Bengals’ owner treated for minor medical condition

Published 1:19 am Monday, August 25, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — Bengals owner Mike Brown was treated on Sunday for what the team called a “minor medical situation” and was expected to return to Cincinnati later in the day.

Brown, who turned 79 on Aug. 10, was in Phoenix for the Bengals’ preseason game on Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals. He was expected to skip the game and fly home.

He inherited control of the team when his father, Paul, died in 1991. The franchise went through long periods of struggle until recently. The Bengals reached the playoffs each of the last three seasons — a franchise first — before losing in the opening round each time.

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Cincinnati’s stretch without a playoff win since 1990 is tied for sixth-longest in NFL history.

Brown is the team president and serves as its de facto general manager. In recent years, he has relinquished many of his duties to daughter Katie Blackburn, who is the executive vice president. She negotiates contracts and deals with the team’s salary cap. His son, Paul, is vice president for player personnel.

During the team’s annual media luncheon before the start of training camp, Brown said his children had more responsibility in running the team.

“Oh, you can tell I’m getting old,” he said. “I’m a grandfather. And my granddaughters are in college. When you get old, your children get impatient with you. Just the way it works in life. I have been blessed to have been able to work with my two kids and my father. That’s something that is unusual in America these days. And I realize that roles change.

“My role changed with my father, just as Katie’s role with me changes. One time I went up, now I’m going down and that’s just the way it is.”

Paul Brown won a national championship at Ohio State, and guided the Cleveland Browns to championships in the All-America Football Conference and the National Football League. After he was fired by Browns owner Art Modell following the 1962 season, he and his family joined the push to create the expansion Bengals, who opened play in 1968. Their current stadium is named for him.

Mike Brown was the assistant general manager and legal counsel of the Bengals before his father died on Aug. 5, 1991.