Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bengals Bandwagon, Like Their Stadium, Still Has Seats Available

This is the 11th year I've lived in the Cincinnati area (it's been that long!?!?!?) so I have had the privilege of seeing how Bengals fans work. They want badly to have a winning team but hate their miserly owner. They'd rather see the team do poor enough that Mike Brown will see the light and higher a GM, a scouting department and a football guy to help make decisions.

That ain't happening. This franchise has had just one winning season since 1991. That's right when Mike Brown started running things. And there ya go!

It's sad, really, because these fans are dying for something. The Reds are stuck in mediocre-to-bad life, their strong Cincinnati Bearcats basketball program was gutted and the Bengals have been an embarrassment on and off the field (the Bearcats football team has people excited, however).

Right now the Bengals sit at 4-1. Right now, their home game against the Houston Texans will be blacked out. From the way it looks, there are too many tickets to sell to lift the blackout so the city won't see their first place team play this weekend.

Normally this points to a bad fanbase. When a good team is there and people aren't going to the games usually means the fans aren't as die-hard as in other places. But I don't think Cincinnati is like that. These people love this team. My ears are bleeding from hearing "Who Dey" everywhere again. People have their Bengals hats, shirts, jerseys and whatever else attached to them.

The problem is both the economic downturn (which has killed Ohio) and the unbelievability about what's going on. The Bengals have let these fans down time and time again that it's starting to wear on them. Yeah, the team looks like it is back on the upswing but will Brown mess it all up down the line? It's easier to invest a lot of your heart to the team than it is to invest a lot of your money in them. Tickets, parking and concessions are expensive and it feels like an expenditure that isn't worth it. That's tough because this is one of the franchise's best seasons in two decades.

Too bad these fans won't get to see it.

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