By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Cleveland Browns hold a slim lead over the Bengals in the on-field "Battle of Ohio." But off the field, since returning as an expansion team in 1999, the Browns are the clear winner.
Browns games have higher TV ratings through most of the state, particularly in the pivotal Columbus market that's actually closer to Cincinnati than Cleveland.
The Browns have a bigger fan club, including a 300-person chapter of the Browns Backers in Cincinnati. The Bengals have a small chapter in Akron but none in Cleveland. The Browns have a larger radio network.
And the Browns draw better. They've enjoyed 29 consecutive home sellouts at Cleveland Browns Stadium and have a 2,000-account waiting list for season tickets. Today's game against the Browns is just the eighth sellout in 21 Bengals games at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals' failure to sell out even half of their home games keeps them off television and lets the Browns' telecasts into the Cincinnati TV market.
"When we've done well, we had a good following in Columbus," said Bengals president Mike Brown, whose father, Paul Brown, founded both franchises. "It's just the fact we haven't done well enough."
This is my point right here, if its true that the Bengals now draw higher ratings they didn't do it when they were losing. I really didn't mean do go this far with this but the guy who decided to jump ship struck a nerve with me. Im sure all Bengals fans would be upset about not seing your team on tv when you live in ohio and the team is in ohio.
It is the first Q in the Q&A section on the 10tv website.
I loved the Bengals too... Untill I met Boomer when i was about 10..11 tops. He was a totall . That turned me off of them. I know Boomer aint the whole team, but come on, 10 year olds dont think that way.. Then they SUCKED for how many years, then had the gaul to ask us to pay for a new stadium.. which we did.. funny, cause everyone I asked that voted, they voted against it. Then, they didn't want OUR high school teams playing there "thing" on their field, in fear of their cleets would mess it up??? Umm.. we paid for it, and they obviously WON games to boot. I'm over all that now.. have been. It's there cockyness that gets to me now for the last 3 years. It's discusting. Rudy, Carson, and T.J are cool... I LOVE Rudy by the way.. He got class.. Dylan could learn a thing or two. but that 85... makes me want to heave. I watch the Bengals to see them lose. Many props to the folks who stuck by the Bengals through all these years.. dedication. I respect that. Also, respect the peeps who has their reasons for dislike. lol.. now bring on the bashing...
While back at my parents' house yesterday I was digging through some of my old things and found my Tim Couch bobblehead. I also found my 1988 Superbowl paraphernalia.
FWIW, where is my loyalty? I haven't had the opportunity to see Browns' games much over the last couple years. I have tuned in to many a Bengals game, simply because I like watching football no matter who's playing, and I've grown fond of the players on the field. Honestly, other than Winslow and Frye, I can't name a single Brown player anymore. Call it bandwagon jumping if you want, but Bengal football is all I get subjected to by my family and friends (aside from Buckeye football). It is hard to continue cheering for a team that I can't follow due to lack of coverage and time to keep up on them.
I didn't mean to rouse the anger of the Dawg Pound.
My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!
Basically its not up to them and if it were they choose the game that more people are going to watch. Since this was originally brought up by you as a reason why the Browns are not loyal, tell me why that as the article states
"The number of people for both Browns and Bengals fans are statistically even with the Steelers, with the Ohio teams have a bit of an edge. "
Then why would non Browns fans wanting to watch the Bengals instead of the Browns have anything to do with Browns fans in general?
But the ref on the field who made the call came out afterward and stated that regardless of the Brown defender, he would not have came down with both feet inbounds, and thus in their opinion a review was not necessary.
Now I'm not as keen on the NFL rule for review under the 2 minute warning... I know a team can't appeal. But I don't know if the people "upstairs" are required to review it and can overrule the field judges OR the decision is left up to the refs on the field? I'm assuming it's left to the guys on the field.
It was a judgment call that could have gone either way. I'm glad one went ours this year finally.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
One of the discussions we have had on here over the years, and it was initiated by "local" Cincy Reds fans, was the tax initiative that raised the local tax to fund the two stadiums (i.e. taxpayer funded stadiums).
Many fans feel they (and the city) got screwed when you really look at the particulars of the deal. Yes, you got two new stadiums, and you kept your teams in town. But other then that, the owners made out (Linder & Co/Mike Brown family).
And one of the things many agree on is how owners are able to basically hold cities (and it's fans) up for "hostage" using a sports franchise, and the threat to relocate it, to get sweetheart deals. They get the city to build them their stadium, and then get a lease and other benefits that would make most salivate.
And alot of local people were upset over the deal that Mike Brown got. I don't fault Mike Brown. He's a businessman, doing what he does best. But the guy did get on heck of a lopsided deal in alot of people's opinion. And so did Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune.
In Cleveland (and with Modell)....
You first have to really understand the character/personality of Modell. He too was a businessman (from NY). Over the years he became known as a member of the "old guard" owners of the NFL who built up and carried great influence. And that is the way he liked it. The guy felt he was infallible and took great joy in this his position he felt couldn't be questioned/fought. He was an "iron hand". There was ego there.
He too, as any businessman, and witnessing what other owners were doing, felt he should get (and deserved) a sweetheart deal from the citiy of Cleveland. And he used the Cleveland Browns and their great tradition in order to try and achieve that. He tried to play all the normal cards. He was also pee'd off that the city had just built the Indians a new stadium, as well as the Rock N Roll HOF.
The building of a new stadium for the Browns was not an issue for the city of Cleveland. They agreed and wanted to do so. They just weren't going to let Art Modell make/set all the demands and hold them up for hostage. And I commended them for that. Art wanted it all his way, and the city should cave. And they didn't. And the rest is history.
What he did was abomidable. He said he didn't have any choice. Baloney.
And the NFL knew that too. But he had such pull within that heirarchy that that leadership capitulated, and then, due to the huge outpouring of anger primarily from the Cleveland fans, as well as the litigation being proposed, and the mess/uproar being created, reached a compromise. And part of the reasoning behind that too was the fact that at that time the Brown's market was #2 only behind the 49ers market. The NFL couldn't ignore that. This was not a situation, per say, like the Montreal Expos. This was an egotistical owner, with alot of pull, trying to get his way.
And what happened in Cleveland could have very easily have happened in Cincy and many of metropolis' if the city had refused to capitulate to those owners.
The "bright spot" in all of this is.... we got rid of an owner (the hard way) who alot of us Brown fans wanted gone years prior.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
Those sweetheart deals are made because there are many besides the owners who stand to benefit greatly. There is plenty of greed to go around. It isn't as if those who get behind such deals are doing so in an altruistic fashion. There are many political, social and economic reasons that team owners are able to get preferential treatment. If it was such a slam dunk, I don't think there would be as many relocations and pending relocations, such as currently in South Florida. And you should see the difference. Cincinnati cared enough about its sports franchises to step up to the plate and do what was necessary to support the franchise because enough people saw the overall benefit.
In Cleveland's case, I think they lost at a nasty fixed game of poker and Modell called the bluff. But Cleveland only lost the hand and did not go all in since they ended up with a new stadium and a franchise.