As training camp gets started this weekend I’m going to start off with a small defense of our executive and chief. An unpopular stance but I’m going to go ahead and be that guy that not only sticks up for Mike Brown, but willingly compares him to one of the great owners of all-time, the late Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders. Now upon first glance this comparison seems a bit of a hyperbole, but as it pertains to character, I believe these two men are cut from the same cloth. As far as current credentials go they are miles apart. As owner of the Raiders from the 1966 until he passed away last October, Al Davis accrued 1 AFL championship and 4 AFC championships which then turned into 3 Super Bowl titles. Mike Brown, since taking over ownership duties of the Bengals in 1991, has garnered 2 division titles and 1 Wild Card in 2011.
But once again, I’m not going to compare their teams on the field accomplishments because at this point, there aren’t any. Still, it is my strong belief that this years Bengals team might be the most competitive yet and as training camp gets underway, I think it’s time we start acknowledging that Mike Brown has got this organization going in the right direction and he just might have taken a few plays out of Al Davis’ playbook. Much like Al Davis, Mike Brown is a small market team owner. He hasn’t had the funds at his disposal that Jerry Jones and other large market teams have to get top rate free agents, facilities, and hotel rooms for every individual player on road trips. Instead, he had to fight tooth and nail to get city funding to build Paul Brown Stadium and while I can certainly understand the city’s initial reluctance, there is no question the new stadium and practice field has helped the reputation of a team that was once nicknamed the bungles.