"He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future." – George Orwell
I know the tenure of Mike Brown has at times felt "Big-Brotherish," considering his absolute control over the organization and the penchant for brainwashing previously motivated and talented players and coaches into mindless, underachieving drones. The Bengals themselves, however, are not solely responsible for the legacy of incompetence. The accomplishments the organization can be truly proud of have been written out of the history books by a lazy and biased media.
This struck me as I was watching the Browns-Lions game last night, specifically when a Lions defender was penalized for going low into Colt McCoy. The announcer yelled "The Tom Brady rule" immediately. Bullsh*t. This rule should be known as the Carson Palmer rule (and in fact was, until Tom Terrific’s followers unilaterally renamed the rule for him). Think about it – ESPN and the like have operated akin to the Ministry of Truth, rewriting history to suit their own ends. (In truth, the Bengals incompetence is probably a more believable cause than a vast conspiracy, but why write another post about Mike Brown...)
The misattribution of the more positive legacies of the Bengals are of more concern, however. We Cincinnatians know the West Coast Offense is actually the Mid West Offense. Similarly, we know the No-Huddle Offense that made the Bills famous and effective was invented by our own Sam Wyche – the irony being that Marv Levy spent an entire year trying to deem the offense illegal only to steal it for his own use. Am I missing any others?
One can see it in the dearth of Hall of Famers too – Ken Anderson and Ken Riley would be hall of famers already if they played for a different franchise.
The Bengals needs to do a better job trumping up their positive legacies. At one time, the Bengals organization fostered some of the more innovating minds that continue to influence the game today. Maybe it will serve as a reminder to a downtrodden fan base that we do have something to be proud of – and perhaps a kick in the pants for Mike Brown to reclaim the legacy he fumbled away. If nothing else, it would give us fans something to lord over other fans that seek to kick us while we are down and rub salt in our wounds of fandom.