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Doc: Check's in the mail


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Everyfan has two season tickets at Paul Brown Stadium she intends to keep. They are in the North end zone, eight rows up, Section 128, on the aisle. The bill for them this year is $1,380. A 20 percent deposit is due by Feb. 27, the balance by late March. Everyfan will write the checks.



She says everyone she knows with Cincinnati Bengals tickets is doing the same. They do it because they love football or because they love the atmosphere or they believe in tomorrow or because, well, because it's just what they've done forever. Listen to Debbie Kincaid, and see if she doesn't sound like you:

"We like going to the games," she says. "It doesn't have a lot to do with the team. My family had seats at Nippert Stadium. I went to the Freezer Bowl. It's the ritual of it."

The notion is floated after every disappointing Bengals season: Fans unite! Don't go to the games! Take off your Johnson jerseys! Stop drinking $7 beers! Change the channel! Corporate execs: Rise up! Don't lease the suites! Don't pay to associate your products with the Cincinnati Bengals!

Viva la revolucion. Or something.

It all sounds swell, in a grassroots, proletarian sort of way.

And it never happens.

It probably never will.

If ever there were an offseason for the bourgeois to storm the palace, this would be it. The economy stinks, the team stinks, the team has done nothing yet to demonstrate why things will smell any better. Clubs with better records fire head coaches, juggle staffs, hire general managers with Super Bowl track records. The Bengals prefer their continuity.

A Web site so devoted to revolution it has the word in its name - whodeyrevolution.com - got some national traction last fall. The Pittsburgh Steelers - family-owned in a small, lower-revenue market - are celebrated as the NFL's model franchise. The Bengals, who could be the Steelers, flail.

It doesn't matter.

When I ask Kincaid where winning fits into her thinking, she says, "That's not why I go." She isn't some stubbornly loyal, overly optimistic naif with unlimited income. She knows the Bengals' track record and she doesn't care. It's not about the outcome.

"I love football," she says. In college, she slept outside overnight to secure a seat in O Block at Ohio State games. "It's the getting out and going," she says. "I don't play golf, I don't play tennis. It's something to look forward to."

The fans around her in Section 128 must feel the same. Most, if not all, Kincaid says, are keeping their tickets. She likes the camaraderie, the shared misery, the partying. The actual performance of the team is secondary. "It's like watching a band in a bar," Kincaid explains. "The music is sometimes the background. I'm paying to enjoy the atmosphere."

You can agree or disagree. I'd prefer to report Kincaid is irrational and in the vast minority. She is not. Mike Brown runs a business in which performance is secondary. As long as Everyfan looks like Debbie Kincaid, Mike Brown has it made.

Kincaid's friend in her office gets on the phone. Jenny Coloado's family has two club seats and two seats in an end-zone section. The club seats run $4,200 a pair. Because the Coloados have four sons, all of whom play or have played football, their love for the game runs deep. It also takes them away on some home Sundays. "Four tickets is a big investment, especially if you have to give them away," she admits.

Coloado says she's "angry" at Brown. She believes he owns "a complete lack of caring for the team and the city." She wonders if he "even likes football."

The Coloados' 50 percent deposit on the club seats was due Friday. The check's in the mail.

Debbie Kincaid says she doesn't support the Bengals any other way: No food, no drink, no concessions, no parking in the stadium lots. No jersey glorifying Ocho Cinco. She got her renewal letter a little more than a week ago. Her pen is poised, her checkbook is at the ready. "They sent a letter asking me if I wanted to move my seats," she says. "I was going to see if I can get closer. But I like the crazy people I'm around."

We will buy the tickets and we will lease the suites. We don't get what we deserve, or what we expect. We get what we put up with. Cesar Chavez isn't coming.


...That one is just for you, HOF. :P

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:frusty: jeez, is she a freakin long lost relative of MB, if not there is his next wife.
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:frusty: jeez, is she a freakin long lost relative of MB, if not there is his next wife.

Well no real surprise when I realized to be a season ticket holder for the Bengals is more obsessive behavior than rational. Those people have paid thousands/year for 2 decades of historically bad football. So yeah, obviously they don't care about winning, just going and the whole experience. The economy will cause more people to give up their tickets than fan discontent.

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My family has season tickets and we drive two and a half hours to get to the game (4 dollar gas almost killed us) and I agree with everything Kincaid said in the article. At first you get the tickets to enjoy the game, but you grow really attached to the people you sit by and it becomes what you look forward to and its not really because of the losing. If the Bengals had winning seasons every year and always made the playoffs, seeing the people you have spent years sharing the experience with is the main thing you look forward to and the main reason you go back. It sounds corny, but its true.

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I suppose it's like not being in Cincinnati and going to your favorite sports bar or hangout to watch the game with what few Bengals fans may be living in your area. The only difference is getting into my local sports bar doesn't cost anything, the pitchers of beer are cheaper than a bottle at the game, and food doesn't cost near as much either. Soooooo, go to your local sports bar and save yourself the money...

Seriously though, I will probably go to many games once I retire and move back to Cincinnati. Maybe not season tickets, but I will definitely be going to more than one a year...

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...That one is just for you, HOF. :P

Yes, well that's just great.

First reaction?

It's sorta like watching the light finally go on for the dumbest kid in the room.

"Well done, L'il Doc! you found your own butt using both hands. I knew you could do it."

Point blank...no wiggle room...boom, there it is.

The core.

And at the very heart of the core?

What fundamental truth is finally laid bare for all to see?

It's the experience, stupid!

Always has been, always will be. And on that bedrock point I repeat once again.....Cincinnati doesn't get an AFL/NFL franchise without a Paul Brown, and decades later wouldn't have kept that team without a Mike Brown.

Thus, slack is given.

Without apology.


And furthermore, please shut the f**k up. :angry:

You know who you are.

You very clearly don't want to be here.

Yet here you stay.

Pissing all over my experience.

So is it any wonder I feel about YOU the way I do? <_<

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So, I'm reading posters here say in essence that it doesn't matter if the Bengals never win another game -- it's the experience of simply watching a team with tiger stripe helmets run around on artificial turf that matters most?

Bengals fans don't just root for laundry -- they're happy that the laundry always stinks.

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