When you do it for the fans, they respond. I've said it before and I'll say it again, and again, and again. One of the Bengals worst efforts as an organization is their effort to reach out to the fans. I'm not comparing this to other NFL teams; most could be the same way, I don't know. But no other NFL team goes through the same struggles with their fans as the Bengals organization.
I say this as RedsFest tickets go on sale. Nearly everyone that's gone to this event say that they love it. Fans can interact with current and former players, play indoor wiffle ball, play Texas Hold 'em with players, get autographs, buy memorabilia -- like bats, jerseys, hats, helmets used on game day. Kids can test their fast ball or take a few swings in the batting cages. This is an effort for the team to connect directly with fans once a year.
What would it hurt if the Bengals did the same thing? Some players live in the area and could appear; many of whom could generate new fans simply by interacting with fans. You could have quarterback and receiving competitions, testing your 40-yard time, a flag football game, auctions, memorabilia, autographs, etc.
It would just make too much sense for the Bengals organization to take a weekend during the offseason and make it about the fans. This would go a long way to improve fan and ownership relations, and, if anything, start building a new generation of fans. C'mon Mike. Get on it.
Less tickets (though still a lot) remain. We wrote on Monday that the Bengals report over 5,000 unsold tickets remain for Sunday's division game against the Baltimore Ravens. Later that afternoon, Bengals.com released that the number had dipped to approximately 4500 available tickets. And it's killing Chick Ludwig.
Want some Jeremi Johnson reading? Joe Reedy, C Trent Rosencrans, and Geoff Hobson each published pieces on Jeremi Johnson. Joe examined Jeremi's recent history, from being released to returning to being a more versatile player who even lines up at tight end. Much of Geoff's article is the same, however, he also points out Johnson's critical job against the Baltimore Ravens. C Trent examined Johnson's journey from being down and out to the team having their once good fullback back.
Chad Ochocinco's run towards a milestone. Only 32 players in NFL history have recorded 10,000 yards receiving in a career. Chad is 522 yards away from achieving that mark. Geoff Hobson writes, "At his current pace of 82 yards per game he’ll get it Dec. 20 in San Diego." The last time Chad played San Diego, he caught 11 passes for 260 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns in a 41-49 loss in 2006.
Palmer's glove brings luck; planning postseason surgery on hand. Carson Palmer points out that since he hurt his left thumb, which he wears a protective glove for, the rushing offense has flourished. Of course, he's joking. He does plan to "undergo postseason surgery". Hopefully that means after the postseason.
Andre Smith continues to work. While he's working with the team now, there's still a long way to go for Andre Smith. Andrew Whitworth, one of the veteran linemen whose taken a leadership role said of Smith:
“You still have to get into football shape and you can’t be there yet. It’s going to take awhile,” Whitworth said. “For the most part he knows what he’s doing. He knows football and as he gets technically better he’ll be very good.”
A point of interest: Joe Reedy writes, "Cincinnati’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 29-38 (.433 winning percentage). Pittsburgh’s opponents are 30-35 (.462) and Baltimore’s are 34-31 (.523)."
Neat. Don Banks looks at the top Ten Revenge games in NFL History. Charles Robinson looks at players who have worn out their welcome.