I actually started this FanPost several times and, being unsure how it would be received, deleted it each time. Perhaps I should have done it again this time, but, not being one who is not afraid to err (nothing is accomplished by those afraid to fail) I think I just may have the fortitude to press the 'Publish' button below. If you read this I guess I did.
We, Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, have just witnessed, what I consider to be a major lesson in the past election. Love them - or - hate them the Tea Party movement illustrated the power of people who are fed up with politics as usual not just bitching and complaining but actually feeling so upset that they actually did something. How did they become effective? They put out the numbers. They became visible. They forced debate and demanded that they be heard. The drove their point home using the only weapons they have, public demonstration and the power of the one thing that politicians care about - their vote. The real point here is that real and impactfull demonstrations of their power, which they had all along but rediscovered, is required. They did it because the believed in their cause enough to act.
Just how much do we really care about the Bengal's situation? Obviously, just about everyone on this site wants things to change - a few perhaps enough to try to do something about it. In the past a few parties tried, but their efforts weren't strong enough and persistant enough to be effective. Too many of us sat on the sidelines and said "good for them, it is about time someone did something." As a result MB simply brushed it aside with a "this too will pass" attitude. There was no motivation to change as the effects on him were so minor that when told that the masses were hungry for wins he simply told them to eat losses.
This leads me to the question that is the title of this post. Just how upset are we? Really. Are we finally upset to the point where we will actually do something big enough and persistent enough that MB simple cannot ignore it? Something that not only gets MB's attention or the local media's attention but the national media and league office's attention? I will tell you right now that a few hunderd or even a few thousand active participants for a month or so will not get it done. It will take 10's of thousands for a long time. It has to be something that MB cannot ignore because it hits him too hard for too long where it hurts.
With the Tea Party it was the loss of votes that hurt by threatening the cushy power lifestyle of the individual politicians and went further to hurt their parent organization, in this case, the Democratic party and on to the President. They take the Tea Party seriously now, don't they?
How do we, if we decide to do it, go about it. I don't know - I must be honest. But I do have some ideas. Let me first of all say this, I am not interested in being the leader of any movement. I am kinda trolling for someone more skilled than I to help make something happen - if we are really that upset - and I am not sold on that yet.
We need to hit MB thru at least 4 different venues.
1. We need to appeal to his sense of fairness, tell him our concerns and ask him to consider our wishes. We have already done that to the point where he recenty issued a statement that, in essence, told us all to go to Hell.
2. We need to flood the league offices, not with e-mails, but physical mail, hand written. We need to let Goodell know that there is a new day in Cincinnati Bengal Nation and we are not just complaining. We are preparing to act. A few hundred will not do. It must be thousands a day. To the point where it cannot be ignored.
3. We need to flood the local media to the point where it is news. Set up fan demonstrations and rallys. We need to take out full page ads - not just once - but frequently. We need to find and support someone who can do a professional job of being the face of the movement and handle the finances, transactions and communication. (NOT ME!) Maybe 'Bulldog' Dieters or someone like him.
4. We need to back all of this up with the one thing that MB cannot ignore for long. We need to hit him in the pocket book. We need to stop buying Bengals related gear and stop going to Training Camp, Preseason games and regular season games. We need to focus a protest where for at least one or two games PB Stadium looks like a ghost town.
Here is the big question. Are we, the Bengals fans, willing to do that? Nothing short of a total effort will have any effect Are most of us going to say "well everyone else is participating - I don't need to?" Are we willing to go out to all of our friends and relatives and recruit them and allow this to fusion reaction - or will we let it fizzle? MB wants us to believe ,like the Borg, that resistance is futile. It isn't MB depends on a regular flow of big dollars and if we can cut his fan revenue by even as little as 30-40% he cannot ignore it. If only that percentage of Bengal fans join the 'cause' he would have to take note. Remember, there are other Bengal Sites (sorry Josh) where fans feel the same way. If we can all unite we CAN at least slap the guy who is insulting us.
If we are not willing to put enough of our effort - and a little bit of money (if 10 thousand contribute $1 that will but a full page add in a major paper) - into it then we simply need to shut the hell up and let Czar Brown continue to look down and laugh at us while we continue to suffer.
Okay, I have put this out there. Just how upset are we? Really. Are we sheep or wolves? Are we a storm to be reckoned with or simply a tempest in a teapot? I don't know, you tell me. I can only say that it isn't a requirement that we all stand tall but it seems to me that we at least need to stand up. Unless of course, we really don't care that much and aren't really as upset as we talk like we are. It that is the case I guess that is okay. But I will tell you something a very wise man - my father - told me when I was young. You deserve whatever you are willing to put up with.