I must start by thanking you for commencing this necessary and just movement. I have been a frustrated Bengals fan my entire life of 28 years. I remember the Superbowl party my parents hosted for the storied though tragic '88 season when I was in second grade, and the playoff run that ended in Los Angeles when I was in fourth grade. Those were the good days. After that, my relationship with the NFL has been nothing short of tragic and unrewarding. Then came 2005 – I was in law school in Miami, Florida, as a displaced fan, and Carson and Co. came into their own. I spent thousands of dollars in the bars on Sunday drinking and celebrating, I made a road trip with a fellow fan to the Jacksonville Sunday night game and even made an appearance on television due to my ridiculous orange wig and Bengals garb. I spent thousands of dollars on playoff tickets and I missed my first day of class the following day. All for naught.
After that fateful playoff game, my hatred for Pittsburgh nearly transcended my love for the Bengals, to the point where an altercation would inevitably ensue if I saw someone with a Pittsburgh jersey. My zeal for rooting against the Steelers equaled my zeal for rooting for the Bengals – but there was no joy in this scheme in the seasons which followed. The Bengals, notwithstanding our high hopes, fell off the radar and degenerated, while the Steelers earned a Superbowl title and continued to be a playoff contender. They have owned us since. It simply isn't fair. When will it be our turn?
After having been robbed of any joy the Bengals could have brought me in childhood, I was teased in 2005 and then again stripped of joy in my adulthood. I haven't lived in the Cincinnati area since 1999, and I have tried to root for other teams, but my heart is still with Cincinnati. I am now an attorney living in the Tampa Bay area, and have, for the past three seasons, been forced to get Sunday Ticket to watch the games. I'd rather watch them lose in the comfort of my own home than in public, where the ignominy is much greater. Strangely, however, I'd rather watch the Bengals lose from home than to attend a Bucs game I could care less about.
That being said, I salute your cause. What Mike Brown has done to our franchise should have never been allowed to happen. The NFL touts itself with this principal of "parity", but this principal only functions if each franchise ingratiates itself with all permissible advantages. Since Paul Brown's regrettable bequest to his son Mike, the Bengals have fatally failed to take advantage of key opportunities and modernize itself. There is no excuse for this. It's preposterous. I'm still waiting on the NFL commissioner to have a threatening chat with Mike Brown.
As much as I despise reading about the Patriots, the Giants, the Cowboys, and, of course, the Steelers, I long for the day when I get to read something positive and meaningful about our franchise on Peter King's legendary MMQB, or to see our logo at the enviable summit of ESPN's famous power rankings. I know this is shallow, and that the opinions of Peter King, the clowns on ESPN, and Rich Eisen shouldn't really matter, but, quite frankly, their negative commentary (or failure to comment altogether) on our Bengals is testimony to Mike Brown's ineptitude and impotence as an owner. Accordingly, I have sent the following email to Peter King's mail bag, and I will continue to send it until I get a response:
I know that you are loath to talk about the Bengals, but there is something emerging in Cincinnati that I think deserves your venerable comment: www.whodeyrevolution.com. Although I am not a founding member, as an avid Bengals fan for all my life, I find myself in agreement with every tenet of their philosophy. The movement is dedicated to compel change in the management of the organization, which is compulsory for the positive advancement of the franchise. It stuns me how this painfully obvious dilemma in Cincinnati goes unremarked by the national media. Sure, it has gained prominence in and around the city, but I feel that change will never be possible unless there is a national dialogue. I am deeply disappointment and frustrated that you have failed to mention this in any of your columns, given its importance to the Bengals franchise. I would love to hear your thoughts on the way Mike Brown has handled OUR franchise.
I'm sick of reading Geoff Hobson's misleading and meaningless fodder. I want answers. I want change. And I want a national dialogue. This is our fundamental right as dedicated fans. We deserve the bliss of winning that Patriots and Colts and Steelers fans get to experience every year. We have been patient for too long. We deserve a Championship, and we deserve it now.