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Letter to Jeff Berding, a Rebuttal
10/23/00 by IanStew - Guest Columnist

I read the letter and understood, very well, the season ticket holders feelings. I find myself constantly defending the Bengals at my office. I don't know how many times I have heard that "Notre Dame or Moeller" could beat the Bengals. I have a hard time defending Mike Brown with the recent past win-loss record but I must insist that you look at this in proper terms. I understand that this is hard to do, as you have nothing to reference this to. 

There are 32 NFL teams trying to win each and every week, inevitably somebody has to lose. The Bengals have been within reach of a win in 4 of the 6 games they have played this year . I still say the difference in the Bengals being 3 and 3 instead of 0 and 6 is Akili Smith ( not to put him down-but he is, essentailly, a rookie) . Is it Mike Browns' fault Darney broke his leg? Is it Mike Browns' fault Carl Pickens signed a 5 year contract last year, then turn around and left us hanging, and then turned the Bengals in for doing his deal the way they did? Is it Mike Browns' fault that Carter turned out the way he did? Remember, 90 percent of the general managers in the league would have taken him first that year. Is it Mike Browns' fault that there is a salary cap of 62 million (give or take), yet Washington has the largest payroll this year at 100 million. How do you explain that?! Is Mike Brown spending the money on his players? Yes. Does Mike Brown trade # 1 picks so he can draft farther down and not have to spend the money? No! Did he pay Akili 50 million so we will keep losing? No! Did he bring in and pay some restricted free agents so that we would loose? No! 

How many times has a teams starting quaterback retired to become an anchor of Monday night football? I ask you, how far off are the Bengals from an 8 and 8 record? I would say about four players-1 cornerback, 1 left tackle, 1 defensive end and 1 quarterback (and I think Akili's that quaterback, just not this year). How far from 10 and six? Maybe six players. The point is, the Bengals can beat Moeller and Notre Dame and for that matter compete in the NFL.

I would like to refer to my original letter and address your season ticket holder personally. I would love to ask your season ticket holder what, in his mind, he would consider a satisfactory team. A team of replacement players that Brown could pay 10 million or less? I think even your season ticket holder would agree that the Bengals are far above that. But he wants people to believe that this is exactly Brown is doing. I say that is not so. He is trying to win. It just hasn't happened yet. Your season ticket holder acts like (along with others-e.g. Dennis Miller) the Bengals are in last place in defense, offense and special teams. That is not true. Give them a chance and your support. I think they will turn this around. Whether you agree with me or not, be fair in judging them.

A Bengal fan for 20 years and I remember the good times 

P.S.-Tell Paul Dougherty that if you go back far enough, you can always find a bust in any teams past. Get over David Klingler!



Disclaimer - The opinions expressed and implied here are those of the contributing fan columnist and may not be those of Fraidy.  Of course then again they probably are.

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