Put it this way. The Cincinnati Bengals, a team coming off a 10-6 playoff season with massive expectations, took a nose-dive to a 4-12 season in which many fans have had enough. Arguments among Bengals fans ranged from a needing a new head coach, to a new quarterback. Actually, mostly every aspect of the team was examined for a change, with some mulling over a complete roster and coaching revision.
Instead of change, the Bengals brought Marvin Lewis back and the press conference announcing his return all but sealed some Bengals fans' disgust of the organization and how it's run. That doesn't mean Bengals fans will leave or sell their souls for another team. But it does mean fans will stop showing up to games.
In a report by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Joe Reedy asked season-ticker holders if they had planned on renewing. Of the 176 fans that responded, "two-thirds say they plan on canceling."
Dick and Carol Jones, who have held season tickets since 1970, also are not renewing. They cited the reasons that a lot of others did - the awkward press conference announcing the return of Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown.
They said in an e-mail: "Like many others, I suppose that we have been waiting and hoping to see a sign of change. The press conference last week further showed that no change is going to be forthcoming. We do know of one change. We will not be spending any more money to support those who care so little about their fans and what should be their obligations to the City and County which have supported this team."
And according to Reedy, of the fans that plan on renewing, some "listed losing money on the charter ownership agreements (COA)."
The Enquirer reached out to Bengals Public Relations Director Jack Brennan for a comment.
"The Bengals retain the core of our 2009 division championship team, along with a number of young players who showed great potential in 2010. Though last season was a disappointment, Coach Lewis has already begun to outline the steps planned to quickly return to and exceed our 2009 level. Many of his thoughts were spelled out in an interview with The Enquirer last week, with the message that hard work for a successful 2011 has already begun. But the Club knows that last season has generated understandable concern on the part of many fans, season ticket-holders in particular. The Bengals realize the importance of personally responding to those who have expressed their feelings to us, and that process is ongoing."
Read Joe Reedy's report for a pretty compelling rebellion from Bengals fans. And if the Bengals still don't see complete dissatisfaction with the organization from fans, who knows what else has to be done.