The move from Georgetown to Paul Browns Stadium for Training Camp could be viewed as a way to incorporate a greater number of Bengals fans, who normally would not have made the trip (for time or money reasons) for a session or two. But it wasn't for that reason that the move was decided. After months of negotiations and idle threats, the NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed to a collective bargaining agreement that ditched two-a-day practices. At this point remaining in Georgetown when the team can only hold one practice per day became pointless.
Bengals owner Mike Brown reflected on the move and the reasoning behind it:
"The new agreement between the NFL and its players really impacts training camp by reducing practices. That's nothing the Bengals or Georgetown College wanted to see happen, but it is the hand we are dealt, so we both have to adjust to it. I will miss going away for training camp very much, and I will especially miss our friends in Georgetown, Kentucky."
Now the Bengals are granted a golden opportunity. Practicing in downtown Cincinnati opens doors for the team to persuade a greater number of fans that ditched the team last year to return. Instead of sitting back and watching fans that have never attended a Georgetown Training Camp arrive, be proactive, show a greater appreciation for those fans, rather than the commonly held belief that the front office views us not unlike walking dollar bills. And we're not talking about signing sessions, or an opportunity to meet their favorite players.
Throw a celebration for the opening of camp, put players on microphones to charge the fanbase for a playoff run next year. Offer greater access for players to speak with fans individually, have contests that reward fans with season tickets and make that celebration all free. Allow fans to catch a pass from Andy Dalton, or play catch with A.J. Green. Invite the legends of the game, so older fans can meet their former heroes of the 70s and 80s, talk about the glorious seasons Cincinnati reached the Super Bowl. Hell, have Sam Wyche return and yell on microphone about how we're not from Cleveland. It doesn't matter. Make it a celebration, something that draws fans back to Paul Brown Stadium.
+ The Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition Brian Frederick stopped by Cincy Jungle to write an argument that the age necessitating blackouts are over, especially for a fanbase in Cincinnati that has to deal with some of the league's most expensive ticket prices in a county that paid for the stadium that aren't even able to attend games.
+ Former Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens recently signed with an Indoor Football League named the Allen Wranglers owned by former Dallas Cowboys legend Drew Pearson. As part of the agreement, Owens will also become a partial owner. However a recent GQ article has Owens saying that he's "in hell". Though one can probably feel bad for Owens and the struggles he's faced, it's hard to point any fingers at anyone other than Owens himself -- especially considering he's paying $44,600 for child support to four children, all of whom have different mothers.
+ The Cincinnati Bengals will need running backs after the likely separation with feature back Cedric Benson. Our own Joe Goodberry identified the need and provided a list of possible running backs that could be acquired through the 2012 NFL draft.
+ Jason Garrison continues with his grades for the 2011 Cincinnati Bengals, offering up a below average grade for Cincinnati's offensive line.
+ Thanks to Jaxon, the head writer at SB Nation's Carolina Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader, we held a round table asking which quarterback will named Offensive Rookie of the Year: Cincinnati's Andy Dalton or Carolina's Cam Newton.
+ We had to bring up the question about Robert Geathers that will surface at some point this offseason.
+ Anthony Cosenza's latest mail bag talks about the recent legal issues that's re-surfaced with Adam Jones and Jerome Simpson, along with several other topics during his latest mail bag.