tampabay.com

Bengals stop their security pat-downs

By wire services
Published October 2, 2005


CINCINNATI - The Bengals scrapped plans to have security guards give pat-downs to fans attending today's game against the Texans when local officials refused to foot the bill.

The team, which had hired a private security firm to conduct the searches at entrances to Paul Brown Stadium, announced Wednesday it would follow an NFL mandate to perform the searches.

But the Bengals pulled back Friday when Hamilton County commissioners complained that the team billed taxpayers $60,000 for the additional security. The Bengals lease the county-owned stadium.

Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said the pat-downs could be construed as unlawful if they're taxpayer-funded.

Bengals executive Troy Blackburn said the team will meet with NFL officials and local authorities this week to resolve the issue of who pays for the security guards. Searches could start at the next home game, Oct. 23 against the Steelers.

BE LIKE MIKE: Former Dallas star receiver Michael Irvin suggested recently in his role as an ESPN commentator that Keyshawn Johnson and the rest of the Cowboys wideouts are "a bunch of No. 2 receivers."

To which Johnson replied on his weekly Sirius NFL Radio show: "Michael Irvin was a good receiver in his day. He played at a high level most of the time. But if I played with the same quarterback my entire career, and I had a running back my entire career like Emmitt Smith and an offensive line and Jimmy Johnson, for 11 straight seasons, then I'm getting ready to surpass all of Michael Irvin's career numbers in my 10th season, and he played 11. I'm getting ready to pass them all up. I probably would double them had I been with a team consistently like that."

Anything else?

"Michael Irvin, to me, is a good player. He's no Jerry Rice, by any stretch of the imagination. He's definitely going to go into the Hall of Fame one day. I will too, one day."

PACKERS: Tight end Bubba Franks practiced Saturday for the first time since he bruised his left knee late in a Sept. 18 loss to Cleveland, and coach Mike Sherman said the three-time Pro Bowl player has a 50-50 shot of playing at Carolina on Monday. Franks, questionable on the team's injury report, went through a modified workout in practice after he did extensive running and movement drills Friday.