BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20: Fans of the Cincinnati Bengals cheer against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens lead the Bengals 14-7 at the half. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
+ Somehow a story that shouldn't have been a story turned into a story Monday. The Cincinnati Bengals notified season ticket holders on Monday that there will be a pep rally on July 26 to celebrate the opening of training camp, which includes a concert, fireworks, with the entire Bengals team present as well as former players signing autographs. However instead of saying that this is a good idea, a damn good event to get Bengals fans involved, people are finding their way to criticize the team because there's a $10 entry fee to get into the stadium where the event is being hosted.
The latest comes from Mike Florio, responding to the Director of Sales and Public Affairs Jeff Berding -- whom Florio incorrectly names the team's spokesman (that would be Jack Brennen) -- comment that he believes that this event is a neat thing. Florio writes:
The question isn’t whether it’s "neat"; the question is whether there’s a way to do this without soaking $10 out of everyone who attends. Especially since the franchise has soaked millions out of the taxpayers in putting together one of the sweetest sweetheart deals that any NFL team enjoys.
Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Maybe the Bengals will just fold future efforts to invite the fans to more functions because in the end, they know that they'll just be ripped anyway. So why bother. But that's alright. At least everyone would be able to keep their $10, or roughly a third of a check for a decent dinner at a sit-down restaurant. Get the steak. It's always a winner. Hopefully in this regard, they really are ignoring everyone else.
+ The debate is far simpler than people are making it. Want to reverse trends about faltering attendance across the league? Drop the prices.
+ We dusted off the Evan Mathis file, specifically remembering his career in Cincinnati from 2009 and 2010 after the former Bengals guard admitted that he asked Marvin Lewis to move him to the defensive line at one point.
+ The deadline for the Bengals to sign Mike Nugent to a long-term deal is next Monday. Joe Reedy writes that there's no updates. Otherwise he'll be playing under his $2.645 million franchise tag.
+ ESPN's Matt Williamson wrote stuff about the Bengals that we already knew. But it's dead right now. And we mostly don't mind reading. Mostly.
+ The Bengals will reach the Super Bowl if...
+ Former Bengals defensive lineman and professional wrestling referee Antwan Odom is nearing his NFL comeback, currently training at Evan Mathis' Zone Athletic Performance.
+ We wanted to add a reminder from Sunday's story about Forrest Gregg's coaching career and the fight for his life.