Letter From Paul Tagliabue

Dear Commissioner Portune:

I know that your attorney, Mr. Furnier, has heard from the League's General Counsel, Jeff Pash, regarding your letter of December 27, 2001. However, I want to personally acknowledge your letters,including your most recent letter of January 10, 2003.

My own schedule this week is fully committed on Super Bowl maters, and it will not be possible to meet in San Diego. The issues you wish to discuss are complex and certainly cannot be addressed meaningfully during Super bowl week.

The Bengals are striving to turn around the team's performance, as recent developments confirm. In my opinion, a constructive course would be to support and encourage their efforts in key areas, which will enhance the team's support among Bengals' fans and the business community, rather than to publicly attack and possibly litigate with the team. This latter approach would inevitably divert resources and impede rebuilding efforts. A stadium filled with enthusiastic fans will best serve the long term interests of both the Bengals and Hamilton County.


Paul Tagliabue