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Thread: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

  1. #1
    Waiting for a tour/album KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    so sez Paul Daughtery. Even tho' this topic was discussed on the Top 5: REDS Low 2005 One Game Attendances thread...I thought it deserved it's own thread... Discuss!

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...OL03/510020370

    Sunday, October 2, 2005
    Bengals own this town, not Reds
    Baseball not king in Cincinnati now

    By Paul Daugherty
    Enquirer staff writer

    Rest in peace, Baseball Town.

    Perceptions die hard, memories even harder. One day you're the center of the universe, Rome in red and white, Big Red Machine-ing teams for a decade. The next, you're 25th in baseball in attendance, better only than permanent scrubs such as Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

    The baseball memories are great here, but they don't sell tickets. Fathers playing catch with sons is a pretty image. It doesn't have much to do with fathers taking sons to the ballpark. The Reds drew less than 2 million fans this year, fewer than Milwaukee and Detroit. A little more than half what St. Louis attracted.

    St. Louis is a baseball town. Boston, New York. Baseball towns. It has been said for so long about Cincinnati, it has been adopted as conventional wisdom:

    This is a baseball town.

    No it's not.

    Not even close.

    Hasn't been for 15 years, at least. It's a football place.

    That's easy to say now. The Bengals lead the region in sports love. As many fans will tailgate today before Bengals-Texans as attended the Reds' Fan Appreciation Day last week. No one has to ask Who Dey? about the football team. Marvin Lewis is a god, Sparky Anderson is a scrapook. Jerry Narron, bless him, is just a baseball guy.

    "People always saw more hope in football, even in the lean years," said UC professor Kevin Grace. Grace isn't a football guy. He teaches a class on the social history of ... baseball. "I think it started with 1988 (when the Bengals won the AFC title). That created an interest in football that's still there. There has been nothing dynamic about the Reds since 1990. We're going on 15 years of a boring team, one that doesn't hold any promise."

    Even when the Bengals were bad and the Reds were (occasionally) brilliant, this was a football town. Until the weather turned unbearable, the 1990s Bengals, as bad a sports franchise as existed, still drew 50,000 for home games. During their regular seasons, the '88 Bengals prompted more of a civic buzz than the '90 Reds.

    Cincinnati's demise as a baseball town has occurred as baseball has set attendance records two years in a row. The reasons are as sustained and obvious as the boos in May were for Danny Graves:

    Middle-income fans turned off by '94 strike. Pete Rose's ouster. Marge Schott's embarrassments. Hastened and needless departures of winning managers. Inert management.

    And, of course, the Reds stink. Have for five years. Probably will next year.

    The Reds are hit by all the national trends, too: Perception that baseball is boring. Kids don't play baseball. Nobody can watch three hours of baseball on TV without a wakeup call. Football rocks.

    Greg Rhodes runs the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, next to the ballpark. He says it's cyclical. In the late 50s, when the team was routinely lousy, Powel Crosley entertained an offer from the Shea family in New York, to move the team. Rhodes recalls attendance being criminally anemic at Crosley Field, during the blistering pennant race of 1964.

    He argues that the Reds hall and museum is unique in baseball, and wouldn't exist without the passion and history of the club. Yet Rhodes also says this: "There is such an appreciation here for the way generations of families relate to the Reds. It's very important to them in terms of their family lore. But that doesn't translate into buying tickets. There's a disconnect there I don't understand."

    Nor do good baseball towns suffer from what Rhodes calls "the fair-weather phenomenon" evident here.

    So while Reds fans embrace what used to be, Bengals fans can't wait for next Sunday. "So much of the love of (baseball) is based on nostalgia," Grace said. "But the 18-to-45 crowd doesn't care about that. Love and excitement are two different things."

    Can Cincinnati be a baseball town again? Not the way it was 30 years ago. Football is America's game now. And Cincinnati's.

    So long, Baseball Town. See you at the museum.

    E-mail pdaugherty@enquirer.com
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 23-18 - FINAL
    2014 Dragons record when I'm attending: 2-1 - FINAL
    "We want to be the band to dance to when the bomb drops." - Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran

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  3. #2
    Member Phhhl's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    Cincinnati fans love winning. That's just the way it is. This was a "football town" in 1988 too. I sold newspapers at the time, and I sold twice as many on Mondays after a Bengals game than at any time of the year. Why? Because they won. There is no subsititute for that. It's not a matter of being fair weather fans. It's a standard both pro franchises had better prioritize in order to be successful... "going forward".

  4. #3
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    I disagree. The Bengals weren't selling out when they weren't winning and the Reds aren't selling out because they aren't winning.

    If the Reds ever sustain any level of winning over a couple seasons, the town will be Red and white, even on a football Sunday.

    And Santo, isn't the very definition of 'fair weather fan' a fan who only roots for/cheers/attends games of a team that is winning?

    People like winners and hate losers because somewhere in their mind they associate being a fan of a winning team as making them look a little better, like they are capable of choosing whats good vs whats bad. It makes them feel better about themselves to back a winner.

    Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
    Cincinnati Reds - 75, 76, 90
    Chicago Blackhawks - 10, 13
    University of Kentucky - 78, 96, 98, 12
    Cincinnati Bengals - None
    Chicago Bulls - 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98

  5. #4
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    Sometimes it's a baseball town because of the long history of AA ball, sometimes it's a football town because of the great high school teams, sometimes it's a soccer town because there is a long history of soccer in the tri-state area, sometimes because of the Marlins it's a swimming town.

    What it really is a is a town that loves winners and ignores losers.

    The Reds have to really win to draw, not 85 win seasons. The proof is in the pudding, the Cincinnati fans will not watch losing teams near as much as winning teams.

  6. #5
    Member ochre's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    talk about comparing apples to goat entrails. There are vast differences between a sport that plays nearly every day and one that only plays one game a week. Its just as likely to be caused by the puerile, inane coverage/analysis by hacks like Daugherty. Not to mention that generally football has been more popular than baseball in the US since probably the late '70s.
    4009



  7. #6
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    I don't know if the Bengals own this town yet, but if the Reds keep going down the road to nowhere, they will.

  8. #7
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    If the Bengals tank then who owns the town?
    Go Gators!

  9. #8
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    If the Bengals tank then who owns the town?
    It's not the Bearcats.


    Colerain!!!

  10. #9
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    The Bengals now own Cincinnati because they finally brought in someone competent to run the team in Marvin Lewis. The Reds need the baseball version of Lewis.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  11. #10
    Member Phhhl's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    [QUOTE=Joseph]And Santo, isn't the very definition of 'fair weather fan' a fan who only roots for/cheers/attends games of a team that is winning?[QUOTE]

    In some instances, yes. But, when a fanbase, for legitimate reasons, senses that it is being made a fool of by ownership... I personally don't think that fanbase is out of line for not falling for it. After years of trying to cut corners in scouting and swindling the people of this city to get a new stadium, Mike Brown finally looked up one day, saw 25,000 people for an NFL football game (the greatest and most marketable sports league in the world) and realized he wasn't going to get by on smoke and mirrors anymore. He had to legitimately try and win. And, look at where the Bengals are today...

    There is nothing wrong with fans holding a team accountable for the product it puts on the field. Let the Cardinals suffer 10-15 years of incompetence and losing and lets see if they are still beneficiaries of the "greatest fans in baseball".

  12. #11
    Member harangatang's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    If the Bengals tank then who owns the town?
    The Mighty Ducks

  13. #12
    Waiting for a tour/album KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    Quote Originally Posted by harangatang
    The Mighty Ducks
    sorry, but they're gone...
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 23-18 - FINAL
    2014 Dragons record when I'm attending: 2-1 - FINAL
    "We want to be the band to dance to when the bomb drops." - Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran

  14. #13
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    The arena team?

    Wait..they're gone too
    Go Gators!

  15. #14
    Man Pills
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    If the Bengals don't own the city of Cincinnati, then they should.

    The Bengals organization took the leap, took the chance to be great. They may fall short, but they've made their way out of Plato's Cave.

  16. #15
    Member redsrule2500's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals own this town, not Reds...

    Winning Team > Losing Team.

    It's as simple as that.
    redsrule2500
    Go Reds!
    Baseball Bliss
    Im a normal guy blessed with the ability to hit a baseball. - Sean Casey


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