BY GEOFF HOBSON
Bengals President Mike Brown feels his team's poor showing on the field is a major reason Bob Bedinghaus lost his seat on the Hamilton County's Board of Commissioners in Tuesday's election.
Bedinghaus, architect of the 1996 half-cent county sales tax funding stadiums for the Reds and Bengals, became the first Republican to lose a commissioner's seat since the Lyndon Johnson landslide of 1964 when Democrat Todd Portune beat Bedinghaus by five percentage points, 48-43.
Brown said Wednesday he had yet to speak to Bedinghaus because, "I'm probably the last person he wants to speak with. I feel badly. The way we have performed on the field, I think, is a significant reason he lost and it's tough.
"We didn't uphold our end of the bargain on the field," Brown said.
Like many Americans, Brown was caught up in the closest presidential race in history Tuesday night and didn't go to bed until near dawn. Like many of his players, his thoughts were divided between football and history.
"It's something you'll tell your grandchildren," Brown said as he watched practice Wednesday. "Probably like Pearl Harbor, or when (John F.) Kennedy got shot. You'll remember where you were the night the president wasn't elected."
But Brown was hurt as he saw the race go against Bedinghaus. Taxpayers have been upset with the stadium lease the club negotiated with representatives of the commissioners and while Brown wouldn't comment on the fairness of how the issue has been portrayed, he admitted the Bengals' 2-7 record on Election Day helped doom Bedinghaus.
"It's a sharp disappointment," Brown said. "Bob has left his mark on this city and it's a good mark. It's one that he can be proud of.
"He made this community better," Brown said. "I respect him a lot as a person. . .You wonder. Winston Churchill won World War II and didn't win."
Brown wouldn't address questions on how Bedinghaus' loss may affect the club's internal matters. Brown prefers to wait until after the season to discuss operation of the club.
Bedinghaus couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.