Let's Pretend That I Just Bought The Bengals.

This was originally published in The Athletic.

I have some big news, and it’s not that I’ve decided to join The Athletic because that’s already happened. Still, though, this is big news.

I’ve just purchased the Cincinnati Bengals and I’m the new majority owner.

OK, you’re likely wondering how I’ve managed to rustle up enough cash to purchase an NFL franchise with an estimated worth of over $2 billion.

Let’s just say I’ve done some smart investing, including a wager on a recent University of Evansville basketball game and some killer work in a survivor league this season that ironically involved me picking whichever team plays the Bengals every single week.

The people I work for have taken care of the rest, with hefty and deserved raises for columns like the one that only matches the insane amount of dough I’m getting from my other employer for being a carnival sideshow on local sports-talk radio.

OK, I’ll be honest. I haven’t invested well, I didn’t bet on the Purple Aces the other night at Rupp Arena, I was eliminated from a survivor league and no one at the moment is giving me more money than I’m already making.

So no, I’m not really buying the Cincinnati Bengals.

But for a few minutes, let’s suspend belief and common sense and pretend that not only have I accumulated unimaginable wealth, but that I’ve convinced NFL owners to allow me to buy the Bengals from the Brown family with the express intention of keeping them in Cincinnati. If you think about it, make-believe scenarios like this one are a hell of a lot more fun than dealing with the weekly reality of the Bengals.

Let’s play make-believe, starting with one important vow.

You won’t be seeing any of my family members being named to important positions on the staff. My brother won’t be deciding which players we sign. My sister won’t be involved in interviewing and hiring head coaches. And my daughter won’t be spearheading any contract negotiations with players. Of course, she won’t be doing much of anything that doesn’t involve Peppa Pig or Santa Claus because she’s not yet 3 years old.

Cincinnati professional sports organizations for years have used front office positions as rewards for winning the genetic lottery. The only reason the Bengals haven’t had more people working in their front office is that Mike Brown and his wife didn’t have more kids. I don’t know how many kids my wife and I will have, but however many there are, I’m more than happy to let them live fat and free off my interest, but none of them will have any direct influence on the actual football team itself.

This is already starting to sound good to you, isn’t it?

To read the entire piece, go to The Athletic.

(Photo: Michael Allio via Getty Images)

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