It seems that old dogs can learn new tricks. For decades, the Brown family was seen as a group of controlling, out-of-touch owners who preferred to look down from their ivory tower. Money seemed to mean everything to them, while winning took a back seat. Now, it seems that getting things right with their players and the surrounding community is at the top of the priority list with winning a championship.
Anyone who has any kind of a reasonable pulse on NFL news knows how the Bengals are attempting to make something positive come out of the sad story of Devon Still's daughter, Leah. His jersey sales have gone through the roof across the nation after the Bengals organization made a kind gesture to donate all proceeds from those transactions to pediatric cancer research.
This week, the family had a new target: those who serve the community as policemen and firefighters. According to both The Cincinnati Business Courier and ESPN's Coley Harvey, Nancy Brown (the wife of Mike Brown) gave out 24 tickets this week to local servicemen and women.
Nancy Brown’s ticket giveaway "wasn’t really part of the separate effort to get this particular game on TV," a team spokesman said. "She just loves to do that kind of stuff for deserving agencies."
So Brown didn’t actually come to the rescue of the cops and firefighters – or members of the general public – who might not have been able to see the game because of a TV blackout. But her gesture was appreciated, the fire chief said.
"We really appreciate the opportunity and offer," Kelly said. "The firefighters look forward to showing up and supporting the Bengals and cheering them on Sunday."
Harvey corroborates the story, as ESPN confirmed that it was indeed Mrs. Brown and notes that this wasn't the first time she has done this:
A team spokesman said this isn't the first time she has given away tickets to local policemen and firemen. It's an act she has repeated -- on her own and without seeking attention -- on random occasions in the past.
Unfortunately, the Browns' reputation and the team's penchant for losing in previous years probably drowned out any recognition for her doing this in the past. There still seems to be an air of that lingering, with the cynics claiming that Mrs. Brown did this solely for the reason of avoiding a blackout. To that, one would respond to take the team at their word when they said that wasn't the case; and really, how are 24 tickets going to solve a potential blackout?
With priorities seemingly shifting toward taking care of their players and reaching out to the community, these nice gestures gain some rightful spotlight--especially when the team is doing well on the field. Things are rolling along nicely for the Bengals in 2014 on multiple fronts. Kudos to Mrs. Brown for this small, but kind gesture.