While Cincinnati houses two professional teams, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cincinnati Reds, there is no doubt that the city’s allegiance lied with the Reds more so than the Bengals. Fans’ animosity towards Mike Brown aided the tension between the fans and the team.
The inability to successfully draft players, keep their own stars and field a competitive roster led to the Bengals being the laughing stock of the NFL, and that’s just another reason why Cincinnati fans pledged their undying allegiance to the Reds. The Reds won championships, and even when they weren’t, they were still bringing in players who provided entertainment for the fans (Ken Griffey, Jr.). Plainly put, the fans trusted the Reds’ administration much more than the Bengals.
Now for the first time in a long time, Cincinnati fans are now seeing a shift in their trust. While fans still have an undying love with the Reds, the last four years of decisions from Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis have won over many skeptical Bengals fans.
Take last night for example. While there were many different ways the Bengals could have gone with pick No. 24, fans were trusting that whatever pick was made was done so for a reason. The team has earned this goodwill by conducting impeccable drafts that have included AJ Green, Geno Atkins, Tyler Eifert, Kevin Zeitler, Andy Dalton, Giovani Bernard and more.
For Cincinnati fans, it’s an odd feeling; sitting back and feeling comfortable during a draft is not something they are accustomed to having the luxury of doing. It isn’t often that fans have more complaints about the Reds’ personnel moves than those made by the Bengals, but that was the case this year.
The Reds allowed Shin-Soo Choo to leave in free agency and fans cried foul. However, when the Bengals allowed Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins to leave via free agency, fans praised the team for not spending the money.
It’s a good issue to have if you are a Cincinnati fan. After all, how many times over the past five decades have there been two competent franchises in the city of Cincinnati?