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Hobson's Choice: Camp checklist

I have always wondered why the Bengals have training camp in other places besides the stadium. They have a brand new stadium just sitting there that millions of dollars were spent on so why not just have it there or at least on the practice field. It makes no sense to me, why do they do this? What does Georgetown have to offer that our own stadium doesnt? Thanks
* Matt MATT:*
First of all, a happy 30th birthday to Brian Simmons, a pro's pro. Your question got asked a lot last weekend after more than 11,000 fans attended Saturday afternoon's minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. But the Open House doesn't mean it's an open-and-shut answer.

The stadium field is too small to practice in with any regularity during training camp. They like to spread out, which means the bulk of the days are going to have to be on the practice fields adjacent to the stadium. That means they have to put stands somewhere, but then you're going to be tearing up space they need. The AstroTurf field is a possibility, but is that going to be big enough?

There is also the question of parking. A weekend is OK, but what about during the week when people are working and the downtown lots already have plenty of cars in them? And, unless the Reds are on the road, it would most likely kill night practices, and what do you do if the intrasquad scrimmage and Mock Game weekend falls on a Reds' home series?

Plus, where do you house the players? Yes, in a downtown hotel, but at what cost and at what convenience? Head coach Marvin Lewis is big on players having enough rest between workouts, but if you have to shuttle them back and forth, how much rest will they get?

You simply can't beat the convenience of Georgetown with the dorms a two-minute walk from the locker room and meeting rooms. It's the ideal NFL camp in terms of on-campus locale.

And, with Bengals President Mike Brown, you've got a guy very loyal to people and he has that with Georgetown President Bill Crouch. No question they will honor the remaining two-year commitment, and it could end up being more because of the ties.

At some point you have to figure the Bengals are going to have training camp at PBS, simply because of the technology factor. It already takes a Herculean effort from director of technology Jo Ann Ralstin and video director Travis Brammer and assistants Kent Stearman and Brooks Blake to wire Georgetown like home. One truck alone carries the video equipment, such as 27 lap tops and beta cam tape decks, and there is just more and more every year as the technology gets better.

But when that will be is anyone's guess. Georgetown has PBS beat on a lot of convenience factors, and PBS beats Georgetown on other fronts, like familiarity and technology.

Call it a work in process. Or progress. Or whatever, but it needs work.

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