[Indoor Practice] Field of Dreams

If you build it, they will come ... and stay. Field_of_dreams_mbrown_medium


Last season the Bengals' lack of an indoor practice facility became a public issue when the team embarrassingly had to travel 20+ miles up to Mason to use an indoor soccer field. Blogs like have noted for some time that Cincinnati is the Northernmost NFL team to not have such a facility, and given that football is played into December (if not January and February, knock on wood) it should be a no-brainer that inclement winter weather will interrupt practice sometimes in Southern Ohio. It is simply pathetic to take a team by bus to a soccer field. This is one of many reasons why Cincinnati has a long standing issue getting free agents to want to play for the Bengals.

Fast forward to 2010 and we find Head Coach Marvin Lewis in the final year of his contract after eight years with the team. It is no easy task to make the Mike Brown run Bengals into a success [see: 1991-2002] so anyone who thinks Lewis isn't crucial is dreaming.

But for once the chips are not on Mike Brown's side of the table. After a surprise 2010 playoff appearance and division championship, Lewis is in a position to make demands. Brown is a notoriously private owner, refusing to comment on negotiations with Lewis except to assure that they are ongoing. However it is widely assumed that Lewis would like more control over personnel decisions, if not the hiring of a General Manager not named Brown or Blackburn.

One nugget of negotiation that has emerged however (via James Walker of ESPN - the only ESPN journalist who has any clue about the Bengals) is that "an indoor practice facility appears to be one point of contention between Bengals ownership and . . . Lewis."
So the situation is eerily similar to the movie Field of Dreams. Mike Brown wants to honor his sports figure father's legacy (Paul Brown). He catches wind that good things will happen if he builds a field (the indoor practice facility). And if he builds it, they will come (good free agents, coaches, etc).

More accurately, if he builds it, he will stay. Surely Lewis will want more than just the indoor facility, but it would be an excellent start. Even if Lewis does not stay with the Bengals beyond the 2010 season, this is a step that still serves the long term interests of the team. Especially if the salary cap does not come back after this season, the Bengals will need to do everything they can to lure talent to remain competitive as one of the smaller market teams.

Enough useless talk already; Mike Brown, please just build the damn indoor practice field (of dreams).

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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