Generally speaking, I find that the team’s official website, Bengals.com, to be excellent, and perhaps the one consistently well-managed part of the organization as a whole. Geoff Hobson and his support staff provide gobs of content—from roster news to human interest fluff and everything in between. In short, I respect Hobson and the efforts he makes to earn his Brown family check.
That said, I’ve been annoyed by their newest recurring feature, the “Who Dey Perspective.” This regular column written by Jack Brennan, the team’s Director of Public Relations, is nothing but a forum for the team to argue their often unpopular point-of-view. So far it’s been nothing but a pulpit for the team’s shill to pursue an embarrassingly juvenile tit-for-tat with the writers and editors of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Friday’s installment of “the perspective” was—for me at least—yet another tired, childish and ultimately impotent attempt at swaying public opinion. Like your typical Mike Brown press conference, these ongoing editorial pieces have come off less like an inspiring fire-side chat and more like a slow-motion train wreck. They are reminiscent of those old Ross Perot infomercials: an almost surreal casserole of absurdity and talking down to you—the unwashed masses.
Frankly I’d laugh if it wasn’t so embarrassingly painful to watch. You keep reading while trying as hard as you can to stop. You wince and cringe with each sentence, hoping (in vain) for a clue to materialize in the writer’s mind. It’s like listening to your 70-year old libertarian uncle go on a loud politically-incorrect tirade in a crowded restaurant.
To Uncle Jack, I can say only this: Please stop.
We get that you disagree with the Enquirer. We also understand that you have a conflicting argument that does have some merit. Our own Number 1 Fan did a great job reviewing the debate and defending the team. In fact, Mr. Fan did a much more effective job of making the team’s point than you ever could—and he didn’t have to mention the county’s reckless funding of education to do it! (Linden LaRouche would be proud!)
Please let Bengals.com alone. Leave the mother ship site to discuss what its intended for: FOOTBALL. You remember, that thing we actually care about the most?
Whether the team is right or the Enquirer is wrong is immaterial. Who cares if the paper has changed its opinion since the lease was signed? They have that prerogative, don’t they? Ten years ago the team thought Akili Smith was a can’t-miss prospect. Do they still cling steadfastly to that opinion?
The newspaper might have switched sides on you, and the local government may be at fault for fiscal irresponsibility, but it doesn’t change one simple fact: The Bengals simply haven’t been that good since PBS opened.
Take a moment to let that sink in, Jack.
The bottom line is that we wouldn’t care so much about the terms of the stadium lease or the costs of its upkeep if we felt like we were getting a return on our decade-old investment.
We were told in the 90’s that a new stadium was needed to keep the Bengals in Cincinnati and to see the team thrive and win. The lease terms were agreed upon under the pretense that it would allow Uncle Scrooge to open his wallet and field a competitive product (finally!) in the free agency era. Believing him, the voters agreed to a tax increase, and an award-winning stadium was constructed.
It stands today along the river as an architectural gem, a cathedral of football, and a shrine to Paul Brown.
But our investment didn’t end there.
Fans proceeded to buy every seat in the house for 10-plus years, forking over millions for expensive PSL’s and renewing them year-over-year, despite almost annual price increases. We kept the faith for a decade.
From my seat (admittedly in the nosebleeds) the people and the city of Cincinnati held up their end of the bargain, but the team didn’t. Two division championships and two embarrassing home playoff losses don’t seem to be the capital gains the investors had in mind.
The E-Trade baby would have bailed out years ago.
Rather than wasting good kilobytes engaging in first grade arguments, why not focus more on the core issue: winning football games? They do it in Pittsburgh and Baltimore every year, and that’s just our division!
Please, Uncle Jack. Tell your boss that the easiest way to end this debate isn’t through some kind of arrogant self-gratification in print. Instead, just hold up your end of the deal. Win consistently and see how fast the Enquirer cuts you some slack and the people of Cincinnati forget about the lease. That’s all we ever wanted for our money in the first place. For once, exceed the expert forecasts for quarterly wins instead of quarterly profits.
That’s the true Who Dey perspective, from us the Who Dey Fans.