Economic Depression Might End the Depression of Many Bengals Fans

Donovan EstridgeContributor IJune 3, 2009

FORT COLLINS, CO - NOVEMBER 01:  A lone fan takes his seat as the Brigham Young Cougars and the Colorado State Rams take the field to warm up prior to the game at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Fort Collins, Colorado. BYU defeated CSU 45-42.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Empty seats at Paul Brown Stadium and viewings of the CBS Movie of the Week on Bengals’ game days might just be the leverage needed to declare victory in the Who Dey Revolution.  

Andrew Simon and an army of Bengals fans frustrated with the current state of the team are hoping the 2009 season might be the tipping point in the fight to force owner Mike Brown hire a general manager.  

That is why revolutionaries in and around in Cincinnati are hoping an economic hit like blackouts on television and boycotts of season tickets could be the impetus of change in Cincinnati.  

“Bengals fans are upset with what’s going on,” Simon said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with the Bleacher Report. “They (fans) are sick and tired of spending good money to see the team lose.”  

Fed up with the failures of the franchise, Simon is about to embark on the second year of the grass roots movement aimed at remedying the losing in Cincinnati. If a general manager is hired, many Bengals fans hope permanent change would be on the horizon.  

But with Brown balking on the idea of hiring a general manager in the past, Simon is hopeful a hit to the bottom line might force what he believes are needed changes in the front office.  

That hit could be already coming as the Bengals business office is frantically trying to sell season tickets and fill Paul Brown Stadium to the brim.  

“I do know season ticket sales have gone down considerably,” Simon said. “The team has exhausted the waiting list.”  

As any fan of the NFL knows, season ticket revenue and merchandise sales are some of the biggest revenue producers for any franchise. A blow to those two facets could send a team into economic despair.  

That is why in 2008, Simon called on his followers to boycott buying single game tickets and purchasing Bengals merchandise. The hopes, according to followers, are to ignite financial woes in the front office, and force Brown to seek help in fielding a competitive team.  

And it could be Movies of the Week airing Sundays that finally ignite change in southwestern Ohio.  

With ticket sales down, Simon is quick to say his revolution isn’t the sole cause for the attack on the bottom line. With the nation headed deeper into a crippling recession, job loss and consumer confidence could also be reason people aren’t buying tickets. 

But whatever the reason, Simon believes the 4-11-1 mark set last year by the Bengals sends a clear message that change is needed.  

“I’m sure it has a lot to do with the economy,” Simon said. “But Bengals fans are upset and tired of losing.”  

While Simon sees the good in blackouts, the notion of economic warfare is coming under fire in Cincinnati. Simon’s quest to attack the financial side has been seen by some as an unneeded move in the quest.  

That notion bothers Simon.  

“A lot of people don’t think we are real fans,” Simon said. “I think that is a shame. Loyalty is unquestionably the only reason we are doing this. We are all fans. We just want the Bengals to adopt a common sense policy.”


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