The Cincinnati Bengals were founded in 1968 and played their first two seasons as part of the American Football League before being included in the merger with the National Football League where they have been an NFL team ever since. The Bengals have had an up and down roller coaster existence in the NFL, but over the years they’ve been a part of a number of interesting games and moments in the league’s history. The team has also have a number of great players too. Here is a look at five fun facts about the Cincinnati Bengals.
1. The Cincinnati Bengals lost the first pro football game they ever played when they were beaten by the San Diego Chargers by the score of 29-13 on September 6th, 1968 on the road in Southern California.
2. The all time leader in passing yards for the Cincinnati Bengals is Ken Anderson who served as the team’s quarterback from 1971 to 1986. Though not a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, at the time of his retirement only five other quarterbacks in NFL history had thrown for more yards in their career as he did. Though he failed to get a Super Bowl ring in 1981 when the team he quarterbacked lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the big game, Anderson would get a Super Bowl ring 27 years later as the quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
3. When the Bengals debuted in 1968, former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown filled the positions of the team’s general manager and head coach, thanks in large part to the fact that he was also the principal owner of the team. One of Brown’s assistant coaches while with the Bengals, and a man passed over for the head coaching position when Brown stepped down in 1976, was future San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. Coincidentally, the Bengals lost both of their two Super Bowl appearances to Walsh coached 49ers teams.
4. The Cincinnati Bengals had the AFL Rookie of the Year on their roster in both their first two seasons in football. In 1968, running back Paul Robinson won the award and then the next year in 1969 the award was won by quarterback Greg Cook. The Bengals wouldn’t have a rookie of the year award winner again until 1985 when the award was won by wide receiver Eddie Brown.
5. The college that the Cincinnati Bengals have drafted the most players out of over the years is Ohio State University. Some of the great players to have joined the team from there include defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, defensive back Ray Griffin, running back Archie Griffin, running back Pete Johnson, and linebacker Steve Tovar.
Fans of the Cincinnati Bengals are proud of their team, and deservedly so. They have stuck with the team through good years and bad and will continue to do so in the future as well. This is a great team and a valued franchise of the National Football League.