.
"There is a meaningful number of tickets left for the Buffalo game. As a result, we don't expect the game being sold out," said ticket sales manager Andrew Brown.
While Geoff Hobson writes that the Bengals aren't expecting to sellout, Joe Reedy simply declares the sellout streak over.
Bengals officials have acknowledged that next Sunday’s game against Buffalo is no where within range of a sellout or even to get a 24-hour extension from the league office. That means the 57-game streak of regular season and postseason sellouts will officially end on Thursday at 1 p.m., when the game will be blacked out.
If you're mildly confused at the relatively quickness of the announcement that their 57-game sellout streak broken, the game is not officially blacked out until Thursday, November 18th when the game must be sold out by 1 p.m., or 72 hours before kickoff.
Either way, the reality is that the Bengals are a disappointing 2-6 and frustrated fans have better uses to spend their money than supporting the Cincinnati Bengals. And the ticket office, and by extension the front office, knows it. One has to hope that this humbles the front office to a degree to make offseason changes, rather than an outdated model that rarely results in a successful NFL franchise. But who are we kidding?
After the Bills, the Bengals will host the New Orleans Saints on December 5, the Cleveland Browns on December 19 with their home finale on December 26 against the San Diego Chargers.