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Daugherty: Would the Bengals Benefit From a Lockout?

The only thing that Bengals fans and Steelers fans (along with all other football fans in the country) have in common, is the hope that the NFL and the NFLPA put aside their differences and realize that football is bigger than both of the two sides and, for the sake of the sport, come to an agreement allowing it to continue without a lockout. We've seen what a lockout or strike did to baseball and hockey. It took years for either sport to recover, if they've ever fully recovered at all. Nobody wants that for the NFL, least of all the fans.

The Enquirer's Paul Daugherty wonders, though, if a lockout might not be a terrible thing for the Bengals or their fans. Not because it would solve any of the Bengals issues but because it would allow the Bengals a year to make TV money, even though they're not playing (yeah), but it would give them a whole season of not losing to figure out how to win again.

If there is no season next year, NFL owners still get TV money. That’s right.

Networks agreed to that in 2006, when the economy was good and the league hadn’t had a play stoppage in two decades. The only cost to the owners is an extra year added to the end of the agreement.

Of course, Daugherty also points out that, even though a lockout could help the Bengals in the long run, it wouldn't come without it's own consequences.

Of course, the long-term ramifications are lousy. The Bengals already are losing fans. It’s not a disenchanted trickle. It’s more a rising tide. The acid taste of a season lost because of money would only increase the disaffection. It took Baseball years to rally from a strike. Football isn’t baseball, but in this town it’s not hard to see Bengals fans leaving and never coming back.

So, what's the answer? Would a lockout really benefit the Bengals?

I don't think so.

Considering that the 2010 season was likely one of the most disappointing seasons this franchise has ever had, there are already a fair amount of fans that have left the building and a lot more are heading for the door. A lockout may push them the rest of the way out. While I know Who Dey Revolution would like to see Paul Brown Stadium empty on the day of the Bengals' first home game, whenever that may be, what will that do? The only thing that will happen then is we won't be able to watch the home games because of the NFL's blackout rules.

I understand Daugherty's reasoning. In a way, it makes sense to allow the Bengals do take a year off, to be put in "time-out," so that they can sit back and try to learn what it takes to win.

However, what good would winning do if nobody is there to see it happen?