So, today I happened to stroll over to the "Mothership" and low and behold, what do I find? "The Who Dey Perspective": possibly the final act of desparation by the Bengals PR director, Jack Brennan, to ward off the inevitable public backlash against their recent demands for an additional $43M from Hamilton County to make repairs to Paul Brown Stadium, originally constructed for $455M - by Hamilton County, for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Before you click on that link, be advised it may cause you to hurl all over your computer. Josh mentioned "The Who Dey Perspective" last week, which was supposedly a more interactive/direct message to Bengals fans from the organization. Riveting! I guess, some sort of forum which would give us loyal and heart-broken fans a fireside chat to provide better insight on the Bengals and reassurance there is light at the end of the tunnel. Oh, boy.
For a moment, I thought, maybe I'll hear some talk about what specific players they're considering drafting, what coaching changes may ensue, why they believe we sucked this year and won't next year, possible rebuilding plans for the team, what concessions they made to Marvin when they rehired him, etc.
Okay, I'm done slapping myself in the face. Of course, the first thing they (Jack Brennan, because everybody wants to hear from this guy...) want to address is the supposed "false" allegations and ass-raping Hamilton County took in the stadium deal. No coincidence that they suddenly come out with this statement in light of the recent demand for $43M to add on for "vital" stadium repairs.
Now, if you thought the statement Mike Brown made during the press conference of the century, "ranked 10th in the number of games played by the players the Bengals drafted...", was epic, wait till you read this ingratiating statement...
On Sept. 12, 1996, two days after the Bengals and Hamilton County announced terms of our club’s Paul Brown Stadium lease, The Cincinnati Enquirer published an analysis of the deal. The idea was to rate it against other NFL leases -- particularly those leases recently done in comparable markets -- and to form a conclusion on how the County’s taxpayers made out.
Had the answer been “poorly,” surely The Enquirer would not have hesitated to tell its readers so. And based on the criticism of our lease that one reads or hears in the media/Internet world of today -- not to mention attacks made seemingly for political gain -- one would think The Enquirer had done just that.
But what did The Enquirer actually find?
» A headline on the story read: “Team’s stadium pact in middle of NFL’s pack.”
» The reporter, Anne Michaud, wrote: “A comparison of the Bengals’ deal with six others in recent years shows that, although Cincinnati stands to push past other small-market teams, the deal lands on a middle ground.”
Essentially, their whole argument is that the deal they made with Hamilton County falls in the middle of the pack with respect to leases made by other NFL teams. They then go on to provide a chart which provides vague and ambiguous data to compare the Bengals' deal to other arbitrarily picked deals reached by counterpart NFL teams, which are supposedly "similar".
As you examine the chart, it'll probably be tough for you to understand the relevance of this data since what we really want to know is how much money did the city provide and how much have the Bengals contributed - which they cleverly avoid with meaningless jumble. I think the key aspect they want to convey is the "rent" each team pays. In this row, Cincinnati pays "$9.7M" which is the second largest number shown. However, two of the rental costs this Jack guy references are annual costs (the average lease lasting 30 years) of $1M and $3.5M - whereas the $9.7M Cincinnati paid was the total cost. But enough with this garbage, which Jack wants us to focus on.
How much did each stadium cost? Throwing out the Colts' stadium, since theirs was built a decade later (not to mention earned through fielding a competitive team), the following stadiums and their respective construction costs facilitate the teams depicted on the chart.
Everbank Field (Jacksonville) - $121M
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay) - $168.5M
Cleveland Browns Stadium - $283M
M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore) - $220M
Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis) - $280M
LP Field (Tennessee) - $290M
Paul Brown Stadium - $455M
Notice how much more expensive Paul Brown Stadium was than any of the others "The Who Dey Perspective" compares it to on their irrelevant chart? If you read through the entire article, you'll find no mention of these costs. But remember though, their lease fell "within the middle of the pack".
At this point, I want to stop because I am becoming more and more pissed off at how much the Brown family shafted Hamilton County, but I thought I'd add one more comment to all this.
As I said earlier, the teams they picked to include on this chart were arbitrary because there are other teams who reached deals with their respective cities to build stadiums under a lease plan around the same time. Take for example the Pittsburgh Steelers, who in 1999 had reached a highly controversial deal with the city of Pittsburgh in which a $281M stadium would be built - with the Steelers contributing $76.5M towards the construction.
Chew on that, if you will. The Steelers, who had provided a competitive team all through the 90's and maintained a perennially high payroll (and have continued to do so through the new millenium), had to haggle $204.5M from their city to build a new stadium, which they'd eat nearly a third of the cost for. Contrast that deal to the Bengals, who had provided the worst team all through the 90's and had the second-lowest payroll (and have not improved much in either category since) in a salary-cap league, essentially being handed a $455M stadium without any upfront payments required towards the construction.
And they have the audacity to tell us a reasonable deal was reached in addition to demanding more money? Even more ridiculous is they probably wonder why we despise them so much....