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5 Ugliest Blackout Situations in the NFL

The franchise's main problem, as always, is the product it puts on the field. The Raiders' only blackout this season was its first in 13 home games, but even those last two hopeful seasons yielded only two straight 8-8 records. The Raiders limped back to its losing ways this season and hasn't had a winning season since 2002, when they lost to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII.

For now, the Raiders aren't going anywhere. Unfortunately for fans, that statement's applies just as well to the team's play as it does to its stay in Oakland.

Cincinnati Bengals
Number of blackouts: Two

It's been a lot worse for the Bengals, who blacked out 10 games in their previous two seasons. Sure, there were two blackouts this year, but quarterback Andy Dalton helped lead his team to its second-consecutive playoff berth.

That somewhat salves the would for fans who've been consistently burned by the Bengals within the past two decades or so. The team threatened to move in 1995 if they didn't get a new stadium, which ended up costing Hamilton County, Ohio, $540 million. That debt climbed as the recession deepened and expanded to a $30 million budget deficit this year alone. Add annual stadium costs to taxpayers that rose from $29.9 million in 2008 to $34.6 million in 2010 and sales tax revenue that's declined steadily since 2000 and you get crushing debt that eliminates funding for programs such as a juvenile court and rolls back the property tax cut promised as part of the stadium deal.

Ownership continues to discuss renovations and more potential tax-sucking projects, but winning creates a nice distraction from all of that. Just ask Atlanta Falcons fans who watched their team walk through the regular season to a first-round buy, only to have ownership try to sneak a few hundred million out of their pockets while they weren't looking.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
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