Searching For Honesty


Visionary people look at the world and see things as they could be. Realistic people see things as they are. Crazy people see things that aren’t there. And delusional people see things as they wish they were.

Mike Brown isn’t crazy (like Al Davis), but he is neither a visionary nor a realist. And that is why the Bengals have floundered under his ownership.

That point was brought home again when I read an interview that John Thornton did with ESPN’s James Walker. These two quotes stood out to me in illustrating that point (again).

"So for Palmer to be fed up in the same manner Ochocinco and Dillon once were, that should be a HUGE wake-up call. Now it’s time for the Bengals to take a long, hard look in the mirror to figure out how they got to this point with their franchise player."

James is absolutely right. The problem, however, is that you and I both know that the “hard look” he suggests isn’t going to happen. I’d wager that most people within the organization can tell you exactly what the problems are and how they got there: coaches, players, even some front office people. But Mike Brown can’t. He can’t because he sees what he wants to see.

Moving from Carson to JJoe:

"…the only way Joseph stays is if he really wants to be in Cincinnati and accepts less than what he could get elsewhere. Players do that in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but I rarely see it with the Bengals."

I’ve been hammering the point that free agents worth having refuse to consider the Bengals as a destination. And why should they? If you have multiple companies vying for your services, you are going to choose the one that 1) offers you the most money and/or 2) is poised for long-term success. You won’t choose the one that is poorly managed and is hoping to get you on the cheap.

Players who want rings will play for less in Pittsburgh and Baltimore and New England because those teams are well-organized, giving them better odds of success. Those odds don’t exist in Cincinnati, so they don’t get that break.

That’s what disappoints and frustrates me so much about the owner/GM. The Bengals get a lot of things right, but they have self-imposed obstacles that prevent the sustained success that other teams have. Obstacles that come from the owner’s office. And few things are as pathetic as watching a team prevent themselves from winning.

I had hoped that Marvin’s return as HC was an indication that he could force Mike Brown to take that “hard look” that James recommends, because I didn’t think Marvin would return without it. But given the handling of the Carson Palmer situation, it looks like my hope was misplaced.