“Wrenching,” is how Mike Brown will feel on Thursday night.
For the first time since 1991, Bengals’ president Mike Brown will not attend this week’s game.
“I’m the age I am and I check all the boxes and I’m told it’s foolish to do it,” Brown said. “It comes down to a decision and maybe it’s time to start doing stuff like this. I’m just at the age I have to go about life a little differently.”
The last time that Brown missed a game was when he was at his father’s deathbed during a preseason game in Detroit.
Since then, he has been on the team bus or plane for every single road game. Until now.
“I miss not going. I want to go.”
Of course, Paul Brown was the first head coach in Cleveland, and the team is named after him. Now, Mike will have to miss the Bengals’ Thursday night game in the town where he grew up.
“It was going to be somebody,” Brown said. “The fact it’s Cleveland and on a Thursday night is all sort of ironic and not normal.”
Mike’s daughter, Katie Blackburn, who is the executive vice president, will represent the Brown family in Cleveland on Thursday. Katie’s daughter, Elizabeth Blackburn, will also attend as the director of strategy and engagement.
“When the streak started, Katie would have been about three years old and Elizabeth was far, far in the future,” Brown said.
For the first time in almost 30 years, Brown will be watching the game on TV.
“I’ll get excited at moments. Get upset at moments. I’ll get joyful at times. I hope it’s at the end when that occurs.”