How Indy Has Won the Battle for NFL Supremacy and Cincy Has Failed

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How Indy Has Won the Battle for NFL Supremacy and Cincy Has Failed
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

With only 100 miles of Indiana corn between them, the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts should have a lot in common.

Unfortunately, the only thing they share is a two-hour drive through farmland. What they differ on is so much more.

The Colts have easily become one of the dominating teams in the NFL and are touted as an essential lock to make the playoffs on any given year. But just to the southeast of the Circle City, the Bengals have amassed 13 losing seasons since 1991 and have made the playoffs only once.

So why do they differ?

Both teams have future Hall of Fame quarterbacks along with a lethal offensive attack.

On the other side of the ball, both defenses have the ability to scare many offensive coordinators. Along with defensive-minded coaches in both cities, the Colts and Bengals should be essential twins.

But it is one glaring difference that separates a NFL powerhouse from the laughingstock of the NFL.

That difference is a general manager.

One of the first items of business after Jim Irsay took over the Colts from his late father was to hire famed general manager Bill Polian. All Polian did was draft first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

And besides drafting Manning, Polian has found gems in almost every draft. Those gems include Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark, just to name a few.

But down I-74, the absence of a general manager has led to decisions like drafting first-round busts Reinard Wilson, Peter Warrick, Akili Smith and David Klingler.

Do you see the difference?

Andrew Simon, coordinator of Who Dey Revolution, the grass-roots movement to urge Bengal owner Mike Brown to hire a general manager, understands the difference.

“We would be okay if the structure was successful,” Simon said during an exclusive Bleacher Report interview.

That ‘structure’ includes the vast disparity between the two teams’ scouting ranks.

“(The Colts) have a scouting department of 20-30 people,” Simon said. “The Bengals might have six. The results speak for themselves.”

Those results have equated into a near dynasty in Indianapolis and years of futility in Cincinnati.

That is why Simon is hopeful that the Bengals could one day consider following the Colts model. To ensure that, Simon plans on making the revolution heard any way they can.

One sure-fire way is to urge supporters to boycott tickets for home games. They also have purchased billboard space in Cincinnati, left urinal cakes in lavatories in Paul Brown Stadium and upcoming in 2009, they hope to make their case on national television.

With HBO set to chronicle Bengals’ training camp this summer, Simon promised to be out in full force.

 

“This (Hard Knocks) allows our cause to reach more people,” Simon said. “We can reach out to Bengals fans also not happy and want to see the team take some actions.”

 

Those actions would only have to include the Colts model.

 

If that does happen and the Bengals hire a general manager, than it could be more than corn that the Bengals and Colts share in the future.

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