UPDATE: Bengals owner Mike Brown is refuting the report that he was one of two owners to vote against the Inglewood proposal. Brown told Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson this was "an exciting project for the league," and that he’s in favor of the plan.
"Stan Kroenke has put together an exceptional plan. The league to a man is excited about this prospect," Brown said Wednesday. "It’s a huge market. It’s a market that has changed dramatically since the NFL was last there. There’s no reason the NFL shouldn’t be successful there. Especially if we go about it the right way. The Stan Kroenke Plan for Inglewood is as well thought out and as aggressive in every way as the NFL could possibly wish."
'Mike Brown' and 'status quo' are about as synonymous as it gets.
Brown has been an NFL owner for more than two decades now, all of which being in Cincinnati as he's overseen the Bengals. While Brown has done a lot of good to help build this franchise into a stable winner, one of his biggest weaknesses at times is he sticks with the status quo more often than not.
He hates change, which can be both a good and bad thing given the situation. The latest example of Brown not wanting change comes in the NFL's quest to have at least one team in Los Angeles in the coming years. All 32 league owners (or representatives in place of the owners) were present at this week's owners meetings in Houston with the main order of business being L.A.'s future home of an NFL team.
On Tuesday, the owners voted 30-2 to approve the St. Louis Rams' relocation application for an immediate move to L.A., where the team will eventually begin play at owner Stan Kroenke's proposed stadium site in Inglewood in 2019. The plan also means the Rams could be joined by the San Diego Chargers, who have a one-year option to decide if they want to relocate and join the Rams in Inglewood.
Kroenke's plan for this move was reportedly viewed by owners as far and away the best proposal for an L.A. move, While that may be true, at least two owners didn't like it, and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reports Brown was likely one of the men who voted against this proposal.
Per a source with knowledge of the ownership dynamics, it’s strongly believed that one of the nay votes came from Bengals owner Mike Brown.
Brown has a well-documented reputation for refusing to go along with anything that helps the league become bigger and better. His primary concern in those situations is the impact of the new revenue on the salary cap.
Brown has a history of sticking with the status quo for a variety of reasons. While Florio notes that money is typically why, Brown is a traditionalist who would rather see most aspects of the NFL remain the same. He was one of the few owners who voted against the NFL adopting instant replay 20 years ago in fear of the frequent delays they would cause.
Just this year, Brown voted against the NFL blackout policy, something that the Bengals have been involved with a lot as they routinely reached the needed threshold at or near the deadline to avoid blackouts, even in some of their most successful seasons.
And we don't need to get into Marvin Lewis, who probably would have been let go by many franchises at different points during his career, but Brown has stuck with him and was rewarded with five-straight playoff trips and one of the most successful periods in the franchise's 40+ year history.
While the money and change in general may be why Brown voted against the proposal, maybe he didn't want to see a state lose their team. St. Louis and the many fans there and around the state are now left without their football team, whereas had the Chargers and Raiders moved to L.A., many of their fans would have still been within a reasonable distance of their team.
Brown and his father have owned the Bengals in Cincinnati for more than four decades, which may have led to a soft spot in his heart for a franchise that's been in St. Louis for two decades.
Either way, it doesn't really matter whether Brown was for or against the move since it was approved anyway. This just serves as a reminder of how Brown likes to keep things status quo, which is why we shouldn't expect any major changes in Cincinnati in the foreseeable future.