To Whom it May Concern (if you even give a damn),
In 6th grade I remember my teacher allowing us to have a free period in order to design and draw Bengals Super Bowl posters as the team was in Detroit preparing to play the big game at the Silverdome. My freshman year of college I remember hosting a Super Bowl party with many, many folks from the Cleveland and Columbus suburbs...i was the only Cincy kid, and we all rooted like hell even after John Taylor made his infamous catch. As a teenager I had to rake an acre of leaves every week from fully mature trees, it took 6-8 hours each Sunday after church. I took a boom box outside and connected it to a guitar amp so I could hear the pregame, the game, and the postgame broadcasts in all corners of the yard. As a grown man I have attended many games at Paul Brown Stadium and my company hosts multiple events/year there, has several sets of season tickets and has a luxury box.
I am like many people in this area. I have a long history of being invested in my local football team. I have watched/listened to almost every game from age 11-40. I now have children, three to be exact. None are Bengals fans. None want to go to PBS. None want to watch the Bengals on television. They used to, but have lost interest in rooting for a habitual loser. (yeah, they don't know about the decade before they were born....The Lost Decade...two playoff berths in eight years is actually "good", when taken in context). I refuse to make them root for a ballclub that truly doesn't care about its fanbase. I didnt use to feel this way, I used to think it was simply mismanagement or lack of talent or wrong coaching choices.
Nahhhhhhhhh. Its a fundamental and conscious decision(errr, mistake) in how the organization chooses to do business. The lack of a proper scouting department reminds me of the Marge Schott era, all they do is watch games honey! Not having a GM is criminal. The lack of a Ring of Fame is alarming. Wanting more and more stadium concessions from taxpayers during an extreme economic downturn in sickening. Not having a indoor practice bubble, which all other teams at or north of our geographical location have, is a deliberate choice to not be competitive with the Joneses. The Marvin/Mike Brown press conference to announce his re-signing was about the worst case of public relations I've ever seen. Turrible. ENOUGH!!!
So, Mr Brown, I am led to believe the Bengals are "your team" and not mine. M'kay, fine. You can have them. It is my viewpoint that you are extremely fortunate that the University of Cincinnati football program struggled last season. If not, I believe a good chunk of local football fans would actually move the Bearcats well above the Bengals in their own personal pecking order.
I was forced to work the first six sundays of the football season due to a staffing emergency. By that time the Bengals were already out of playoff contention. Six weeks!!! After that point I have found entertainment outlets on which to spend my disposable income this season. The kids didn't miss football this fall. Oddly, I didn't either. And the Mrs was ecstatic not to have to share football Sundays with your team.
I understand the economics that guarantee each owner will turn a profit annually on their ballclub. But owning a NFL team comes with great responsibility. The morale of an entire city can be increased greatly just by having a competitive/successful team (see: New Orleans Saints). I don't think the organization is committed to providing a world class fan experience. I dont think the organization is committed to even providing a good fan experience. The employees at PBS need to be retrained with the understanding the fans in attendance are VIPs. They spend a boatload of money on parking, tailgating essentials, team jerseys, game tickets and concessions. Treat them like they're important, dammit. Without strong employee engagement one cannot hope to have customer engagement and loyalty. The PBS game experience is underwhelming, fyi. Before I lost interest in the franchise I stopped going to games due to how I observed fans being treated by security and stadium workers. (that's free feedback, fyi. there are lots of people like me who may still root for the team but prefer to watch the game at home on television. they're probably still salvageable. hint. hint.)
Anyway, don't cry for me Argentina, i'll be all right. The monies previously spent on the Bengals will be deposited into a savings account which will fund an annual family vacation to an all-inclusive resort. I have committed to still watch the NFL draft. I will still have some interest in whom the Bengals select each year. An added bonus will be that I will only have to watch the first hour of the broadcast regularly to see the selection!
P.S. Go Colts!!!! Go Reds!!!!