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With his worst season as Bengals head coach winding down, Marvin Lewis is getting testy.
Lewis had an exchange today with Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Dustin Dow in which he accused Dow of being “disrespectful” and suggested that the Enquirer ought to hire someone else to cover the Bengals.
It started when Dow asked Lewis, “If you guys finish this out winning three in a row, or even two of three, how much will it show that improvement has been made, versus covering up improvements that still need to be made?”
Lewis answered, “Oh, I don’t think it covers anything up that we feel interiorly, and that’s the only thing that matters. Dustin, all your angles and so forth, I’m going to ask other people questions because I really don’t like the angles you take in here each and every week.”
When Dow asked Lewis what was wrong with his question, Lewis answered, “I just think it’s disrespectful for what we’re doing. I really do. So I’ll tend to answer the other guys’ questions. Anything else?”
Dow pointed out that what he’s asking is important to the Bengals fans who read the paper, and Lewis shot back, “What we’re trying to do is win football games. Maybe you should answer for them, because you seem to do that, anyway.”
As Dow started to reply, Lewis said, “I’m not going to get into a debate with you, buddy. All right? … I just told you I’m not going to answer your questions any more. All right? They might have to send somebody else over to do your job. All right?” recorded the entire incident as:
“Q: If you guys finish this out winning three in a row, or even two of three, how much will it show that improvement has been made, versus covering up improvements that still need to be made?
ML: Oh, I don’t think it covers anything up that we feel interiorly, and that’s the only thing that matters. … I think your question is disrespectful for what we’re doing. I really do.”

Permalink 61 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cincinnati Bengals, Rumor Mill
  1. T says: Dec 17, 2008 3:37 PM

    Beat schlep for the Bungles. Talk about a bad gig.

  2. Devils Advocate says: Dec 17, 2008 3:42 PM

    okay Marv might have a point but what really is disrespectful is his performance. it’s beyond me how this guy keeps his job. so that should be laid at the feet of his employer. it’s not Marv’s fault that they retain him. the owner of that team is truly “disrespectful” for continuing to put a terrible product on the filed year after year.

  3. RobJH says: Dec 17, 2008 3:43 PM

    Can we get some background with this story? Has Dow recently written a bunch of columns slamming the team or what?

  4. powerte says: Dec 17, 2008 3:43 PM

    Yeah how dare he question Lewis and the Bengals?! Damn journalists with all their questions!

  5. ndvocalgod says: Dec 17, 2008 3:45 PM

    If only they would send over somebody else over to do the Cincinnati front office’s jobs …

  6. overkil2 says: Dec 17, 2008 3:45 PM

    The reporter won’t have to worry, Lewis won’t be there next year anyways.

  7. kayC says: Dec 17, 2008 3:46 PM

    Ha. That question wasn’t disrespectful. Unintelligible, maybe. I don’t have a clue where he was going with that.
    Disrespectful is the product that Mike Brown and the Bengals have given Cincinnati for a decade or so.

  8. Festivus says: Dec 17, 2008 3:46 PM

    Seemed like a valid question to me.
    Hey Marvin, maybe the Bengals dont like the angles you’re taking coaching the team and they’ll have to send someone else over to do your job.

  9. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Dec 17, 2008 3:47 PM

    As a Bengals fan, that’s bullshit, Marvin. You don’t like tough questions, don’t be a head coach. Period. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that question. There was no angle. It was a fair but tough question that a coach of a 2-win team needs to answer.
    This is where the NFL or the Bengals should fine Marvin if it cares at all about press access to players and coaches like they always preach. Marvin basically told the guy that he gets to pick who the Enquirer can send to ask questions, and that whoever they send better ask softballs. To hell with that. You only win 2 games, you damn well have some questions to answer.
    Marvin’s always been big on thinking that the team doesn’t owe anything to the press, the fans, or basically anybody. Newsflash to Marvin: without us, you don’t have a job.
    Of course, if you don’t win games, you won’t have a job anyway.

  10. VBG says: Dec 17, 2008 3:47 PM

    If Marvin Lewis was white, I believe he’d be fired at the end of this season. Maybe wouldn’t have even made it through the full season.
    He’s been there for what, 5 years? 6 years? He has a total of 1 winning season with 1 playoff game that was lost.
    He’s a failure as a head coach.

  11. dabooo says: Dec 17, 2008 3:48 PM

    ‘Interiorly’? Hmm… Maybe the Politburo should have censored that ‘word’.

  12. GigantoGillicus says: Dec 17, 2008 3:51 PM

    He debacled the word “interiorly”.

  13. Mike D says: Dec 17, 2008 3:54 PM

    and the saga continues…..

  14. ClevelandSucks says: Dec 17, 2008 3:54 PM

    The bunlges are a joke. They are lucky that they even get ANY media coverage. I would rather see a blind kid learning how to ice skate just waiting for him to wipe out.

  15. izeljenkins says: Dec 17, 2008 3:54 PM

    Nothing makes me happier than when a beat writer gets to these clowns. Marvin, you should be happy you are still in a position to be asked questions about a pro football team. Hopefully you go away soon.

  16. someidiot says: Dec 17, 2008 3:55 PM

    Maybe if you guys didn’t suck so bad the questions would be more like; “How does it feel to be heading towards the playoffs?”

  17. s1rweeze says: Dec 17, 2008 3:56 PM

    That’s hilarious. Why is he whining about somebody being “disrespectful” when they’ve done exactly nothing to earn any respect this season?

  18. brewdog21 says: Dec 17, 2008 3:59 PM

    Why is that disrespectful and not relevent? The last 2 games against Cleveland and Kansas City, two teams, who decidedly would be easy to disguise mistakes because they are horrible teams as well. Marvin’s a goat.

  19. steelcurtn75 says: Dec 17, 2008 4:01 PM

    He’s only asking what everyone in Cincinnati is thinking.

  20. CleEv says: Dec 17, 2008 4:01 PM

    Where there any shoes thrown?

  21. kazkal says: Dec 17, 2008 4:02 PM

    He has Mike Brown as a boss can you blame the guy?

  22. TheBozforPres says: Dec 17, 2008 4:03 PM

    I just don’t understand what Lewis has done that shows he should keep his job. You mean to tell me that there is not a single coach out there that would be a better option?

  23. mmmmm bacon says: Dec 17, 2008 4:11 PM

    So he got mad because the reported said even if you will you guys will still suck. Seems ok to me. Marvin is trying and he doesn’t need this guy telling him that no matter what he does he will fail

  24. buckeye044 says: Dec 17, 2008 4:12 PM

    Hate the Bengals and don’t know much about this guy. Perhaps Marvin is getting tired of answering questions that Mike Brown should be answering.

  25. hurst2112 says: Dec 17, 2008 4:14 PM

    I’d like to take this moment to quote some Dokken lyrics:
    ‘Into the fire! I’m fallin’

  26. mgbuda says: Dec 17, 2008 4:17 PM

    nice to know that encourages honest representation of events….

  27. DM says: Dec 17, 2008 4:21 PM

    Marvin Lewis is the Matt Millen of head coaches.

  28. vincelombardi says: Dec 17, 2008 4:23 PM

    huh, hey marv, maybe you should worry more about winning and less about if the reporter is respecting or not respecting. funny, he and the fatman built their “reputation” on being defensive “geniuses”, and both have failed miserably as head coaches. and yet they have had a longer tenure at failing then most coaches get. wonder why?

  29. marcduke says: Dec 17, 2008 4:29 PM

    Ahh Marvin, it was nice knowing ya…Good luck getting a job in, well, in anything other than football.

  30. Fredex says: Dec 17, 2008 4:30 PM

    So he’s saying he only wants softballs… nice. I hope the other reporters don’t let him get away with that.

  31. sonvar says: Dec 17, 2008 4:31 PM

    Well if I coached the Bengals I’d be testy too. Though as calm as I’ve normally seen Marvin Lewis I wonder what that guy has asked in the past.

  32. Hollywood Wags says: Dec 17, 2008 4:33 PM

    Got to keep corporate incompetence under wraps!
    Way to go Marv!

  33. musines says: Dec 17, 2008 4:34 PM

    that’s kind of a stupid question. If a team finishes up the season winning 3 in a row, how the hell is that covering up something. It’s a big deal to win a game in the NFL. Some reporters can be douche bags.

  34. yastreb says: Dec 17, 2008 4:35 PM

    The question wasn’t disrespectful, Lewis’ leadership is disrespectful.

  35. SoCal Bengal says: Dec 17, 2008 4:41 PM

    Geoff Hobson at is a complete hack who walks the company line no matter what. I can’t even go there any more because the ‘articles’ are so bogus…

  36. I C light pounder says: Dec 17, 2008 4:42 PM

    its a legit question to ask, maybe if he would not be such a poor excuse of a coach then his team would not have the reorcd it has had ever since he started coaching there. If i do remember (correct me if i am worng) but the only winning season i can remember is in 2005, and then Kimo end that streek. Give it up everyone know that Ohio can not produce a good football team (maybe OSU is the exception, and that a big MAYBE) so just pack it in and give it up Ohio you just play suck!!
    gooooooo stillers!

  37. Pea Tear Griffin says: Dec 17, 2008 4:43 PM

    Who knew the teams website was run by the Politburo.

  38. Philly2008 says: Dec 17, 2008 4:44 PM

    Lewis is fortunate to still have a job as an NFL head coach. Who is he to be offended by an innocuous question?
    The Bengals are 2-11-1 this year after finishing 7-9 in 2007. What has he done to earn his title of Head Coach after this season? Lewis should be thankful that he doesn’t have to deal with the media in Philadelphia or New York. I’ve read that he will probably be back in 2009 as the Head Coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.

  39. NJ22 says: Dec 17, 2008 4:49 PM

    Ummm….Yeah Marvin, I don’t think sending a new reporter is gonna be necessary! Seeing as you will only be employed here for 11 more days. But thanks for the suggestion!

  40. Vykesfan says: Dec 17, 2008 4:54 PM

    I love Dokken

  41. pfitz says: Dec 17, 2008 4:55 PM

    Maybe Marvin should get mad at his players because they are the ones that show him no respect.How many Bengals have been arrested and still have their jobs?

  42. spyboots says: Dec 17, 2008 4:58 PM

    I’d have been pi$$ed off at the question, too.

  43. Showtime says: Dec 17, 2008 5:04 PM

    12/16/08 – Dustin Dow pens a profile of the Who Dey Revolution for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Link –
    12/17/08 – Marvin Lewis slams Dustin Dow, saying, “…Maybe you should answer for [the fans], because you seem to do that, anyway

  44. Tippett08 says: Dec 17, 2008 5:11 PM

    I am imagine Lewis is still employed in part due to the particular demographic he belongs to

  45. joetoronto says: Dec 17, 2008 5:18 PM

    I don’t blame Lewis for getting pissed of, not at all.
    It was a loaded question and very unprofessional.

  46. Joe 6-pack says: Dec 17, 2008 5:19 PM

    kayC, basically the reporter was asking: If the Bengals finish with a win streak, does it mean that the team is improving, or is it just a mirage?

  47. Gitlin1 says: Dec 17, 2008 5:29 PM

    I don’t think the question was disrespectful at all. The question is “what changes have you made recently that have allowed your team to win some games as of late, or is it just that the teams you played aren’t very good and you are still the same old team?
    Here is your chance to open up to the media and explain your efforts to improve this team in the hopes of retaining your job Marvin! Good job basically saying you have continued to sit on your a** and do nothing!

  48. EskinSux says: Dec 17, 2008 5:52 PM

    I think he needs to read a few chapters of Andy Reid’s best selling “Head Coach’s Press Conference Manual”…Espically Chapter 6,page 10…Have some jock sniffing on air radio personality tell the listening audience what a wonderful job you are doing, and beat reporters are idiots……

  49. kazkal says: Dec 17, 2008 6:05 PM

    [b]Seemed like a valid question to me.
    Hey Marvin, maybe the Bengals dont like the angles you’re taking coaching the team and they’ll have to send someone else over to do your job.
    Idiot. [/b
    —-Marvin lewis is not the problem Mike Brown is the problem.

  50. kazkal says: Dec 17, 2008 6:06 PM

    You think Marvin Lewis really wants to remain in Cinci? I’m sure he’d much rather go back to being DC earning his chance at another HC job with a “real team”

  51. Morgan says: Dec 17, 2008 6:11 PM

    Dow you idiot, your a local dude, your job depends on whether Lewis gives you interview. Whats going to happen when the next 10 times he goes down there for a interview and Lewis says im not doing a interview with you send someone else. There going to get someone else to go get the news.
    Hey there is always hope for you in Detroit. The fans love it when you shit on the coaches and the coaches love to be shit on.

  52. mborz says: Dec 17, 2008 6:18 PM

    I wouldn’t say it was disrespectful. It was a loaded question for sure, but there was no disrespect.
    In any case, there are always a few in the crowd like this guy, and I don’t see how saying what Marvin said is going to help his situation. If he had answered the question in a way that indicated the team was making some changes that seemed to be working, he would have painted himself in a much better light than he did.

  53. jimmy says: Dec 17, 2008 6:20 PM

    Very difficult for these players and coaches to answer the same stupid questions over and over. It must be especially difficult to answer when the reporter has a negative agenda to put forth. I don’t sympathize with the reportersat all.

  54. Umdayo says: Dec 17, 2008 6:20 PM

    ooooh, dat smarts!
    Marvin WILL be there. As long as fans put their behinds in the seats, and Mike Brown makes $$$, all will be well.
    Mike is making $$$ so Marvin gets paid and never mind what the fans say, want, think, or do. As long as they are willing to ante up and Mike makes $$$ – it ain’t going to change.
    Marvin needs to take a vallium or two about 45 min before he has his press conference, then let the reporters try to rattle his cage.
    That ought to be more fun to watch than the Bungles!

  55. TheDPR says: Dec 17, 2008 6:36 PM

    Reporters don’t ask enough tough questions.
    Good for Dow. Bad for Lewis.

  56. voyager6 says: Dec 17, 2008 6:37 PM

    Marvin has 2 wins in a season and he thinks he is hot stuff, not to be questioned? I hope someday Lewis gets a HC job in NYC or Philly where the press is brutal. If Marvin can’t handle the soft ball questions from Cincy press, he’d self-distruct in NYC.
    Goodell should fine Lewis and make him write a letter to the reported apologising for Lewis’ behavior.
    I have been expecting this for a long time (at least 2 years), but with Dayton Daily News reporter Chick Ludwig. Marvin scolds Ludwig regularly for ludicrus questions (basically anything questioning Lewis)

  57. brawnyhombre says: Dec 17, 2008 6:50 PM

    The reporter’s question was perfectly valid. In the seventeen or so years that Mike Brown has been running the team (into the ground), the Bengals are known for pulling a few late-season upsets that gets everyone optimistic about the next season, so no offseason overhaul happens. Then they proceed to continue sucking the next year. The reporter’s question is valid, that if the Bengals win their last three – as Marvin promised – does that negate the eleven losses? The smart fan knows that the answer’s no. Also, the people questioning are on target. Geoff Hobson IS a hack, and one who seems to have very little interest in football. Essentially, he’s the perfect guy to shill for the organization. As for Marvin, I’d be pulling for Coslet 2.0 to get the axe ASAP, but what quality football mind is going to want to come here? The people Al Davis fires? Floyd Reese? The Schottenheimers – playoff warts and all – would want no part of this mess.

  58. wisp33 says: Dec 17, 2008 9:37 PM

    Dow sound pretty annoying; especially when he suggests he’s speaking for Bengals fans . I always love it when these coaches put these self-righteous hacks in their place.

  59. NR4 says: Dec 17, 2008 10:20 PM

    He debacled the word “interiorly” ! Thanks Giganto.
    Is it any wonder Ocho Cinco beyath slapped his azz?

  60. gshevlin says: Dec 18, 2008 11:49 AM

    Rule 1 of dealing with the media – never pick a fight with an organization that buys ink by the barrel.
    Marvin Lewis cannot win any squabble with the local media. Despite what he might hope, they are not employed to be cheerleaders for the team. Jack Del Rio had a similar argument in Jacksonville with the local media. He complained that they were not supporting the team, but was swiftly reminded that this was not their job.
    The frustration of the media is merely a reflection of the frustration of the fan base. Lewis cannot win by trying to browbeat the media. They were there before he came to the team, they will be there long after he is gone. He should make peace with them quietly behind the scenes, and move on.
    The blatant omission of part of the exchange on the team website is merely a symptom of the contempt of the team ownership for the fan base; it is an insult to our intelligence in the Internet age.

  61. texasPHINSfan says: Dec 18, 2008 2:46 PM

    Dow is a douche… if any of you guys have read this guy’s stuff, he clearly has it out for the team. what started out as beat coverage has turned into an agenda for this guy. i wouldn’t be surprised if he’s behind the whodeyrevolution site. Lewis isn’t the best coach ever, but like marinelli, he’s doing what he can with that group.

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