Originally Posted by Hillsdale87
One difference is that the playing field is far more level in football. It's one thing in baseball when your limited by your market and payroll limitations keep you from consistently competing. It's still frustrating, but I think fans are a little more understanding. In football though, fans see Mike Brown as the cheapest owner in the game not due to market limitations, but his own stubbornness and greed. It's true that the Bengals have been average, but he refuses to invest what is necessary to push them beyond that.
I think this is the general assumption, but teams like the Twins, Devil Rays, and Diamondbacks have proven that you can in fact compete with teams who have much higher payrolls. Certainly teams like the Yankees and Red Sox will always have an advantage, but 1) A team with nearly the lowest payroll has competed with them for the past 3-4 years, and 2) Neither of those teams plays in the Reds division.
While St. Louis and Chicago certainly have an advantage with a higher payroll, their payroll advantage isn't so overwhelming that the Reds should not be expected to compete.