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NFL Blackouts Back In Tampa, Cincinnati

CINCINNATI ( MainStreet) -- NFL blackouts took a breather in Week 2, but Week 3 gives NFL fans a bevy of blackouts to blank their Sunday slate.

The NFL aired every game in it's home markets last weekend, but any football fan who sat through one of the NFL's 26 home-market blackouts last year knew it couldn't last. By this time last year, the NFL had blacked out four games after teams failed to sell out their stadiums 72 hours before kickoff. The NFL can consider itself fortunate if it doesn't match that pace this week, as the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have confirmed blackouts and the San Diego Chargers are struggling with sales.
The Cincinnati Bengals have confirmed a TV blackout for the team's next game. Meanwhile, police say wide receiver Jerome Simpson was caught with 2.5 pounds of marijuana in his home.

Cincinnati didn't even wait for the 72-hour deadline and announced Sunday that their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers wouldn't be enjoyed over steaming bowls of chili in the greater Cincinnati area. That's bad news for CBS (CBS), which loses the market for a week, but worse for fans sitting through their fifth-straight blackout since last season.

The Bengals had sold out 57 consecutive home games from Nov. 16, 2003, to last Nov. 8. That era was supposed to be a renaissance for the Bengals with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer under center, upstart receiver Chad Johnson (later Ochocinco) downfield and coach Marvin Lewis at the helm. Instead, the Bengals managed only one playoff appearance and two winning seasons in the past two decades. The NFL blacked out the last four home games of the Bengals' season as the team skidded to 4-12 and fans lost patience. This season Ochocinco is playing in New England, Palmer is at home demanding a trade and refusing to play another down in a Bengals uniform and Marvin Lewis is guiding a 1-1 team with a rookie quarterback, a running back who may be suspended for three games after violating conduct rules and a wide receiver whom police say had more than two pounds of marijuana at his house after they tracked a shipment there earlier this week.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is blacking out its 10th consecutive regular season game this Sunday and ruining Tampa/St. Petersburg Fox (NWS) affiliate plans for the Bucs' matchup with with Atlanta Falcons. Bucs fans haven't seen a home game on television since 2009, when the team's 12-year sellout streak at Raymond James (RJF - Get Report) Stadium came to a close.
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