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Quest For Perfection

Posted by Matt on October 30, 2008

The “Mike Brown Urinal Target” coming to a Greater Cincinnati truck stop near you!

The Cincinnati Bungles (henceforth they are to be known only as the “Cincinnati Bungles” until further notice) maintained their quest for perfection on Sunday falling to the Houston Texans 35-6 and in doing so appeared to be, quite possibly, the worst football team in the history of teams. Now the Bungles being shitty is not a new phenomenon — obviously — and at the core of the problem is an 18 year long festering boil that needed to be lanced a long time ago in the form of the tenure of Mike Brown.

Now I’ve thought long and hard on how to verbalize the central issue plaguing the Cincinnati Bungles and how I am relatively sure that it is an unsolvable problem outside of the commissioner of the NFL, Der Fuhrer Goodell, stepping in at some point on the grounds of competitive balance and/or obligation to the fans of Cincinnati.

In the past I have targeted many topics as the basis for the Bungles’ weaknesses:

What I have come to realize is that the issue cannot be narrowed down to one particular culprit and the problem is, however, very deeply rooted in the culture of the organization starting at the very top and reaching deep in to the annals of Paul Brown Stadium.

However, on the surface the problem can be best described by a three-pronged explanation:

  1. Front Office Failure: Cincinnati is one of (I believe) only three teams that operates without a general manager (and thus the owner is the de facto GM) — with the other two teams being the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders — and it is clear that owner Mike Brown knows little-to-nothing about evaluating football talent. If Mr. Brown was a football genius or he was willing to constantly throw as much money in to the team as needed to field a winner, I would have no problem with this. Obviously, however, neither are the case when it comes to Cincinnati. The Bungles also employ the lowest number of scouts and executives of any team in the NFL.
  2. Keeping It In The Family: Nepotism is certainly not something that Mike Brown can deny since some of his top executives consist of his brother Pete, daughter Katie (Blackburn), son-in-law Troy Blackburn, and son Paul. The rest of the organization is comprised mainly of a host of characters that have befriended Mikey along the way and thus have found themselves in good favor with the organization. The culture will never change if the most important personnel’s ideology never changes and instead only continues to proliferate within the same family.
  3. Bungalization: This may be the hardest to explain but also may be the most detrimental issue at the same time. If it ever appears that there is some sort of curse on the Bungles that is because there is…kind of. I call it the “Bungalization” of players. This means, simply, that either consciously or subconsciously players on the Bungles have bought in to the historical deficiencies of the franchise, as well as their inability to win and win often while in Cincinnati. This effect then shows in the on-field performances without anybody fully realizing that these players are not playing to what their full potential might be with another team, thus giving off the appearance that the Bungles are “cursed.” It is the reciprocal to the reason that the New England Patriots can get more out of an aging player when other teams have left their career for dead. Bungalization then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and a self-perpetuating problem in a never ending vicious cycle.

Taking all issues in to account, the three-pronged explanation is the best attempt at condensing the Bungles woes in to three paragraphs but it still doesn’t operationalize everything that is wrong with the franchise. I don’t think that I have failed to fully explain myself but I do believe that a video circling YouTube (and courtesy of The Meaningful Collateral) better explains the subject in a manner that is easier to visualize:

This is the best description of what is ailing this franchise and it comes in the form of a brilliant four minute video. Things may or may not change in Cincinnati with another failed season, unfortunately more likely the latter, but perpetual hope that something will be done to turn things around is the lone driving force that keeps me coming back each season.

But for the time being at least we can see exactly why the current Cincinnati Bungles are on their quest for perfection this season.

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