It has been a long season already. The Cincinnati Bengals sit at 3-5, and after three straight weeks of downright bad football, it seems fans have had enough.
There has been a Go Fund Me started by someone who chose to be identified as Disgruntled Fan has a simple goal as he writes in the description.
"The fans of Cincinnati have had enough with these Marvin Lewis "led" Bengals. We need to send a message to Mike Brown that this is unacceptable and hit him where it hurts most -- his wallet. Please consider donating for a billboard ad on Pete Rose Way to send this message. The ad will run from 12/4 to 12/31."
The campaign has currently made $860 of its $1,500 goal, but it isn’t currently taking any more donations.
Lewis is coaching in his 15th season for the Bengals, and he is the Bengals longest-tenured coach. He took over the job in 2003 and has an overall record of 121-108-3. The record that really matters to fans though is his 0-7 record in the playoffs.
Marvin Lewis is in his second quarterback era after riding with Carson Palmer until his infamous retirement into a trade. It seemed like his time with the Bengals got a spark in 2011 when the Bengals drafted Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. He led five straight playoff appearances that all led to disappointment.
It seems this year has been a tipping point for a majority of fans. After the team went 6-9-1 last season, people expected big changes this year. What fans were met with was a big mismanaged mess of a team. It took the team an 0-2 start before they even really considered playing some of their younger talents.
The offensive line—that was bad last season— was worse this year. Overall, watching any Bengals game it feels like the opposing team has a clear plan on how to attack the Bengals’ weaknesses, and the Bengals spend most of the game just hoping they get tired of running the same thing over and over.
It has gotten to the point that even players have spoken out and called for coaches to do their part. The first was Green after Week 2 saying he needed to get the ball in his hands, and the second was last week when Dre Kirkpatrick said it was the coaches jobs to get the team to improve.
The glimmer of hope for frustrated Bengals fans hoping for change is that Lewis wasn’t given his annual one-year extension. It seems like that was a clear sign from upstairs that another disappointing season wouldn’t be tolerated.
We won’t know until it happens though, and at 3-5, the Bengals are still technically in the hunt for the playoffs in the AFC. However, with two teams sitting at 5-3 in the Wild Card spots and Pittsburgh at 6-2, it seems like it’d take a miracle for the Bengals to even get to the playoffs.
Sports fans seem to love putting up billboards to get their message across. They often pop up during NBA free agency begging players to either stay or criticizing them for leaving.
It is hard to see what effect this would have on anything other than a publicity stunt. Still, it shows where fans stand, and it probably won’t change unless the Bengals have some sort of a miracle run in them.