Paul Daugherty
Enquirer columnist files news and observations

Paul Daugherty
Paul Daugherty has been an Enquirer sports columnist since 1994 and has been chronicling Cincinnati sports since 1988. He has covered almost every major sporting event in America, as well as five Summer Olympics. Along the way, he has been named one of the country's top-5 sports columnists four times, and Ohio columnist of the year on seven different occasions. Last year, he was voted 2nd-best sports columnist in the country, by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Ben-gal-ized: A condition unique to those who coach for the NFL franchise located in Southwest Ohio. Symptoms include glazed-doughnut look in post-game news conferences, frequent references to "working harder'' and "positives'' and curious game-management decisions. Those stricken often show signs of life and vitality upon taking the job, but eventually become worn down or comfortable with mediocrity or both. Current head coach is becoming Bengalized later in his tenure than his three predecessors, probably because he had the misfortune of working in winning cultures previously, in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Now, he's catching on.

"I'm not under fire'' current coach allowed Monday, and he was absolutely right. In Bengaldom, the only # that matters is butts-in-seats. The Bengals set attendance records twice in the last four weeks. If current coach is loyal to owner, he can stay as long as the seats are filled. Unless he determines being Bengalized is not how he'd like to be remembered. Remember the year the Bengals went 3-13 and the only move made was to fire the special teams coach?

Bengalizing someone requires a unique blend of stubbornness, cheapness and immunity to change. No GM, no more scouts, blind loyalty, the ability to hold hostage a gullible fan base with the same old, same old. It occurs within an industry that makes so much cash, and has such a monopoly, those who own stakes in it have a license to print money. And no huge financial incentive to win. It's sad to see what is happening to current coach. But not unexpected. Bengalizing gets them all, sooner or later.


at 8:56 AM Anonymous Sam said...

Paul, you are right,but all of this discussion is irrelevant until someone gets the attention of Mike Brown and he actually acknowledges any of this. HE DOESN'T. You guys writing about it is no different than the fans complaining about it. It is all IRRELEVANT until Mike Brown acknowledges it.

at 9:34 AM Blogger faithsman said...

paul, i know your feelings on the brown family, but marvin lewis is coaching not to lose instead of coaching to win. my case in point is your article on not going for the first down at the 2yard line on sunday. he has lost the confidence of his players by not going against the pundits critizism. until he shows he is the boss it will continue downhill

at 9:38 AM Anonymous paul c said...

It is sad it is happening again, I honestly thought it would be different this time.
How long will Palmer put up with this?
He is wasted here and deserves better.

at 9:55 AM Anonymous David said...

And since the hat has cut off the blood flow to the brain, that ain't happening. Doc - I want you to submit the word Bengalized to Websters for next year's dictionary!

at 10:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bengals have become irrelevant and therefore discussion or written comment beyond three sentences is unwarranted. It looks as if M. Lewis knows he won't be fired and he also knows any changes necessary to change the status quo will not be addressed by Mike B. so he's not going to make himself miserable by worrying about it. Basicly he sees this is the hand he has been dealt, ie injuries and suspensions, all with personnel he has agreed to bring on board and he probably wishes they would fire him but he's not that lucky.

at 10:20 AM Anonymous Ryan said...

Sam's got a point, and like Doc said, the only thing Mike Brown cares about is butts in the seats. The Bengals organization is content with mediocrity so long as the team is making a profit.

So lets hurt Mike Brown's wallet: Boycott the organization (that means no more buying tickets and no more buying merchandise) until the necessary improvements are made and we actually have a team we can be proud of.

at 10:24 AM Blogger jtneuge said...

C'mon Paul, Marvin is not a bad coach. So the Bengals are having a down year. It happens. The guy still has an above .500 record and he is coaching a team that was beyond bad for what seemed like 50 straight years. This team goes 6-10 to 8-8 this year, Marvin sticks around, and next year, they are right back in the thick of things. Mark it down.

at 10:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a long time Bengal fan and former season ticket holder. I won't go back to another game until changes are made in th front office. This team is a joke when it comes to a scouting department.

This team won't attract another quality caliber coach, not with the how the owner won't support their current head coach with a real scouting department. I think Marvin had to pull teeth just to add three consultants.

Mike Brown kept Dave Shula for five years; he won't fire Marvin. But I do think Marvin will leave if changes aren't made. Heck, even Bruce Coslet left and he left midseason.

People want Lewis gone. Well, be careful what you wish for. Because you're not going to get Marty in here. Nope. You're new head coach will be Louie Cioffi.

at 10:55 AM Anonymous Gary said...

Sam is dead on. But Mike Brown doesn't merely have to acknowledge it- he actually has to do something about it. Will it ever happen? I don't think it will because he is not embarrassed by any of this. He appears to have no shame.

at 11:32 AM Blogger Zach said...

He may not have started out this way, but Lewis indeed HAS proven to be a lousy coach. Anyone who remembers last year's stretch run knows this wasn't the first time Lewis insanely relied on his defense to win the game , which is, by the way, the exact opposite of playing to one's strengths.

What can you say. For whatever reason Marvin warded off the Cincinnati demon a little longer than his predecessors, but that doesn't he won't suffer the same fate. His supporters point to how awful the Bengals were before he showed up and seem more than content with 6-10, 8-8, bad to mediocre teams. Just as long as we aren't back to 2-14. Pretty much sums up Mike Brown and possibly Cincy, itself. Some of you deserve this team, if not worse.

at 11:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about someone providing an email address to the bengals front office.

Maybe a flood of discontent will at least be seen by someone.

at 11:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me optimistic, but I think this is the offseason that Marvin says "get me a GM so I we can get some decent players from rounds 3-7, or I'm outta here"

And I think Mike Brown trusts Marvin enough that he just MIGHT do it.

I think that Lippincott, Tobin and guys like that are much more likely to lose their jobs than Marvin is.

at 12:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, the reason we stink this year is because of the scouting dept. idiots. quarter of the team in jail/suspended. quarter on the DL. thats why we stink.

at 1:00 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Paul I have a great idea for your columns from now on if you can get away with it. It's an idea that my mom and I came up with last week. Here it is: become front-runners. In my youth, I always despised the fairweather fans, but enough is enough. I don't watch sports to suffer. For your columns from now on, just pick a great team to report on instead of the Bengals. Our pick: The Patriots.

This Sunday, we saw a Steelers fan at Kroger on Sunday and she started saying how bad the Bengals were ...until we told her we rooted for the Patriots, and started ripping the Steelers! The look in her face was priceless. I've never felt such a sense of power over another human being in my entire life.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. You did say the other week how there was no reason to be loyal to a losing product. As a corrolary to that, it is okay to switch your loyalties to a good team. It's that easy. No more suffering. NO more embarassment. Let's go Pats!

at 2:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The big questions is why in the world has the defensive co ordinator not been fired.

If the offense does not score everytime they have the ball there is a good chance they will lose.

That is why everyone was so mad about the 4th and 1. We know that 3 points does not work for this team. We need 7 every time.

I will say that the lack of confidence that Marvin showed his offense was an absloute killer and will haunt the team for the rest of the season.

That's all we need is for the offense to fall apart. We've already lost the special teams and the defense.

at 3:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This kind of echos Aaron's 1:00pm sentiments. Earlier this year I was mocking a friend of mine for having 6 "favorite" NFL teams and 3 "favorite" NCAAF teams. I told her it wasn't right, and that she wasn't a "true" fan. That is, until I realized how bad the Bengals were going to be this year. So I adopted her philosopy and now every Sunday is a "great day to be a Bengals, Bears, Browns, Cardinals, Colts, Lions, and Patriots fan" and I am much less miserable as a result. Football season is fun again.

at 4:36 PM Blogger quarter_nelson said...

It looks like the Bengals have stolen a page right out of the Redskins book ... or is it the other way around. Joe Fibbs is often heard making "frequent references to "working harder'' and "positives'' and curious game-management decisions."

Don Snyder (owner) is gouging the fans who do not get much of a return on their investment. They have no GM. Maybe you should adopt another team as earlier suggested. My vote of course is the Steelers!

at 5:42 PM Anonymous Dave said...

anon 3:51 has The PERFECT SOLUTION for us all. My personal solution was to switch to the Steelers (& the Rooneys) about 3 years ago but 3:51's answer is better.

We all can pick our personal allegiances/preferences & teams (I might add the perennially-bad Lions (in honor of Kitna)).

But whatever, you won't care about the perennially disgusting Brown family & their "product".

at 6:45 PM Blogger oldtimer said...

i agree with pretty much everything everybody has said;...


To be fair and honest about this year's team and its failings, you have to factor in the following; an almost incredible run of injuries to key defensive players (top 4 linebackers, #1 defensive end,), loss of solid players to free agency (Kase, Brian), bad FA signings (3 of 4 got cut; who knew?), and of course some unbelievably bad judgment off field by some key players (Henry and Thruman). Add to that the Bengals front office's stubborn insistence on playing rookies way too soon (Joseph and Toast Hall), I guess because if they're making lots of money, someone else has to be cut. Add to that the absolutely horrible job Brown does as his own GM, and the office nepotism, and maybe we need to show Marvin a little slack. Yes he has shown a penchant for choking late in the game, and he is a total a$$ in the interview room, but in general he has always gotten his guys to play hard, and play like winners. Get some guys healthy, get some guys of suspension, get some free agents who can rush the passer, and a tight end who can actually run a route and this team starts being good again. Flush this year and give Marvin a winter to right the ship. Then if things are still this bad, he should probably slip out of town at night.

at 7:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anybody noticed that Marvin has won the exact number of Super Bowls as Dave Shula?

at 11:53 PM Anonymous BG said...

Just getting a GM won't fix this team. Nor will getting more scouts. Well, unless there last name isn't Brown. Sorry for the cheap shot.

Looking at other teams in the league they should hire a GM, a director of college scouting, move Duke Tobin to director of Pro scouting and hire 4-6 full-time scouts. That's even if they keep the 3 consultants. The Bengals have ONE full-time scout. The Steelers are on the low end with 6 full-time scouts. Perpetually awful teams like the Cardinals and Lions have 8.

I think the Bengals never adjusted to Plan B free agency let alone the current version. At this point I'm not holding my breath waiting for this organization to jump into the early '90s.

I wish the Bengals had a good slogan to go along with their miserly ways. It's not the NFL, it's NFL Lite. It has the look and feel of an NFL franchise but has half the staff, professionalism and victories of an actual NFL franchise.

at 7:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read that UC is negotiating with the Bengals on a joint venture to fund a winter practice bubble facility.
It would be wise for Mike Thomas to count his fingers after he shakes Mike Brown's hand, and check for his wallet, ring, keys, etc. Maybe UC will fund the entire project and Thomas will be employed by the Bengals in a few years ie. Beddinghaus.

at 11:50 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Oldtimer,

Your defense of the Bengals reads pretty much as an indictment. Yes, they have had an unusually bad run of injury luck at linebacker. Everything else you mentioned, the free agency losses, the free agency busts, the poor drafting, the poor characters on the team are not an accident or a fluke. That is how the Bengals are run. 2005 was great, but 2007 is much more typical of this organization.


at 5:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting observation - I too noticed growing similarities to prior coaches who became completely lame. I was wondering when the "wheels fell off" - ML came in and immediately pulled off an 8-8 (impressive) then worked up to the 11-5 (wow) but has ricocheted back to the Bengal standard. Maybe that's it - the 11-5 was an aberition and the wheels were never on. What do you think?

at 4:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

TJ should find a team that's going places next year.Look for the Bengals to be 2-7 after Baltimore next week.

at 11:18 AM Anonymous I miss boomer said...

Dont know about you all, I am pulling for Kitna to win his 10 this year....

Something to look foward too.

Ladies and Gents....

The "BUNGELS" are back in town!!!!

P.S. If we can get the NFL channel, we may be able to get some of those great Bengal games from 20 years ago, when coaches could coach, players could play, and there was a Brown that know football!!!

at 10:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone in Cincy pussyfoots around Marvin Lewis, and it is Sick. He is a horrible Head Football Coach and pretty much has been from the get go. He is getting a free pass because he is Black. Nobody wants to annie-up and say he has made horrible calls from personel to game managment. The Bengals are still the laughing stock of the league. Granted the ownership is a bunch of leaches too; but Marvin Lewis's ability to manage a team is no-more than a pipe dream. He is condescending and a jerk to fans and the media, and to full of himself comes across as thinkin everyone but him is stupid. Marvin "Look at your accomplishmnets here in Cincy". "Not much". I believe this team still has alot of talent offensively, has nothing defensively and has not had any (in Marvins area of supposed expertise) since he got here. In fact they had more on the defensive side of the ball before he got here. If he was white, Marvin would be being burned at the stake in the Media and with the fans. But because he is black everyone here is very careful not to say anything for fear of another race blowout. Wake up Cincy fans not another 20 years of this crap it is a sport, and game of pride. Lets hold these guys accountable and bring back good professional football to Cincy. When you look at the Bengals Organization forget race, pretend they are orange martins, lets get this organization to represent us, Cincinnatians, and hold them accountable. Where is the outrage. They do not put up with this in Pitt, Baltimore, Nashiville, and PHILA, whats wrong with this city. Revolt Change BENGALS FOOTBALL, be OUTRAGED!

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