This is an APB (All Points Bulletin) for an ambassador to Bengal fans! Why must Bengal fans look elsewhere when looking for role models amongst ownership and team leaders? Dan Rooney's recent appointment as ambassador of Ireland is not just a reflection on himself but the character of the Steeler organization. So who is the ambassador to the fans of the Cincinnati Bengals?
Is it Mike Brown? I would say very resoundingly, NO! While we have seen some positive off-season free agent movements I am only convinced that he is trying to apply window dressing to a penthouse suite overlooking the Rumpke dump. Switching TJ Houshmandzadeh for Laveranues Coles was not a crowd pleaser in this fan's eyes. Placating fans and giving everyone false hope goes a long way in helping ticket sales. If he wants to help fans deal with his band-aid personnel tactics, start putting motrine dispensers under the stadium seats. This would offer a respite from the reoccurring headaches of mismanagement.
How about Marvin Lewis? A few years ago I would have said yes. Today the answer is also no. Marv might be using this season to audition for a job somewhere else. Team failure and he will undoubtedly find himself on the defensive coordinator circuit again. If the Bengals do not do well this year he will be the first scapegoat to go. His inability to rally the team through turmoil, and off-field distraction has been well documented. He has a hard enough time keeping peace within the team, how could we expect him to keep it with the fans?
That leaves the hopes of a good ambassador with the team players themselves. Recorded phone calls seem a bit of a stretch, but that would appear to be all Bengal fans have. Understandably Carson Palmer cannot call everyone personally to pedal support, but it's the thought that counts. Just like any case of goodwill in professional sports it only last as long as the team does well. So Carson's new appointment as ambassador to Bengal fans will rest of the strength of his arm and the durability of his elbow. Let's hope it is a long and memorable tenure.
I understand that the Bengals are active in the community and know they understand their social responsibility to the community off the field. This is about what fans demand from this team on the field, and giving all fans something to rally around. It is hard to mask disappointment year in and year out. Watching as player faces change and no real identity emerges. The ambassador we seek is a leader who will bring greatness to this team and the organization in terms of victories, and maybe even someday, a Super Bowl victory.