Excuse me, but I’m paying for your stadium, so you owe me, the taxpayer, some of your time and attention. And speaking of time, the time to permit you any more excuses has come.
Last season, we thought it was over. The Bengals made it to the playoffs with the promise of going deeper in the 2010-2011 season. Well?
The lost 49-31 to the fracking Buffalo Bills?!?!?!? They’ve dropped eight straight? What gives? Not only do you have the same talent as last year, but you added TO and Pacman Jones. At the moment, Pacman and Cedric Benson are about the only two players worth a damn now. Naturally, Pacman’s injured (but to his credit, staying out of trouble.) You no longer have a team. You have a group of highly talented football players who can go to the Superbowl if they actually played as a team. They don’t.
So the time has come Mike. Here is your homework assignment:
- It’s time for Marvin Lewis to go. Yes, Marvin is a damn sight better than your last three coaches. Dick LeBeau? His only turn at head coach nearly ruined his reputation. Thankfully, he’s shown what a smart ownership can do for a defensive coordinator. Bruce Coslet? Same thing. Dave Shula? Mike, being the son of Don Shula no more qualifies one to coach a football team than being the son of Paul Brown qualifies you to run one. Speaking of which…
- Hire a GM and stay the hell out of his way. Hey, I got an idea. Your daughter Katie’s smart. She lobbied for Marvin to come to town and told you to let him run the team his way. Make her the GM, let her find a new coach who’s a defensive whiz (like Lewis) and a real hard-ass with the players (like Bill Belichick. You know. A winning coach?) Then stay the hell out of her way and let her run the franchise. It’s been almost two decades since your father died, Mike, more than long enough for you to figure out how to run an NFL franchise.
- Carson Palmer. You need to light a fire under this guy. In the pocket or the shotgun, he’s more timid than the Cowardly Lion surrounded by flying monkeys (Pre-molten Wicked Witch. Post-melting, they were more like the chimps in The Planet of the Apes movies.) You know what I would do? I’d cut his little brother Jordan, who has never played a down of regular season ball anyway, bring in a veteran second-stringer (like Jon Kitna. Hey, just bring back Kitna!) who can step in and find openings like Glenn Quaqmire blindfolded whenever Carson has to stop and think about it, then draft UC’s Zach Collaros. Then tell Carson he can lose the QB’s position at anytime. Want some ideas? Ben Roethlisberger is on really thin ice with the Steelers, who seem to do fine when he’s not in the game. He’s not nearly as clunky. So if Big Ben manages to blow his sweet gig in Pittsburgh, call his agent. Or just pick whoever the hell the Ravens’ QB is this week. It’s a figurehead position in Baltimore anyway.
- Call Chad and TO into your office and ask them, “So, do you work for me or for VH1? A yes answer will mean you two show up for minicamp next year.” Then make them go to work for Metro so they can learn how to run their routes. Then go find some receivers who can, yanno, hang on to the ball.
- Whenever the county, which has generously handed you a stadium, decides to tax tickets or ask for your help in keeping said stadium running, shut up and stay out of the way. You were handed a honey of a deal you are not going to get anywhere else in the country. No one can blame you for taking it. They can blame you for not doing your part to make sure you still have a place to play. It would be embarrassing if Paul Brown Stadium had a “Forclosure” sign on it because you decided an extra five dollars a ticket (How much are you charging again?) to pay off the loan was more than people would pay.
- Oh, yeah, and since we’re paying for your field, your seats, your office, your practice facility, all the parking around the stadium, and the dwindling number of police assigned to it, how about you focus on… yanno… winning? Instead of making excuses, why’n’t you go down to the locker room (early in the season would be good, before the losses become humiliating) and throw some chairs. Get mad. Scream. Right now, you sound like you only care that the checks are clearing. Hey, bud, we’re writing those checks. Everytime I go shopping in and around Cincinnati, I pay for your team. So make like the cheap date and start putting out when we buy you dinner. We’re not asking for a Superbowl (yet). But two or three games deep into the playoffs would be nice.