Tyler Dragon, the Bengals beat reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, knows what it’s like to cover a much bigger market. He used to cover the Dallas Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News.
So just how different is it going from covering the most valuable franchise in the NFL with an owner with a penchant for spending lavishly to covering a small market team?
The first difference Dragon pointed out is that there are far more reporters covering the Cowboys.
“There’s quite a few of us media reporters in the [Bengals] locker room and at practice, but it’s nothing compared to the Dallas Cowboys,” he said. “Still there are a lot of eyeballs on the Dallas Cowboys, even when they’re not winning. And you can feel it every day that you are down there at the Star, which is their practice facility, or at AT&T Stadium, which is where they play football.”
Dragon also noted the differences in amenities.
“[The Cowboys] have state of the art facilities and their owner puts his money where his mouth is,” he said. “It is a lot different in Cincinnati.”
So how do the Bengals treat media members?
“I can say the Bengals media relations team, they do treat us reporters right. They are a classy organization, and we do get things that we ask for. So the media room is not hot. We have our own coffee machine (laughs). I have my own desk with my name on it, and all the other reporters do as well.”
The biggest difference between covering the Bengals and some other teams is probably in size. Dragon said: “The media room is not as big as, say, the Atlanta Falcons, when I covered them, or the Dallas Cowboys. However, it is still functioning, very nice media room. It’s a little bit smaller. I will say that. Things in Cincinnati and covering the Bengals, it’s just smaller than they are in Dallas.”
Dragon attributed the limited size of things in Cincinnati to the smaller media market, which is something to be expected.
“If I was a television reporter working in Boondocks, West Virginia as opposed to Los Angeles, I can expect (laughs) the media room to be way bigger, way more bright lights than middle-of-nowhere Boondocks, West Virginia,” he said.
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